Category: Life Coaching

Sammy Kaye answered honestly about how it is being a full-time table tennis coach…

What does it take to become a true leader and create true team culture?
Credit: eBaTT

Sammy Kaye, shares his insights (professional table tennis coach), how it’s possible to make a living from the sport and what to expect…

Do we create systems in our lives or are we stuck inside one? I believe it’s a bit of both but we have a choice to make one greater than the other. The problem many face is direction, and I’m no different, having felt directionless and having no idea in the world what to do.

We’ve all been there to one extent or another, desperately scrolling through the Times Top 100 Employers or through the endless Linked-in/Indeed maze.

Well…that was me a year ago!!!

This time last year I was a 21-year-old graduate and truthfully, I was a little bit lost.
Luckily Table Tennis gave me a strong anchor and guided me to where I am today…

Many don’t believe or think it’s possible but I am on a pathway that makes me happy, healthy and prosperous, via table tennis. Today aged 23 I’m a full-time table tennis coach, based in London England.

What makes a good coach?
Legendary Jiu Jitsu Coach- John Danaher and Legendary TT Coach Liu Guoliang
Credit: LondonReal
Credit: Wiki,  Pierre-Yves Beaudouin/ WikipediaCommons

Table Tennis Journey

If you are reading this, then it means we share the same passion through Table Tennis which gives us all joy, meaning and purpose. The excitement that we all feel before practice and matches keeps us playing for years and for many it’s a life long relationship.

I have been playing for 10 years now and through the sport I’ve had so many amazing experiences; playing in school, university, local and national tournaments and I’ve even been lucky enough to play in international tournaments in several countries. I believe that table tennis is a life long journey for me and I’m very excited to see what adventures lay ahead.

Due to several experiences and good fortune I have made the first few steps in building a career in coaching a sport that I love. Going to work every day gives me genuine excitement, joy, meaning and purpose.

Opportunity Calls!

We are all young once.

Young people have so much energy, passion and want to give and learn…

However, we rarely know where to start.

Many of us feel overwhelmed by the immense social pressure to achieve academic success and then feeling lost after our university studies, with a degree in our pocket (not to mention a student loan on our shoulders!)

I was no different. Did all the right things at school, achieved good grades, went to a good university and got a respectable degree. But, at the end, (after passing my test, I didn’t know where to drive to?!) I felt lost, unassured and to be honest, quite down.

We must keep our eyes and minds open

Out of the blue I received a text message from Roger Close, a dad of one of my university friends Anthony.

Do I want to do some coaching at a Table Tennis Club? (he volunteers at).

Hmnn, an empty summer with not much to do, ABSOLUTELY I DO!

I was excited but also very nervous. I had not played for a long time due to covid and studying.

The kids at the club who know me now may not believe me when I say this, but, I was extremely nervous. The session I helped in seemed to go down okay as a week later I was called by the head coach of the club, Zoltan Hosszu. ‘Sammy I heard you did a bit of coaching at the club, do you want to help me out at another club of mine?’.

Sure, why not?…

A couple weeks down the line. I begin training again with my personal coach and mentor Eli Baraty.

We had a little catch up after covid-19 and my university absence. I tell him that I have finished university, am taking a year out and that I have been doing a bit of coaching. Eli lights up, ‘Sammy that’s excellent, you should have told me, I can also give you some coaching opportunities if you are up for that.’ I express my interest and thank him.

Follow your gut

Do you ever have that gut feeling that you are heading in the right direction but you can’t explain why?

For whatever reason, spending 50% of my time doing graduate scheme applications and 50% of it on Table Tennis, made me feel like I was making sense of the crazy world and path ahead of me.

Back to School!

My first consistent regular coaching work, was at a school.

Manic, hyper, sometimes disorganised, random, ever-changing. These are some of the ways I would describe coaching in schools.

However, I would also describe it as; uplifting, inspiring, joyful, interesting, rewarding and a privilege.

The Coaching Balance in the School Environment

Over the past year I have probably worked in about 10 different schools so I have had a flavour of different working environments and cultures, and different kids.

Each school has different expectations of you, they have different kids (which often means varying levels of behaviour).

This means I had to become very astute, aware and ready to adapt.

Some of the kids in the programmes are wanting to play to just blow off some steam, others want to genuinely improve and train, and others train outside school and ‘think they know it all’.

So as a coach you have to be able to service all of these kids (and as a result satisfy the school in the process).

Not easy…
But here’s a few tips!

  • You have to be able to, assert yourself, command the attention and respect of the students and run a fun session which ultimately develops the skills of the students.
  • Each week you must keep things fresh and innovative; you have to be on the ball, and you MUST be ready to inspire and motivate.

Listen, understand, and then speak!

1-1 Private Coaching.

  • Are you observant?
  • Are you empathetic?
  • Are you adaptable?

These are some key traits that are required for 1-1 private coaching.

The private 1-1 session is like the ultimate litmus test for whether you want to become a table tennis coach in the UK as it will be about 50% of your income.

It tests your technical, observational, emotional and social skills as a coach.

It is an intimate, highly focussed and bespoke service as you are trying to cater for each individual’s unique table tennis requirements.

