Today we are thrilled to share an interview with top female Hungarian Table Tennis player Krisztina Toth.
Krisztina reached as high as #13 in the World rankings and has won numerous Tournaments and medals all around the world.
Krisztina is a huge promoter of Table Tennis in Hungary and also endeavours to support less privileged families in her home country. She is a fabulous coach and we are absolutely delighted to share some of her views and insights around the world of Table Tennis!
1. Who were your Table Tennis inspirations when you were younger?
My parents, my uncle, and my first coach in Hungary. Also when I was around 11 or 12 years old we went to top tournaments in Hungary, where we could to watch the stars from the 70’s and 80. This was such an inspiration for many of us!
2. Your medal record in the European Championships (7 Golds, 10 Silvers, 9 Bronze) is simply incredible, what in your opinion was your most memorable match?
One of my most memorable matches was the victory over Germany in the women’s team final in 2000 in Bremen in front of 6000 German fans. We were the underdogs, but with a huge effort we beat them 4:2!
I have also won 2 Pro Tour events and been runner up 4 times, I’m very proud of these achievements 🙂
3. Can you give any advice to Federations on how to promote Table Tennis better and ways to encourage more girls to play, and to keep them playing as they get older?
It’s a huge problem in Europe , or even in other continents as well. Girls need more girls at practice, they love to be together, they don’t just like to play with boys at practice. If they do for example gymnastics or dancing, they can go with their friends. In TT you will find mostly only 2-3 girls at the practice.
But on the other hand , they should be treated the same as the boys, so, the same chances, same tournaments, same good coaches and so on. I would also encourage more women coaches, I think this is important for the girls.
So we need to make table tennis more attractive for the girls , more colorful, more joy and more fun. But it’s a very complex problem.
4. How would you describe your Coaching style, and which style brought out the best in you?
My coaching style is very cooperative, I try to explain to my players the basic technique very clearly. I help them to understand what is important and which are the key points for a good basics and how they can improve. I expect accuracy, team work and respect in the hall, not just from the players, but my colleagues as well. I try not to forget how is to be a player :))) Mistakes are not a problem, if you learn from it, and to be a good person is as much important as to be a good player, or even more important 🙂
5. Your Doubles record is phenomenal, which attributes do you have that makes you such a great Doubles player?
I think that being left handed player helps a lot of course. I’m also a very creative player, which allows me to surprise our opponents.
I can change my tactics , depending on my doubles partner, i just love doubles. In doubles we also share the pressure, we plan the tactics together. It’s a real team effort, it’s very special. In doubles I have also more time to create some new strokes and placements.
6. What are your 2 favourite drills?
High balls far behind from the table :)) But it’s because i have more time to react 🙂 And, I have quite good feeling for the ball, I mean, I can change speed, power, placements and react of the ball.
7. If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
I love to watch good defense players like Primorac. He has unbelievable feel and a precious touch – Wang Nan, she was very smart and nowadays Chen Meng.
But as a coach I have now little different eyes for the players as before :))
8. Can you give a couple of tips to any young players on how to deal with pressure?
Be well prepared: and having good basic technique gives you self confidence. Sometimes I can see a players fighting but their technique stops them from winning, I find this very frustrating.
Be prepared for everything: try to practice match situations, play against many kind of styles. Choose a coach who inspires you and will help you to go further. Pressure can be good, if you can control it. Try some mental exercises, have good sleep, and always warm up properly.
9. What gives you the most joy in your profession in Table Tennis?
The joy of a win is always like a drug 🙂 but also a good feeling if you really tried your best. But the nicest thing in table tennis is to get to know so many good people and be a friend with many of them. I rarely travel to one country where I could not have a friend to meet , it’s beautiful. Sport is a very good thing, I would suggest all kids do sport.
10. Can you give 2 tips to any young aspiring Table Tennis players out there?
– Try to think of a long term goal
– Simply love table tennis, even it’s hard! Sometimes if you lose , or have no time for practice , it will give you much more back, if you invest in it ❤️🏓
Many thanks to Krisztina for taking the time to do our interview and providing us with great insight into your playing and coaching career!