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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
List of Alkaline Foods/Drinks
Passion Fruit Peas
All of the foods mentioned above are examples of alkaline foods and drinks.
List of Acidic Foods/ Drinks
Fruit juices with Sugar
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!
OK, so today something happened which filled me with delight. I have been working very hard for the last couple of years to achieve this, and today that vision/dream came true! 13 months ago, I bought my first house after moving out of my flat with my lovely girlfriend. Powerhouse Fitness sent us 3 pallets and over 2 tonnes of equipment to help us improve our fitness and continue with our business plan. Yes, I now have a fully commercial home gym in my converted garage!
I believe that keeping a healthy body keeps a healthy mind and consequently has an enormous impact to the happiness of oneself. Whether you are a businessman, a stay at home Mum/Dad or retired, never neglect the power you have to keep yourself active and joyful. Working out releases endorphins, and has proven to release stress, strengthen the heart and improve sleep.
I will now start uploading videos and vlogs for everyone viewing my blogs or following my YouTube channel. The videos will include:
work out tips
and most importantly coaching you through the movements so that you can do them properly and gain the full benefits of training!
My fitness videos are going to be specific to the sport you do or the lifestyle you lead, what is the point of training generically to look good? It has to be relevant to the sport or lifestyle you lead. This is called specificity and it plays a crucial role in becoming a healthier and happier person!
A true champion is someone who wins under the harshest of pressures and nearly always delivers when they need to.
So what defines a true champion? What makes Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Tiger Woods win time after time with what looks like and inability to choke? The strong trend and correlation between them all is an indestructible confidence, frightful competitiveness and an unshakeable trust in their game.
These global phenomena are seen in every generation. I believe strongly that the champions are made in the training hall, not by the number of hours they train but how they apply themselves is what sets them apart from the rest.
Second to all of the above they have the ability to turn it on when it most counts. Djokovic time and time again looks on the very brink of defeat entering the all-important 5th set of a very important match, but converts it so effortlessly to an easy 6-2 win, without any hesitation. How?
Have a goal every session
Many of us train but just go through the motions and swing our arm, in the hope we will feel good at the end of the session. Make sure you put emphasis on a particular outcome you would like to achieve at the end of the day however big or small, then monitor progression and adapt goals accordingly.
Competitive approach and targets
When doing a simple drill, think about a match play scenario how you would feel doing this rally in a match. Set yourself a specific target (“I must make 10 shots on the table, any less is unacceptable and consequently I would lose if I didn’t make them”). Play games with your opponent or in your own head by carrying out the exercise but score it from 9-9. All these things will help you perform when the pressure is on.
Do the small things in life right
How many of us leading up to a tournament have the right diet or the optimal amount of sleep or carry out a perfect strategic physical programme? This type of practice will set you apart from the rest. Running on Christmas day, making sure your bat is right, having your bag ready the night before so your mind is clear and not anxious, preparing healthy nutritious snacks for throughout the competition day so you maximise your energy levels. All of these mentioned will help build your confidence, as the saying goes
“fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
Tactics and forward thinking
So leading up to the tournament you are playing great often better than you have ever played before, but all of a sudden come tournament day you feel like you cannot play. This is not a coincidence; this is the power of the mind. When practicing we feel free and relaxed and we often think of other things even when practicing. However when we enter the playing hall our focus suddenly becomes very introvert and all of our focus is on ourselves, how we feel, how we look etc. Try to turn your focus on your opponents, have a clear tactical strategy for everyone you play. Don’t think about rhythm when warming up, turn your focus to how am I going to win the point, what serves should I practice, which direction should I play. This way of thinking will in turn take all your focus away from yourself and allow you to play on instinct which is what you know best as this is what we all do in the training hall.
OK so by now you probably know by reading this, I believe greatly in the mental side of the game.
By following the advice listed above, and practicing in the right way, this will help build your confidence. This will allow you to think “I deserve success as much as anyone, so I can do it”. It will also prepare you for very tight moments, for example when its deuce, you will be used to putting yourself under pressure, as you do it in training every day, in the right way!
If you have a problem with nerves, or struggle to perform at your best when you most want to, or you always seem to play better in practice and just wish you could do the same in a tournament, or if you are coach looking to create the next superstar, I hope this has helped.
This guy Will Bayley is a superb example of hard work pays off! Throughout his life he has got over hurdles one could not imagine. Will has not only got over them he has cleared them by a country mile, he is a huge inspiration to so many of us and I am one of them!
I am honored to be helping Will on his journey to Rio 2016!
On Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April 2016, in conjunction with Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club, Gavin Evans and Natalie Green are running a 2 day training camp.
Saturday 2nd 10:00am-4:00pm
Sunday 3rd 10:00am-4:00pm
Cost for the camp is £50 for both days, £27.50 for one day.
Gavin is a former European Champion, and has won over 20 International medals as a cadet and junior and has over 35 national titles including Senior British Men’s title; he has recently become more involved in coaching, and is currently working in many schools, clubs and at the University of Nottingham.
Natalie was former England Junior no. 1 and 13 x National champion having represented England at world, European and Commonwealth Championships. Natalie has been coaching in a professional environment for the past 10 years for Greenhouse Schools, Table Tennis England as a regional coach and more recently at Grantham College Table Tennis Academy.
This camp is suited to all levels of players, from grassroots through to advanced. We will look at various areas such as technique, tactics and physical elements and there will be a large focus on individual needs to each player.
This is an ideal time of the season to get in some good practice while many others will be taking a break and enjoying the Easter festivities!
Places are anticipated to be booked up quickly so if you are interested in attending this camp please get in touch as soon as you can. To book your place, please contact Gavin on the details below.
“Since I’ve started being coached by Gavin I feel there’s been a dramatic improvement in my overall game. His knowledge of table tennis and ability to deliver high quality sessions is excellent and as a former top class European player his demonstrations are of the highest standard. He always gets me focused more and thinking more and his clear and precise communication skills are brilliant. I think Gavin is a seriously effective coach and is making a big positive difference to both me as a person and my table tennis game.”