The key word here is INDIVIDUAL.

I shall elaborate

Your goal generally speaking, is to find ways of elevating your student/client’s game. On face value this may seem simple, but it is actually a much more difficult job than you may think.

Getting better at Table Tennis is not just about stronger forehands and backhands, it’s also about developing all parts of yourself, your mind, your body, your resilience, your character. To make someone a better table tennis player you must develop each part of that.

However, not everyone who wants private coaching is prepared to work on those types of things, so you have to understand the person that you are coaching and what they want to achieve in their game before you start working hard to develop their game.

Some people might be working on their fitness rather than technical ability, some people might just want a sparring session with a quality player/coach who gives them one or two tips along the way. Others may want to achieve high, high goals and you as a coach have to assess what is required for them to achieve it and then advise, manage expectations and provide yourself to them accordingly.

Furthermore, as a coach you must understand that the world is a vast tapestry and people are so different. Not everyone can think like you, look like you, talk like you and play like you.

For real coaching magic to happen, there needs to be a meeting of minds so that you understand and believe in your player and they understand and believe in you. (This also takes time and nurturing).

Learning on the job

Eli Analysing a new service receive that I am struggling to execute.

Eli started coaching me when I was 17. We have both come a long way since then. He understands me and I understand him. This allows us to grow together.
Credit: eBaTT

I have already had the immense privilege to have coached people all of all races, genders, ages and orientations. I have developed my skills by coaching all of them and I have also learnt a hell of a lot about life and people. I have coached some truly incredible human beings who have come from all walks of life. Lawyers, accountants, business people, businessmen/woman, millionaires, parents, ordinary average joes, and some truly fantastic kids.

I am indebted to them, as I have learnt so much from them all.

Credit: Peregrine Global Services

Administrate or Drown!

As a coach, you must possess many skills that are unique to you and your profession.

However, when it comes to organisation and business administration, table tennis coaching is very much alike to every other field. It is an essential.

In fact, it might even be more important to coaching than in a more conventional career because as a coach you are often representing yourself and if you mess up there is no one to cover you and you will bear the consequences of your poor organisation.

You must regularly, call, email and contact clients, you must organise your finances, keep notes on your students, you must dot your I’s and cross your T’s when going into new ventures such as managing health and safety, equipment etc.

I have been awake at 2/3am many times trying to keep everything organised and in order.

Mentoring and Growth

What do you want from life and do you want success?…

Then you must be prepared to eat humble pie, learn from people who know more than you…

The last year has possibly been the most significant growth period in my life.

I have the privilege of being mentored by a world class professional in their industry who also happens be a great person who cares about me and my growth.

Lessons learnt, are endless…

Initially my coaching began with small pockets of work for eBaTT. This includes; some schools, group coaching , 121’s alongside work for other clubs too. Eli must have seen something in me and offered me a 6 month part-time contract with a view to potentially renew.

This was exciting but of course, naturally I felt nervous.

Therefore I took my time in reflection of the opportunity and to think about what I wanted before accepting a new pathway.

I did not want to commit to something that I was unprepared to see through. I think it is respectful to take your time on job offers, but don’t take too long!

I took a few days and wrote some of my thoughts and questions down…

Eventually I decided that I wanted to take it, naturally I had questions and queries which Eli answered.

Experience over money

Before I accepted the contract, I had been doing coaching work for a few clubs across London and was getting paid a little more per hour than what I was initially being offered on the contract by eBaTT.

So naturally I asked for more than what I was offered on the contract.

Eli, then explained to me that looking simply at money is an extremely narrow view on our 6-month Contract. He explained to me that what the contract is really about is about growing, learning and experience, plus much more. He said that what I will learn with him on this programme will be much more valuable to me than being paid a little more money. I may be getting less on paper but embedded in the whole package has far greater value to me as an individual than a slightly higher wage.

He explained his reasoning from his perspective and his business’ perspective. The business has costs to bear (administration, liability risk etc). But also made it clear to me that a key piece of value that Eli would be giving me is his time. In Eli’s words, he would will be on call at any time (often at early morning hours if need be) to mentor and grow me as a coach, employee and human being.

Moreover, Eli noted his resume which as his student I am well aware of and thought, this guy is definitely the best in the business, if I am going to do proper table tennis work experience why would I do it with anyone else?

I thought about it, I wanted to work as a coach and it was only for 6 months, if I didn’t like it or wanted to change, I didn’t have to do it forever. Not much to lose and everything to enjoy and gain from…

I accepted.

Eli, asked me to do some experience with him during his 1-1 sessions before starting official in January.

I shadowed him in some sessions and took over a few… I WAS BLOWN AWAY!

I learnt and insane amount in such a short space of time. I was being taught so many secrets of coaching as well as general life and business lessons such as communication, people skills, body language and so much more.

I immediately understood Eli’s perspective when we discussed our contract.

Fast forward to the present…I can honestly say that Eli has kept to his word. He has put so much time into mentoring me, secondly, I have grown a tremendous amount as a result and thirdly, I truly see the embedded value that was promised in our original agreement. I have learnt that there are some (many) things when it comes to work which are much more valuable than money.

