My Journey to reach the National Table Tennis Olympic Team! Join Me

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Hey guys, here is a short backstory of myself(Sorry for my English. I am not great at articulating but here you go).


I am 29 years old (Male) and I started playing this beautiful game at the age of 11 and played until the age of 17. I had dabbled in other sports like Swimming, Badminton however I seem to be more attracted towards this sport a lot more so I ended up in the table tennis arena daily.

To cut the story short, I have played for my school, college, university level(and was always no 1 or 2). I never really won the state tournaments because of lack of proper coach and money to fund my goal as I don’t come from a rich family per se. My gome was always stuck to same intermediate level due to lack of proper training and exposure as I grew up in a smaller city.

My consistency in my game broke due to studies and less time just after 2007 . Yes, studies are a huge deal here in my country hence I had to give up on this sport to focus there(However I didn’t really do much in that either).

After age of 17, I tried to do my engineering while also focusing on my internet business which I was slowly starting to grow with the advent of broadband in my country.

I then moved to the capital city in 2015 in our country to set up my own office and to scale up the business .

I completely forgot about this sport up until 2020 when Covid came up and I thought to try out some physical training like the gym(which I occasionally went and hated) considering my job is very sedentary with no exercise.

I then joined a local table tennis club near my office to get back into the groove for just fitness purpose however the old passion resurfaced just after few days by playing and talking with the club coach and after lots of thinking I decided I want to have an impossible goal which will help my physical and mentally as well

Why have I set such an absurdly lofty goal?


  1. Just to push myself to see where do I exactly stand
  2. To reach my childhood goals of reaching the top tier in this sport.
  3. To become both physically and mentally fit.
  4. To prove that age is not a factor when it comes to TT(Ofcourse I am not a beginner level as I just need to brush up my techniques). My goal is to reach this goal in next 5 years or even earlier.

Why do I think I can reach this goal?


  1. I am quite a dedicated person when it comes to anything I set my mind onto. I have achieved the same in my personal and business life as well so I am sure if I give 100% to this, I can at least
  2. I am able to fund my goal with a decent budget in mind. If there is a need I don’t mind training myself in Europe/US or other asian countries to get my game up under the training of my coach.
  3. I used to be an intermediate level player back in my younger days however

Actions I have taken :


  1. Hired a passionate coach who also believes in my crazy goal by paying mid XXX per month. The guy is same age as me and is very dedicated and passionate towards the sport. Yes I do not have access to top rated coach but he knows his stuff and is very good at coaching. We train one on one daily except 1 rest day. We have decided on a 2 hour per day training interval.
  2. Training for 1.5 hours per day initially for 5 days a week and participating in the weekly club leagues to get it going.
  3. Recording my daily practice movements using Gopro so I can analyse my growth and mistakes along with my coach.
  4. Working on my fitness! This is HUGE for me because I have a very low stamina so my no 1 priority is to become fit as I tend to become tired even after 20 multi ball rallies.

I would like to share my growth and progressions here on weekly basis. I would be very much obliged to get some help and support from this community. Open to criticism as well.
Big fan of TTD!
 
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Just out of curiosity, have you ever played against someone at that level?
 
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Just out of curiosity, have you ever played against someone at that level?

Well, i have played with a national level player and lost at that time. I do know my weaknesses so working on that now.

hmmm its good to be motivated, and to have dreams, but you should have more humble goals, along the way...

Yes I do have smaller goals like these
Win the club league games
Win the local tournaments
Win the district level
Win the Zonal Level
Get selected for State level
Get selected for national team and so on.
 
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Sorry to be a downer, but if you are not even winning club games or local tournaments, and don't have a top coach, it's not going to happen, certainly not within 5 years. Are you sure that this coach believes in your dream, or he believes in the money you're going to be paying him? If you are really serious about the goal, I'd pursue finding what you consider to be a top coach as you stated.

Are you quitting your job?
 
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Well, since there is no doubt that you will fail I think I'll not be joining you on your journey. Consider your journey a success if you win some club tournaments. That is realistic.
 
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Failure or not- I’m in to follow along.

Go for it!
If you can still maintain your life (income and relationships) in a healthy way- it would be really great to see how far along you can get!

After that- what’s the worst that can happen?


