Today we are delighted to be sharing an interview with top Para player Martin Perry.
Martin was born without either forearm or the bottom part of his left leg and only took the game up in 2010.
He is now a leading member of the British Para team and has the Tokyo Paralympics firmly in his sights!
1. Amazingly, you only took the game up in 2011, can you explain how you have achieved so much in such a short space of time?
I’ve been playing a relatively short time and have had some pretty decent success, but it’s not been all me. I’ve had great support from the very beginning from Drumchapel TTC and of course the great environment in Sheffield at the EIS with the National Team.
2. Can you describe your emotions when winning the European Team Championships along with David Wetherill and Paul Karabardak in 2017?
Winning the Euros alongside Dave and PK (Paul) was incredible. I didn’t have a big part to play in the outcome of the matches but just to be with the boys and soak up all the experience was incredible. To win it again in 2019 was just amazing. It just showed that it wasn’t a fluke the first time and that we’re a great unit together.
3. What do you think is the most important factor in being a good competitor?
I think it’s important to never give up or give in. I think this applies to training too. We all get bad sessions and tough results but to be resilient enough to keep fighting, for me that makes a great competitor.
4. Can you describe what a usual weeks training looks like for you?
In a regular week we train in Sheffield at the EIS 2 times per day with a gym session 3 days a week. During the Covid pandemic I’ve been spending a lot more time at my home club, Drumchapel. It’s brought a lot more stability to my training regime through this uncertain times.
5. If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
Ooh, too tough to call. I’ll give you two:
J.O. Waldner – he just oozes class, his feeling was incredible and made the game look incredibly easy… which we know isn’t true.
Also love watching Zhang Jike – the passion in his game I love, also the way he could explode onto the ball with great power and precision was amazing. I also felt he could always win no matter the score. He refused to give up.
6. What are your favourite 2 drills?
I love backhand, middle, backhand, forehand – it’s a great session starter, good for getting lots of balls on the table and good for regular footwork. I’m also a big fan of middle either corner when you start with serve. It can be quite challenging and it’s really good for improving anticipation.
7. How do you ensure you get the most out of each training session?
I think it’s key to approach every session with purpose. Make sure you know what you want to work on and try to execute it to the best of your ability.
8. Finally, can you give 2 tips on how you cope with pressure?
Pressure is good, it can bring out the best in you. 2 great ways to cope with pressure is to actually embrace it. Let the thought come, appreciate the moment and then let the thought of pressure slip away. Create a clear thought in your head about service or how you would like to receive and do your best to execute it. Another great way to deal with pressure is to practice being under pressure. Conditioned training can be great for this, a good way to practice conditioned training is for example a best of 5 where the server is 8-6 up or down then upon completion change the conditions as need be.
Thanks so much Martin, you are a true inspiration!