Category: Table Tennis Club

Develop Your Table Tennis Belief

I know it’s easy to say, table tennis belief can be developed.

Before We Believe:


I think the biggest issue we all have is hearing, listening and doing what others do. I don’t like this saying but it’s so true “most are sheep” which often kills potential. We are the most privileged species on the planet, yet most follow and few create. We have a gift which enables us in more ways than any other thing on the planet.
So why do we let our surroundings dictate us?

One Simple Reason:


Fear of what others think, do and say! Most would live a fake life, their whole lives because they fear what others may think or say.
What a shame, to live under a shadow when you only have one life (that we know of).
The older you get the shorter your time becomes but while you’re still breathing you still have time to make your life yours.
table tennis belief
Develop table tennis belief

Table Tennis Belief:


The game has evolved so much over the past 30 years and we are seeing less and less versatility. I think it’s a shame for players and for the sport. I appreciate that it’s highly unluckily to become a world champion if you only chop, or chop block on your backhand or lob & fish. But only one person becomes a world champion every two years, so why not play the way you want?!
In order to love what you do and enable your skill to truly flourish, you must develop your own style. This means finding what works for you and believe in that pathway.
An insight into achievement via work and belief
An insight into achievement via work and belief

Table Tennis Styles:

If players were given more freedom to explore, experiment and have a personal style I believe we would retain more players. I think many players are boxed via associations, clubs and coaches. The sport requires expression and it’s moving more and more towards a single formula of play.
There is no human on the planet that has the same DNA so why are we teaching all our players a systematic style of play?!
Believe in yourself, express yourself and find what suits you. If you do this, you may not be a winner or seen as “normal” but you are true to yourself. And being true to yourself means you are truly living.
I am very interested in your thoughts and opinions so please leave a comment below


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

Personal Table Tennis Development

Today I want to talk about personal table tennis develop. How and why you should develop your personal game.

The Hook

It all starts with some kind of trigger; you see a top table tennis player executing beautifully crafted shots, you hear the sound of the ball pinging from side to side, or you play a friend in their house and execute some crazy smashes. Once you’re hooked, it’s a sport that draws you in deep and due to its super complex variety of skills, few truly master the game.

Table Tennis Backhand
Table Tennis Focus

Tips to develop your game:

Join a club; joining a club has multiple benefits. Variety of players, possible coaching sessions and a coach. You can enjoy competing against and with your club teammates. You have access to a table and depending on the club it can be potentially accessible 24/7.

Sparring partners: try to have a list of players in and around your area. Hook up with them for regular training and match play. As you develop and tweak your game, the level or sparring partners must be monitored. Some may grow with you and others may not pay close attention to who’s helping you develop.

Coach: if you are fortunate enough to afford a coach, invest in one. A coach often finds ways of developing your game at an accelerated rate. A good coach will provide many opportunities for growth and development in your game.

Expand your horizon: 

Have a base (club, coach, sparring partners and training location) but often go out of your normal routine. This includes visiting other clubs, trying a new coach or having a side coach. You may find by expanding your base that your current base does not cater to your needs anymore. Never forget your original base and always pay respect but if you have outgrown or feel you can benefit more from somewhere else. Then I believe a good base will support your decision if you do decide to move on.

Monitor: A club, sparring partner and coach can only monitor your game so much. Unless you have a full-time coach who solely focuses on you, it’s up to you to monitor your game. How? Have a table tennis book. In this book, you should be writing down all your experiences and developments. This book is your guide towards achieving your goals.

The development comes by understanding your past experiences alongside knowing your current experiences which guide you to your chosen destiny.

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Table Tennis is Becoming Popular But Lack of Facilities Hold the Sport Back

A sport which enables anyone and everyone to participate and compete. No other sport is as accessible and enables people to play and compete regardless of age and ability.

Table tennis is becoming popular at virtually every nation, so why does it seem like an underground sport?

Cheap Sport

There’s a stigma that it’s a cheap sport and people wont and don’t like paying good money for table hire, coaching and training. Other similar sports such as golf and tennis have systems where you must invest thousands to play and develop your game. Being a club member is often hundreds of pounds and coaching starts at £40ph all the way up to £150ph.

Why is table Tennis treated as a cheap sport?

