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Ethan tells us about his summer school experience in China

27 September 2015 No Comment

Ethan was selected by Table Tennis England to train in China for three weeks at a summer school.
Ethan is currently the U13 national champion and ranked No.1 in the country at both U14 and U15 level.
The youngster is expected to feature abroad for England a lot next year, and it is hoped that the trip to Shanghai will aid in his development to become one of the top players in Europe at his age.

Speaking about his current form, and the trip to China, Ethan said: “I have had a great season and hope for it to continue.
“It was an amazing experience in China and the training was of top quality.
“I had to get in top shape ready to train in Shanghai as they are so fit – my personal trainer Hallam has helped me get physically and mentally strong and I hope to go to China and train every year now.”

What was your timetable table each day?

Most days we played for six hours starting at 8.30am and finishing at 5.30pm with a 3 hour break in the middle of the day. On some days we were taken on trips, including one to see some ancient monuments and another when we visited Shanghai.
In the mornings we spent most of the time practising, and in the afternoons we would be multiballing (each other) and playing matches.

Did you not get multiball from the coaches?
A little, but they tended to do this with the Chinese students.

Were there other nationalities involved or just English and Chinese?
Yes, I met players from Germany, Canada, Slovakia, Slovenia, Barbados, Peru and USA!
Did you notice differences in coaching methods in China?
There were quite a few differences. In some ways the coaching was more simple
- the coach would set a straightforward exercise which we would work on in pairs. They didn’t use so many complicated sequences of strokes in their routines.
Another difference was that they didn’t spend so much time demonstrating. This meant that during the training period we had quite a lot more table time.
Did you learn any Chinese?
I learned a few words!

What was the food like?
Some of it was like the food we have in Chinese restaurants over here, but other things were plainer. It was good, really.

Did you notice any improvements in your play?
Yes. I think I have improved the power in my forehand, both speed and spin. Also I think I am moving around the table more quickly.
Did you notice any other differences in how the Chinese attitude to table tennis differed from how it is treated in England?
Definitely. Over there they treat the sport much more seriously. They are more determined and more intense in their training.

Has the experience made you adjust your own ambitions?
If anything it has made me even more determined to do well and reach the top. I definitely want to play for England.

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