By Alex Polyakov
Are you a competitive player? The chances are that if you are reading this blog, then you are likely interested in table tennis and in improving your game. If I guessed correctly, I would like to know whether you have asked yourself a few very simple questions. What is your goal in table tennis? Certainly everyone would like to improve and play better, but do we really put in enough effort in planning in order to achieve our goals? Yes we train, but do we train enough? Do we train properly? Do we train our minds and put in enough thought into how we need to play our game?
I have been asking myself these questions since my very first competition. My goals were modest before I attended a USA Sanctioned Tournament. I simply wanted to be a better player, but after experiencing competition and witnessing some fantastic players playing, I wanted to become the best player in my club.
I picked up the paddle quite late in my life - at 28 years of age. Yet, despite all of the daily routine with the family, work, and various errands, table tennis became a significant part of my life. I was magically enchanted by table tennis and wanted to improve. The question was how? This is where I was fortunate enough to have found a great coach. He helped me learn the basics and began to shape my game enabling me to win. He showed me how to win!
Training hard and playing many tournament matches, I quickly climbed through the ranks from USA Rating 1200 to 1400, then on to 1600, 1800 and finally reaching the highly sought-after mark of USATT 2000. It took me two years and four months of relentless training and competition. For me, it was the biggest highlight in table tennis to date. There are no words that can express the feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach a goal that you have been dreaming of attaining. In table tennis, with so many skills one needs to master, it is undoubtedly a very difficult task.
As I was training, I had many questions. I also had many revelations along the way, learning how to play the game and learning to win. There is a common quote “You don’t know what you don’t know”, which means that as time goes on you will learn new things you did not know about. Certainly, I am forever grateful to my coach for his knowledge of the game and everything he taught me. Other revelations came from other sources - books, articles, training, and playing the game itself.
I decided to write a book, which I titled Breaking 2000.Sponsor Ad: TableTennisStore.US - 1000 XIOM, TSP, JOOLA, CHAMPION table tennis products!