01 Sep 2017

Situated in Fort Worth, the most dominant university in the United States when table tennis is the subject, the Texas Wesleyan University was the recent home for an ITTF Level Two Coach Education Course.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, matters commenced on Friday 28th July and concluded on Wednesday 2nd August; a total of ten students attended.

Christian Lillieroos (Course Conductor & first Head Coach at Texas Wesleyan University)

The Level Two Course focuses on how to train players from the age of 10 years to 15 years old.

Notable course members included Nigeria’s Oluyomi Salako, who for the past seven years has worked as a coach in Abu Dhabi. Also, Adil Dhanani came in from San Francisco, whilst the father and son duo of Amit and Ayush Srivastava travelled from Boston.

Ayush is a very special coach. He was the youngest coach in the world to pass ITTF/PTT Level One last year at age 15 and is now the world youngest coach to pass ITTF Level Two at 16 years of age. He passed the course with enough marks to continue to Level Three. Now, he has a chance to be the youngest coach in the world to pass ITTF Level Three!

In addition, two coaches came from Austin Texas, Clayton Pavlicek and Cole Ryberg. Cole became famous during the course for being the speed talker. He set a new World record in the theory test to pass with a perfect score of 10 in five minutes and 15 seconds. He was also recognized as the best coach on the course.

Theory lectures took place in Texas Wesleyan classrooms, the practical parts in the main Gymnasium, the college team’s main training site venue.

Jasna Rather and Keith Evans both coaches at Texas Wesleyan for the last 11 years attended the course; their presence made it easy to see high level play first hand. Jasna Rather, the former Jasna Fazlic was a bronze medallist from the 1988 Olympic Games.

Keith has represented Jamaica in many international competitions. They provided, as always, outstanding organization with extra snack food. Many times they arranged lunch for the participants.

The coaches performed outstandingly, the average worldwide pass rate for Level Two is 50 per cent and for the first time in the United States everybody on the course passed. Additionally, seven of the 10 coaches scored high enough in the examination to be able to continue to Level Three.

Undoubtedly, the ITTF Coaching Programme is picking up steam in the United States and more courses have been offered this year than in previous years.

Notably, the United States has now 239 ITTF certified coaches, which is the fourth highest number of ITTF certified coaches in the world after Egypt, Iran and Chile. The programme started only seven years ago in United States following the initiative of Richard McAfee, one of the most experienced Course Conductors in the world; since that time the programme has expanded. In 2014, he conducted an ITTF Level Three Course.

Now, the need for another ITTF Level Three course in United States is increasing. Texas Wesleyan expressed an interest to host a Level Three course next year in August.

We look forward to such a course in United States next year.

Top spin skills in action (Photo: courtesy of Christian Lillieroos)
Development, Education and Training Coaching United States Forth Worth