You can buy a table and play at home
Most leisure centres will have a table where you can hire a table
It can be played in an office, park or home


Other sports such as Football, Tennis, Ruby, Golf etc. Have full-time centres and facilities scattered across the country. This automatically up-scales any sport and enables them to market themselves as a brand and showcase the sport in a projected light.
Table Tennis has possibly 20 full-time centres/club facilities scattered across the whole of England! Where for example a golf club (which required huge land in comparison not to mention upkeep costs) can be seen all over the nation, some within walking distance of each other.

Other sports:

Sports such as; football, tennis, golf, rugby, cricket all have full-time facilities (uncountable amount) across the nation. This allows each club or facility to market themselves to the local and possible national and international market. Furthermore, it creates competition which drives each club to better themselves and grow.

Table tennis is dependent on individuals to drive the sport forward. We need facilities and inside those facilities, there will be driving forces to upscale and provide for the local community. It’s a culture that must be built and it’s required to enable our sport to truly flourish.

My aim is to personally gather a team and build a showcase centre, one that all can aspire to. And to provide the format across the nation so table tennis can be great not just popular.

Ultimate aim:Table Tennis Shopping centre

Provide for all, cater for all, make table tennis mainstream and keep our best players on home soil.

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Twitter: @elibaraty
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How To Start a Table Tennis Training Session

I walked into Natanya’s (Israel) Table Tennis Club and observed initially. Personally, I find it fascinating watching how players start a table tennis training session.

I have been coming to this club for the past 22 years (I attend the club while on my personal family visits). I have been popping into the club once sometimes twice a year. I used to come as a player and today I’m welcomed as a coach.

Natanya Table Tennis Club

They have some of Israel’s best juniors and seniors with access to their playing hall, 6-days a week. They have a lovely hall with 7 squeezed tables set up and not the best of run-backs. Nevertheless, the club is full to capacity every day and has two wonderful people who mainly coach and run the club. Tal Martini is the head coach, a man with pure passion and love for the sport and his players. He is limited financially and physically at the club but remains upbeat and treats the club as his own family. Michael is the manager/owner/coach, he created the club (I believe) and to this day manages the club. His passion does not seem to have faded and after 22 years of knowing him, the fire in his eyes remain lit.

Some things never change:

I clearly remember the first time I visited the club, aged just 15 and super excited to train at the club. The way they began their table tennis training session seemed odd. It was accustom to knocking up backhand to backhand and forehand to forehand cross-court, in England. At Natanya’s club, they started with pushes! I remember back then asking why? And I was given the answer by Michael, it’s important to feel the ball first before hitting it.  And to this day they begin their training sessions in the same way.

Does the start of a training session matter?

I always say it’s not how you start but how you finish! Which, in my opinion, is 100% correct, nevertheless a good start can have a significant effect on the final outcome.

Today, I don’t agree with Natanya TTC’s opening routine. I believe a positive stroke must be introduced initially not a passive shot.

Positive over Passive:

Passive shots:  Pushing, short touch, fishing, lobing and blocking.
Positive shots: Forehand and backhand attacking strokes (Topspin or Loop), flicks, counter topspin and power blocks. Statistically speaking we win 70-80% when playing a positive attacking stroke as opposed to 20-30% of passive shots.

How should we start a training session?

A good warm-up:  A physical warm-up off, the table allows us to get our muscles warm and loose. It mentally prepares us for battle and focuses our minds and body on the present moment.
2-5 minutes of service and return:  We forget the first shot in the game which is either a serve or a return. So why do we practice everything before those two key shots? Start with your Serve and Return. This will help you improve your serve and focus on getting control and feeling prior to an official knock up.
Knock up:  Start slow, often we go BH-BH and FH-FH drives strokes, we hit the ball hard and fast. Without feeling, control, timing or focus on our strokes (technically). Build the speed once you have felt your timing is where it should then follow that with FH and BH Topspin attacks.

It’s your Choice and Your Routine

After that, you can implement a routine of your choice. I like to follow up with short touches and then loop to loop AKA forehand to forehand topspin away from the table. I like to evolve and change my warm-up routines constantly. E.g BH to BH top to top, drives and top-spins down the line or middle table. The more variations the better I believe. But try to stick to a strict initial routine as mentioned above. This allows you to hone in the fundamentals throughout your playing career.

How we start often will give us the best possible ending, one of which we want and require.

