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How Table Tennis Saved my Life? “Pulling out a knife on Another Person is Something I Wish to Forget”

Growing up as a single child and a with a single parent (mum) can be very hard on both, but table tennis saved my life. Personally, I had some extremely tough times tough times but for me, it was all a journey and one I would not change in any way! Looking back I can’t imagine where and what I would be doing today if it wasn’t for table tennis and my mum.

Henston Loves Playing Table Tennis
Table Tennis – Chef


Table Tennis was and is my life changing catalyst:

Pulling out a knife on another person is one memory I wish to forget. But I was brought up with knives and air rifles which made it feel normal, for me to experiment with them. It was my mum’s boyfriend who had brought this kind of lifestyle and (in his words) “toys” these ‘so-called’ “toys” were casually laying around the house. I remember, one birthday present from him was a 20cm army knife. When it was presented to me, it felt very special and I took great pride in sharpening it, (today I couldn’t imagine anything worse for my two kids).

Learning difficulties

Due to my learning difficulties in school I was Lucky, that my mum surrounded me with other activities such as; running, fencing, judo, Kung Fu, collecting stamps, shooting air rifles, karate, swimming, tennis, chess, etc. But with all these activities my mindset was never truly focused or passionate up until…
Table Tennis entered my life when I was 14.

Thankfully Table Tennis emerged from a great film called Forrest Gump. The Table Tennis scene grabbed my imagination instantly. My world changed that day which took me into an overdrive of ‘will’ towards success in and outside the sport.

Learn by exploring, dreaming and playing

I wanted to play every minute of each day which led to natural progression and for the first time in my life I began to excel and succeed in something worthwhile. This change of mindset triggered an inner belief towards self-achievement. My schooling picked up, my life was joyous as I became self-driven. Little did I know the sport would have such a wonderful effect on me and make me into who I am today!

I dreamed of becoming world champion but it was a dream far-fetched for many reasons which were out of my hands. But not being able to achieve my initial dream/goal was a blessing in disguise. I had to change direction inside the sport from player to coach.

Player or Coach

As a player, I see it as a selfish attribute (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) just, that you are mainly focused on yourself becoming the best you can be. Yes, there are exceptions you can use your fame to help others like Roger Federer does. As a coach you’re selfless, it’s all about everyone but you. Today I use the sport to develop and help people not just to improve their game but their mindset. If I can achieve then I believe anyone can. Regardless of what sport you do if you are dedicated, focused and willing it will succeed in both the sport and your life.

Table Tennis

I just wanted to dedicate this blog to Table Tennis which has enabled me to; grow as a human being connect with people from all over the world, change my perspective on life, and showing me that it’s possible to get through tough times. Ultimately, I learnt that with focus, I or anyone could and would/will achieve greatness.

We all have our issues and stories some tougher than others but we must find a passion to enable us to focus on developing a positive future for ourselves, by doing something we love.

Thank you Table Tennis for being my focus.

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
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M:  07900401144