A quote from Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. ‘The poor work for money, whilst the rich work for experience.’ I can honestly say that I have had a very rich experience so far.

To this day I receive constant mentoring and advice on coaching, communication, business and table tennis knowledge.

Time and experience, from before I properly started coaching to where I am now, I genuinely believe that I’m positively unrecognisable- as a coach and as a person.

The love of coaching hooked me, so much so that I turned down a graduate scheme offer in order to pursue a new-found passion and now career.

Out the door in a heartbeat!

Loving something is unfortunately not enough, if you want it to thrive and grow!

You must be prepared to put the work in to get it to grow.

As a table tennis coach, I believe it is my duty to be ready to grow myself and the sport.

That means when opportunities come, I grasp them with a firm hand. This year I have been called up many times at the last minute by Eli…‘Sammy, do you want to do this?’, ‘Sammy I need someone to help me with this…’ ‘Sammy I have a wonderful opportunity for you’. 80-90% of the time I have said yes and learnt so much from each experience.

A particularly memorable experience. I got a call at 9am on my day off (a very early time for me on my day off AHAHA!).

Eli: ‘Sammy, what are you doing today…?’

Half asleep… I say: ‘errrrr…I’m seeing my girlfriend’

Eli: ‘I have a really exciting corporate event that I just got told about this morning at 7:30am, are you up for it?’ ‘

Me: ‘Yeah, but I need to ask ‘the girlfriend’’, (luckily she was relaxed about it. I treated her to a nice dinner afterwards) I called Eli back ‘Alright, I’m down let’s do it’.

Later in the day, we hauled a table into a van, drove into central London, parked outside the offices and wheeled the table into the premises and up into the lift and set it up in the middle of the company offices.

We put on a wonderful table tennis clinic involving an exhibition, coaching and match play. The Employees began to swarm in wanting to be a part of the tremendous vibe that we had created. It was fantastic.

It was such a mind-blowing experience for me. It reinforced the fact that we can literally take table tennis anywhere and everywhere. Our sport can really do great things and we can really elevate it.

With imagination, determination and partnership we can achieve great things…

eBaTT Entertainment Event
Credit eBaTT

Closing thoughts and Thanks

Firstly, it is my humble opinion that the world would be a better place with more table tennis coaches in it. However, it is a very difficult pursuit and in a way is analogous to starting a business…

Many coaches are on their own and are developing their skills, finding their USP, selling themselves, trying to manage all their administration, costs, personal issues all with knowledge that their will be no guarantee of success.

However, when are there ever any guarantees in life?

It is difficult, but, it is possible, there are several full-time coaches in England and of course it would be great to have more. I aim to become a worthy addition to the small network of coaches in the country and will continue to grow myself as a coach alongside the whole community.

I love competition, and see so many positives from it, therefore my aim is to work as hard and smart as possible to become the best.

I have been extremely fortunate in my coaching journey so far. You could say that I have been at the right place at the right time.

Moreover, I work for eBaTT who provide me constant support and mentoring and give me so many opportunities. I am now giving my full-time energy and focus to growing eBaTT and enacting our vision across the UK.

The eBaTT Centre is now open and we are working non-stop to make it a success and to transform table tennis across the UK.

I want to say thanks to eBaTT for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity. I also want to say thanks to Roger Close and Zoltan Hosszu who reached out to me out of the blue and helped kick start my coaching journey.

I have many more thoughts about the sport and coaching that I wish to convey in the coming months and years.

Stay tuned….

Mental Health Benefits of Table Tennis

It’s funny because I got into table tennis by watching the award winning film Forrest Gump. The main actor is portrayed as “dump” but it’s clear he has some sort of autism. I quickly related to the character, personally suffering from Dyslexia and I was also labelled as the “boy who can’t read or write, the stupid one”.

Magic of Table Tennis

We can all play table tennis and aside from being a fun activity and sport which can be played almost anywhere and with anyone, table tennis also offers many health benefits. Of course like all sports it provides great mind-body stimulation, and social interaction.

But what sets table tennis apart?

  • Improving hand-eye coordination.
  • Very low risk of injury
  • Improve focus and concentration
  • Improving reflexes
  • Improve decision making
  • Improve strategy
  • Develops your vision and eye movement
  • Increases synovial fluid in the joints
  • Scientifically proven to be the worlds best brain sport. This is because you have to make decisions physically and
  • mentally with minimal time.
  • Table tennis is used in hospitals and care homes as treatment for dementia.
  • It improves balance.

Unbeknown to me at the time, (when I first began playing, aged 14) these health benefits started to reshape my brain and body! My focus in school started to enhance, my understanding of things began to make sense and I began to strategically develop my reading and writing skills (still working on it lol). My life had changed and spun 180 degrees from the boy who was never going to mount into anything…

Into, ‘today’ a man who does what he loves for a living (I was told it’s not possible to be a full time TT coach) and now I use the sport that changed my life, to help and inspire thousands; locally, nationally and internationally.

