ITTF Hopes Week: One Step Higher Each Day, Players and Coaches Increase Knowledge in Shanghai
Courtesy of ITTF
Four days of practice completed before matters commenced on Friday July 3rd, the 16 girls and 16 boys alongside 28 coaches had learned something new every day at the ITTF Hopes Week in the Chinese city of Shanghai.
The whole initiative has presented an outstanding opportunity for all to gain knowledge. Instruction takes place before training begins, evening educational sessions have been held for coaches and every time a player is approached by a Chinese coach the coaches, who have escorted their young charges, have the opportunity to listen to the advice given.
Wise words have been the order of proceedings from the Chinese team of coaches, led by Li Xiaodong. He has been supported throughout by Zhang Yining, Xi Minjie and Feng Zhe.
The activity comprises of six days of training and one of the official competition, the Hopes Challenge. It is a competition that, along with the results of the technical evaluation of the Chinese experts, represents the base for the selection of the 2015 Hopes Team who will later in the year attend the 2015 World Cadet Challenge.
The Hopes Program focus is talent identification. However, in addition to this primary objective other technical and educational components are targeted, always with the focus in high technical standards. Included are such items Chinese training methods, footwork, and first three strokes in a rally.
During the week the players also played two training tournaments, which were used to determine the two training groups per gender and also served as a base of the evaluation of the competitive skills of the young Hopes players.
Learning from former World Champions
What an experience for the players to have the opportunity to learn from Zhang Yining, who is considered to be the best female player ever and is a member of the Chinese Coaching Team Shanghai.
Her watchful eyes are mainly set on the girls but her big table tennis heart drives her often all over the hall. She approaches any player she sees could do better and advises possible solutions.
On one day of the camp a special visitor surprised the participants.
It was Werner Schlager, the 2003 World Champion. Not only has he a great knowledge of the game but Werner proved to be also a very avid and motivational speaker.
The advice given through his rich experience was literally swallowed by the players and when listening to him for sure many imagined they may follow I his footsteps.
The China Table Tennis College (CTTC), jointly established by the General Administration of Sport of China and the Shanghai Municipal Government in September 2012, is a sport institution of higher learning specializing in table tennis.
CTTC is located on the campus of the Shanghai University of Sport, the very first sport university in New China. Equipped with first-class teaching, training and research facilities, CTTC recruits table tennis students for bachelor, master and doctoral programs, including international students.
The university has a team of young talented table tennis players who are advised by famous Chinese table tennis coaches. With solid teacher qualification, favorable geographical location and convenient transportation facilities; CTTC welcomes table tennis coaches, athletes, students and researchers from throughout the world for learning, training, competition and scientific research.
At present, among the students studying at CTTC, there are many World champions and Olympic champions: Kong Linghui (PhD), Yan Sen (Postgraduate), Liu Guozheng (Postgraduate), Li Xiaoxia (Postgraduate), Guo Yan (Postgraduate), Chen Qi (Postgraduate), Ma Lin (Undergraduate), and Ding Ning (Undergraduate).
Proceedings are under the leadership of the President, Shi Zhihao, Executive Vice President of both the Chinese Table Tennis Association and the International Table Tennis Federation; administration being on a departmental basis.