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วันพุธที่ 30 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2552

My Table Tennis Training in China!!




When, I first come back to America, I find it ironic most people think I would’ve had a blast in China. Usually, most people don’t see the more serious side of China. The intense pressure on children to excel at sports, sometimes even expecting children to give up their education just for the sport of ping pong (table tennis for you inflexible ones), badminton, basketball, swimming, diving and etc., the unbearable temperature; usually over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and with a humidity about 10000000000% with no air-conditioning, and plenty of criticism about my stroke, which isn’t really that much appreciated since this continues for over two and a half months. There were some good things about China, the food was delicious, especially the breakfast choices, there were plenty of kids. Several glaring problems though still lingered. The legendary problem that ever foreigner notices in China are THE BATHROOMS!!! In China, the bathrooms are horrendously horrible, and disgustingly dirty. They usually don’t supply toilet paper so you should always have some napkins or something handy at all times. I learned that the hard way when I was young. Oh, and please realize that sometimes they accidentally flip the gender signs on the bathrooms, so if you can’t read Chinese please ask someone who knows Chinese to show you the correct bathroom. Other than that, China was quite enjoyable.

My schedule is usually this:
At 7:00 a.m., I get up and brush my teeth, eat breakfast and etc.
8:30 a.m., I get on a taxi to go to the Hubei Province Table Tennis School.
9:00 a.m., we start doing warm-ups and a light jog.
9:15 a.m., the coach(s) assign practice partners.
11:00 a.m. we start multi-ball training.
11:30 a.m., we stop multi-ball training and start physical training, usually consisting of double unders (a type of advanced jump roping), endurance runs, and wind sprints.
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., I stay at the ping pong school and eat lunch and then take a nap.
3:00 p.m., I take a taxi to another ping pong club and meet a coach there.
4:30-6:00 p.m., I take a lesson from a coach at the club.
6:00 p.m., I go home, eat dinner, etc. and go to sleep.
We usually practice six days a week sometimes with the coach, sometimes with only kids.




The coaches at the Hubei Province Table Tennis School consist of, Huang Jun Qun, former world mix doubles champion, Yu Zhi Guo (the coach that raised Liu Guozheng and Chuang-Chih Yuan), and a young assistant coach. The coaches at the other club consist of, Rao Nian, who almost made it onto the Chinese National Team, and several young assistant coaches.

One thing you would notice right away about the kids who play ping pong is how young they are, and how good they are. I was the oldest there, and yet I was not always number one. The Chinese vary from choppers, to penhold fast attackers, to two-winged shakehand loopers. The Chinese are also very fast, and they somehow blend their game with the flow of the match, knowing when to play slow, when to play fast. The Chinese have several secrets in their game. Chinese coaches go very far in depth technical wise. If you miss your loop there could be several reasons why; you’re standing too close to the table, you do your stroke too late and etc. For example, the Chinese have developed strategies for every single type of style possible. Looping high and slow against choppers and then slamming one down the line, and hitting to the middle for shakehand players and etc. were all gone over during training. China’s large amount of people playing ping pong allows to practice against all kinds of styles, unlike in the U.S. where you’re limited to mostly shakehand attackers.

China was awesome, torture, boring, exciting, and hilarious all at the same time. Ranging from short, and fat kids to over one hundred degree temperatures to extremely competitive taxi drivers to the best food in the world. All of these things made my summer quite a unique one.


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