I’m not saying table tennis can cure and heal with a flick of a finger. But it will provide you with so many hidden benefits that you won’t fully understand, know or feel until one day… You will wake up and realise that you have implemented a compound effect which all of a sudden has materialised into something special, Who you have become!

Table Tennis whether done in small or large quantities will benefit your body and mind.

All you need to do is pick up a bat and let the magic begin…

I share my journey, coaching, inspiration and TT updates on my social media platform. I hope to see you all soon and if not then please join me on the journey of table tennis at eBaTT 🙌🏓

How Important Are Parents in Table Tennis?

It’s a very difficult question to answer, how important are parents in table tennis, or as a sporting parent in general?

Personal experience:

Many know by now from previous blogs my story. A single parent and a single child, but did my circumstances enable or disable me?

My mum was very supportive in terms of giving me free will. This enabled me to express myself as a competitor and I thoroughly loved representing myself when competing. If I lost, I was upset with myself but took full responsibility. If I won, I had done me proud and I may have received a small tap on the back from mum and a few others.


I enjoyed the self-pressure and more often than not performed under pressure. My mum never came to watch me play. I did not have a coach or corner support which meant whether I won or lost, the outcome was not amplified from external sources. The aim is to impose personal pressure in order to achieve and like many I am my own worst critic. Something I like to do is bet on myself but never gamble on external entities. Unfortunately, self-pressure only lasts for so long! As I got better I also got a coach, friends and family would start to support me. The pressure increased more and more and playing for big clubs in England and Europe, changed everything!


This is my weakness, and as external support increased, I felt the pressure to perform for others. I really struggled to control my nerves, often wanting to win for my supports and teammates. I was not used to playing for anyone but myself.

Table Tennis Family
Table Tennis Family

One small event called Maccabi Open was clear proof that I struggled to perform when others support me. I was the best and most well-known player in the event. All the young players, parents and even opposing players inflicted pressure on me to win the event each year. For 10 years I lost in the semi’s or final, I was unable to control my nerves. If you took the external pressure away I may have won the event 8 out of the 10 years. I wanted to perform so much for the people who supported me and instead of the support elevating me, it deflated my performance. Aged 29, I finally crossed the line, I became more accustomed to the pressure and my close family did not attend for the first time. I was also able to focus on secluding myself from people on the day due to experience. Even though the tournament is insignificant in the grand scheme of table tennis, it was a huge success in my mind. I was able to absorb the external pressure and managed to handle my nerves.

Handling Pressure, internal and external

I was accustomed to self-pressure and enabled myself on most occasions to perform at my personal peak. Unfortunately, I was not exposed to external pressures and when they sneaked into my playing career it changed my whole world. I believe if want to be great at any given industry we must learn to develop ourselves under both scenarios. Self and external pressures.

Parents contribution:

I’ve read many books and seen many world champions and world-class athletes achieve because of their parent’s or loved ones supporting them.
For example Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, William sisters, Timo Boll, Federer, Mayweather etc.

All of these extraordinary athletes achieved because of their supportive parents.

It’s a balance:

I do believe parents have a huge role to play in making their kid’s special but I also believe they can destroy them too. I’ve witnessed parents so hard on their kids the child often quits, sometimes they may also resent the parents. Worse case, again I’ve witnessed this, the child and parent fall out and communication is broken.
It’s a fine line between support and pushing your child, (often) the parent push due to ‘personal dreams’.

Good sporting parents:

The secret in my mind;
1. Provide opportunity (find what your child loves and enable them to pursue a pathway in that field.
2. Support but don’t push, this means to guide them in the right direction but don’t push them there.
3. Love, the number one rule, show love to your child regardless of the result. Express your belief in them but at the same time make them understand that a result does not define them. And they are your special one and you love them regardless of any given result.

How to develop regardless of your personal circumstances:

1. Communication
If you feel pressure from your parents, then the first thing to do is communicate. Often parents will put pressure on their kids unintentionally, even sitting in the corner quietly can have an effect on the child.

Tip: When I first started coaching I wanted my players to win so much I was nervous, anxious and even angry sometimes. Kids have a sixth sense they feel your anxieties subconsciously and even though you may think you’re not showing it they feel it. Like when someone walks into a room very angry, they may not say anything and try not to show it but more often than not we feel the tension in the room. I’ve learnt to really stay calm and be compassionate with my players. Now, I am controlled in the corner, show signs of; belief, support and focus. This enables me to enjoy the performance and give the best advice possible.
We forget to enjoy the performance! Do your best to stay positive regardless of the situation rather than allow your emotions to have an effect on the player.

2. Handling external pressure 

Everything we do (that we good at) is due to one fact developmental repetition. If you struggle in a certain area the only way to develop it, is to do it over and over again with a purposeful outcome.

Roger Federer, said many years ago walking into a Wimbledon final (the crowd, stadium, family, friends and supporters overwhelmed him) he thought he was going to faint. Years later that environment has become very normal to him. Because he has repeated that scenario so many times.

*We must go from an uncomfortable environment to making it comfortable via purposeful repetition.

