GTE and Paul Drinkhall Training Camp

GTE and Paul Drinkhall Training Camp

 

Summer time is nearly here and Paul Drinkhall and I are teaming up again to run a training camp on 21st, 22nd and 23d August 2017 at Cippenham Table Tennis Club! As this camp is 3 days we will be including an exclusive exhibition match for the participants of the camp to watch!

We will cover a range of technical development ranging from beginner all the way up to elite. We will also include speed and agility warm-ups along with some fun match play with prizes. You will get a chance to see high level demonstrations from myself and two time Olympian Paul Drinkhall- with the chance to ask questions and find out how the best train!

Summer is a time where we all feel we deserve a well earned rest, however resting can leave your game a little rusty. If you feel you want a boost to leap back into the season better than ever, this is the place to come!

Please see this link below for full details:

PD and GE 21ST 22ND 23RD AUG

 

 

 

Drinkhall & Evans Training Camp!

Drinkhall & Evans Training Camp!

 

Paul Drinkhall and I are teaming up to run a training camp at Cippenham Table Tennis Club in Slough on Saturday 27th August and Sunday 28th August!

It feels absolutely great to work with my good friend Paul on this. We have shared some great memories together.

So summer is a time where we all feel we deserve a well earned rest, however resting can leave your game a little rusty. If you feel you want a boost to leap back into the season better than ever, this is the place to come!

We will cover a range of technical development ranging from beginner all the way up to elite. We will also include speed and agility warm-ups along with some fun match play with prizes. You will get a chance to see high level demonstrations from myself and two time Olympian Paul Drinkhall- with the chance to ask questions and find out how the best train!

Please see this link below for full details:

Poster August 2016 Cippenham FLAT (1)

 

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To check out Paul Drinkhalls progression when competing around globe and at Rio, please click on this link

 

What I Mean by Being Bulletproof

What I Mean by Being Bulletproof

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Bulletproof in sport is a feeling of inner confidence, a feeling of indestructibility and a feeling of your character being imperishable.

Are you tenacious? Will you persevere when the going gets tough? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have some of the ingredients needed to being bulletproof!

Strong character

Part of being a successful sportsman, businessman or writer is having a strong character and a desire to achieve. In my playing career what helped me gain confidence was preparation – knowing I had done more than any other person; this for me then gave me the right to win. However, we must prepare in a clever and structured way starting with the basics. There is no point of training, putting the hours in, if you are reinforcing bad habits or not clear where you are going. We must have a way to measure progression. Try to find out which system works for you.

First we have to start with the body. As coaches, we are responsible for providing the players with knowledge on how to protect their body from injury and how to strengthen the body to optimise their performances. We need to make sure we are allowing time in sessions to develop agility, balance and co-ordination. If we create the environment and continuous encouragement the player’s responsibility is to do it and work hard at it!

Having a strong character, being able to come back from defeats and keep sticking with what you believe in are all traits champions have. Without these, the obstacles in life will be too great!

ETTA Nationals Sheffield 89
ETTA Nationals Sheffield, 28th Feb Ponds Forge Winner

How committed are you? Would you rather be out with your friends or train? Do you think about your sport before you go to bed? Do you make decisions in life based on what is going to best for your craft? Is your nutrition suitable for your sport? All these questions need to be a yes if you want to be the best.

It’s a lifestyle choice.

Visualisation

Visualisation is a tool I used every day when playing. I really feel if you can put yourself in situations you are going to face in competitions and have a Plan A and a Plan B to deal with them, you are more likely to be prepared for whatever happens and when the real tough times comes. Having a clear system in your head of how you are going to react in difficult situations and equally joyful situations fills you with confidence and a belief you can deal with anything. This, ultimately, will stop you being fearful and scared of the challenge, it will in fact create the complete opposite effect. You will embrace the fight and look forward to the obstacles.

Technical visualisation is also extremely important, imagining you:

  • Making the right shot choices
  • Moving and be sharp on your feet
  • Playing technically correct strokes
  • Being in the right position

This also goes hand in hand with the tactical element of the game:

  • Having a game plan against certain types of opponents
  • Which direction you are going to play your shots
  • How much spin or speed you are going to play with

 

Training the mind is a great chance to give you that edge when wanting to be the best and make yourself bulletproof. After all if you want to be extraordinary, find out what the ordinary do and do the opposite!  

This can be done during the day in your travel time or before you go to bed, it is a great tool, don’t forget to use it!

Technical

Technical practice is another crucial part of development. This is usually a discussion you would have with your coach – to be done on the multi-ball table. Being sound technically and having good foundations help endure lots of pressure against you. Another good reason for having good technique and good habits is when the pressure is on and the nerves kick in, we usually resort back to what we know best. Let’s get it right from the start! Having many different shots in your repertoire gives you lots of tactical options so you can the change the game at any given time to help you. Technique practice needs to be planned carefully and at a time of the year with fewer competitions, adjustments need to be made and they can take time to ingrain into match play.

