Training in China
By Peter Li
Many of you may be considering whether to spend your summers training overseas in order to improve your game. Many players choose to train with a professional team in China since China has dominated the sport for so many years. However, training in China does not guarantee great improvement. It is possible that you could come back with little to no improvement.
So why spend thousands of dollars to fly to the other side of the world to train? For the training system that does not exist in the US.
Every professional team in China has an intense training system that usually consists of 6 hours of training every day. That alone may be 3-4 times an average serious US player trains. On top of that, compared to most US training, training in China with a professional team is much more rigorous. Each day of training consists of an already set schedule that each player must follow when training. This organized training allows each player to practice each part of his/her game to cover any major weaknesses in his/her game. Drills are assigned instead of chosen by the player so the practice covers some of the player’s weaknesses instead of just his/her strengths. Physical training is also assigned accordingly to develop important parts of the body for the game. In addition to that, there are coaches constantly watching the practices to ensure that the quality of the training is up to par. Usually in a professional team, one coach is responsible for watching around 5-6 athletes during the practices, in order to correct any flaws they see right away. Such an organized training system is something that does not exist in the US.
The major problem with US training is that it is too individualized and not focused enough. There are no professional training teams that train together every day. Most of the training is more individualized, which is why we end up practicing what we want to practice, instead of what we need to practice. True, many of you have personal coaches that you take lessons with, but there is only so much a coach that meets with you once or twice a week can do to help your game. Therefore, if you are considering traveling overseas to train to further develop your game, it is a good idea. Although, there is no guarantee how much your game will improve, the opportunity to improve is much greater than it is training in the US.