3. Understand 2 things:

Those that support us want us to win but they will still like or love us when we lose, sometimes even more so.
Pressure is a choice we make, a tournament is no different to a training hall, the difference is a title and maybe prize money. The game is the same the pressure has been amplified via your personal thoughts. The best in the world know how to switch off all the outside noise and focus on producing what they do in practice.

Side thought

Interesting thought, the superstar athletes mentioned above, where or are in an individual sport. Team sports as much as parents are involved in the background it does not seem to have the same effect as it does on an individual sport. Is this because the team and coach are practically your families? Parents are not allowed to be involved as much because the team help and drive each other on!

Purposeful repetition, support, guidance and love no matter what are the keys to success. With this in mind, we can all achieve great things!

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Instagram: _elibaraty 
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Coach Me Table Tennis
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M:  07900401144

Comfortable With The Uncomfortable – Secret Table Tennis

As a single child with a single parent, I had no choice but to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I didn’t know at the time that it would be my secret table tennis success. Many days and nights I would roam the streets in our local neighbourhood/area. Aged four it all began, my father left and my mother worked many jobs to provide a roof and food over our heads. A bicycle was our form of transportation and staying with local neighbourhood friends was our close nit base. The neighbourhood was often used for food and passing time while mum was out working.

Dealing with difficulties:

Many times I would find myself arriving home with a note left for me. Unfortunately due to my dyslexia reading was something I found extremely difficult. I would try my best to read the letter which would often take a lot of time and mental effort. Other options included taking the letter to a neighbour’s house to read on my behalf or more often than not I would ignore it and assume all would be fine.

Life was presented to me with, “this is the way it is” deal with it! I was given a difficult scenario’s from a young age and having no choice but to accept it, I found ways to make the most of my circumstances. Viewing my options I found coping mechanisms and problem-solving tools to the scenarios in front of me. Many times I made mistakes but the beauty of it all, (which often youth of today fail to do) I learnt from my mistakes. Our personal fortunes never got better in fact financially and mentally it got worse for my mum.

Making a change

At 17 I decided it’s time for me to break away from a seemingly tough life. I packed my bags and went to live in France. Due to many years of survival experience, I was able to self-control my life out there without speaking a word of French (initially). I had a map and used my rollerblades for the first two month that was my form of transportation. And admittedly I would find other illegal ways of using public transport to get to other clubs or tournaments. I did have a little money but that was used for Table Tennis equipment, food and living costs. I’m not saying my life was like living in poverty but I faced many tough situations. The beauty of it all, I found it easy taking care of myself because I was doing what I loved and my passion for Table Tennis overshadowed the difficulties.

Today I realise all the uncomfortable scenarios which felt comfortable made me “comfortable with the uncomfortable”

I believe we are wrongdoing our future generations.

We look at given our players the best opportunities: top coaches, top facilities, best equipment, treat them well and look at avoiding making our players uncomfortable.

That’s where I feel we are going wrong! If I gave you a million pounds today, statistically speaking most will have blown the lot within 1-5 years.

If I teach you how to make a million, it’s likely that million you made will increase over time. And if you lose the million you have knowledge of how to rebuild if your willing to do so.

Make your players uncomfortable:

We are all far more resilient than we know or are given credit for.
For example, if I said don’t eat for a full day, most will say what are you mad! “I can’t do that I’ll starve or I will die” lol. If you were forced not to eat for (24 hours) the worst thing that would happen, you would feel hungry. Your body would adapt to the situation and slow down your metabolism and take energy from current body fat stored. Your mind will switch from I’m hungry to Ill be OK, I know the food will be provided in 24 hours. both your mind and body will work together to find solutions.

We don’t like feeling uncomfortable and look at every way possible of making ourselves comfortable.

Table Tennis Match
Ping Pong World Championships


Tips to develop yourself as a person and table tennis player:

Every morning: do what you don’t normally do! This includes: making your bed, brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, do not touch your phone for the first hour etc. You will develop self-control and built new neurological pathways in your brain.
Play in uncomfortable conditions:
– Make the floor slippery by not cleaning it.
– Start a league match without a knock up.
– Play using your opposite hand for 5-10min per training session,
– Play a shot you don’t like doing in a practice match
– Dim the lights
– Have a freezing cold or far too hot playing conditions in the hall for a training session.
The list goes on, be as creative and imaginative as possible.
Challenge yourself: to do something you don’t enjoy/want or believe you can do. For example, go and play golf, football, skiing, bungee jumping etc. Do an activity which you have never done before or fear.

Draycott table tennis club

I was at Draycott TTC last weekend and the players possessed many of the characteristics I speak of above.

The conditions were super hot that day, and I provided exercises which most were unfamiliar with or struggled to fully understand how or why it’s done. But yet most took on board the variety of uncomfortable scenarios. This showed me the character and ethos of the club which explained why Draycott is possibly the no.1 TT club under 17’s in England (currently).


I loved seeing all the players wearing Draycott’s club shirt, something I enforced in my former clubs and academy. I originate from a country where military service is a must, I was taught about forming a unity which begins with the uniform. You are given the opportunity to be yourself but when you’re tackling a certain cause or vision, that’s when it’s key to unite, in other words (assemble an army to tackle your desired outcome).
I’m an individual but I am also willing to unite at any given moment when I’m thriving towards success and need help getting there.