WrittenEli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis
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Discipline in Table Tennis

If you’re serious about becoming successful in the sport then discipline in table tennis is essential towards achieving your goals.

Table Tennis Malta

I’m currently leading an Easter Table Tennis Training Camp in Malta. At the HiTT Academy in Valletta run by world-renowned table tennis 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 the speciality.

Malta TTC HiTT Academy

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 because it’s a school hall.
  • The lights are poor

The list can be continued but I’ll leave it there as it’s just a taste in 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 youth & adults.

Special attitude and discipline:

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

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

Why this club is the most successful club on the Island by a country mile and then it hit home. Leading table tennis nations such as; Japan, Germany, China, France, Korea are top of the tree because table tennis requires DISCIPLINE. Without that special attribute, you will not and can not succeed inside the sport.

Disciplines in Table Tennis, 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 which you feel will cater for your needs.
 Deal with it!

There was not one person in the hall today who came up to me complaining, something I constantly deal with on a daily basis in England!
They had about 20 different legitimate reasons 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 gracious attitude, we’re guaranteed success.

Written by Eli Baraty featuring HiTTA Malta

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

All Good Things Come to an End but an Ending Provides New Opportunities…

I have coached at The Harefield Table Tennis Academy for 10 years. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end but an ending provides new opportunities. I am a person always looking to embrace change! I was fortunate to work with many wonderful players and people at a wonderful facility. Coaching beginners, county, national and international players was a privilege, but the most rewarding aspect was seeing all become amazing young people.

Table Tennis in Harefield
Harefield Table Tennis Academy


Building something from nothing

After 10 years of doing something you love, it became clear to me that I have to choose whether to leave or should I stay and continue at Harefield. It’s a tough ask, continue doing what you love or look to grow as a coach and person. Some may say “why would you want to change a good thing?” and keep going but I believed that it was my time to spread my wings and fly higher.

The world has so much to offer and staying in one place may mean the world for one person but for someone like myself, it means I’m not growing and more importantly I’m not sharing.

Embrace Change

Being involved in Table Tennis for 26 years has made me realise how new opportunities can be greater than what you originally had. And whether you like it or not and I embrace change.

So the lesson for today, if you truly wish to be a pioneer in your chosen field you must be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace change.

If Bacardi Made a Table Tennis Club

Wow, wow, wow!!! If Bacardi made a table tennis club, it would be Borussia Dusseldorf. I went to Borussia Düsseldorf 14 days ago and it was my first time. Debatable, Europe’s best and most successful club. My personal vision of a Table Tennis club/centre was very nearly in front of my eyes when I entered this club.

Borussia Dusseldorf Match Day
Borussia Dusseldrof



Imagine two basketball courts, now double it and now you have 1 playing hall. Each hall holds around 30 tables with ample space. And there are three hall’s all similar size and state of the art condition wise.

Playing Hall: Borussia Dusseldorf has one playing hall for table tennis training only and this was used by the professional players. A new hall was recently built female players only and the main hall had retractable seating accommodating up to 1200 seated spectators. There was a dining area, a gym, accommodation and even a proper hotel on-sight, catering for everyone’s needs.

Match Day: I witnessed a smaller Bundesliga match but it still drew in 1000 spectators in support of their home team.

Investment: I had witnessed what a 10 million Euro full-time table tennis centre looks like and yet, I believe there is plenty of room to improve upon.

England’s Table Tennis Centres:

Currently, we have some full-time table tennis clubs and centres but on a very small scale. Personally, envision this kind of structure built in England within the next 5 years and I will continue to thrive towards my dream. I do believe England will have many centres scattered around the country catering to all players alongside a professional league.

Table Tennis deserves so much more, but we need the people inside the sport to stand up and fight for what they should and want to have.

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

Can China’s Table Tennis Team Be Beaten?


One of England’s best young table tennis coaches says they can, and believes he has the recipe for success.

Every time I tell people that I’m a table tennis coach and former top player, their response is invariably this: ‘The Chinese are the best. Can you beat the Chinese?’

