“Terry Dahl – who is he?”
- I started playing table tennis too late to become a good player, so I got into coaching. I did not want to get into administration, but I soon realized that if the players should have any chance to become good then better administration was needed from clubs to national level. I made a development plan for my association Fokus Table Tennis Association with vision, mission statement, short- and long term goals, plus a timeframe. I could soon give the presidency to somebody else and concentrate on coaching.
At a board meeting a few years later, I asked when we should start to make a new plan for the association – because the timeframe of the present had expired. The president and the majority of the board members said that I should be happy that we had achieved all our goals: We were the best association in
Norway on all levels from cadets to seniors, men and women. No new plan was needed, they said; we should run the association on a day to day basis. I just stood up, said thanks for all those years and left the meeting - and table tennis.

Some of the “firsts” I achieved as an administrator:
First Norwegian tournaments with time tables, barriers, scoring boards and umpires.
First cadet tournaments and league.
First to take Norwegian players to Swedish summer camps.
First to hold summer camps in cooperation in with Swedish associations.
First to take a Norwegian player to visit the Swedish table tennis school.
First table tennis hall
First serious planning by a Norwegian table tennis association.
First to implement physical training, goal-setting and season-planning for Norwegian players.
First table tennis association in
Norway to use a sport psychologist.
First to hold national training squads for cadets and juniors in
First to write table tennis articles on a regular basis for Norwegian newspapers.
First to implement national table tennis training squads in
First televised tournament in
First cadet tournament in
First info-kits for schools and media in
Some of the best results as a coach:
65 Norwegian championships as a coach. Winning the Norwegian league for teams; both men and women.
First Norwegian medals at the Nordic Championships; Teams for men and teams for juniors women.
Best result for a Norwegian cadet team ever at the European junior championships.
Best players: Tone Folkeson, best Norwegian female player ever (Norwegian senior champion 14 years old), Pål Guttormsen, best Norwegian male player ever (he started playing in England), Dag Vavik winning all major senior- and junior championships in Norway as 17-year old, except men singles in the Norwegian senior championships, good results as junior for the Norwegian national team.
Fokus TTA won the trophy as best association in a Swedish tournament.
Tone Folkeson beating the Swedish junior champion in a Swedish tournament.
Logan TTA beating
Brisbane 6-0 in the State League.
First silver medals to
Fiji at the South Pacific Games – after a few weeks coaching.
Fokus TTA team of two U10 boys runner up for U11 teams in the unofficial Norwegian championships for mini-cadets (2008).
The juniors that I coached eventually stepped up to senior level and had very good international results (beat
England), until a taxi with the Norwegian players had a serious accident in Spain (one killed, one permanently paralysed, one quit playing).
Best international players I have short-term coached:
World Champions J-O Waldner and Jørgen Persson – at a Nordic summer camp for juniors.
World Champion Peter Karlsson – summer camps in
Falköping, Sweden.
Li Chunli – a weekend clinic in
New Zealand.
I believe I also have coached Carl Prean, when with the Norwegian cadet and junior teams in

I was fortunate to learn from, and work together with, the Swedish top coaches Thomas Stenberg (Swedish teams and summer camps), Allan Dahlgren (Stellan Bengtsson/Ulf Carlsson/Falkenberg) and Christer Johansson (Swedish team when world champions).

A short view on coaching:
In Australia they believe that a table tennis coach has to be a good player. Well, myself I could beat J-O Waldner’s coach (Nisse Sandberg) – and I don’t even consider myself a player! And you would never see Christer Johansson play (even if he could play)!
”Responsible” might be the best world to characterize a good coach.
The best coaches are in the profession because they love it. Besides being strongly committed to the sports and success the best coaches display a clear commitment to looking out for the best interest of the individual players.

I have never left table tennis as a coach or administrator due to lack of success – but more because of it (and lack of a professional attitude from the environment)!
I once said I was 10 years ahead of Norwegian table tennis with a view to administration and coaching. I was wrong – I learned in
Norway this year that I was 20 years ahead!


Other parts of my life:
Table tennis have seldom been my main work – it has mostly been voluntarily, even if I tend to spend more time on the sports than my job! I have been a teacher in schools (primary and secondary), managing director of a company importing sports-equipment (mainly table tennis), copy-director in some of Norway’s leading advertising agencies, freelance journalist, author and web-editor. And also a yachtsman, fisherman and farmer: I left Norway to sail single-handed to the Pacific, and later I lived on an uninhabited coral-island for some years with my Polynesian wife Emma. We have two kids: Sonia and Olav.
Besides from being a table tennis coach I also have also been coaching in soccer and tennis. I am also interested in music – and I was the first person to record and release a music-cassette in
Tuvalu! I am also quite concerned of the climate-change  - and have helped Norwegian environmental organisations, challenged the government and edit an internet newspaper. I have been on the tv (and radio, newspapers and magazines) many times – sports, adventure, travel, news, entertainment and environment.