is time for a change"
For me it was a
strange situation to find that the juniors were not practising together,
there suddenly were small coaching groups with different coaches.
So I wrote and e-mailed a letter to the committee-members - unfortunately
without any positive response.
of the management committee,
Australian coach Marcus Gustafsson said it like this:
"My biggest goal is to get the players to think more 'group'
than just 'individual' like now. This is the way the rest of the
world does it and I'm trying to make Australia understand the benefit
of group training."
Group training sessions are similar to a school-situation, with
many players and often only one coach: The coach explains the exercise;
the players practise the exercise at the tables while the coach
moves from table to table to correct/assist/give feedback. He is
rarely playing at the table with the players (might be a few seconds
with beginners to give them shots they can hit). The coach (coaches)
is working for the association, the players pay the association,
and the association pays the coach (or can be voluntarily). Private
coaching is as good as non-existent in other countries than Australia.
In our association
many of the players are used to private coaching (one-to-one or
in small groups). Some claims it gives fast results, but the fact
is that the Australian players are far from the best on the international
arena. Sweden might be the best sample of how it is possible to
make world-champions without private coaching (or table tennis schools/camps
for the best talents): J-O Waldner, Jørgen Persson, Peter
Karlsson and the others never had a private coach - they did their
daily practising with the other members of their respective associations
in normal coaching squads! The same goes for the Swedish juniors
that now are on the rise to European stardom.
It often seems that coaches in Australia used to getting money from
private coaching believe that group coaching will reduce their income,
but it does not have to be so.
Private coaching and small, private coaching groups:
- is too costly for the association.
- is too costly for players/parents.
- disrupts other coaching activities.
- divides players and coaches.
- can result in wrong development for the players.
- gives no team-feeling or feeling of social belonging.
The last point is very important. Quite a few players in our association
and else in Australia have become very good with quite a lot of
private coaching - only to quit playing at young age. For rugby
players it is easy to see why so many of them continue to play after
becoming seniors: If they become good enough they can make heaps
of money from their sports! The motivation is there. To tell young
table tennis players that they might be selected to the Olympics
if they practise hard enough might be ok, but they will still be
unable to make a living from their sport. The motivation has got
to be something else in the long run. The love of table tennis is
of course there, but it is not enough. In Europe and other countries
what they do to motivate the young players is to make the social
aspect very important: When you head off to your practising sessions
you are not only going to hit a small white ball across the net
- you are going to see your friends!
My hope is that
the diversion that the association has experienced during the last
years will come to an end. The association is being pulled apart
and will not, as Brian pointed out, live long if we do not see a
change. I believe that this change could start by making sure that
all our junior players practise and play their fixtures together
- so that they all can improve their skills and built a positive
team-spirit. Let's show the players down south that the Townsville
players are getting ready to beat them!
the academy was never approved/started.
letter for Terry -
from Paul Jones
start of the season/year.
Comittee - 2009 - established and later cancelled.
Committee - 2009 - established and cancelled.
plan, period 1 - 2009
plan, period 2 - 2009
Coaching plan, period 3 - 2009
Own evaluation, players - 2009
Clinic - 2009 - Easter Holiday week-end coaching.
All Ages Tournament
Recuitment - 2009 - drives
to get new members.
"Time for a change" - letter concerning coaching.
Junior Invitation Series - an attempt to get the juniors back.
Coaches Workshop - 2010
- cancelled same
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