I’m sure many of you have read the great Mathew Syed’s fantastic book ‘Bounce’ and if you haven’t then I definitely recommend you should! I read it because I know Matthew was one of the best Table Tennis players in Europe at one time and also because he is now a brilliant journalist.
Matthew seems to be a great believer of the ‘practice is the mother of all talent’ theory and he uses a lot of examples and stories as proof. Syed knows that there are other important factors in what makes a great athlete like genetics, quality of coaches, environment, and the list goes on, talent is not high on his agenda though!
I for one pretty much agree with him and my main reasons are two people I have been lucky enough to meet. Before I begin I want to say I absolutely hate name dropping but what the heck!
I got to know Rory McIlroy when he was a member of my gym, played some Tennis with him and had the odd coffee. Rory’s father was and still is a scratch golfer and he grew up basically beside Holywood Golf Club. Rory played golf pretty much every day since he was about 3 years old, because he wanted to not because anyone made him. He was taught good foundations from the start and obviously watched his Dad play a lot.
God knows how many good swings he made by the time he reached 10 years old and was already the World Under 10 Champion! Talent or repetition of good technique, habits?? You decide. Rory is an amazing guy by the way and he ran every Tennis ball down even when my shot was out! He always believed that he would be the best which in my opinion is essential to be great.
I was lucky enough to meet Agassi through my stepson James’s Tennis achievements in which he actually played Tennis with the legend himself, ironically Matthew Syed was there to interview him!! After all the action Andre gave a Q & A session that was very insightful and I have to say he came across as a really lovely genuine person.
Agassi was very different to Rory as his Dad made him play Tennis and he actually admitted he didn’t enjoy It in general, he said he loved winning titles though! He told us he hit at least 5000 F/Hs before breakfast, 5000 after school and then 1000s more in his training after dinner. His Dad studied the game so he made sure each repetition was perfect or he would have to repeat the stroke. Talent or repetition of good technique, habits??
Read ‘Bounce’ and maybe try and think of some examples yourself and perhaps you believe that talent is the most important thing?!
Our vision at TTFit is to provide you with good technical tools for you to look at and copy, we want to encourage all our members to start introducing good habits when training and competing. We want you to become ‘Table Tennis Fit’ and be the best you can be!