Dan Seemiller has been a passionate mainstay of USA Table Tennis for close to 50 years. With his eponymous style of gripping the paddle on the edges between thumb and index finger, twiddling smooth rubber with anti spin, he has created a unique blocking and looping strategy that has thwarted other world class players time and again.
At 65 years of age, with 5 US singles championships under his belt, an exemplary coaching career, as well as 5 years serving as USATT president, Seemiller is far from ready to throw in the towel. As Tokyo 2020 approaches ever closer, he has taken time off to prepare himself for the Olympic Singles Trials on 2/27-3/1 at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA. Armed with half a century of table tennis knowledge and experience, he will be pitted against the newest crop of Olympic contenders.
“I want to see if I can be an example to all that technique is more important than age…
Fixing and improving one's technical aspects of the game can save hundreds of hours of practice and breeds confidence.” Seemiller stated.
According to his USATT hall of fame profile, Seemiller has been constantly analyzing his game throughout his career, so it is no wonder he would wholeheartedly promote technique over age as his mantra for success.
Seemiller also attributes being a coach as helping him stay on top of the newest table tennis techniques. By implementing the most recent methods in his game, he has great insight into preparing for the Olympics.
When asked how his game has changed between his career peak and now, he responded in technical fashion, “Less power. I now use change of pace and heavy spin and probably block more than attack.”
Seemiller is not naïve when it comes to his chances for the Olympics. He knows it will be quite a steep challenge and notes, “If my style wasn't so unique I would have little chance- being unique is a big plus in my quest.” And a worthy quest it is, with a proactive mindset, he asserts that his ultimate goal for the Olympic Trials is “To be competitive and we'll see where that leads to.”
With a dogged work ethic, balanced by an infectious optimism and enthusiasm for the sport (“Plus to me this is the most exciting time of my career”, he added in response to being asked what the main factors were for attempting the Olympics at age 65), Seemiller is an inspiration to his coaching disciples as well as the rest of his fans. Best of luck to Dan Seemiller in his 2020 Tokyo Olympic run!