21 Jul 2017

Supported by Olympic Solidarity and organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, the Iranian capital city of Tehran was the home for a recent ITTF/PTT Level Two Course.

Proceedings commenced on Thursday 6th July and concluded on Wednesday 12th July

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Led by Sweden’s Christian Lillieroos, the course is one part of three initiatives; in addition an ITTF/PTT Level One Course and ITTF Level One Course Conductor Training appear on the agenda.

Notably an ITTF Level Two Course lasts six days but in Tehran the schedule was extended by one day to facilitate translation.

“Table tennis in Iran has improved a lot in the last 10 years. It is a highly popular sport in Iran with a big infrastructure and many good facilities. Iran has been represented in the Olympic Games five times in table tennis.” Christian Lillieroos

In recent times the brothers Noshad Alamiyan and Nima Alamian have set new standards; both have won ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles.

“This was the first time an ITTF Level Two course had been held in Iran. Iran has the third highest number of ITTF certified coaches in the world with 278. Chile is a close second with 282; Egypt still leads with over 360. Iran, as of now only has only one certified Level Two coach, and no Level Three certified coaches, so they have a lot of catching up to do; this course was long overdue.” Christian Lillieroos

Progress in Iran and undoubtedly there is a great deal of knowledge.

“Coaches in Iran have always been highly educated and it is very common to see Phd educated coaches among both men and women coaches. Boys and girls are separated in the training after age nine. Girls have women coaches and boys have men coaches. This leads to a very strong support for women coaches. Iran currently has the highest percentage of women table tennis coaches in the world. About 40 per cent of all coaches in Iran are women.” Christian Lillieroos

Overall 19 students enrolled on the course; all very much dedicated to the task in hand.

“The scores in the two tests, theory and practical were excellent, most likely the best in ITTF Level Two history; five gained a perfect score of 20; and 15 of the 19 secured enough points to continue to Level Three. They were all very good. There were all the best coaches in Iran, with many doctorates and master degrees in physiology and pretty much all of the coaches had been playing on the national team and, or coached a national team before.” Christian Lillieroos

A most successful course, the students certainly motivated the highly experienced Christian Lillieroos.

“It was a very enjoyable experience to work with such highly educated coaches with so much experience. Most of the coaches have been to International tournaments and training camps and have been to several coaching courses in the past by many course conductors. They all appreciated the advanced course content and learned a lot from the course.” Christian Lillieroos.

Proceedings now continue with an ITTF/PTT Level One Course and Course Conductor Training; the whole visit is scheduled to conclude on Friday 21st July.

 Mauritius: Training Camp & Tournament

Photos: courtesy of Christian Lillieroos

High Performance and Development Coaching Christian Lillieroos