With the Olympic trials rapidly approaching in a matter of weeks, some Olympic hopefuls who are currently attending college are not only hitting the gym to train, but also the books to study. Such is the case with Sharon Alguetti, a college freshman at Indiana University, who also happens to be in the top 5 of US Men’s players. Alguetti and his brothers Adar and Gal have been making waves in USA table tennis at quite an early age, and so it is no wonder that he has his eyes set firmly on Tokyo 2020.
When asked how he balances studies and intense table tennis practice he responded,
“It's all about time management... whenever I'm not in class or not studying, I'm practicing with my brother at the gym. I try to avoid anything else which means no parties, and no Netflix. Every free time that I have I'm either practicing table tennis or doing physical exercises. I know I have a goal to achieve, so I prioritize for it”
If you didn’t know Alguetti’s amazing record of past accomplishments, from being a 2013 US Cadet Boys National member and 2016 US Men’s National member, to winning the 2017 US Men’s Nationals Doubles’ title with his twin brother Gal, you might have thought that his claim to “prioritize” was unfounded. However, this is not the case, as he’s truly hardworking and what’s more, he has gained wisdom and insight from his past matches.
For instance, one major advantage he has in this upcoming Olympic Trials is the fact that he participated in the 2016 Trials and performed quite well. Although he did not ultimately make the cut, he was a finalist in 2 out of the 3 pressure-filled days.
Looking back on a 2016 USATT article by Media and Communications Director Matt Hetherington, Alguetti stated, “Losing leads to success.” I found those wise words to be precocious and was compelled to follow up with Alguetti on how he turned those losses those few days into 2020 Olympic motivation.
“I learned a lot from that specific loss... I thought I was prepared, but my competitors were more prepared. I practice to be at my best, not to be better... that's how I have changed over the past 4 years. I know if I'm at my best, it will be enough to make it. I wasn't too upset from not making it in 2016 because I knew I was still very young, but that motivated me to practice harder when I get my second chance”
Another major factor Alguetti attributes his accomplishments to are his close-knit and passionate family. He wisely observed, “Table tennis is an individual sport, but having my family behind me all the time makes it a team sport for me.”
Alguetti’s opportunity for another shot at the Olympics is coming soon February 27- March 1st. Best of luck in your endeavors!