John Murphy


An interview with the Australian National Coach John Murphy.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Firstly, my parents are my biggest inspiration in life as they are very hard-working people who have always done everything for me. They also were the people who believed in and supported my dream that one day I would be able to make my living from table tennis.

Secondly from a table tennis perspective I would have to say that Colum Slevin was a huge inspiration to me. I learned my table tennis philosophy from Colum so I owe him a great deal for that.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

To be able win and more importantly win at the right time is a huge talent to have.

The attitude that you bring on a daily basis is very important, especially if you want to win consistently. Attitude is built over many years by sticking to good habits and having high standards.

How do you get the best out of your players?

I think understanding that all players are different is very important. As a coach, being able to see from the players eyes is something that I try to achieve with my players. This helps me work with the player better and ultimately get the most out of them.

Players need to feel that the coach believes in them, so it is important to work on your relationships with your players. In my experience the easiest way to create the belief between player and coach is in the daily training environment. This is ultimately where the trust is formed.

Which one word describes you as a coach?


What makes a great coach?

A great coach is a:

  1. Leader
  2. Motivator/Inspires Others
  3. Hard Worker
  4. Communicator
  5. Knowledgeable Person

What are your top achievements?

  • Currently – Head Coach for Table Tennis Australia
  • Former Head Coach for Table Tennis Ireland 2011-2008
  • Former Head Coach for Table Tennis Ulster 2013-2017
  • Lead coach for Team NI Table Tennis Team at the CWG in 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast

Notable Achievements as a Coach:

  • Guided Australia to the 2020 Olympic Games (Men and Women)
  • Guided Northern Ireland to a Bronze Medal in the Men’s Team at the 2015 Commonwealth Games
  • Guided Northern Ireland to the Quarter Final of the Men’s Team at the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast. (Highest ever finishing position)
  • Guided the Irish Cadet Boys Team to a unprecedented Top 10 finish at the 2017 European Youth Championships.
  • Worked very closely with Sophie Early, Nicholas Lum, Finn Luu and Owen Cathcart who have all won multiple medals at junior level on the international stage.

Notable Achievements as a player:

-5 x Irish National Champion (Men’s Singles)

-Over 100 caps for Ireland

-Former Irish Number 1

Thank you John for an insightful interview.

Remember to check back soon for more interviews!


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