TTFit is delighted to get an exclusive interview with Gavin “Rumdog” Rumgay. Gavin is 14x National Champion and has also medalled on the ITTF World Tour in 2018. The first Scottish player to achieve such a feat.
Gavin is a former Tennis National Junior Champion, playing alongside Andy Murray as well as recently returning home with a Bronze medal at the 2020 World Championships of Ping Pong! Gavin is multi-talented and we hope you will enjoy getting an insight into his thought processes, training and more.
Gavin Rumgay TTFit Interview
1. Who are your main inspirations and why?
From about 12 years old, I was inspired to watch all of Stephen Hendrys snooker competitions on TV. He was ruthless, a winner and one of Scotlands greatest sportsmen across all sports.
2. How did you become so highly skilled in so many sports?
I had parents who were extremely skillful and world-class badminton players. They would take me to tournaments from a very young age and I would watch them win numerous competitions. Between the ages of 6 and 9, I would wait until their tournament ended and I could jump onto the court for 20 minutes and try it. This then led to me trying Mini Tennis, Tennis, golf & finally table tennis.
3. What motivates you the most in your profession in Sport?
The competition is what it is all about. I don’t practice loads but when I practice, I make sure that I simulate match play situations.
I never do regular footwork stuff. That is pointless. In a game you don’t know where the ball is going so why should you practice knowing the ball’s next location.
4. You come across as a very confident sportsman, is this something you have worked on or does this come naturally to you?
Again, I just compete. Some people think I’m arrogant but the closest people to me know that’s not the case. You need to get into your opponent’s head. You need to let them know that you are there to have any chance of winning big matches.
5. How important do you think attitude is in becoming a WINNER?
Attitude is important in focussed practice sessions but intelligence is more important if you want to win high profile tournaments.
6. Do you have any routines or processes that help you cope with pressure, and do you do anything differently in the 9-9 10-10 etc situations?
I just make sure that I am dominating the big points. You need to be proactive, not reactive in pressure situations. You also have to enjoy days that you are the No1 seed in tournaments. Never scared to lose.
7. What is it about Table Tennis that brings you the most joy?
Being able to win points in many ways. Serving, changing speed, blocking, lobbing, chopping, all-out attack and combinations of all of these.
8. Can you give some tips to any young players aspiring to be the next Gavin Rumgay or Ding
Train differently from everyone else. If you train the same you will probably end up like the rest. Turning into a reasonable player with good technique, but not a proven winner. Not standing out from the crowd.
9. If you had to choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
Emmanuel Lebesson. Amazing serve and receive. Mentally strong. Punched above his weight. A European Champion against the odds. Spins the ball like Nadal on the tennis court!
10. Finally, what if anything would you do differently if starting out again?
Quite simply, I wouldn’t play table tennis. There are only 2 players in the last 15 years that have made good money in table tennis that are from the UK. If I did play table tennis again, I would have played for England in my early years. There is zero support for players from Northern Ireland & Scotland especially.
Find a sport that if you are Top 60 in the world, you are financially rewarded. (In 6 or 7 figure sums) Golf, Tennis & Football.
Finally, well done to TT Fit for providing a platform where people can access world-class advice and information within table tennis!
Thank you very much, Gavin!
We would also like to take this opportunity to let our TTFit athletes and coaches know that Gavin is London based and happy to coach beginners, intermediate & advanced players in table tennis, tennis & badminton. Gavin also has a fantastic equipment range. Check out his website here: https://gavinrumgay.com/