Table Tennis England The Winning Edge Issue 6 - Page 9

All you need a participant to be able to do is hit the ball back from a bounce feed and you can take it from there .
FINDING ABILITY 9

All you need a participant to be able to do is hit the ball back from a bounce feed and you can take it from there .

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What helps is that Alvey has the confidence and experience of knowing that wherever that conversation goes , he can handle the challenge it throws up and his club ’ s facilities can see to almost any player ’ s needs .
‘ We need to work hard as a sport to get our facilities to the state where participants don ’ t need to check which sessions they can and can ’ t get to .
‘ From a coaching point of view , we just need more people coming through that door who we can help . Anything that stops someone doing that is also the thing that ’ s stopping us from doing our job properly .’
When it comes to coaching one-on-one with a disabled player , there is no one secret tool or insight Alvey has to offer , just patience and knowledge .
‘ All you need a participant to be able to do is hit the ball back from a bounce feed and you can take it from there . For some people , new to a session and playing with a disability , that in itself is an achievement .
‘ That doesn ’ t make it any less of a success for the coach – you can see from the smile on their faces , from their reaction , that you ’ ve made a breakthrough .
‘ I ’ ve worked with people who can ’ t balance a ball on a bat to begin with , but within weeks they are blocking the ball back to me even when I rip it at them as hard as I can .
‘ A lot of coaches feel under pressure to make something happen for people , quickly . Instead , with many disabled players , starting them off in social sessions is a better approach . Let them come and enjoy the game and have fun , then once they ’ re happy on that level you can talk to them about coming to coaching sessions .’

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Top tips for coaching disabled players
Shaun Alvey , Inclusive Ping Pong
• Make it accessible .
• Make it fun .
• Make it exciting .
• Make it affordable .
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