03 Oct 2019

After Formia, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand, Sveti Martin in Croatia welcomed selected players to the third and last ITTF Under 18 High Performance Training Camp of the year.

Coaches and players from Korea Republic, India, France, Slovakia, Turkey, Belarus and Croatia gathered for an intense training week prior to the 2019 ITTF Croatia Golden Series Cadet and Junior Open in Varazdin, followed by the 2019 ITTF Serbia Cadet and Junior Open.

by Dora Jeler, ITTF High Performance and Development Operations Manager

The daily training took place at the Sveti Martin training hall, adjacent to the Golfer Hotel where all participants were accommodated.

Education plays an integral part of the High Performance pathway, two educational sessions were scheduled in addition to intensive table tennis training: a strengthening and conditioning theory session (complemented by a practical session as part of the training programme) and a lecture on nutrition. The first was conducted by fitness expert Mario Starek and the second by nutritionist Gracia Petek.

ITTF High Performance Manager Massimo Costantini outlined the proceedings in detail:

“This time the work was divided into three parts: footwork / control – power / game-like situation. The mornings were usually dedicated to one-on-one sessions, while in the afternoons we focused on many balls sessions. This was complemented with light fitness units. Of course there were also times when athletes could perform individual drills…

…Consistency is the issue when a player comes to the table and is ready to perform a long series of strokes. The question is: do I need to play 15-20 balls consecutively while the length of the rally in a regular match is on average only 3-4 balls? It looks like at times players want to succeed in a very long-lasting rally and do not care enough when the rally is very short. I know this can be a good subject of discussion and I am very glad to start it and reply to questions if there are any…

…The camp was very well organised. We were met by good local sparring partners, and players enjoyed watching a Champions League match between the local team STK Starr and French side GV Hennebont. The match ended 3-1 for the guests.” Massimo Costantini


The 2019 ITTF High Performance does not end with this camp. Next up will be the World Cadet Challenge in Poland, preceded by a Hopes Team training camp. In December, the Hopes Squad, comprising players selected after the World Hopes Week and Challenge held in Oman this past July will convene for their first training camp together, and another opportunity for Under 21 players is under consideration.

Sachin Shetty, coach of Diya Chitale, had nothing but praise for the camp’s organisation:

“The practice sessions were well planned by Massimo. He requested feedback from all coaches partaking in the camp, which created a sense of bonding and a positive attitude amongst the coaches. The sequences were planned according to match situations, which was very important for the players in order to prepare for the tournament and give them an edge. Planning these kinds of camps before a tournament is very good for players and coaches, as it helps to understand where the student may need to improve…

…I am really happy to have been part of this camp. Thanks to ITTF, Max and TTFI (Table Tennis Federation of India) for giving me and Diya this opportunity.” Sachin Shetty

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