If you are wearing your clubs kit, it means you have created a bond and one that many fail to understand. Often due to ego or ignorance of unity, many fail and few succeed.

I urge all players, clubs and coaches to develop elements of uncomfortable situations and by doing so you will reap the rewards in the long term.

Check this unique uncomfortable training click HERE

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Instagram: _elibaraty 
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Coach Me Table Tennis
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M:  07900401144

Table Tennis Discipline

Table Tennis Discipline makes a difference?

I’m currently leading an Easter Table Tennis Training Camp in Malta. At the HiTT Academy in Valletta run by world-renowned TT coach Mario Genovese.

The moment I stepped into the training hall, I instantly noticed something extra special!

Let me paint the picture for you before I reveal what I felt is special.

The Club:

  • Has one main hall, with six tables
  • Two other small areas where you have one table and potentially 1 or 2 tables area but it’s mainly used for physicals.
  • Back run space is very small only close to the table play is possible, unless you reduce the number of tables and manoeuvred them lengthways.
  • The hall is underground which gets humid and dusty.
  • The hall is limited in usage due to it being a school hall.
  • The lights are poor

The list can be continued but I’ll leave it there because it’s a taste as to what the players deal with.


Today the hall had some building work and naturally, there was plenty of frustrating noises. Nevertheless, training continued and this is where I must admit I’m yet to have coached a more disciplined group of youngsters & adults.

Special attitude and Table Tennis discipline:

On my arrival, I was warmly greeted and respected instantly which made me feel empowered to give them my best. I gathered the players for a physical warm up and it was beautiful watching them gracefully go through the routine; No cheating, no talking, no arguing when one person got in someone’s way by mistake, it was just bliss!

A did my usual group chat prior to our training and each player aged 7 upwards was fully attentive and responsive when directed at.

I quickly realised why this club is the most successful club on the Island by a country mile and then it hit home, why the leading TT nations such as; Japan, Germany, China, France, Korea are top of the tree! Table Tennis DISCIPLINE and without that special attribute you will not and can not succeed inside the sport.

Table Tennis Disciplines include:
  1. Commitment: Wanting and willing to do what is required to get results.
  2. Hard work: Willingness to; sweat, train harder, smarter and longer than others
  3. Drive: making your surroundings suit your needs and accepting certain circumstances with a will to make the most of it. Or change to a different environment in which you feel will cater for your needs.
There was not one person in the hall today who came up to me complaining, something I hear and have daily in England!

They had about 20 different things to complain about but they smiled and in many ways embraced the good fortune of having; a hall, a coach, tables, balls etc.

It’s a lesson that we must all encirclement and if we can install this kind of discipline and grateful attitude, you’re guaranteed success.

Written by Eli Baraty featuring HiTTA Malta

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
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Sister’s Death Inspires ten-year-old Table Tennis Prodigy


Miri currently 10 years old has excelled in table tennis since the death Miri – Training with Eli Baratyof her sister, Liora, in 2016.

Maccabi Open Table Tennis Championships

Miri was recently crowned the country’s “most promising young Jewish table tennis player”  just 18 months after taking up the sport. The award was given to Miri at the Maccabi Open (Jewish Table Tennis Championships).
Lauren and Stuart, (Miri’s parents) bought her a table for her ninth birthday, in August 2016. Mrs Rosenberg said she wanted to buy her daughter “something we could all enjoy as a family”.

Mrs Rosenberg said: “Miri was very young at the time, but table tennis instantly became her passion. I think it was something to give her a lift during a difficult time.”
Miri added that table tennis is helping her to process and move on from the tragedy, saying it is as if “she is playing with me”.

Hand-eye Coordination:

After finding that Miri had a knack for the sport – which Mrs Rosenberg puts down to “great hand-eye coordination”. Miri then joined the table tennis club at Finchley United Synagogue.
Miri’s development was rapid and she went on to win a medal at a Maccabi GB inter-synagogue competition. Miri now plays most nights of the week at different clubs and has been taken on by renowned table tennis coach Eli Baraty.

Despite being two years younger than some of her competitors, she reached the semi-final of the under-12 singles at Sunday’s Maccabi GB National Table Tennis Champions, held at Edgware London.

Miri in action with her new coach, Eli Baraty

Her parents and sisters Judy and Adina, cheered Miri at the event. They felt privileged to watch as Miri was handed the Yoram and Sylvia Katz Award. This award is given to the most promising young Jewish player in the country and is handed out annually.
Miri said her ambition is to represent Great Britain at an Olympic level and enjoy a top-level international career.
Mrs Rosenberg said: “It has all been quite a surprise – none of us are particularly sporty but she just has this talent. We are all very proud and happy for her and with her.”

Written by JC Newspaper and edited by Eli Baraty

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How Table Tennis Saved my Life? “Pulling out a knife on Another Person is Something I Wish to Forget”

Growing up as a single child and a with a single parent (mum) can be very hard on both, but table tennis saved my life. Personally, I had some extremely tough times tough times but for me, it was all a journey and one I would not change in any way! Looking back I can’t imagine where and what I would be doing today if it wasn’t for table tennis and my mum.

