Joey Cochran (2399), 4th seed in the Elite Event of the 2014 St. Louis Open, hopes the experiences he will have at the St. Louis Open will help him accomplish his dream of making the US Pan-Am or US Olympic team in the upcoming years. A former US Junior National Team Member, Joey grew up under the mentorship of tournament director Danny Seemiller at the South Bend Club in Indiana before leaving the state early last year to work at a web-hosting company in Utah. Joey will travel to compete in St. Louis this weekend to both honor Danny, his coach, and to improve his game for future tournaments.
Joey credits his love of table tennis and his success in the sport to Danny, who has been his coach since he was 6 years old. While in Indiana, Joey traveled with Danny and the rest of the juniors at the South Bend club across the U.S. to compete in up to 25 tournaments a year. This tournament experience has not only improved Joey’s physical and mental game, but also given him a deep connection with his team mates, many of whom will also be making their way to St. Louis this coming weekend.
Currently residing in Provo, Utah, Joey has been able to keep up his elite table tennis game through determination and a little luck. His current manager at his firm is a big supporter of table tennis, and encourages Joey to train before and after work. Joey trains with coworkers and other community members about four times a week (two of those times are before work from 6:30 – 8:30 a.m.). In addition to improving his own game, Joey works to improve table tennis in his community by starting a junior training program for beginners ages 6 to 16 who want to learn the sport.
Tough matches await Joey this weekend, as he will have to battle 2004 Olympian Mark Hazinski (2530), 2009 US Nationals Men’s Singles Finalist Samson Dubina (2490) and his own coach Danny Seemiller (2448) among other talented players to take home the “Elite Singles” championship title.