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The immense value of participating in national table tennis camps
Oct 21, 2021, 3:00:00 AM

The immense value of participating in national table tennis camps

Table tennis has been a pro sport for a long time now but some countries are much better than others. This is largely due to the presence of national camps like the Chinese system. It helps them develop players from the youth system into legit superstars.

Table tennis might not look difficult at face value but it does have an immensely high skill ceiling. China is the perfect example of this because they always develop stars from the ground up. That is difficult to see in other countries where there is a solid crop of talent but they are not as refined as the Chinese players.

Some countries have tried to fight back against the strong Chinese table tennis culture but they haven’t beaten them completely. The mixed doubles title went to Japan in the Tokyo Games earlier this year but that only seemed to motivate China more as they look to dominate the scene in the foreseeable future.

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The camps help foster multiple top players

When you look at these camps, you will see star players are here to train. They are dedicated to their craft because they want to train with like-minded people who also have similar talents. China is the prime example of this because you can see star players like Ma Long and Fan Zhendong in the same camp.

They are seen as rivals in most tourneys but they work together to work on their game. That is a special privilege for these players because they can work on their craft and learn together. When it comes to the tourneys, they can compete against each other and the viewers will see amazing table tennis being played.

In some tournaments, the players are a part of teams that are mostly separated by their countries. It’s not a surprise that China is the number one team but other countries have started to replicate the training camp system. They haven’t caught up to China just yet but you can see the likes of Japan and South Korea near their level as they have also followed a solid system.

Some countries and specific players are not fans of the training camp because they value having their own kind of training system. That should be respected because athletes train differently from others. However, it’s saddening that they don’t get the same value from their training compared to the others.

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Other countries will catch up to China’s level

Japan showed that there are cracks in the Chinese system when they won the gold medal at the Tokyo Games. It will be difficult to catch up to them but it is possible. You can see other countries are strengthening their table tennis teams including the likes of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and even India. 

You can expect all of these countries and others will catch up to China soon when they see that table tennis is not just a hobby that people like to play. It is a legitimate sport with elite athletes just like football or basketball.

Investment is a huge part of countries’ performances in every sport. China is the biggest player in the table tennis scene but you can expect the others can keep up when they properly invest in the sport. This will include the training camps that will help in nurturing the youth to become the superstars of the future.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA