Brian Pace has joined our forum, and agreed to answer some of our question, and participate in discussions.
For those that don't know Brian, below are some details. Please join me in welcoming Brian to our forum!
Brian Pace started playing table tennis at age 13 in 1986 from a USATT supported table tennis grant, with the goal of creating an Olympian. 75 kids started in that program, and 2 years later the program walked away with the most celebrated title at the Junior Olympics, the “Team Event”.
At 16, Brian was invited to live at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and train with the best juniors in the country. Brian spent 3 years there, graduated, and moved to Augusta GA, where he led the Augusta College Jaguars to 2 Collegiate Team Titles.
This was the stage where the last of the players in his group quit playing, and Brian was the last man standing, which he calls it, “Last of the Brohicans”. Brian spent every summer training with 2-Time Olympian Jimmy Butler who was back from playing in the Swedish League. In 1995, with the Augusta program declining, Brian expanded his horizon by moving to New Orleans to become a private coach. 6 years before Richard McAfee told Brian he would be a better coach than player, and Brian had success with his first student in leading him to a National Junior Title.
Neglecting his program as a player had Brian leave the coaching job, and just focus on training. So he moved to Maryland to train with 2 Time Olympian Todd Sweeris, Olympian Cheng Yinghua, 2-Time Olympian Sean O’neil, Olympic Silver Medalist Gao Jun, 2700 rated Xu Hua Zhang, and National Collegiate Champion Sean Lonergan. This was the period when Brian reached his highest ranking of No. 4 in the US.
In 1997, coaching came calling in Miami, and Brian moved to take another stab at coaching. This time he was coaching more kids, and it was a more stable job. He soon enjoyed more success as 2 of the juniors he was working with went to the finals of their age event to play each other at the US Nationals. The next year Brian added more National titles to his coaching resume, but decided to retreat once more.
At this time Brian realized what kind of coach he would be, and it would be a coach for the “Everyday Player”. Brian states, “ You don’t have to be a professional to want those kind of results”. Instead of having high profile clients, Brian opted to deal with the masses of players that just simply wanted to keep getting better. “Coaching is a job for some people, but for me it was a calling and it had to be bigger than the parents wanting the National Title more than their kids. So I thank Richard McAfee for corning me at a tournament when I was 17 to plant that seed”.
All the while Brian was still actively a player and in 1999 was voted one of the most improved Olympic hopefuls and was given a brand new car (Saturn) from General Motors. The next 2 years would see Brian slowly continue to improve, all the while keeping his coaching a covert operation.
2001, saw Brian finish 1st alternate for the US Team, and instead of being upset or disappointed, Brian packed up everything he owned, put it in a storage unit, and moved to Romania. He didn’t tell anyone what he was doing, he just simply left. He took a summer trip to Sweden, Germany, and Romania. Viorel Filimon was such an intense coach that Brian decided to train in that program. Most players would have chosen the atmosphere of Sweden and Germany, but Brian was there for one reason, and it was to train. Brian states, “I wanted to be in an environment that you only could focus on eating, sleeping, and looping. If you think Rocky IV in Russia training in the snow, then you will have captured my training environment.
Richard influenced this decision and he said, “It would be a shame for you to end your career having never trained in a high level environment abroad before you retire.” So Brian needed to add closure, and he spent the next 2 and a half years training and living in Romania.
After the 2004 Olympic Trials, Brian retired and went right back to his covert operation of coaching. But the real reason Brian retired was, “Dynamic Table Tennis”. He had been working on creating a “Tae Bo” style training series for Table Tennis, but he was convinced he had to “ Own my existence”.
So he spent the next years learning every aspect of media production. In 2008, Brian reemerged at the Cary Cup as a player, made the round of 16 and was up 4-0 in the 5th game against the No. 2 Canadian at the time. Most players have to knock the rust off, and after Brian trained for 3 weeks he said, “My skills stayed submerged in a fountain of youth”.
Brian wrote a proposal to Butterfly to do short video segments as a part-time job. “They were a big company and had a large amount of the global market, but they didn’t have any kind of professional video program. So I offered a program to them because they had no one with name recognition working there, and I thought it was a perfect fit”. Brian produced a video 5 days week varying from tournament highlights, the “How To” Series, interviews, and the all famous “Rubber Reviews.
Months after Brian had taken the job he was asked to give over the rights to “Dynamic Table Tennis”, and he declined. Brian states, “I was already selling products on their website, and now I was asked to sell my soul. “If I did that I would be giving away the existence I had just spent the last 15 years creating for myself”, so Brian was told he had to give up the rights, or leave. He left.
Brian said, “All it did was speed up the DTT Movement. I walked away with a true since of pride because it is a rewarding feeling to be self actualized before you have the money. This website, these video, this entire experience is a testament to my intelligence and I don’t want that to be filtered. I want it to go straight to the table tennis community.
“Dynamic Table Tennis is my contribution to table tennis. It is a covert operation that has gone global, and it will never become corporate. “I’m a table tennis professional that has learned how to position myself in the global economy of the Table Tennis business with a product that won’t be overlooked. If you are going to do that, then your product better be the business. There is no company representing me. I am the company, and I’m representing myself, and I want to deal directly with the table tennis community, because I’m a “Pong Junkie” just like them.
Brian explains why his Video Series is so different. “Every aspect of the video Series was done by me, from the scripting, storyboarding, shooting, set design, etc. It is shot for a table tennis player, by a table tennis player. I’m looking at this as the “ Little Video Series” that could.
Brian has set his sights outside of just making money with the 2 Video Series, and wants to provide a table tennis service, which will include interviews of player and coaches, tournament highlight footage, and equipment reviews of all the major companies. “This is our sport. It belongs to the people that want to get better, the people that love to watch it, and the true diehard junkies. That is my core group and what sets me apart from most companies, is I live in that world of dealing with my peer group. I’m a high level player, but I’m still a player.”
“On the site there will be a multitude of different type of videos, and my goal is to have everyone bookmark the site and visit it 3-5 times a week. Brian states, “To do that you have to educate, entertain, and inspire”. Brian states, “ Every training video is using a training methodology equipped with theories and concepts that are so concrete that a person off the street will get instant education. It’s important to entertain your customer with clever angles, smooth transitions and slow motion to the point of the person saying, “I want to see that again.” The primary focus Brian states is to inspire. “I have been inspiring people around me every since I could remember that I had that kind of affect on people. Now, I’m simple offering my inspiration to the world.
World, “I’m Brian Pace”.