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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2019, 21:54 
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On a coaches course I attended recently one of the things that cropped up was about trying to promote and run sessions in clubs and in particular whether table tennis is a social game or not.

Some of us felt table tennis players were introverts or selfish by nature. Typically they exhibit some or all of the following traits:
- turns up and thinks they are doing you a favour by honoring you with their presence
- turns up expecting facilities already to be set up, plays their games and then goes without helping take anything down
- turns up, says very little other than hello, gets out their phone and puts on some headphones
- turns up, plays their game then disappears only to return when it is their turn to play again
- never stays to the end of a match (always a reason / excuse to go) unless they are the last match on
- doesn't offer any support or advice to "team mates"
- when playing doubles, often shakes their head behind their team mates back any time a point it lost or does something to imply it's the idiot they are playing with who is costing them the game
- if they have to score, often spend more time watching other matches going on in the hall, or yawn a lot, mumble the score out if the call the score out at all
- are never available to run teams, or be club captain
- never offer to help the club or league put on coaching or social sessions - either too busy playing in other leagues or work commitments, maybe family
- never want to socialise outside of a table tennis environment
- if they do talk, it's only about averages or who they have beaten or what they have been practising or the new bat they have bought
- seldom if ever take an interest in anyone else except themselves
- won't train with someone unless that person is better than them, or if they have to, they constantly moan about it
- if there is a chance of a better match on the same night, they'll let you down and go play with the better team
- will complain if there is the slightest distraction - like a feather falling 10 miles away that they somehow managed to hear

Others felt table tennis was a very sociable game and attracted social types. Traits include
- enjoy talking about all things not just table tennis
- focus on having fun as well as winning and improving
- are willing to help practice and help coach / train with anyone
- happy to give up their own time to run events, maintain leagues, support / help lots of sessions
- come forward with ideas to help improve the running of clubs and leagues
- volunteer to run teams and be captain
- supporting and cheering team mates on, showing as much interest in their game as their own
- volunteer to score games
- get there early to set up as it's a chance to chat with people and do something useful
- stay late so they can go out with their mates for a drink afterwards
- share stories and info about themselves other than table tennis related
- over commits and ends up delivering very little

Obvious these are two extreme options, and the temptation is to think the antisocial person is self motivated which makes them a "nasty person" whereas the second is a "lovely person" who gives more than they receive. But that would be far from the truth. Both have their qualities.

However, back to my question.

When I played league badminton for 16 years, after most home matches we would go to the pub for a chat and wind down and we'd talk not just about badminton. Every Christmas a club Christmas meal out was arranged which we all attended. During games we'd chat about anything and everything. It really was social, friendly atmosphere even when we were getting stuffed. I don't know if that was because in our league everything was doubles related either men's, ladies or mixed and you didn't just play with one person or by yourself so you mixed better but as a social sport at a competitive organised level I find table tennis very insular and inward looking (what's in it for me) and quite "false" when it comes to pleasantries.

So, if you are still reading all you sociable people ;)

1. what type of table tennis player are you in terms of "personality" and
2. what is the most common type of personality you come across when playing table tennis and
3. do you think table tennis is suited to being a social sport or an individual / loner sport
4. how can we motivate the insular/antisocial type person to put something back in to the game for the benefit of everyone

ps I am aware that the nature of being a member of a "forum" implies some degree of "social" characteristics and therefore may skew the answer to question 1, but I feel question 2 is still valid and possible question3


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2019, 23:22 
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"Debater" what a great post! :clap:
You are right TT has everything, everybody with some very selfish & introverted payers. But on the positive side I have personally found in the main a great bunch of very social people.
In-fact I find the whole experience to be about 50/50 TT & a great social reward to your life’s journey. :up:
I play both in a over 50s social club & I also play competition in a team helping to organise & fill in as captain when needed. We also have social events regularly throughout the year. :party:
I love playing I’m quite obsessed by it but I’m also very social. 8)
1. what type of table tennis player are you in terms of "personality" and
2. what is the most common type of personality you come across when playing table tennis and
3. do you think table tennis is suited to being a social sport or an individual / loner sport
4. how can we motivate the insular/antisocial type person to put something back in to the game for the benefit of everyone
…. All types just accept it which might change their outlook, some will but most won’t…
Just be yourself & love as I do! |(

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Setup 2: Blade: TSP Trinity Carbon | Joola Golden Tango PS black 2.0mm FH & Troublemaker OX red BH
Setup 3: Blade: TSP Trinity Carbon | Joola Golden Tango black 1.8mm FH & & Spinlord Dornenglanz OX red BH

