28 Sep 2016

Raising standards, enhancing knowledge is the very basis to improve levels, it is the concept of the Table Tennis Association of Thailand; they clearly believe that increasing educational opportunities is the key to unlock the door that opens the path to higher echelons.

Thus with tutelage the key, under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, from Monday 5th to Friday 16th September, a unique 12 day training initiative for coaches was conducted at the Thailand National Sports Association in Bangkok.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The course conductor was the experienced Richard McAfee from the United States.

Nine coaches took part in an itinerary which comprised an ITTF Level Two Coaches Course and a one day seminar on organising and conducting training camps. 

“To fully utilise their new skills, the coaches planned and conducted a three day training camp for 20 members of the Thailand National Junior and Cadet Teams to prepare for the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships”, said Richard McAfee. “Finally, some of the coaches were then chosen as national coaches to advise the Thai Teams at the tournament.”

The 22nd Asian Junior and Cadet Championships were staged in Bangkok from Friday 16th to Wednesday 21st September; for Thailand, Yanapong Panagitgun impressed, he reached the quarter-final stage of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event.

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Richard McAfee (right) gives a demonstration; theory put into practice (Photo: courtesy of Richard McAfee)

“This unique programme provided all the coaches involved first the educational opportunity of an ITTF Level Two Course and then a great opportunity to gain much needed practical experience working with high level athletes”, explained Richard McAfee. “The growth of the coaches both in knowledge and confidence throughout was truly a joy to observe.”

Notably, this year’s coach education programme has been featured extensively on both national television and in the Bangkok Post, a prominent daily newspaper.

“Special thanks needs to be given to Don Mudtangam, the Table Tennis Association of Thailand Secretary General, for his exceptional translating skills”, stressed Richard McAfee. “Thanks to Mr. Teerapon Jungwiwattanaporn for his hard work of translating much of the ITTF Level Two Course material into Thai, which in large part contributed to the high marks gained by the coaches.”

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Study and discussion, part of the learning process (Photo: courtesy of Richard McAfee)

In addition the Piradej Prittiprik, the President of the Table Tennis Association of Thailand, votes of thanks and the efforts of two more worthy names did not go unnoticed.

“My thanks to Mr Korakij Sermkijseree, National Men’s Team Coach, for all his assistance throughout”, added Richard McAfee. “Finally, the exceptional work of Sakul Ariyachotima, the Table Tennis Association of Thailand Deputy Secretary General, must be given credit; Sakul organised all the details of the programme while at the same time serving as Tournament Director for the very successful, Asian Junior and Cadet Championships.”

Undoubtedly in recent years Thailand has made progress. It would appear that the evolvement will not only continue; it will accelerate.

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Thailand’s future; players at the training camp (Photo: courtesy of Richard McAfee)

Development, Education and Training RichardMcAfee