The Best of Both Worlds: Managing Table Tennis & Education
By Vikash Sahu
Many junior upstarts have experienced the pressure of trying to be successful in two fields; table tennis and education. Certainly it is no easy task; the high demands of coursework and class schedules cut into available practice and competition time. To deal with such demands in an effort to continue to pursue athletic excellence in table tennis, it is important to stay organized and practice efficiently. Those who vie for athletic distinction when academic performance is arguably a higher priority do so because, above all, they have a love for the game of table tennis. Often in times when ones zeal falls behind and a dearth of motivation occurs, it is important to remember ones passion for the sport. This is a driving force associated with superior performance. In dealing with the dual issues of education and athletics, organization is key to a manageable and effective routine that will lead to higher performance. One should organize their schedule in such a way that allots necessary time for both areas. A common issue is that athletes are not able to practice as much necessary due to classes and coursework. In response, players must make sure that the practices attended are executed with maximum attention and effort. There is no latitude for immature, unfocused practices during such a period where time is of the essence. Training sessions must be implemented with maximum efficiency, such as key focus on problem areas of the players games, and less emphasis on lengthy repetitions such as counter-drives (a possible exception being warm-up). Similarly, excess training can overshadow ones education and result in poor academic performance. Equal attention in both fields is necessary. When the burden of coursework makes attending lengthy practices unviable, the players should utilize succinct alternatives to on-court practices, such as off-court physical conditioning, self-analysis of ones technique, or film study of high-level players. Players should aim to keep their bodies at a peak performance state by eating nutritious foods and exercising in preparation for practices.
In summary, to overcome the hurdle that is harmony between education and table tennis, players must focus on the vigor that fuels their love of the sport. It is no simple task, but with the right organization and efficiency one can accomplish higher-level performance in both areas.