Category: Table Tennis Coach

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….

Behind every player, is a great coach

“Behind every player, is a great coach” I couldn’t have said any better!

Watching, talking and seeing these two Andreja Ojstersek Urh and Darko Jorgić over the past few years. Has given me hope, inspiration and even more love for our sport.

I first met Andreja, at the Olympic Qualification in Portugal and she made my eyes water. Telling me the back story of what she and her husband sacrificed for Jorgic and other TT players in Slovenia.

A coach that cares is a true coach and one that comes around rarely…

Table Tennis Fan

Are you a table tennis Fan? I know I am! I’m a fan of table tennis clubs, events and players and they can often be idealistic in my personal perspective.

Portugal Table Tennis Camp with UTTCT

I will be heading over to Portugal tomorrow to host a training camp alongside side some of Europes best players and coaches (UTTCT). These kinds of experiences bring out my inner child because I am in ore of each coach and both Romain Ruiz Romain Ruiz (arguably the best Boomerang flick in the world) plus Stephane Ouaiche (possibly Europes most talented player).  

Most of us are seen or respected by others or someone


I believe most of us a fan or fans, whether it be our own family or friends! More often than not there is someone who looks up to you and respects what you do or the field you’re in. I’ve had a few moments in my career (life) where people really appreciate my work and passion or ability. I remember many years back when I was a player a few kids approached me asking for my autograph. I was young at the time and it felt nice but not special. Maybe deep down I knew that I’m playing in a big event and they see me as apart of the event so I must be famous! I had a similar occurrence at the World Championship of Ping Pong which I competed on 3 occasions. In one event I lost to the current world champion Andrew Baggaley. Yet again I did not feel like a person who’s truly respected just another guy who’s in a televised event and apart of a system.

A True Table Tennis Fan


3 days ago, I experienced something different, a person who seemed to truly honour my work and showed me such respect and gratitude. I was in the middle of a private coaching session at one of my coaching locations in Kenton Kulanu (North West London). The door alarm rang and I thought it’s for the ladies in the office but I quickly went over to answer the door and true to my thought it was someone for them. 15 minutes later the doorbell rang again, this time I thought I’ll leave it must be for the office because my next session is in 30 min.

The bell went off again, so (the gentleman that I am) went to answer the door again! and this time someone said I’m from my name is X and I am from Korea. I quickly intervened and said please wait a moment. I went over to the office and said to the ladies there’s someone at the door for you from Korea. Thirty seconds later, the lady (who went to greet the guest) popped her head through my coaching door and said you need to come down the stairs, it’s a man from Korea who says he’s your table tennis fan. I naturally thought she was joking and it was a windup, nevertheless, I went downstairs opened the front door and an Asian looking man was standing behind the gate waiting. As soon as he saw me his body tightened (with joy) and he lifted his arms pointing at me saying “OMG it’s you, it’s Eli, it’s really you”. I must admit I thought it was a prank and greeted the gentleman nicely while he continued saying what an honour it is to meet me. 

It’s was not a Joke

I took the man upstairs to see my session and of course, his phone came out, asking for videos and pictures. At this point it felt real, he explained that he was in London for a few days and had seen me on social media and youtube. He was a big admirer of my coaching style and he really wanted to see me in person. Wangsu decided to try his luck and jump on two buses from Heathrow to see if by chance he could meet me. He went on to tell me many players watch my videos and coaching in Korea and if I was ever to come over he would host me. I must admit I have never felt more proud in my coaching career. What an honour, to have touched someone’s life from another part of the world and all through my passion and love of table tennis.


