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    1. Top | #1
      Yecats Encerwal is offline
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      USA Table Tennis

      I have always been curious, for a country that has approx 320,000,000 people, why is the USA not one of the table tennis greats?

      From what I can gather, table tennis is a very popular sport over there (appears in films and stuff and there are lots of Americans on TTD!) and I'm sure there are millions who play, yet countries with much smaller populations and numbers of players seem to be much more successful at the very top of the rankings.

      This re-inforces the fact that China's success is probably not hugely influenced by their giant population (granted it helps a bit) but more by their culture and attitude towards the sport and their super intense drive for success.

      Is it a funding issue? Or is it just a cultural issue, in that other sports get a lot more focus (American Football, Baseball etc)?

      Or is it even an issue at all?

      I'd love to hear your opinions on this

      PS: I don't mean any offence by creating this thread, I am just interested to hear other peoples opinions. There are plenty of fantastic USA based table tennis players, this thread is more about why not so many are at the very top.

      Last edited by Yecats Encerwal; 11-07-2016 at 03:10 PM.

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    3. Top | #2
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Lot of stuff going on but it is a culture thing a lack of TV money thing and a lack of infrastructure thing.

      Schools have built in infrastructure but no social or social competitive or competitive structure.

      That should be the target area at all costs. Gaining numbers there will bring more members to usatt more revenue and possibilities grow from in new clubs coaches income potential and business potential.

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    5. Top | #3
      Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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      I feel if USA can do well in Table Tennis and make it Pro, it can help TT world wide a lot.
      USA knows how to make sports become business, and with that career possibilities.
      I have been saying this for years, and I know it is doable.
      Hope my mate there Mr MH can make it happen

      On Der_Echte's comment, he mentioned schools
      In your Asian countries where TT doesn't have a big government support, I see the winning formula is schools.

      So I guess the short term goal is to get USA schools system up and running.
      Every City should have a school league
      Then Regional Competition, then National Competition.
      Same age groups as you will have Basketball, baseball, football etc

      The current USA success is from clubs (same as European countries)
      Clubs is good, but clubs will never bring the number or fan base.

      In SA, we are strong in Cricket and Rugby.
      There is so little players in club cricket and rugby, but every school have many teams in the 2 sports.

      In Taiwan, school TT is big.
      You have strong TT primary schools, where parents will send the child there because of TT (same for your basketball/baseball schools), and then you have strong TT middle school and senior high school.
      Funny enough, the same lot then become national junior players.

      TT in the US can be the same. and all the way to University TT or they call it NCAA

      From there, the next in line is life after university.
      And this is where Pro TT can come into place.
      With the numbers, fan base, viewership, followers, it will be much easier to get Sponsors

      So, start from the kids at school and make a 10 year plan to get to the top.

      Other people tend to start from the top and want sponsors to sponsor few audiences..... it won't work (if it can, it would of happen already)

      So, I just typed a lot of how to make TT big in USA and become Pro
      If TT is a career path, then your top world juniors like Ariel and Erica won't need to give up TT for academic and the real life future.
      Will Lily continue as a Pro TT or focus on working?
      Lots of formal US national players who are still young (in the 20s) are not full time athletes at all
      Last edited by Tony's Table Tennis; 11-07-2016 at 06:57 PM.
      BYE BYE

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    7. Top | #4
      edgy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Yecats Encerwal View Post
      From what I can gather, table tennis is a very popular sport over there (appears in films and stuff and there are lots of Americans on TTD!) and I'm sure there are millions who play, yet countries with much smaller populations and numbers of players seem to be much more successful at the very top of the rankings.
      It's not very popular here at all. Very few people play or want to play the game competitively. To the average American, TT is just a game room/basement game (next to the foosball table and dart board) where a couple of friends can knock a few cold ones back on a Friday/Saturday night. Competitive video gaming is more popular here in the US (probably much more so) than competitive TT.