Henston Loves Playing Table Tennis
Table Tennis – Chef


Table Tennis was and is my life changing catalyst:

Pulling out a knife on another person is one memory I wish to forget. But I was brought up with knives and air rifles which made it feel normal, for me to experiment with them. It was my mum’s boyfriend who had brought this kind of lifestyle and (in his words) “toys” these ‘so-called’ “toys” were casually laying around the house. I remember, one birthday present from him was a 20cm army knife. When it was presented to me, it felt very special and I took great pride in sharpening it, (today I couldn’t imagine anything worse for my two kids).

Learning difficulties

Due to my learning difficulties in school I was Lucky, that my mum surrounded me with other activities such as; running, fencing, judo, Kung Fu, collecting stamps, shooting air rifles, karate, swimming, tennis, chess, etc. But with all these activities my mindset was never truly focused or passionate up until…
Table Tennis entered my life when I was 14.

Thankfully Table Tennis emerged from a great film called Forrest Gump. The Table Tennis scene grabbed my imagination instantly. My world changed that day which took me into an overdrive of ‘will’ towards success in and outside the sport.

Learn by exploring, dreaming and playing

I wanted to play every minute of each day which led to natural progression and for the first time in my life I began to excel and succeed in something worthwhile. This change of mindset triggered an inner belief towards self-achievement. My schooling picked up, my life was joyous as I became self-driven. Little did I know the sport would have such a wonderful effect on me and make me into who I am today!

I dreamed of becoming world champion but it was a dream far-fetched for many reasons which were out of my hands. But not being able to achieve my initial dream/goal was a blessing in disguise. I had to change direction inside the sport from player to coach.

Player or Coach

As a player, I see it as a selfish attribute (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) just, that you are mainly focused on yourself becoming the best you can be. Yes, there are exceptions you can use your fame to help others like Roger Federer does. As a coach you’re selfless, it’s all about everyone but you. Today I use the sport to develop and help people not just to improve their game but their mindset. If I can achieve then I believe anyone can. Regardless of what sport you do if you are dedicated, focused and willing it will succeed in both the sport and your life.

Table Tennis

I just wanted to dedicate this blog to Table Tennis which has enabled me to; grow as a human being connect with people from all over the world, change my perspective on life, and showing me that it’s possible to get through tough times. Ultimately, I learnt that with focus, I or anyone could and would/will achieve greatness.

We all have our issues and stories some tougher than others but we must find a passion to enable us to focus on developing a positive future for ourselves, by doing something we love.

Thank you Table Tennis for being my focus.

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
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Don’t Ever Question Yourself in Table Tennis (featuring Roger Federer)

Don’t ever question yourself!

We fight an countless amount of external forces when playing a match or competition. But our biggest enemy is non-other than YOU! 


How a game/match sways can be out of your control at times and it can change at any-time, due to; tactical change, external factors of some sort, or that voice inside which question’s your ability.

Focus and Behave Professionally


Be aware of any tactical change and adapt to it and try to focus on your breathing to stop any external distraction. One thing you must never do is question your ability! If you’re able to do it in practice, you can replicate it at any given situation. I watch players lose momentum and at times that slight shift can turn the whole match around from a winning position to a losing one. Being a massive Roger Federer fan I’ve learnt that he has one attribute that sets him apart from everyone.


Watching him play over the years I’ve never seen him question his ability. He went through a 5 year period where he hardly won (some expert’s believed his time had come to an end due to age) but he never doubted himself. I also began to doubt his ability to compete at the top and in fact, thought it was game over when he had a knee operation and was unable to compete for 6 months.

Then I saw Roger uploading videos of himself training and expressing his hunger and ‘will’ to make a come back at 35 years young. Federer won the Australian open and three days ago another tennis title. 

Federer, if you watch him play never questions his ability regardless of his opponent, crowd or scoreboard. Due to his personal confidence, he has achieved more than any other tennis player in history and is aiming to become no.1 once again.

“While the match is still alive, I can win”

In Roger’s words.. if I’m behind on the scoreboard, it becomes irrelevant! “while the match is still alive, I can win”.

Please note: any spelling or grammatical errors are due to limited revision time and in due time corrections are made.

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis
Instagram: _elibaraty
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Eli Baraty
M:  07900401144

Getting What You Want in Table Tennis

When I first started playing table tennis (1996) at the age of 14, after watching ‘Forrest Gump’ I wanted to be World Champion! But I didn’t know how to get what I want in table tennis.
I was naive like ‘Forrest’ but truly believed I would become ‘World Champion’ one day.

Pic Courtesy of Steve Rowe (Aerobic Table Tennis)


Playing lots is not enough!
I played as much as I possibly could and to my credit, I improved faster than anyone around my age group. I became a top 10 England Junior at the end of my Junior year and unfortunately, I possessed an unlucky sporting birthday. (back then it was July cut off date). If I was born 20 days later I would have had another year as a junior and I believe that I would have reached a top 4 ranking. Nevertheless, I was still determined to reach my goal and chose to go to the second best (at the time) TT nation in the world ‘France’. They had 4 players in the top 20, world ranking and a former World Champion (1993) ‘Jean Philip Gatien’. China was also on my mind but I was only 17 years old., so I went to France in pursuit of my Dream. I did not speak a word of French, nor did I know anyone and randomly chose a club in the suburbs of Paris. 

