Today we are absolutely thrilled to share a super interview with one of the rising stars of world Table Tennis, Manav Thakkar.
The 21-year-old superstar is the # 1 ranked U’21 player in the world which makes him the only Indian Table Tennis player in history to hold a world top ranking in any category!
Manav prides himself on dedication and hard work and gives us some great insight into his training ethics and why he is so good!
Congratulations on achieving your World #1 Under 21 Ranking, (India’s first World #1 in any age category) can you tell us your 2 best attributes as a player/competitor?
I would say firstly my willpower as I would always try to the very last point no matter what the score is and secondly I have good analytical skills in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of my opponent which massively helps me tactically.
You are a true inspiration to many young players, what tips can you give to any young aspiring players?
They should work hard and be smart in their training, however, also be patient as success doesn’t come the very next day! Eventually success will come so just be patient and keep trying your best!
Can you tell us how you ensure you get the best out of each training session?
In order to get the best out of training it’s very important to always compete with yourself! Like always focus on being better than you were the day before!
You were once a very good gymnast , do you think this has helped your Table Tennis and if so, how?
Yes, I was a great gymnast which helped me a lot as gymnastics requires your body to be very flexible which is also very important for Table Tennis. I could manoeuvre my body into any position and I also did yoga which has really helped my focus, breathing and posture, all important for TT!
You are an incredible competitor, how important do you think the mental side is in Table Tennis?
The mental side in table tennis is as important as physical because many a times we hear he/ she practices well but cannot implement the strokes in match… So it’s very important to stay calm ,have control on the emotions and how to perform under that match pressure so for that one can visualise meditate, etc and also match preparation is very imp according to your opponents
What are your favourite 2 drills?
My fav drills are bh middle bh fh and my second one is my opponent plays all bh to me wherever they want
If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
I love to watch Jan ove waldner from Sweden (former Olympic champion) as he is a very deceptive player and is so fearless when he plays ..it seems like he has many options and does everything with ease
Finally, what would a coach need to focus on to help Manav Thakkar to the pinnacle of World Men’s Table Tennis?
I’m actually very lean. .. underweight I would say so need to work a lot on my strength and explosiveness so that I can play powerful and quality strokes to make a mark at senior world level
Many thanks to Manav for doing the interview with us and we wish him all the success in the future!