Table Tennis Coaching young players
Table Tennis Passion

Your profession is special 

I do believe we are all special in our own right, but some professions are not as glamorous as others and some are even frowned upon. Last year I played football with some guys from my home town and two of the boys are bin men. Let me tell you, even though it’s naturally not a profession people would want, these guys are special in their own right. Firstly because many won’t do it, secondly it’s uncomfortable, thirdly it’s tough and lastly, it can be frowned upon. Yet it’s essential in our society and we are able to dispose of smelly and useless things because of these guys. The point I’m trying to make is we should try to respect everyone’s profession as long as it serves a positive purpose. Ultimately the key is to respects what people do but if you are in a special field where you are lucky enough to be recognised and admired, then stay humble. Appreciate the good fortune you have and try to support and encourage people to be the best they can be.

The most beautiful thing

For me, the honour of having Wansu as a fan was greater than what it may have felt for him. I offered to play with the Wansu before heading to my next job and again his gratitude was overwhelmed me. I gave wang my number and said if you’re ever in London don’t hesitate to contact me. Later on that day I received the most beautiful message from him. 

Hi It’s Wansu from Korea. It was very short, but will last forever in my memory. Thank you for welcoming me with warm heart. See u soon!!

To me there’s no greater gift than giving and my whole life I’ve always wanted to give, I’ve come to realise that giving, gives back twice as much. It’s just a matter of time before you give so much that you will receive in abundance, sometimes you just have to be patient. Wangsu asked to see and receive my new Kudus serve Kudus Serve, he was amazed and loved the experience.

Table Tennis Coach

As a Table Tennis coach, you would never expect to be greeted as a top player does, I can only say that I am truly blessed. I am also super happy that coaches are appreciated and respected because they are in my opinion they create most of the magic hidden behind many clubs and players.


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 

Why Having A Table Tennis Coach Is So Important

Is having a table tennis coach important?

If you go to any sporting club 80% of the time, you will most likely be welcomed into the club by the coach. The coach at the club is there to upscale the players and overall well-being of the club.

But how important is a coach?

This is something I personally believed and believe is the key to elevating one’s ability and overall success. Growing up, I watched films like “The Mighty Ducks” “Cool Running’s” “Rocky” and Coach Carter was the man that inspired me once I became a table tennis coach.
The film and biography made me realise a good or great coach can help and guide one or a team towards their dreams and vision.
Every sport I look at and study I notice a re-occurring theme. A coach has developed and guided the success of a club or personal athlete!

Why is a coach so important?

table tennis coaches

Experience: often a coach will have played the sport for many years, whether at the top level or not, their experience seems to be the key factor. His or her level form what I’ve seen has no correlation to coaching success. The coach has accumulated knowledge via; trial and error, self-education, watching, courses, education days, studying, and personal exposure. Nothing beats experience because it allows you to draw upon what worked and what didn’t work!
Provide Pathways: A good coach is often able to provide opportunities. Such as local national and international exposure to events and clubs. These experiences can lead to success which can be very difficult to do when left to the player or team alone.
Bond: this is where success occurs. A coach that has bonded with his/her, player/players will often provide beyond the call of duty. It’s a little like a mother and child, the mother feels when her son/daughter is in distress, or happy etc. A good coach that has connected with his or her players will be able to feel when things are good or bad. This bond enables both to work together and pass through the tough times and more importantly enjoy the good times.

Buy Me
Buy Me

Time with world leading coaches

I spent three days with some of the world’s leading coaches last week. One thing was clear, the bond they had with their players. The sacrifices they have and are willing to do, to enable their players…
We often take coaches for granted but every top table tennis player in the world will tell you, “ if it wasn’t for my coach/ coaches, I would not be here today”.

I saw a small video on “table tennis daily” interviewing Michael Maze and it was clear how important his coach was to him.

Find a coach that drives you, you have a bond with, believes in you and provides you with opportunities. With this in mind your sky has no limit, and together you’ll be shooting for the stars.

I am always intersted in hearing your thoughts and views so please leave a comment below

Written by 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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5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Table Tennis Coach

As a freelance coach, I’m lucky to work with players of all ages and levels. I believe having a coach is like having a map. Most of us walk around blindfolded and rarely do we find our destination without a guide. Therefore I thought of providing 5 reasons why you should have a table tennis coach.

