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Learning from the Best Table Tennis Coaches

This Weekend, I was privileged to work with some of the best table tennis coaches in Europe. Learning from the best table tennis coaches opened my mind and has inspired me towards greatness.

Mario Genovese:

From Malta, Mario’s record as a coach and player is extraordinary producing top-class players with very limited resources and facilities in Malta. Mario is a current world record holder with 22 Men’s singles National titles and is still capable of increasing that record. He was an international player for many years and a professional player based in Sweden. Currently, Mario is an ITTF level two coach and he knows and has worked with many world class players and coaches.

Today Mario has produced Malta’s no.1 Table Tennis club and a big portion of the nations best players come from his base club. For more info.

Best Table Tennis CoachesAfonso Vilela:

From Portugal, started Coaching in a little place called (Madeira) famous for players such as Marcos Freitas. Afonso worked closely with Joao Monteiro, in a successful attempt to qualify for 2012 London Olympic Games. They were very proud to achieve it and Afonso was Joao’s personal coach at the Olympic Games. Afonso, went on to work with many clubs across Europe gaining vast experience in the sport. Recently he took a head coach role in India, where he coached a group of young players.  Including world, no.1 ranked Junior (Manav Vikash Thakkar). Afonso aims to have his own table tennis centre soon with plans in place to develop a full-time table tennis centre catering for all players.  Alongside side a future vision of creating and developing a new batch of Portuguese Table Tennis stars.

Julien Girard:

From France, A former top cadet, junior and Senior French player, decided he would shake the French coaching system. Julien has produced many top players outside of the national governing table tennis system. He believes in results and not accreditation and proved it by investing in personal and physical investment. In France, you need to pay thousands towards a diploma (to be a qualified as a table tennis coach). Julien took the basic qualifications and instead of investing in higher qualifications invested the money in himself. By exploring the worlds top clubs and coaches for 5 years, where he was able to learn hands-on from the best in the world. Today Julien has taken a small club in a small town south of France to the top division with only French players. He has produced and developed 4 men’s singles titles in the past 5 years. Worked, developed and produced players such as; Alexandre Robinot, Adrien Mattenet, Jeremy Petiot and Stephane Oauiche. For more info.

So, what have I learnt from these amazing coaches?

  1. Attention to detail: I often visit clubs in England looking at clubs and coaches and they are content with basic play. The saying in England is “practice makes perfect” nothing could be further from the truth! It’s perfect practice that makes perfect, therefore we must look at perfecting our clubs and players not just allowing them to take part.
  2. Secrets: Each coach has one or two secrets but these guys have lots because they are open minded willing and want to learn. They openly ask what do you do? and how do you do it? I often feel coaches in England don’t share knowledge and we don’t learn from one another. We need to have; open workshops, coaching collaborations and clubs competing against each other in a competitive way but with open arms when it comes to growth for our players and sport.
  3. Experience: You may have all the qualifications in the world but if you have not been on the job experimenting and trying out the theory’s you don’t know what works best. Each coach has their way but with experience, you can find ways that work better than others and that takes time to implement. To truly develop your skills as a coach you must; visit other clubs and coach lots of different players, go to other countries and see different systems and philosophies, then you’ll have the experience to truly succeed.
United Table Tennis Coaching Team

I have been blessed to work with these amazing coaches and today we are called UNITED TABLE TENNIS COACHING (Team)

We have a Facebook page ( and soon to have a website. Our aim is to grow and develop table tennis in Europe to compete with Asia but also find ways to beat them.

We want you to be a part of our journey, so please keep an eye out for our coaching seminars, videos and our elite coaching system. We will be hosting developments and coaching training days and camps across Europe which will be published soon.

Written by Eli Baraty

  • eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
  • Coach Me Table Tennis
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