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

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Alkaline Diet Update – Breakfast Ideas

Alkaline Diet Update – Breakfast Ideas

So last month I said that I was going to start a more alkaline enriched diet. As I’ve been making my meals, I have experimented with different combinations of alkaline foods.

The meal that I have found to be the most difficult to make is breakfast. A lot of people struggle with finding a breakfast that is healthy, not boring and that tastes good too!

Below are two simple breakfast ideas that are not just your average porridge or weetabix.

Green Pepper and Spinach Omelette (for 2) – (V)

An omelette is a great way of getting essential protein into your body and by adding green vegetables you are also getting one or more of your 5-a-day and essential vitamins and minerals. Eat this with a toasted wholemeal pitta for your slow releasing carb fix and a dollop of houmous for some extra zing! Don’t forget to drink a large glass of water with your meal so you stay hydrated. This is a vegetarian meal that can also be eaten for lunch.

Green Pepper and Spinach Omelette

Ingredients

  • 1 green pepper or 1 cup of frozen mixed peppers
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach
  • 3 or 4 eggs (depending on how big you want the omelette)
  • Semi-skimmed milk (150ml for 3 eggs or 200ml for 4 eggs)
  • 2 wholemeal pitta bread
  • 2 desert spoons of houmous
  • Dash of salt and black pepper
  • Dash of extra virgin olive oil

Equipment

  • 1 medium to large frying pan
  • 1 0.5L jug

Method

  1. Pre heat the grill to 200ºC
  2. Chop the pepper into medium size chunks or to a size you prefer
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat
  4. Add the chopped up peppers to the pan and saute for 1 minute, then add the spinach and mix until the spinach has wilted
  5. Crack the eggs into the jug and add the milk and salt and pepper – whisk together
  6. Make sure the pepper-spinach mixture is evenly distributed in the pan and then pour the egg mixture into the pan. After 1 minute turn the heat down on the pan so that the omelette doesn’t burn
  7. When the omelette has mostly cooked through, put the pan under the grill so that the egg cooks on the top and browns slightly
  8. Cut the pitta bread in half and pop in the toaster
  9. Plate up the omelette and the pitta bread, dollop 1 desert spoon of houmous to each plate and enjoy!

 

Super Duper Morning Yogurt Pot

A fun way to kick-start your day, it’s more than just a yogurt and it’s mightier than a smoothie! This breakfast is easy for people who are short of time in the mornings or for commuters to grab and go. If you’re a really early starter, you can prepare the smoothie the night before and keep in the fridge over night.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of frozen summer berries
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 30g of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of almonds
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 500ml of water
  • Natural yogurt
  • Mulberries

Equipment

  • Blender (Nutribullet or a similar alternative)
  • Sistema To Go Mug (Method 1 – for holding your Super Duper Morning Yogurt Pot. Although, I bought an unbranded one from Poundland)
  • Large straw

Method 1

  1. Add the summer berries, mango, spinach, banana, oats, almonds, chia seeds and water to your blender and blend until smooth
  2. Put the yogurt and the mulberries into your ‘to go’ mug and pour the smoothie that you just made over the top of the yogurt-mulberry mixture
  3. Stick you large straw into the mug, mix everything together and drink up!

Method 2

  1. Add the summer berries, mango, spinach, banana, almonds, chia seeds, natural yogurt, mulberries and water to your blender and blend until smooth
  2. If you have a Nutribullet blender or a similar alternative, use the drink lid to take your Super Duper Morning Yogurt Smoothie out and about. Or just drink it before you leave for work and feel re-energised until lunchtime!

 

If you do try out these recipes, feel free to let me know how it goes!

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

Instagram

Instagram

Hi, Everyone!

As some of you may already know, I’m not that good with technology. I can do Facebook and Twitter (although I’m still not great at that) but Emily has been pestering me for ages to get Instagram and all sorts of other profiles that I may or may not need. In the end, I didn’t do any of it. Em took my phone, downloaded the Instagram App and set up my account.

I was happy at first because I thought that she was going to do it all for me. All the fancy photo editing that I don’t even know about. She posted the first two photos (well one photo and one video) and I only had to approve the caption, so I thought great! Instagram is not my problem. But no. Apparently I have to learn the hard way.

So as you all know – I never give up! I’m going to give it a go and post photos and videos of what we will be getting up to in the future.

My Instagram username is gavinevanstt and you can visit my page by clicking on the link – https://www.instagram.com/gavinevanstt/

You can see my first 2 posts here below and I will be uploading loads more photos and videos like this. Make sure you follow me on Instagram, so that you never miss out on my latest posts!

BUCS Table Tennis Championships at the University of Nottingham

BUCS Table Tennis Championships at the University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham Team

22 hours coached in 2 days, was it worth it? My answer is, absolutely! The team produced there best when it mattered the most, winning 10 medals over the course of the weekend.

Saturday

Play started early on Saturday morning with many of our 3rd and 4th team playing the group stages. After some nail biting table tennis many progressed through to the first round, which meant they would be back with the cream of the crop on Sunday. The smiles on many faces were an amazing thing to see. For me this was great, not only are our first team performing, our lower teams are pulling their weight…. hard work really does pay off!  As the day went on, a sense of suspense was starting to gloom over the hall as some of the universities first teams came in. You could see the crowd compelled to the actions of some players completely in awe. They came to warm up for their doubles matches and not least to see out there fairly unchallenging singles groups. The day came to an end with most of our players into the Sunday draw.