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    9. Top | #5
      TareqPhoto is offline
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      And i won't compare USA TT to Asia or china or even Japan/Korea, but at least compare it to Europe, and still USA is behind, so i feel that USA really don't care about all sports to be on top, they have some sports to have glory with, but not necessary all sports including TT.

      When was the last time an american player was in the top 3 winners in those big events [World Champion, World Cup, Olympics]?

    10. Top | #6
      Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
      And i won't compare USA TT to Asia or china or even Japan/Korea, but at least compare it to Europe, and still USA is behind, so i feel that USA really don't care about all sports to be on top, they have some sports to have glory with, but not necessary all sports including TT.

      When was the last time an american player was in the top 3 winners in those big events [World Champion, World Cup, Olympics]?
      Lily Zhang, bronze

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    12. Top | #7
      TareqPhoto is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis View Post
      Lily Zhang, bronze


      Which tournament or competition it was and what date?
      And by his name, it sounds he is very asian, but i can understand it, names isn't the main story, i want to read more about him then.

    13. Top | #8
      edgy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
      Which tournament or competition it was and what date?
      And by his name, it sounds he is very asian, but i can understand it, names isn't the main story, i want to read more about him then.
      She

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Zhang

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    15. Top | #9
      TareqPhoto is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by edgy View Post
      Oh, i have mistaken that she was he, my mistake, thanks for correcting me.

    16. Top | #10
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
      Which tournament or competition it was and what date?
      And by his name, it sounds he is very asian, but i can understand it, names isn't the main story, i want to read more about him then.
      She's American born and learnt to play table tennis in the USA so just because she is asian or 'very asian' as you so put it (which I might add she isn't, she's quite American lol) doesn't mean that she's Chinese.
      Pro Table Tennis Coaching Blog at - MHTableTennis

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    18. Top | #11
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      Ladies and Gentlemen if I may...haha

      The nation certainly has the population to have potential to be great at anything and that's something the USA have shown across a ridiculous number of Olympic Sports. Unfortunately as mentioned above, the sport as we know it is much more popular as a social game in the USA and not as much a competitive sport.

      I've started trying to increase the exposure of competitive table tennis through my role in digital and social media but really the task ahead is enormous and without the backing and funding of the US Olympic Committee (because we don't have medal potential and are the only sport that gets no funding) we are at a disadvantage.

      The infrastructure required is phenomenal and the hardest part is where to find the starting point. The US needs a national league and it needs higher paying tournaments and beyond all it needs a stronger reputation as a high school and college sport. Then and only then will it have a chance to follow suit with other professional sports in the USA.

      I'd love to hear people's ideas, particularly the more specific ones that we don't hear all the time, about how table tennis can be promoted on a national scale in the US!

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    20. Top | #12
      Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hetherington View Post
      Ladies and Gentlemen if I may...haha

      The nation certainly has the population to have potential to be great at anything and that's something the USA have shown across a ridiculous number of Olympic Sports. Unfortunately as mentioned above, the sport as we know it is much more popular as a social game in the USA and not as much a competitive sport.

      I've started trying to increase the exposure of competitive table tennis through my role in digital and social media but really the task ahead is enormous and without the backing and funding of the US Olympic Committee (because we don't have medal potential and are the only sport that gets no funding) we are at a disadvantage.

      The infrastructure required is phenomenal and the hardest part is where to find the starting point. The US needs a national league and it needs higher paying tournaments and beyond all it needs a stronger reputation as a high school and college sport. Then and only then will it have a chance to follow suit with other professional sports in the USA.

