09 Jun 2017

Sport and table tennis is no exception, at junior level it is all part of development; therefore, it is understandable that coaches want their players to compete in as many matches as is reasonably possible.

However, there are several items to be considered; a schedule needs be such that players learn how to plan time and how to prepare correctly for competition.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Equally, the question is posed as having time to eat and to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Michiyo Kimura PhD and Shiro Matsuo MD suggest that at tournaments on the ITTF World Junior Circuit attention needs to be paid to the subject.

“Junior table tennis players usually have several matches on the ITTF World Junior circuit. They have to play late into the night. So, they don’t have enough time to take lunch and dinner. However, they are still in the stage of growth and development. They must have adequate nourishment and rest. We think that it is very important for junior players to improve their food environment.” Michiyo Kimura

Thus a survey was conducted by sport dietitians, who are members of the Japanese Table Tennis Association’s Sports Science and Medical Committee, surveyed match schedules.

The current situation and the issues:

……….Junior players had many matches in a day. One player had nine matches and 34 games in one day.

……….Most of the events were scheduled as late as 9.00pm

……….In some events, last matches of the day were scheduled after 10.00pm

……….Thus it can be assumed presume that there were players who missed dinner and did not experience enough sleep.


……….It is necessary for junior players to finish their last match by 8.00pm

……….The organizer should make a time table which allows all junior players to take lunch and dinner.

……….The organizer should provide a cafeteria in the competition hall if players are not able to take a lunch break or finish their last match by 8.00pm

Sports Science Michiyo Kimura