1. Why do we play? 

Most play for joy and love alongside competition whether it be general or personal. A coach can give you advice on how to get the most out of your game so that you can compete.

2. Training: 

Many who play, do just that, they play! They don’t know how to train and what kind of exercises and routines are required to develop their game at an accelerated rate

A Good Table Tennis Coach
Table Tennis Coaching

3. Support: 

parents family and friends love you but they don’t know how to make you better. A good coach will build a rapport with you which will enable him/her to support you when results are not going your way. More often than not they have experienced your journey and can share those past times in hope of you understanding that’s it’s ok and together you’ll find a way.

4. Building together: 

A good coach will slowly see and understand your table tennis pathway. The secret is always aiming higher than what’s thought possible. But at the same time develop a strategic plan for your development. This plan must have the aims, goals, pathway and alternative plans. For example, if a player has outgrown the facilities or coaching ability. That player must look to expand their potential by finding a suitable club and coach elsewhere.

5. A coach is like a map, 

they can show you the way, they can help you find your destination and they can guide you towards your destiny. A coach can help you build the tools required for greatness but you are ultimately the driver and the only person who can reach your chosen destination.

Find the best map (coach) the better the map the faster you’ll get to your destination…

Written by Eli Baraty

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

Don’t be Blind to the Importance of Vision in Table Tennis

Don’t be Blind to the Importance of Vision in Table Tennis
See, Respond, React.

Steve Brunskill
Steve Brunskill, is one of England’s best and most respected coaches. Stevie has spotted one element of table tennis often untrained.

Sports eye training

I am personally a stickler for marginal gains and often research into elements where it may give my players the edge over others. I must admit visual training is one that slipped through my net. Luckily for me, Steve caught it and has produced a course and package for all to benefit from.

How important are your eyes?

I was coaching one of my players a few years back and one parent sat next to me. The parent watching my player, said a few words that unleashed the ‘Marvel’ superhero mindset, I’ve always had. They said, “your player is like a fly, his reflexes are amazing and he seems to have more time than anyone else” From that moment on I started to study increased reaction time.
This included:
– Using a reaction ball
– Non-visual cues with on coming table tennis ball/balls
-Strengthening and conditioning muscle speed and reflex
The results were great but I always felt there was something more…

Visual Fascination 

I’ve been blessed with perfect vision and its something I’ve acknowledged but at the same time neglected. My eyes were one of my childhood superpowers, seeing further than anyone. I’m blessed with good vision but due to my gift I took it for granted, not training the eyes to even greater abilities.

I’m an observer and often look at my surroundings for gains inside my coaching structure. Seeing how peoples eyes flicker from side to side when looking at moving objects I find/found it fascinating.
Due to my fascination I wanted to know how fast can something travel and at what speed do our eyes lose track of the moving object. I watched and read about some extraordinary people who are able to seemingly do inhuman capabilities through vision. For example, hit a baseball oncoming at them over 100 miles an hour through a machine at less than 15 meters, in distance. A man who can catch an arrow being shot at him. To this day I’m unsure as to how they did or are doing it, but its clear to me that the eyes have the secret ingredient I’ve been searching for.

Vladimir Samsonov

As a young player, I didn’t enjoy watching Vladimir until I saw him in front of my eyes live. I remember being in awe of his canning ability to block and retrieve balls coming at him at super speeds. The players on the other side were faster more explosive and dynamic compared to Vladamir! So how was Samsonov able to make most world class players look amateur?

The Answer

Does Stevie Brunskill have the answer?  Samsonov (I believed used his eyes to assess your body language which gave him clues as to where you were/are going). Despite your level, age or ability you can benefit from visual eye training. Below is Steve’s story into how he stumbled onto his new mastermind and you have the opportunity to develop your game or players using his vision training programme.

