Former national TT champs Christophe, Gorsira lend expertise to Pre and Mini Cadet players

Pre and Mini cadet table tennis players preparing for the upcoming Caribbean tournament in Jamaica yesterday benefited from the expertise of two former national table tennis champions who visited the training session conducted by national coach Linden Johnson at the National Gymnasium.

Former national men’s singles champion Andrew Gorsira and Sydney Christophe who arrived in the country Sunday on holiday yesterday gave pep talks to the enthusiastic players who lapped up every word eagerly and often broke out into spontaneous applause.

Former Caribbean men’s singles champion Sydney Christophe makes a point to the Pre- and Mini cadet players at yesterday’s training session at the National Gymnasium. At right is former national men’s singles champion Andrew Gorsira while national coach Linden Johnson is at centre. (Donald Duff photo)

“The emphasis was on technique,” said Gorsira adding  …”a lot of the players have the strokes but in terms of the correct waist movement, it’s not perfect.”

According to Gorsira, Christophe, a former Caribbean men’s singles champion emphasized to the players that when they employ the use of the waist in executing the strokes, they are able to exert more power.

“We also emphasized being disciplined. Stop playing lackadaisical in the practice because that will transcend into how you play at the championships. How you practice that is how you’re going to play, garbage in garbage out.”

Gorsira also dealt with the psychological aspect of the sport.

“If you don’t practice the situations where you’re under stress like8-8, 9-9, 10-10 in the final game if you’re never in that kind of scenario before and you go into the championships the player with the

Stronger will is always going to win. So you want them to practice hard as if you’re in that kind of scenario and practice games playing from those scores.

Christophe, is a qualified International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) coach who has conducted ITTF Development Programmes such as Level One courses in the USA.

“We spoke of the game in general and we looked at some of the pillars in building strong players,” he told Stabroek Sports yesterday.

“We talked about the three-prong approach which is the physical, the mental and the technical. It is like a stool with three legs, if one of the pillars is not there then, the stool will fall over or in other words, your game will fall away, your game will break down eventually.

According to Christophe and Gorsira, while some of the players techniques were quite sound, they also witnessed some psychological and technical problems.

“A lot of the things you can fix technically. Sometimes it depends on how you approach the situation,” said Christophe adding that himself and Gorsira tried to impart as much as they players could grasp during the sessions adding that they planned to work with the players as much as possible during their stay.

“We gave them a general overview about the game and about winning. A lot of them want to win but they don’t approach winning in the right way,” said Christophe.

Gorsira said that they also spoke of preparing for important matches by analyzing their opponents and knowing the strengths and weakness of their opponents.

Gorsira advised the future stars to whenever possible employ the use of video footage and to plan prior to a match what tactics to use in an effort to capitalize on their opponent’s weaknesses if they want to be successful.

The 2017 Caribbean Pre and Mini cadet tournament runs from August 21-28 at the National Arena, Kingston Jamaica.

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