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Sorry to be a downer, but if you are not even winning club games or local tournaments, and don't have a top coach, it's not going to happen, certainly not within 5 years. Are you sure that this coach believes in your dream, or he believes in the money you're going to be paying him? If you are really serious about the goal, I'd pursue finding what you consider to be a top coach as you stated.

Are you quitting your job?

I will be able to get the top coach probably after I win some state level tournaments but for now I am trying what I have available here. I do think he is passionate enough because he has made couple of state level junior players within last 1 year. He does know his technicalities and tricks which helped me immensely to fix my doubts.

I have a semi passive business so that's taken care of. I only need to work couple of hours a day to maintain it which is what is funding this goal.

Well, since there is no doubt that you will fail I think I'll not be joining you on your journey. Consider your journey a success if you win some club tournaments. That is realistic.

Yes indeed that's my first smaller goal . Will keep you guys updated:cool:

Failure or not- I’m in to follow along.

Go for it!
If you can still maintain your life (income and relationships) in a healthy way- it would be really great to see how far along you can get!

After that- what’s the worst that can happen?


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Indeed!, If not this, I would have spent this time on netflix which is what i have completely removed from my schedule. Focusing on my diet, fitness and skills at the moment.
 
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well i am much older (48) than you

i train probably more than 7.5H hours a week (3 to 5 times) but only 1 time (sometimes 2) with a [very high] level coach since 2013. I never was a champion in my youth but an average player

I only managed to get back and probably a little past my best level when young
and only won a very minor local tournament since
 
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Good luck on your journey! No matter how far you make it, don't forget to enjoy the game.

That being said, I expect you to regularly update your (tangible) progress and goals. More than one person posted on the internet their aspiration to reach international level only to go silent...

For me, after 8 years (incl 1.5 years of regularly coaching), I still loose to retirees at local Chinese rec centers.
 
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I proably trained like 10-12 training per week when i was younger. I feel like that even if you train so much, very focused you still fool yourself that you are aiming for it. Need to really want it and live it.

But no idea to be reasonable! just go for it! Everything is possible! But i think it is good like someone said above to have smaller goals along the way.

I also think you need to try to fix everything practical around tabletennis. It is not enough to train 1,5 hours a day for 5 days. Need to invest more time.
 
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Sounds like the slogan below.

China: Get your map right first.
BKO1YGJ.jpg
 
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Maybe if you could find your playing style and mostly train on strengths so you do not need to train everything then maybe you can earn some time.
 
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1.5 hrs a day is not enough!!!

exactly, more like 6H a day (including physical training)

Well I just got back to this game last week so currently working on improving my stamina hence its around 1.5 hours per day(excluding the fitness of 30 mins). I plan to extend this to 3 hours under the coach and for the remaining practice I plan to buy a table along with a robot to improve my footwork and skills even further so yeah I can put in another 3 hours with time.

Or do you have any other suggestions?
 
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In my opinion, the goal is too high to be easily demotivated, sorry.

I remember the time I started playing this sport again 3 years ago. At the first training, two girls were training like beast. I said myself that I was going to play like that in a year. I got a national level coach for a year, 3 times a week. After a year I was no where near my goal. Those girls were Super League players :) but I improved faster than other friends.

I remember the time I asked my coach if I could be a professional player :) He said if I quit my job, work hard full time, have enough coaching, and play lots of tournaments I could be pro in 6-7 years.

Then I realized that I could never be a professional player.

According to my TTR score graph and others that have improved already, I have more realistic goals right now.

If you spend your 10000(!) hours very very efficiently and wisely, you will reach a quite high level.

Enjoy the process.


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I have played against seven different US team members who played at the WTTC, possible because six of them have lived in my city. One of these guys also played at the Olympics. I was coached by three of them. Then there are a handful of former Chinese provincial team people I played with. Also once with Wang Hao -- not the great penholder, rather the older Chinese defender. Some of you will remember him. In my young years I played Danny Seemiller a couple, of times when he was first emerging as the top US player. Seeing how good these guys are quickly smashed any possible ideas that I would ever reach their level (I never believed I could, but seeing firsthand verified it). If you need more evidence, watch any of the videos where Dan plays international players and they pretty much toy with him. There is a massive gulf between good amateur players and pro players. And the top players in India these days are really good.

Practice hard, improve. But don't quit your day job. Somebody above wrote "anything is possible". Sadly, some things aren't.
 
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