Protect the body

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If any of you have followed my career you will understand why I believe a coach’s role is vitally important in supporting young players and filling them with the knowledge and actively encouraging them to protect their body.

Sport, places very high demands on the body and more often than not has a dominant muscle being used, this can cause repetitive strain injuries, can effect performance in a negative way and if very unlucky shorten the longevity of your career. Players start very young and are sometimes elite level at an early age. I feel it is a huge responsibility and almost unrealistic to ask a passionate 13 year old who only wants to play the game because they love it to research what physical preparation they should do and which conditioning training would be best. In my view this is the role of the coach – to know your sport and seek advice as to what demands and strains the sport has on the body and then come up with a programme to strengthen all necessary areas. Coaches then should use a period of time in the sessions for conditioning training.

 

“Don’t settle for mediocrity, place high expectations and demands on yourself”.

 

If you dissect all these elements of sport and preparations and try to focus on doing the right things day in day out, you are well on your way to becoming bulletproof!

 

“Nobody can be perfect, but you can be pretty close if you reach for the stars!”

 

Gavin Evans

Please see the link below for my blog about repetitive strain injuries:

https://gavinevanstt.com/2016/05/06/how-to-prevent-repetitive-strain-injuries/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drinkhall & Evans Training Camp!

Drinkhall & Evans Training Camp!

 

Paul Drinkhall and I are teaming up to run a training camp at Swerve Table Tennis Club in Middlesbrough on Saturday 20th August and Sunday 21st August!

It feels absolutely great to work with my good friend Paul on this. We have shared some great memories.

So summer is a time where we all feel we deserve a well earned rest, however resting can leave your game a little rusty. If you feel you want a boost to leap back into the season better than ever, this is the place to come!

We will cover a range of technical development ranging from beginner all the way up to elite. We will also include speed and agility warm-ups along with some fun match play with prizes. You will get a chance to see high level demonstrations from myself and two time Olympian Paul Drinkhall- with the chance to ask questions and find out how the best train!

Please see this link below for full details:

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Easter Table Tennis Training Camp Review

Easter Table Tennis Training Camp Review

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Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that came to the camp this weekend (2nd & 3rd April 2016). Natalie, Emily and I enjoyed it very much. Also a big thanks to Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club for the tables and a big shout out to Darran, Matt and Sue Leete.

The feedback has been overwhelming. I’m thrilled that so many of you benefited from the 2 days and equally enjoyed it. So thank you so much to everyone, you all said really lovely comments about the camp and about us as coaches. We are so grateful and really appreciate it. Here is a quote from a happy participant on the camp:

Hi Gavin,
Just to thank you and Natalie for a great days coaching and especially the multi ball at the end. I am absolutely shattered. I hope tomorrow goes well. Do keep me on your mailing list for the next camp.
Thank you

Here are some tweets from the weekend!

My only regret for the camp is that I wish that we’d taken loads more photos! Check out my album on flickr by clicking on the photo below.

GTE Easter Table Tennis Camp

Myself and the coaches are discussing dates for our Summer Table Tennis Training Camp. I will be keeping you all informed on any developments. If you have any questions about the camps or about any further training please do not hesitate to contact me.

Overall it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to see you all again soon!

Gavin Evans

Exhibition at the Shankly Hotel Liverpool with a Footballing Legend!

Exhibition at the Shankly Hotel Liverpool with a Footballing Legend!

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So, in my last blog I expressed my excitement of a surprise event which happened at the one and only exclusive Shankly Hotel Liverpool. After a long day in the training hall with some very enthusiastic and good young table tennis players, I was invited to do an exhibition at a rather magnificent hotel in Liverpool city.

Exhibition

As we arrived at the hotel, firstly I was amazed by the exceptional quality throughout the hotel and the vision of the designer behind it to create such a warm, sporty, yet up market atmosphere. Lawrence the owner clearly has a real eye for detail and has made the Shankly Hotel into a real trip down memory lane, with original pieces of Bill Shankly memorabilia throughout. We were escorted through the restaurant into a beautiful function room with quite pristine decoration to begin the match. After the initial welcome and drinks, two great young aspiring table tennis players – Rhys Davies and Harry Watson – kicked of the matches. After an enthralling deciding set in the first match, it was now time for Keith Williams and I to step up to the table.

The twist to the evening which fell nicely into the footballing theme of the hotel was our umpire. He was the first person to score the winning goal in two European cup finals in 1981 and 1984, with over 500 caps and a true Liverpool legend, it was the one and only… Alan Kennedy!  After a true showman match it was time to take a shower and have dinner!

Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy

Dinner with Alan Kennedy

So off I walked through the hotel still in awe of the magnitude of this place to take a shower in one of many quite stunning hotel rooms. After 20 minutes or so we sat down to eat dinner accompanied my Alan Kennedy in the Bastion restaurant. We laughed and joked all evening as the drinks flowed, and we tucked into what can only be described as exquisite food. As our table got louder, people started to recognise who was in the restaurant with them and started to swamp for photos. It was a truly wonderful evening, one which I hope we can relive again one day.

Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy

Conclusion

Thank you to Graham and his wife Lindsey for their amazing hospitality, and a great event organised. Thank you also to Lawrence Kenwright for giving us the opportunity to entertain at your hotel and for providing such a high service.  For those who are thinking about staying at the Shankly hotel, I can highly recommend it, you will not regret it!

Shankly Hotel Exhibition Match and Meal with Alan Kennedy

Another quirky design by Lawrence Kenwright – Men’s Toilets in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant. Beginning, Middle and End of the Night – Take Your Pick!

Gavin Evans

GTE Table Tennis Camp at Waterloo TTC

GTE Table Tennis Camp at Waterloo TTC

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It was 7am on Saturday 12th March, as myself and Emily headed up north to the city of Liverpool to deliver a 2 day table tennis camp organised by Graham Chellew. We had been once before to do the same so we were very excited and honored to be invited back. As we left our house it was very foggy, which made the journey slightly longer than we would of hoped, however we arrived safely and raring to go.

Warm-ups

I am very passionate about delivering fun but also fitness based warm-ups to raise the core temperature and to build up agility and co-ordination. As part of the warm up we used cones, speed ladder and balls. The balls were used to help participants catch and think about a moving object while doing quite challenging footwork. Instantly this focuses the minds of players, so when they come to the table to play, it is that bit easier than usual. Shadow play was another warm up we used to ingrain good footwork and technique without worrying about keeping the ball on the table. This is a good way of improving muscle memory to different parts of the body, so once again life is easier when you start to play and more challenging obstacles are there to overcome.

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Demonstrations

Demonstrations are a key part to an athletes’ development; this allows those visual learners amongst us to take in different patterns of play and technical advice, so they can replicate the movement seen. Bandura’s model of observational learning is part of his Social Learning Theory. This states that when an individual is learning a new skill, there are 5 components for this model of learning to be effective. These are:

  • Attention – The learner must observe a demonstration for them to copy. This creates an image in their mind to replicate.
  • Retention – The learner must then almost immediately try to perform the new skill based on the demonstration that they have just seen.
  • Motivation – The learner must be motivated to perform and try the new skill. This is a part of having a growth mindset and being prepared to fail before succeeding.
  • Motor Reproduction – The coach must be sure that the learner can replicate the skill. It may be too hard because their muscles are not strong enough or too cognitively difficult.
  • Significant Other – This can be a role model for the learner or a person that the learner can relate to e.g. a child doing the demonstration can be useful for other children.

Moreover it gets the group together to talk about the exercises and iron out any questions before players start to play.

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Format of the day

• 2 regular exercises (Focused closely on timing point and movement wide fh)
• 1 irregular exercise (Close focus on anticipation and moving efficiently)
• Service exercise (Focus on good receive and good consistent first attack)
• Top table ( Situational match play to learn match strategies, e.g server is 5-7 down, 8-8 etc)
• Lunch
• Service exercise based on what we feel needed improvement before lunch.
• Fh flick and Fh touch exercise (Focusing on having a plan A and Plan B when receiving)
• Serving master class
• Competition at the end of the day.

Multi-ball

Every player receives multi-ball throughout the day to target areas they want to further improve (strength) or a weakness they want looking at more closely. Multi-ball is also another way of improving muscle memory, along with being a good cardio vascular workout as the balls just keep on coming!

Cool downs

Warm-ups are widely recognised as a valuable practice to an individual’s development, although one area which is widely overlooked is a cool-down. A cool down is designed to slow the heart rate down and cool the core body temperature after strenuous activity. Make sure after exercise to walk or jog slowly for at least 5 minutes and then perform stretching as this is a crucial time to lengthen the muscles and increase flexibility.

Summary

Overall everyone improved their game tenfold and enjoyed themselves, which is the most important thing. I would like to take the time to thank everyone who came to our camp, once again it was an absolute blast!

Please check out the full photo album on flickr by clicking on the image below.

GTE Table Tennis Camp at Waterloo TTC

I am fascinated by the psychology of the human mind, especially when it comes to sport. I have written a little bit about Bandura’s Social Learning Theory in this blog post: I will be writing more about sport psychology in the oncoming months.

Thank you for reading my blog, something awesome happened on Saturday night which will feature in my next blog, so keep a look out and don’t miss out!

Gavin Evans