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.

Club News – 29th November 2020

Hi again everyone

EKTTC Session 4 Tuesday 1st December 2020
– Looking forward to another EKTTC session with club players on Tuesday 1st December from 7pm.
– Topic this week will be on Third, Fourth and Fifth ball attack and what we can learn from watching video’s of the games involving our top player’s.
– Zoom link is here: https://zoom.us/j/92407934195?pwd=c1YrZzdxSmdBQXc4UmFPZEEwc0Nudz09
– Please support these sessions if you can.

Scotland National Coach Stephen Gertsen Tuesday 15th December 2020
– Stephen Gertsen has agreed to do another virtual workshop with our club on Tuesday 15th December.
– Previous workshops have been great and we’re delighted Stephen is available to do another session.
– Looking forward to it.

TT Equipment Bats or Balls
– Bribar Catalogue here: https://bribartt.co.uk
– Let me know if you would like to upgrade your bat or need any advice on TT equipment.

Finally
– Emmanuel Lebesson v Timo Ball: https://youtu.be/6mVV0COc1Gc
– Bernie Szocs v Liu Fei: https://youtu.be/51LqwuOV4RI

Thanks for your support

Peter

Return to the Club Blog- EKTTC Online?!

Before lockdown, the clubs routine revolved around our two club nights on a Tuesday & Friday evening. Out with our weekly club news emails, engaging with our members, volunteers, and those involved with the club had never really ventured into the virtual world.

Like most clubs and organisations, this changed rapidly in mid-March when our main club operation for the last 40+ years was unable to happen as we knew it. The balance between staying safe, while trying to maintain the social, health, and educational benefits we know the club/sport brings, was a challenge and remains as such eight months later.

The online quizzes and trick shot videos to cure boredom were a no brainer, but it was longer term we discovered some online elements that may hold a place in our way of working indefinitely. Needing to think fast and communicate as such as a committee and coaching group, the online meeting spaces have enabled us to do that for a variety of purposes. The convenience and functionality of these will surely make for a way of working long into the future.

We are very fortunate to have a strong relationship with Stephen Gertsen, National Squad Coach for Scotland (As well as lecturer, UKCC Level 4 coach and former commonwealth athlete!). After a bit of brainstorming, Stephen was able to deliver online workshops for our players and coaches. We had two of these in April/May, and Stephen has gone on to deliver countless others for clubs and players across the country through TTS (many of which we also attended). Normally we get to see Stephen 2/3 times a year with the focus being on him delivering a fantastic session in the hall and on the tables. Thanks to the online workshops, we have been able to get Stephens theory and practical insight on a range of topics including: tactical awareness, motivation & confidence, session planning, delivering engaging sessions (& much more). This has benefited coaches thinking and future practice, as well as keeping players well engaged and developing their approach to the game away from the table.

More recently we have been hosting virtual club nights every second Tuesday. This has enabled us to watch and analyse top players training/playing and seeing what learning we can take away from them. Again generally we do not get the time to do this on club nights, but the online sessions make more room for players to discuss and feedback how they see things with each other instead of coaches taking the lead. Lastly we have also had a couple of parent’s challenge where members have access to a playing area at home. Just like last week’s blog where we discussed the important part that plays in the club calendar, engaging parents & guardians from home is something we are really pleased to have achieved.

What does the future hold? It is almost impossible to predict, but we certainly think you will be seeing EKTTC online more than we were before whatever happens.

Club News – 22nd November 2020

Hi Everyone,

EKTTC Session 4 Tuesday 17th November 2020

– Thanks to Bruce Roberts for joining us last Tuesday night.
– We feel the EKTTC sessions are of value.
– However we would like to hear from you if you think otherwise.
– We realise this timing or night might not suit everyone but only two people have made us aware this to be the case.
– Having little other opportunity to engage with the players we feel there are areas of the sport that we can discuss.
– The sessions are only once a fortnight and last a maximum of 40 mins.
– Please support them if you can.
– Looking forward to another EKTTC session with club players on Tuesday 1st December from 7pm.
– Topic next week will be on Third, Fourth and Fifth ball attack and what can we learn from watching video’s of the games involving our top player’s.
– We will send out a Zoom link next Monday.

Hugo Calderano
– Yes Brazilians are good at football but this Brazilian Hugo Calderano is awesome at TT.
– Watch how low he starts with his ready position you can just see his eyes above the table!!!.
– Shot of the day -Hugo Calderano – https://youtu.be/HcZj4k0mktY
– Ma Long vs Hugo Calderano – https://youtu.be/cys46iaghcM

Thanks for your support,

Peter

Return to the Club Blog- Parent Challenge

The Parent Challenge is held twice a year on the last Tuesday and Friday club nights before Xmas and summer holiday breaks. They are fun sessions and have always been well supported by club members and extended families of all generations. The nights are a mixture of top table, target challenges, team games, single, doubles matches and loads more.

Everyone looks forward to Parent Challenge and the build up to it probably starts a couple of weeks prior. Players and parents recall the previous challenges and how they aim to be better this time around. Younger players get excited and look forward to playing their parents or other family members who they plan to invite along. I suppose in many cases parents introduce the kids to the sport while maybe on holiday. During that time parents have the upper hand in games until their kids join the club and then the fun begins. In the past on holiday the kids used to get frustrated and maybe even be in tears, now the time has arrived when they put their parents in their place.

Some parents have joined the club having enjoyed the parents challenge experience and the game itself. At the club we also understand the social benefits that work when people come along who would otherwise, especially in the winter months not engage with any other sport at that time of year.

On the night we have a great atmosphere and buzz about the hall. Parents often comment on how well the players are improving and how they enjoyed the night. When you see people playing sport, having a laugh and enjoying themselves you know you’re doing something right.  We look forward to our next Parent’s Challenge when we return.