Written by Steve Brunskill
Table Tennis Vision Training 

This programme is an eye-opening project that seeks to not only improve the skills and competencies of table tennis players but ultimately seeks to offer a modern and fresh outlook upon the importance of vision training and how it is perhaps neglected within the sporting culture and training of table tennis. Current traditional coaching techniques appear to consequentially ignore the unlimited possibilities that the implementation of visual training as a fundamental practice could bring to not only table tennis but sport in general. I believe that this new but exciting project for table tennis is an opportunity that should not be missed.

How it all began

My fascination and obsession with vision training originated upon the fortunate meeting of Mark Holmes, one of Briton’s top shotgun shooters, who had called into Swerve table tennis club to speak to me after reading an article I had written in regards to fitness. He was interested in receiving  1-to-1 coaching in table tennis as he had been researching vision training and had been training his eyes for the past year. He believed this training was the reason he had progressed from just an average shooter to become the English Open Champion in a record time of two and half years.

Mark also completed this feat with the best-recorded score in the past forty years. I asked, “why table tennis?” He said his research had brought him to table tennis as the eyes needed to track a very fast object in a split second. He believed that playing table tennis would give him an edge over his shooting competitors. Mark achieved this success in less than three years from picking up a shotgun for the first time and he endorses his vision training regime as an essential factor that contributed heavily to his remarkably quick success.

How Important is your Sports Vision?

Sportsmen and women in all sports are often unaware of how much their performance depends upon their sight.
This is none more so than in table tennis.
Table tennis players have to be able to distinguish objects from a distance and from a variety of backgrounds, judge distance, height, bounce, flight, spin and speed.

So I thought I would look to reverse the process and therefore ask Mark what training he did to help his vision and shooting. My reasoning being that if table tennis training can help Mark shoot, then, in theory, the training a shooter undergoes should help a table tennis player.

After conducting research into visual training I discovered that there are vast amounts of research for other sports such as Archery, Shooting, Baseball etc.. but very little in the way of table tennis, yet a table tennis player needs to have incredible visual ability to be able to pick an opponent’s positioning, posture, movement and even expression as well as watch the contact of the ball, watch the balls rotation, speed, flight and bounce and still have time to make a split second decision to choose a correct response move and implement the correct stroke/technique. My research found that studies have shown table tennis players naturally develop very high visual skills over years of training without realising. Other studies showed that people with well-developed visual skills progress fast when taking up sports similar to table tennis (food for thought with ways to train beginners). 

Knowledge without practice is useless!

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice and therefore this is a huge opportunity for the sport of table tennis to not only modernise itself with its sporting competitors but to adapt and overtake them.
Table tennis players train for hours working on techniques, movement and drill patterns looking to add that extra point, all of which are totally reliant on their vision but how many players ever think about training or strengthening their vision? The eye is made up of several muscles and just like any other muscle it will strengthen and it will fatigue depending on the demands placed on our site.

Specific table tennis visual training 

This got me thinking about using specific eye training methods with skilled and unskilled table tennis players. Using specific visual training methods may give players that extra edge as it did with Mark the shooter whom I had spoken to. Over the past two years, I have invested time studying, reading books, attending lectures and seminars, and I have researched a variety of sports and their use of visual training. I have chosen the methods I believe fit best to table tennis players. The more I have studied and learned about vision training the more excited I am at the prospect of the effect vision training can have on players and how easy this training can be implemented into regular table tennis sessions.


I have designed a visual training programme which starts with a basic introduction to vision training exercises that progress into dynamic vision training exercises which are specific to table tennis.
I have been trialling this training method with a small group of players at Swerve over the past year. The player’s feedback has been encouragingly very positive which has only added fuel to the fire in terms of my belief that this project has an overwhelming possibility to change the trajectory of fundamental training within table tennis as this possibility offers boundless opportunities.

Would you like to get the edge over your competition?

This programme is offered to clubs, coaches and players.
I am offering to run a 1-day course to clubs, coaches and players, where I will explain and demonstrate each exercise, its benefits and how it relates to table tennis.
I will also show how easily the exercises can be delivered and how the equipment needed can easily and cheaply be purchased or obtained and how the exercises can be advanced and adapted.