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Last edited by Gollum on 12 Jan 2019, 09:02, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2019, 23:45 
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CTRL_ALT_Loop
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  1. I like to think that I am the giving kind. Try to come early to make hall gear ready for playing ball. Offer advice, have a hit against anyone, don't leave until everything is cleared away again, and I expect that fellow members follow suit, i.e. to some degree make an effort to contribute.
  2. Mostly people are friendly, willing to make an effort where they can best contribute, and generally nice to be with. I have also seen the self absorbed kind, who never wants to make an effort unless they are certain it will benefit their own playing. Mostly they are young talented players, aspiring world champions, sometimes driven by parents' ambition. As a rule, however disagreeable they are, those players are not as obnoxious as their parents. However, I have not met a sufficient number of those for statistical significance. Also, there are none in the current club where I play.
  3. The sport is an individual sport, so it allows for individualism. Matches are relatively short, so there is opportunity for socializing in between. The resources required are not excessive, so many of us can create our own "training studio" should we want to. Also, basic social games require little space, so it can be accomodated in many different settings. So, TT is both. This way, TT is possibly the best sport there is.
  4. Don't think you can. Just let them do their thing, don't let it consume you, and be there to congratulate them when they return after winning the world championships. When they do, they provide the best advertising you can possibly have. It may take a couple of years, though. (And of course, however unlikely, it might be that it never happens at all.)


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 06:40 
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Debater asked these questions:

Quote:
1. what type of table tennis player are you in terms of "personality"?

On the introvert / extrovert spectrum I am closer to introspective. On the selfish / unselfish spectrum I am on the unselfish side. I run a table tennis session once a week at a community centre (just not at the moment as we are closed till February) and set the place up mostly by myself. At the club I will often have a hit with new players and lower level players. Last year a comp match was in the final rubber and those of us at the venue playing socially stopped and watched and cheered our club team that was playing. Unfortunately in the world of give and take there are always those who take more than they give. I try to be at least even, if not on the giving side, given how much enjoyment table tennis has given me over the years.
Quote:
2. what is the most common type of personality you come across when playing table tennis?

It varies. Quite often the higher level players are more serious about actually playing and less interested in "the social aspects". The local comp has the top division playing Davis Cup style matches (2 singles, a doubles then the reverse singles) while all other divisions have 3 person teams playing where each player plays 2 singles and there are 3 doubles. This is felt to be more social than the top division. Mind you the other divisions often play on 2 tables which negates to some extent the social aspect.
Quote:
3. do you think table tennis is suited to being a social sport or an individual / loner sport?

Tournaments and the way that players are "rated" is individual, given that doubles results are not really tracked. Pennant competitions are more social for most players in my experience. Veterans tournaments tends to be more social than junior or open tournaments.
Quote:
4. how can we motivate the insular/antisocial type person to put something back in to the game for the benefit of everyone
?
Informally at the club as players leave at the end of the night they are requested to at least take the table they were playing on down. While players are waiting to play socially we try to engage with them either about table tennis topics or life, the universe and everything.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 19:11 
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1. I'm not the most sociable person in the world, but
2. I find I'm more interested in engaging with others than they are with me. Does that make them unsociable, or me unlikeable?
3. To some degree the answer depends upon the facilities available. The first club I played in was availabe seven days a week, morning, noon, and night. Lots of retired folk, male and female, played a couple of mornings a week what was entirely social table tennis. Three evenings a week were competition, much less social, but with some small overlap so cheerful and friendly. The club I'm currently in (geographical relocation) is much smaller, one night for comp. and two for practice. Much less sociable, and I can't help thinking it's to do with more restricted opportunities for interaction.
4. Introverts are introverts. End of story.


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 22:39 
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Last edited by LOOPOVER on 11 Jan 2019, 22:56, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019, 22:55 
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1. what type of table tennis player are you in terms of "personality"

More on introverted side, but I do talk to other people, try to make friends and help out. :D

2. what is the most common type of personality you come across when playing table tennis

I think it has slight bias towards introverted and perhaps somewhat analytical folks with attention to detail, after all you spend most of the time following a small object around. I've met decent range of personalities, though, and happy to say only a few a$$holes or really asocial types.

3. do you think table tennis is suited to being a social sport or an individual / loner sport

Both - I see plenty of folks in our club who enjoy the company and are just hitting the ball with very few matches played (never in competition), while at the same time you have others who are doing drills and practicing for the next tournament.

4. how can we motivate the insular/antisocial type person to put something back in to the game for the benefit of everyone

They are already contributing by being there and serving as your playing partners. If you are talking about helping with club operations - not sure, not all clubs even have that issue, especially full time ones, where it's more of a business context: I pay my daily/monthly/yearly fee and club provides a place to play. Obviously different for more of a makeshift club where some effort is needed to keep things happening.

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