Team Building an Integral Part of 2017 Super Camp

By Matt Hetherington | Dec. 31, 2017, 7:27 a.m. (ET)

Team building and becoming one unified national team has been a goal which USATT High Performance Director has been strongly focused on since taking up his position, so unsurprisingly it was one of the key themes of the 2017 USATT Super Camp which is currently being held at Triangle Table Tennis Center in North Carolina. Under it's new flag of 'Table Tennis Team USA' the National Team is evolving into a more unified force.

"I will not say in table tennis it’s all about the 'team' because we are talking about a sport in which in a match two individual players compete against each other. Despite that, I understand the individual sport table tennis - as well any team sport (and without being a part of a group) you will not be able to make it to the top. Beside Singles matches we have Team, Doubles or Mixed matches, too, and in these events nobody is able to win alone just by himself.

One of the main goals of our USATT Super Camp at the Triangle Table Tennis Club is to have our athletes understand that each of them is a part of the whole thing. By training and staying together, supporting, helping and at the same time challenging each other, they push themselves reciprocally to intensive training and better performances. It is immensely important that they understand that while on the one hand they are competitors on a national level, on the other hand they can only compete and succeed as a team against the rest of the world. Especially in the common training camp here everybody is automatically dependent on his partner, because a good training partner demands a lot from me, but also helps me at the same time to improve. We have different activities to explain and teach the players this idea and create an atmosphere of “together we are strong”.

The future Table Tennis Team USA (TTTUSA), which we will present and publish from 2018 on, is an important part of this plan." - USATT High Performance Director Joerg Bitzigeio.

Over the past few days the team have indeed united and engaged in a number of team building exercises. The group took the afternoon off to head to rock climbing and in the evening to see a movie together. It has very much been a 'live-in' training experience, one which is incredibly valuable for the developing maturity and independence of young athletes.

For the players it's back to training with a new year just upon the horizon. Two more days of intense training before the players return to their homes and the drawing board for 2018!

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