Return to the Club Blog- Coach Profiles

We have been fortunate over the years to have some fantastic coaches and volunteers. Without their help we would not be able to do what we love and during this time when we await our return, we thought it would be a good opportunity to profile a handful of them. You never know, there may be a few things in here you did not know before!

Chris McKenna

How long have you been involved with the club?

Joined as a player back in around 2006/7 and played for four years. Took a wee break and returned while I was in my third year of University in 2014. Been involved with a variety of roles since.

Overview of your experience and any coaching qualification level?

Not the most gifted player, both tactically and technically….and physically……and mentally. However always enjoy trying to impart knowledge to younger and less experienced players where I can. Thanks to the club I managed to get my UKCC level 1 back in 2018 and longer term I would like to progress to level 2. I have an honours degree in sport development, so I try and bring some of that learning and ideas to the club as well.

Favourite thing about being involved/coaching at the club?

Definitely the people, such a fantastic and positive group from the youngest member to those who remember when the club started back in 1977. For what may be seen as a small club, the group have great ambition and will do their utmost to help anyone and try different things. I have been a huge benefactor of that with doing a video analysis project at University, leading on the coaching group/forum, and getting to be a part of supporting other student placements (to name a few).

What are you most looking forward to getting back to?

I miss the structure and routine. As I no longer stay local to the club, I come home on Fridays for the weekend and the Friday club nights (and the subsequent McDonalds ice cream trips) are always a highlight of the week.

Brendan Faulds

How long have you been involved with the club?

Around 15 years

Overview of your experience and any coaching qualification level?

UKCC L1 Coach; been playing TT since I was 8 years old following 1:1 coaching at Butlins with the then No. 1 in Scottish TT. Played to decent level until the age of around 21; then hardly picked up a bat for 20 years….

Favourite thing about being involved/coaching at the club?

Great bunch of volunteers and members supporting the club and good to be around; Contribution to an important community asset

What are you most looking forward to getting back to?

Personally want to get back playing and was in the cusp of being part of a Senior League team for this season – next year maybe? Also keen to get Pop In & Play up and running as quickly as we possibly can.

Peter Connolly

I have been involved with the club since 1996 when my son Michael joined the club for the first time. As a result I offered my support to those coaching at the club. Later I became more involved in a coaching role when I qualified as a STTA coach in 2002. As player numbers increased and coaches moved on I found myself on my own coaching and in need of support.

When support came along it helped improve the standard of our play and players.
We had a core of good players but also many recreational players who enjoyed the sport.
At the same time the participation in the sport was growing in WOS and as a result we looked to develop the club structure. Myself and Brendan Faulds qualified as UKCC level 1 coaches in 2010 and encouraged others to do the same.

I have learned so much about myself and met many coaches who have inspired me along the way. At the club I have really enjoyed watching young players and coaches develop. I have met people from all walks of life who have been very generous to the club with their time, donations and financial support.
In 2017 I was selected as EK Sports Council and also South Lanarkshire Coach of the year. Last year I qualified as a UKCC Level 2 coach. Having retired recently I’m keen along with others to continue to help change and develop our community club. However at present I look forward to getting back and working with EKTTC players and coaches.

Robbie Maitland

How long have you been involved with the club?

I have been involved with the club since my early years of high school. Around 8 years

Overview of your experience and any coaching qualification level?

I have been playing table tennis since I started high school and it was through a friend that was already in the club, that got me set up and coming along. With the club I experience many competitions and as I got older, players of my age where leaving but I was eager to continue. Couple years ago I got my coaching license after passing my UKCC Level 1.

Favourite thing about being involved/coaching at the club?

My favourite thing about being involved with the club is that its a weekly occurring place that I can de stress and socialize. My favourite thing about coaching is the enthusiasm of the players and the effort they put in to improve each week.

What are you most looking forward to getting back to?

I am most looking forward to seeing friendly faces again and familiarizing myself with the sport again

Euan McLaughlin

I first picked up a table tennis bat in school when my PE teacher at the time recognised that sports such as field hockey aren’t really appropriate for a guy with a disability and no appreciation for the outdoors. So, Mrs Coventry, thank you.

I have been involved with EKTTC as a player for the past 11/12 years and have developed my skills to a level that saw me compete at National and International level on the para-table tennis circuit. EKTTC and more notably Peter have taught me values such as hard work and discipline that have helped me in my development as a player and now as a coach. I have travelled up and down the UK representing the club in various para-tournaments, picking up quite a few medals along the way including 3 golds. Without the support from the club and Peter, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to countries such as Belgium, Hungary and Spain to hit a wee white plastic ball or attempt to at least!

I would say since leaving college to start university in 2016, playing table tennis has taken a backseat I’ve began focusing on the coaching side of things. This is in part down to the nature of the courses that I’ve studied and continue to study but also down to the fact that I probably reached my full potential in terms of the level I was competing at. Since making transition into a coach, I have an appreciation for the different aspects and nuances that coaches have to consider and perhaps that athletes take for granted such as the relationship building process, planning sessions and managing different personalities in the sessions. This constant battle to make it a positive session and striving for the ‘perfect’ coaching session is what keeps me coming back. I also enjoy passing on my experience as a player, working under different coaches and also sharing my knowledge from participating in research, it is rewarding to see young players and my peers take that on board and begin to implement in their own practice.

I’m not entirely sure what the future of table tennis post-Covid-19 looks like but hopefully the club continues as it left off with continuing to provide opportunities for play and competition and hopefully, I can get the run around off Bill once again.

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