Monday 11 January 2016

MHTT World Champs Buildup Diary: Day 1

As many of you know on February 28th I will be playing the World Championships in Malaysia. At 25 years of age, this will be my first WTTC, something I have aspired towards for my whole table tennis career. At the conclusion of the National Team trials I was out in the cold after coming 4th on a 3 way tie for 2nd. Three had made the team from the trial. A month later I was given the selector's choice and made the team.

So where am I now? I'm back in the USA at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center balancing coaching and training. Things have been pretty tough and I'm feeling a lot of pressure, I'm hoping by writing a diary I can be as honest as possible as what I have and will be going through in my buildup to the WTTC and Oceania Champs.

Image courtesy of Joola USA

The Fear of Inadequacy

The hardest thing to overcome is fear and trust me there is plenty of it. At 107th in the world team rankings we are competing in a tournament with the world's top 96 teams. We are in the third division out of 4 thanks to the results of our previous (2014) team. Every match will be difficult and of a standard higher than mine, do I have enough time to raise my game enough to have a fighting chance? I'll be honest I've been pretty negative in that aspect of my preparation and as a result my mental game is at its lowest point of my whole career.

In all honesty I'm letting too many small things affect my preparation, single match results, performances in one session of training etc. Everything has detracted away from my purpose and left me in a very difficult position. Now I'm finding that I need to find more motivation than ever to get refocused.

Train with Purpose

At this point in time I need to take more of my own advice. I need to set my goals and make things measurable. Keeping a diary at least holds me accountable and if I don't want to sound like a sad, depraved fool for the next two months I will have to start getting myself together.

Ideally my primary goal for the championships is to win a match, that is my first focus for the tournament. Training has just been training, I have been working hard but there needs to be more intention in my training. There are a number of levels I need to jump up with my training regime which I haven't yet. Essentially I am not pushing myself enough.

The brutally honest core point of this whole thing is that in my own mind I don't believe I can achieve my goal, so I'm asking myself why I'm putting in all this effort. That and that alone is the main cause of the ultimate collapse in my mentality and motivation. It's time to change that!

My home training center, LYTTC in New Jersey, USA

The Diary

I needed something to keep my blog alive and people suggested a training diary, an honest training diary, and that is what this will be. Hopefully you will all enjoy my many ups and downs in the next couple of months as I try and lift myself and get ready to compete in Malaysia. I will try and blog as often as I can, ideally I should be able to write a blog every day and I think it would be good for me, kind of like a confession cam.

Thing I need to Improve:

- More physical training, in the gym, on the table and off the table
- Diet, less dining out, put table tennis first
- Mentality in matches, Tactical process in matches
- More training hours, more match practice
- More awareness of what needs to be improved
- More positive attitude and direction
- Goals and goal feedback/evaluation

So as you can see, lots to work on! I hope you will all join me on my journey and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask


  1. Not sure if I can give a sound advice here, but... More training is good, but recovery is an issue as well.

  2. Matt, You can do it. Your friend Dan

  3. Great day one post.
    I look forward to hearing about your journey.

    One comment:
    "Why are you even doing this?"

    To get as far as you can in our amazing sport. You have a chance that many of us would give our eye teeth to have.


  4. Matt, I think you know why it is you're doing all this for. Because this is a part of your big dreams for Table Tennis! But you're also a very competitive individual, and simply being out there and playing isn't enough. You want to win. But you don't think you can. But we all know you CAN. You just have to have the will to get there! You've got time still! You can do it man! I know it! :)

  5. Matt, loved reading your blog! We believe in you. You're gonna do great this year at World Champs!

  6. Thanks for the honest start to the blog. I think you'll find journalling the ups and downs very helpful. The very best of wishes to you.


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