Coaching empowers
A top coach changes your game a great coach changes your life


The Dream Began

I started playing table tennis in the ’90s and was fortunate to witness three Europeans win the men’s world singles title (Swedes Jorgen Persson in 1991, Jan-Ove Waldner in 1997 and Frenchman Jean- Philippe Gatien in 1993) as well as an Olympic singles title (Waldner in 1992). I also saw Sweden become the last nation to beat China in the men’s team event at the 2000 World Championships.
I dreamed of becoming a world champion myself but that was too far-fetched, having only started playing the game when I was 14 years old. So I turned to coaching as a profession and I am still a full-time coach 16 years later. I have produced countless national team, doubles, male and female singles title winners. But my ultimate goal is far greater than national success.

My vision is fixed on defeating China. 

I previously played in Germany, France and Belgium and saw the best table tennis set-ups in Europe. I believe they all lack the full infrastructure needed to develop Olympic and world champions. There are various full-time centres but they are not structured in a way that allows players to develop their game throughout their career, especially beyond the age of 18.
Even for those with a structured system, there seems to be lack of innovation, passion and most importantly motivation. They have a defeatist attitude: “China is too good, so what’s the point?!”
Where’s the gap?

Table Tennis Centre/Club

I currently run a table tennis academy in Harefield in the London borough of Hillingdon which caters for students aged 11-19 (it also has on-site boarding allowing players from all over the world to stay there while they study and train). Here they receive regular table tennis training alongside their education. But we also need top-level coaches from the grassroots level who can develop players from the age of five through to 10. They are then technically well developed and can build onwards from these solid foundations. 
Only then should they be passed on to a full time set up such as The Harefield Academy, which has a full-time coaching team including myself. Here, they are able to train regularly before, during  (in PE lessons and during classes on subjects that they are not taking further) and after school.

Personal Table Tennis Attention

They get personal attention on either a one-to-one basis or in a small group of up to four players. After school, they can then join a larger group comprising the whole table tennis squad, for a few hours. This is where teamwork, ethics and personal development are encouraged and a variety of styles is integrated into the coaching.
It’s an effective set-up but what happens before kids join the Academy and after they leave? This is where my attention are now focused. I am collaborating with The Harefield Academy to try and establish a dedicated table tennis centre of excellence within the school grounds. While we are still in the early planning stages, this is an exciting opportunity. The centre would host local, national and international players and cater for national and international training camps and European matches. Such a facility would provide a clear pathway for young aspiring players, fulfil their needs from a young age and crucially allow them to continue their development even after they leave school. 

Englands current table tennis situation:

The here and now currently in England, we have many exceptionally talented players who dream of pursuing a career in table tennis. Sadly, they either quit before the age of 18 or at the end of their junior years. In some cases they leave home to chase their dreams elsewhere, heading to the likes of Germany, France, Poland etc. Why should this talent have to go abroad? Clearly, I believe they shouldn’t. 

Englands Men’s Table Tennis Team

England’s table tennis team have actually performed exceptionally well over the past two years, resulting in three men now being ranked inside the world’s top 100. They also finished third at the 2016 World Team Championships and reached the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics, losing out to China.

Despite the system

All three players in the England team left the country in their teens, in search of a higher level of training and a more financially rewarding table tennis system. It’s a sad indictment on a country that not only invented table tennis but has also had three World Champions: Fred Perry (1929), Richard Bergmann (1939, 1948, 1950) and Johnny Leach (1949, 1951). Indeed, throughout those years the World Championships were often held at Wembley with tens of thousands spectators flocking to watch.
Back in trend: Away from the competitive side of things, the sport is actually thriving in England. With tables popping up in more and more public spaces and bars being themed around the sport, table tennis has become trendy. It is also being celebrated for its long-term health benefits, with the increased blood flow to the brain while playing said to help conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Structured system

All we need now is a structured system to not only keep our players on home soil but also help them to compete with the absolute best. My vision is to create a bulletproof infrastructure by raising the funds to build a centre that will provide a complete pathway for the table tennis players of tomorrow.  
Despite being a coach with limited resources and access to only a small window of a player’s career, I have been able to produce many of today’s top England players. I believe that with a good team and infrastructure in place, China can be beaten and England can be crowned world champions once again. I’m looking for help, not only to make my vision come true but also to make table tennis great again, inspire our youth and give them the best possible chance of becoming the world’s best.
If you’re interested in helping make table tennis great, get in touch: @EliBaraty 

Written by Eli Baraty (Published in various other location ‘Sport Magazine’ ITTF)

ELI BARATY | @elibaraty