USATT Insider poses 11 questions to Dean Johnson
11 Questions with Dean Johnson
1) Why do you play?
For fitness -- physical fitness and brain fitness. In the process I work to improve technique, especially footwork.
2) Which is your favorite tournament?
U.S. Nationals because it's an opportunity to visit with friends -- especially from the west coast who I only get to see once or twice a year.
3) Who is your primary nemesis?
Anyone who plays with long pips because so few in our club play with long pips. Advice from articles on the website about strategies vs long pips have helped.
4) What is your favorite game tactic to score?
To force my opponent to hit to my backhand which is my strong side.
5) Thoughts on the Poly Ball.
The consensus in our club is that they break too easily. I use Nittaku and have not found it to be the case.
8) Toughest Loss?
Every loss is tough but I have always learned more from a loss than a win. When I asked 10-time U.S. Nationals Champion Dick Miles the reason for his success in table tennis he said: "I studied the game and learned proper technique, I worked hard -- up to 10 hours a day, and I really, really hated to lose."
7) Greatest Win?
Against Bill Cross, once a top-10 player and winner of 30 consecutive matches in New Jersey league play -- in the semi's of the 1961 New Jersey Closed.
8) How you prepare for a tournament?
Schedule more practice sessions and play more practice matches although this is a challenge in our area which offers very limited playing facilities. Anyone living near good facilities which offers coaching and who has the interest, the time and resources (and, for juniors, the parental support) to practice and play 15-20 hours/week has a huge advantage.
9) When you see a new player at the club?
I welcome them, introduce them to other players and look forward to playing them and seeing where they fit among the 30-or-so players in our club.
10) Player you would most like to play in a tournament?
Jimmy Butler, because I like his style and respect the successes he's had over a long career.
11) If you had to face Jimmy Butler, Lily Zhang or Kanak Jha what would your game plan be?
The only chance a 1500 player has vs a 2700 player would be to attack, attack, attack and hope to score a few points.