20 February 2015

If you walk around UKFast at lunchtime, you’re likely to see some fairly intense looking table tennis matches going on. Since we put the tables in, they’ve fast become a company favourite. We’re already quite a competitive bunch, but I think after reading this story a few people will be stepping up their game!

table_tennis300x225If you read my blog often, you’ll know I’m a big fan of learning new things and always trying to develop and progress. So it might not come as a surprise to hear that I very much enjoyed reading about Sam Priestley, a young Brit who spent an hour every single day for the entirety of 2014 training to get from a novice table tennis player to a pro!

When you want to get good at something, it’s a great idea to find someone who is much better than you and learn from them and this is exactly what Sam did, under the guidance of his friend, a table tennis coach. The aim was to break into the UK’s top 250 table tennis players, and while he didn’t quite manage it, his transformation is still an incredible thing to behold (you can find the time lapse video they made online).

What it shows is that if you work at something every day, tiny improvements mount up so that when you look back a year or so later, you are a different class from when you started. It’s also a reminder that the players who are in the UK top 250 probably live and breathe the sport, constantly fine-tuning and improving to stay at the very top of their game. So the fact that Sam managed to beat a few professional players in local tournaments is impressive in itself.

Maybe instead of giving something up for lent, we should be challenging ourselves to take up something new. As Sam has shown, mastering a new skill is just a matter of time, belief and encouragement, all vital components of success.

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