Sunday

 I arrived at the hall at about 8:30am full of beans and ready to help our players to victory. Round after round some of our players started to drop, however we still had numerous exciting matches to come. As the ¼ finals and ½ finals started to get near, the crowd was filling up, some of the universities staffing team were in the audience, with the director of sport looking proudly as his team got into action. In the late stages of the competition the games were so close some going down to the very last set, however more often and not we emerged victorious in true GREEN AND GOLD STYLE! The highlight for me was simply, on every table we had our colours competing. As the day came to a close we didn’t quite manage to bring home gold in the individuals we had to settle for silver, although losing to some very reputable players.

UoN

 OK So what makes the University of Nottingham so great to work for? The structure, consistency and quality of the Table Tennis training at the UoN is simply second to none. High level practice partners, world class coaches and some great players all managed by Nicola Perry, in my eyes is very hard to beat….dare I say impossible. The university has strong links with China and are looking to develop all the time. As a player or a coach working there you cannot stand still. You must continue to develop to keep your place in the team. Academically you must be at a certain grade to be offered a place, so hard work is very much a clear trend and a thing of habit. There is a clear correlation of high level athletes coming through year after year all academic, this for me is a  message to anyone “striving for greatness” if you can commit to your studies with a mature outlook on development, this is a transferable skill easily emulated in sport.

Well done to all players and coaches involved, let’s do the same next year… JUST BETTER!

 Gavin Evans

New Diet, New Me!

New Diet, New Me!

Can your diet help rehabilitate an injury and more importantly prevent an injury occurring?

Ok, so as many of you will know, table tennis was something that gave me huge amount of success, and a life one could never have dreamt of. Competing was all I had ever known and consequently I loved every second of it. I have always ever since a very small child wanted to be the best, and I have had a warrior like instinct to get there.

Over the last couple of years, injury in one particular part of my body has been extremely common, which has forced me to take a different route, although fortunately doing something I love. 3 operations on both my hips and steroid injections in my shoulder, yet still I experience pain when playing. This for me is very difficult to swallow, as I still feel in good form with my touch and feel around the table. I feel angry this has happened to me, as the sport I love playing is getting more difficult due to lack of mobility in my hips. I ask myself the question was I given the vital information about looking after my body when I was younger? Did I over train at a young age? Did I allow my emotionally love for the sport to take over the mature calculated approach I should of have for developing as an athlete? Was my nutrition correct?

Physiotherapy

During my time spent at the Isokinetic clinic in London just of Bond Street, the physio told me they would like to do a study on hip injuries in table tennis. Is it inherited, or is it a lack of knowledge of anatomy & physiology and bio-mechanics in our sport which is damaging us? After all the positions table tennis players put themselves in, are somewhat abnormal at times! The first surgeon that operated on me in London said he believes my condition was hereditary; he also operated on Ryan Giggs, so clearly very reputable.

Passion

So all that you have read above, of me expressing my anger, is the real passion behind what I do now. It is also the real catalyst into creating educational videos so people can have the right knowledge before training very hard.

Alkaline Foods

List of Alkaline Foods/Drinks 

salad

Baking Soda Broccoli
Dulse Seaweed Fresh Greens
Lemons Banchi Tea
Lentils Carrots
Limes Cashews
Lotus Root Garlic
Mineral Water Ginger
Nectarine Grapefruit
Onions Kale
Persimmon Kiwi Fruit
Pineapple Herbal tea
Pumpkin Seed Herbs
Raspberry Logan berry
Sea Salt Mango
Sea Vegetable Mustard Green
Seaweed Olive
Spirulina Parsley
Sweet potato Parsnip
Tangerine Passion Fruit Peas
Taro root Peppers
Vegetable Juices Spices
Watermelons Turnip
Apples Sweetcorn
Apricots Soy Sauce
Chlorella Asparagus

All of the foods mentioned above are examples of alkaline foods and drinks.

Acidic Foods

List of Acidic Foods/ Drinks

bread

Basmati Rice Peanuts
Beer Pecans
Casein Pistachio Seeds
Chestnut Oil Pomegranate
Chicken Popcorn
Coffee Pork
Corn Prunes
Cottage Cheese Rye
Cranberry Snow Peas
Egg Whites Soy Milk
Fructose Squid
Garbanzo Beans Artificial Sweeteners
Green Peas Barley
Honey Beef
Ketchup Brazil Nuts
Lard Bread
Maize Brown Sugar
Mussels Fruit juices with Sugar
Mustard Jam/Jelly
Nutmeg Fried foods
Oat Bran Ice Cream
Olives Liquor
Pasta Lobster
Pastry White Bread
Pickles Processed Cheese
Sugar Yogurt
Yeast Wine

All these foods/drinks listed are acidic.

So does having an alkaline diet work?

So, Why the lists? Why the Blog? I was at a table tennis tournament and someone said “why are you not playing?” the reason was simple; the pain in my hip was too great. He then proceeded to tell me, how he has never had any problems with his body before, and the reason behind it, was he has a very rich alkaline diet.

So over the next few months, I will be uploading recipes and videos of my diet and keeping everyone informed to whether the effects of changing my diet has a positive effect on my ability to play table tennis pain free!

Now some of you may have noticed, most of the meat is acidic. I will still be eating meat and other acidic foods; however it will be high quality meat. I will change from white pasta and white rice to brown and I will up my intake of all other alkaline foods, and get rid of the pointless acidic foods.

Who knows? I may be back fitter, faster and stronger!

I will keep you posted!

Gavin Evans