      I'd love to hear people's ideas, particularly the more specific ones that we don't hear all the time, about how table tennis can be promoted on a national scale in the US!
      for one, we need more Matt Herheringtons

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    22. Top | #13
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      If i may add ,although the sport is growing,its doing it very slow , but because between Butterfly joining with Paddle Palace and USA table tennis hosting tournaments ect,maybe in a near future we will see some big sponsors investing in the sport ,but in my opinion this is a matter of $$ and all the "Big time sports like Baseball ,Basketball ,Golf ,Hockey dominating the spectrum and the $$ ,so i suppose the guys in charge dont see a lucrative avenue with TT,even though they have some upcoming youth with great talent maybe its not enough ,so i guess its a matter of time ,

    23. Top | #14
      Yecats Encerwal is offline
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      Thanks everyone for your great replies! I wasn't aware that TT was such a casual sport over there. Hopefully you coaches out there can help to bring the USA closer to the top of the table!

      I just always found it strange how the UK has managed to produce 3 top 100 players who managed to get a bronze medal at the WTTC and yet at pro level the USA seems far behind. Are there any USA males who you think could have potential to beat the likes of Pitchford and Drinkhall? Who are the highest ranked male and female USA players?

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    25. Top | #15
      Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Yecats Encerwal View Post
      Thanks everyone for your great replies! I wasn't aware that TT was such a casual sport over there. Hopefully you coaches out there can help to bring the USA closer to the top of the table!

      I just always found it strange how the UK has managed to produce 3 top 100 players who managed to get a bronze medal at the WTTC and yet at pro level the USA seems far behind. Are there any USA males who you think could have potential to beat the likes of Pitchford and Drinkhall? Who are the highest ranked male and female USA players?
      England is in Europe
      Europe is the hub of western TT, and therefore easier to become Pro
      USA, most of the US mens team are now part time TT and full time employees (the ones that are still 20 odd years odd)

      TT in many countries (outside Europe and Asia) doesn't put bread on the table.
      So if that is the case, who will be insane to play TT and to be on the streets?

      If you cannot fix the future, then there is no purpose to play TT after you finish school

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    27. Top | #16
      chuckjordan2 is offline
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      When i was in high school in the 1970's, soccer tried to be a sport in the USA. Even the great Pele tried to make it a sport here. Early attempts failed.

      Fast forward to today (40 years later) and my city has12 soccer fields, and spending $10 million USD on 4 new soccer fields.

      It takes time.

      I've asked my city for 6 new Joola tables (they laughed when i asked for Butterfly tables). About $4000 USD. To run some Senior games. One year later, i'm still waiting.

      Never say never... it'll take time...

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    29. Top | #17
      Yecats Encerwal is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by chuckjordan2 View Post
      When i was in high school in the 1970's, soccer tried to be a sport in the USA. Even the great Pele tried to make it a sport here. Early attempts failed.

      Fast forward to today (40 years later) and my city has12 soccer fields, and spending $10 million USD on 4 new soccer fields.

      It takes time.

      I've asked my city for 6 new Joola tables (they laughed when i asked for Butterfly tables). About $4000 USD. To run some Senior games. One year later, i'm still waiting.

      Never say never... it'll take time...
      Never give up! The UK has traditionally not been that great at TT and it hasn't always been that popular.

      It still isn't popular, but its improved recently with the recent successes. Recently the SportBible Facebook page with over 8 million followers live-streamed England vs Greece, and this went down well!

      Maybe more media exposure in the US on modern social platforms would help too

      I read somewhere that there are over 2 million TT players in the UK, which is good and still growing!

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    31. Top | #18
      Baal is offline
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      In the US too many other choices for things to do and not much tradition in the sport. Not much in the way of local amateur sports clubs like in Germany. But there are reasons now to hope for better. I think sTony is right about schools.
      Last edited by Baal; 11-08-2016 at 12:49 PM.

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    33. Top | #19
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      One good thing is that our best junior player and current US Champ, Kanak Jha, moved to Sweden and has trained and played there for quite a while now. A huge part of the problem the US has is producing the kind of competitive environment that builds the top players. England is next to those countries (Germany etc.)
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    35. Top | #20
      Baal is offline
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      Another good thing is more clubs that can produce players like Kanak Jha.

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