Full-Time Table Tennis Club

As I entered I will never forget the overwhelming feeling when I saw the huge purpose-built table tennis hall that had 30 tables 15 each side and ample space between each table. It felt like I died and gone to ‘table tennis heaven’. I was brought back down to earth very soon quickly with a reality check. I was ranked about 100 England men at the time and I entered the French ranking at around 1500. My ranking did not phase me because I felt I could get to the top in no time. After a year of play, I shot up the French ranking but it was time for me to grow up. I had to admit defeat and put my dream to bed. I went back to England and started studying alongside some table tennis coaching at a private school (Kings College). This job was offered to me by my ‘then’ coach Gideon Ashison. 

So why am I telling a story about something I did not achieve?

If it wasn’t for my inner desire to become ‘World Champion’ I would never have reached the heights I have. I know in my heart if I pursued my training in France I would have been a full-time professional player and a possible top 300 and more, world ranked player. I have beaten many players around the 500 and that’s with limited structured table tennis training. 

What is structured TT training? 

Well, its at least 3-4 training sessions per week with a coach at hand giving specific, structured practice/training. In fact specific training I only ever had for 1 year which was in France. Most of us don’t put in what is required to reach top levels TT due to: Lack of time, lack of accessibility, lack of coaching expertise and we don’t have the inner desire.

Due to my inner desire, I reached my level and unfortunately most of the other aspects mentioned, I lacked as most of us do in England.

So how do we get what we want?

1. You need desire: Having coached thousands of players over the years, I noticed one key aspect which set good TT players apart from not so good. The ones who had what I call the ‘EYE OF THE TIGER’, basically pure passion. They will be at every training session, listen, ask questions and work harder than the rest. The amazing thing I found, whether they possessed the natural ability or not they would continuously progress due to that one simple thing ‘DESIRE’. 
2. Facilities: that accommodate, meaning accessible regularly and provide the coaching staff plus expertise 
3. Continuity: unfortunately 80/90% of players quit/stop playing at 17/18 because of: money, studies, work, companionship, and lack of vision. I read somewhere “80% of success is showing up”!

Getting what you want in table tennis

The only way to get what you want out of TT is to have all three tools mentioned and they need to be combined. Then and only then will you have a real chance of getting what you want out of table tennis. That means if you have the true desire then go and find the three mentioned and utilise the opportunity.

Remember there’s only 1 World Champion every 2 years out of millions who compete, so having that dream is great and don’t let anyone tell you any different. But do not be disappointed if you do not get that dream, instead look at all the other achievements you’ve made while heading towards that goal/dream.

If you want something badly enough, go and get it. Don’t wait for it to come to you because it will never come!

How to Handle Table Tennis Losses

It’s an inevitable part of the game “table tennis losses” and it’s unavoidable!
Greater London Table Tennis Championships

I witnessed the Greater London Championships a week ago and watched hundreds of players competing. Each player was trying to win and after speaking to players it was clear that most who lost blamed themselves. Often this is true we all have poor days but occasionally we are not honest with ourselves. We must admit that the occasion got to us or the player was better or outplayed us on that occasion.

Over Confident

I also witnessed players super confident who told me they will win the tournament or get to the final. Is this a good attitude? It depends, on this occasion neither player got past the quarter-final but that does not mean it was incorrect. If they truly believed the event was theirs, then it’s a good thing to have a positive mindset. I believe we are all different so we should find what suits us best and don’t let others tell you otherwise. This means you must learn what makes you perform and utilise it to the best of your ability.

Table Tennis is Different

Unlike some sports table tennis has two outcomes a loser and a winner, it’s about how we perceive the loss or win that builds our table tennis character. The aim of this blog is to make you think about why you lost and what are the effects of losing.

On most occasions when we lose and we blame everything but ourselves. On the odd occasion when we lose we come off saying” I played really well”. 

So what should we do to gain optimum benefit from a lose:

1. I was always taught that the real magic happens when you lose if your willing to learn from it. What does that mean? When we lose we often reflect on why we lost, assess the issues and try to implement an action plan against our poor performance. So when you do lose try to think why you lost, please don’t blame an edge or a net, that went against you (that is uncontrollable. When we win we are happy and often forget to reflect, hampering our progress, the tip here is trying to reflect on the match rather than just a lose or win.

2. We are too harsh on ourselves, losing is a part of the game (hate losing) but accept that it will happen. 

3. Are you a true winner? I often test my players for example I may provide extra physicals for the ‘winners’ yes the winners!! This shows me who really wants to win and who doesn’t mind losing. The players who fight to win regardless of the physicals have the right attitude, they are willing to sacrifice to gain a win. That’s the key, you must sacrifice and be willing to take many hits and many loses on your pathway to becoming a true winner.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win”