Charlotte Carey is currently the Welsh No.1 female table tennis player and has lived and played professionally all over Europe. Now 23 Charlotte is aiming to help Great Britain secure a place at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Here’s charlottes 5 TTFit questions!
I think Jessica Ennis has been a big inspiration for me, she had so many setbacks during her career with injuries and she always remained positive and picked herself up and got to the highest level in her sport. Even after having a child she came back and medalled at the Olympics. I think her work ethic is something everyone can look up to. I also love seeing Conor Mcgregors love and passion for his sport and country. His self confidence is something I think every athlete would love to have.
I live in Halmstad in Sweden and currently practice full time. I train twice a day for around 2 and a half hours each session on the table with some service practice either before or after the session too. I spend at least an hour every day in the gym. I try to work on explosive power and strength. I do a lot of core exercises to help with balance around the table and sharp movements from my core. I enjoy running too so most mornings I try to get a run in on the treadmill before practice.
I think pressure is a privilege and it’s necessary to have some kind of pressure or nervous energy to play well. Once you accept you’ll be under pressure and know it’s coming you learn to control your breathing, think positive thoughts, work in a routine that suits your game and style to make you play well. I tend to play better when there’s pressure as I have routines to help me focus and if I don’t feel any pressure I can be too relaxed and not totally in the zone. Pressure should only come from yourself, you have to want to win for yourself and be in a good mindset to get through tough matches. I know what my game and game plan is so I try to stick to the basics under pressure and set myself up for the things I’m good at. Before matches I like to think about how I can win or what I can do to prepare myself so I’m ready as I go into the match and during the match I just try to think positive and tactically rather than about the situation I’m in.
When I warm up on the table before a match I like to do general footwork warm up exercises, some service free and then I like to end with an exercise I’m ‘good at’ or one that makes me feel confident, keeping lots of balls on the table and like I’m moving well, a simple footwork exercise for example.
Before matches I like to be alone and away from distractions, I try to go on to the table warm so I try to stay fully kitted up until the last minute so I feel like I’m fully ready. I have a specific playlist I listen to before matches and upbeat rhythms help me get focussed. During matches I do a lot of things in threes, for example bouncing the ball on the table before I serve, or wiping my hands. It might sound stupid but I think that just reels in my thoughts and has became part of my routine.
My first ball from backspin, my short return and my use of forehand in middle could be better. These are the three things I’m working on this year. I’ve neglected some areas of my game in order to build up my strengths recently. I’ve built my game to push out or serve long and use my blocking, punching and counter attacking strength to my advantage. I tried hard to make this my style and had to really stick to it in tight situations when I could’ve changed something to perhaps win the match. The long period of trying to make this my game saw a lot of ups and downs but now using that in close situations has giving me confidence in it. Now I’m trying to make my game more rounded to get back into the top 100 and working towards Birmingham 2022.
Thank you Charlotte for taking the time to speak to TTFit!