Club News – 14th November 2020

Hi Everyone,

EKTTC Session 4 Tuesday 17th November 2020
– Looking forward to another session with our club players on Tuesday night from 7pm.
– Topic this week will be on Serve and Serve Return and what can we learn from watching video’s of the games involving our top player’s.
– We will send out a Zoom link on Monday.

EKTTC – UWS Student Placement
– Welcome to UWS students Ross and Nathan who have agreed to a placement with our club.
– Ross is studying Sports Development and Nathan, Sports Coaching courses at UWS – they will work with our club coaches to review our club structure.
– The students have committed themselves over the next 4/5 months to assist us as best they can in putting new ideas in place for coming year’s
– At some point in the future we hope they can join us at the club to explain how things are progressing.

Club Fees
– Just a reminder to our club members who are still paying club fees,that we are very grateful that you continue to support the club.
– However we would understand if you stopped paying. At present we have no idea when we are likely to return.

Liam Pitchford British No.1
– Watch Liam in action – some great games and rallies on links below.
– Liam Pitchford v Felipe Olivares Champions League 2019/20
https://youtu.be/kMi9iBcGuIk
– Tomokazu Harimoto v Liam Pitchford 2019 Team World Championships
https://youtu.be/_UFnddVITM4
– Dimitrij Ovtcharov v Liam Pitchford Swedish Open 2018
https://youtu.be/IOtBk9HvIjs
– Sunday Table Tennis Live – good listen as Liam’s explains how he has got to where he is and what he is up to next.
https://youtu.be/ghxDz6BLIq4

Thanks for your support

Peter

Return to the Club Blog- Video Analysis

In recent years the club has been implementing elements of video analysis into our training and club nights. This started off a few years ago when we were approached by students of the University of the West of Scotland to run a series of video analysis exercises as a project for their studies. This was a mutually beneficial exercise that included our now club captain, Luke Jackson, kindly giving time to be the focus player within the project (pictures above).

Of course performance and video analysis are becoming more and more prominent in professional sport. Unfortunately we do not have the time or resource to provide the same time and dedicated approach as Luke got with the student project, but we have managed to take parts of the process that we feel makes a positive impact to the payers at the club in a manageable fashion.

Key to the process is our goals remain the same. We set drills & exercises and allow players to go and work on them; our coaches will then observe and consider elements of improvement or feedback. If we feel we need a better look, we can then film at that particular moment, or we can film a couple of minutes just to help engage the players in the coaching points. On any given night we can use this often, or not at all, key point is that it is used at coaches’ discretion when it adds value.

From our experience players embrace the opportunity to watch footage back and often identify for themselves areas to work on in their game. Furthermore, simple features such as annotations and slowing footage down can really enhance particular coaching points. We expect the analysis will be used more when we return as we will all be a bit rusty!

Return to the Club Blog- Player of the Month

At the club, we welcome & support players to identify and work towards their own goals or purpose within the sport. For many this is to develop, compete and become the best player they can. For others it is about playing socially, having fun and making friends. One thing we try and encourage is no matter the goal, we are all committed to creating a positive club environment and ethos.

To bring this idea into something more tangible, we introduced a player of the month award back in 2019. This was off the back of one of our coaching group meetings where we outlined the criteria for the award to be:

  • Most improved player
  • Results achieved where applicable
  • Concentration & Work Rate
  • Support for other players development at the club (e.g. providing a feed, leading warm ups, generally leading by example)

Each month we look to award a player of the month, and a young player of the month. To make a decision, each coach would make a nomination based on the criteria, before talking through and deciding on the strongest nomination or on a vote.

Player/young player of the month are awarded a small trophy to keep for the month, as well as a sleeve of balls, with all award winners being noted on club news and social media channels.

We have been really pleased with the range of players who have won the award and the reasons for it. No doubt the first month after we are able to return is going to be extremely well contested!

Club News – 1st November 2020

Good Afternoon,

EKTTC Session 3 Tuesday 3rd November 2020
– Looking forward to another session with our club players tomorrow night from 7pm.
– Topic this week will be on video analysis and what can we learn from watching other players.
– We will send out a Zoom link tomorrow.

EKTTC – UWS Student Placement
– We have submitted an application to support UWS students who are looking to find a placement at a local club to assist with their studies.
– The students are mainly from sports development or sports coaching courses at UWS and will apply to the club to do work with the club over a set time.
– We have received two applications so far and will keep you posted on how things develop over the coming months.

Bizarre Ping Pong Ball World Record
– This guy is nuts !!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=typS7s2Ds48&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for your support

Peter

Return to the Club Blog- EK Shield & EK Open

The EK Shield and EK Open are both annual club competitions that were setup to encourage club players to compete. At the time our junior players had little opportunity to compete and these events enabled the players to do so in familiar surroundings. The EK Shield was exclusive to club members only, while the EK Open – being supported by EK Sports Council – allowed players to compete from schools and clubs in the South Lanarkshire area. Most club players gained confidence from competing in both events which meant they also entered other events out with the club such as WOS Junior/Senior League and throughout Scotland. Recently and in the past, I recall some great matches and big upsets in both singles and doubles events.

Club players gained valuable experience of playing in these matches and, in most cases, improved next time around. Many players acquired new skills in learning to umpire for the first time in a competitive match and gained a better understanding of the rules of the game. While I believe the players enjoyed both events, I think it is also important to recognise that the club coaches and volunteers gave up their free time to organise and support successfully events each year.

Unfortunately we were not able to host either event this year, but we cannot wait to see our defending champions defend their titles next year:

EK Shield 2019 U18 Jack Brown, U13 Diarmid McCreadie.
EK Open 2019  U18 Bobby Gray, U13 Diarmid McCreadie.