The Visual Training Course

The course will demonstrate how the method of training can be implemented by the coach. The Programme can be implemented as a one-off specific training session or as part of a regular training session. It can also be used by a player as part of the player’s pre-match preparation. The exercises learned on the course can be used singularly or collectively and can be done in a few minutes as a warm up or used as a full training session. The programme can benefit complete beginners to elite level players.

“You can’t HIT what you can’t SEE”

A quick video to demonstrate this Click HERE

The first Vision Training course is being held at Swerve on 21st July 2018 for further info contact
Steve Brunskill (Head coach at Swerve table tennis centre) Email=

Written by Eli Baraty and Steve Brunskill

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Individual or Group Table Tennis Coaching?

If you had a choice of Individual or group table tennis coaching? which would you pick?

Instinctively, I believe most would pick individual coaching! I would like to point out the pros and cons of both. I hope it will help you choose the best pathway for your table tennis development.

Group Table Tennis Coaching

We often start our table tennis journey inside a group of players. The sessions are either lead by a coach or players run the session constructively or freely.


1. Verity: Often a group will provide many challenges alongside different playing styles. Verity of play can make the game more enjoyable which may entice positive self-development.
2. Challenge: A group of players working towards higher achievement by setting goals pushes will certain individuals to develop faster. This can have a domino effect making everyone thrive towards greater success.
3. Learn from each other: As the saying goes two heads are better than one. When a group of collective people are in search of development they will find answers quicker than one person. It also helps to have different opinions and thoughts but be careful as it can be overwhelming and can lead to negative effects.


1. Motivation: A group may be content just playing. If this is the case your development will be limited because there is no objective towards growth.
2. The same: We are all unique and in most cases required personal coaching to develop specific needs. More often than not groups as a whole, do the same exercises regardless of individual requirements.
3. Limited focus: If you have a coach running the group session, you have a very small amount of their time. Receiving limited personal attention can and most likely will deter your progression line.

Sam Priestley receiving private coaching
Coaching Sam Priestley from Expert in a Year

Individual Table Tennis Coaching:


1. You’re the centre of attention: A coach will give you 100% attention and hone in on your specific requirements.
2. Individual: You can work on your specific needs rather than working on something generic.
3. Monitor: A coach can develop programmes that monitor your progression line. Via: video, log book, rankings and tournament results.


1. The coach: If the coach is inexperienced or set in their ways, you may receive poor advice. This can have a negative effect on your game and overall confidence.
2. Your requirements: Every table tennis coach is different and some may not suit your personal requirements or needs. For example, if you’re a penholder player it may be slightly more beneficial getting a coach who plays that specific style. Not always but it can have the added benefits of their personal experience.
3. Money: A high-quality table tennis can be an expensive investment. A low-quality coach can be even more expensive! (Lots of cheap sessions with no results)

Rough Guide to Individual or Group Table Tennis Coaching:

Personally, if I was still a player I would want a little from both worlds.

Pro level
An individual table tennis coach for 2-6 hours per week and 15-25 hours group table tennis coaching. I would also have a few hours of personal training with a sparring partner or group of partners. Total 30 plus hours per week of table time.

National to international level
Individual coaching 1-4 hours per week and group coaching 10-20. Furthermore, I would create personal sessions with a sparring or group of players for 2-4 hours per week

Local to a county level
Attend a group table tennis coaching session 1-2 per week with 5-10 hours of group coaching. Have 1-2 hours of individual coaching and arrange some personal training 1-3 hours a week.

Local league
Attend a group coaching session once or twice a week and have individual coaching 1 hour per week or fortnightly.

Which would you choose? Individual or group coaching?

There’s no right or wrong answer, it all depends on your specific needs and personal requirements.

Examples of Individual Coaching

Examples of Group Coaching

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

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