Supernova or brightly burning star for many years?
The next time you enviously watch some kid who's improving at about 300 rating points per year, here's something to think about. The younger you start, the better your ultimate potential because the brain simply learns better at younger ages. However - while those of you who started late may never reach the crowning glory of some kid who started at age 7 with a professional coach, you may have something as good or better: a longer, more enjoyable journey. And don't they say it's not the destination but the journey that counts? Sure, that kid might become a U.S. team member by age 20. But by age 25 he's already pretty much at his peak. Meanwhile, while you may never make the U.S. team, you can keep improving for many, many years. The physical demands of table tennis at the higher levels are just too high to really improve much past age 30 or so, but at the more mortal levels, experience and training can more than make up for the gradual physical decline. Plus, the demands of high-level table tennis are such that you really need to train hard to keep it up; at lower levels, you can practice at a more relaxed pace and not only hold your level, but improve.
Rick Carlisle, champion of something?
Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks, a team of tall people that recently was in all the headlines for winning something in some sport, had earlier visited (back in December) the Broward Table Tennis Club (and the heat in Miami) in Florida and Coach Brian Pace of Dynamic Table Tennis. Here's the timeless video! (9:16)