Too old to learn?

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 7 years ago

Hammad Nafis

Hammad Nafis Asked 11 years ago

Sir, i recently started playing table tennis. I am 31 year old. My question is whether i  learn table tennis in this age or not?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Hammad,

You certainly can learn the game at your age.

In fact we have some members who are in their 80s and still learning the game.

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Hammad Nafis

Hammad Nafis Posted 11 years ago

Thanks sir. 

Lorenzo Coopman

Lorenzo Coopman Posted 7 years ago

I agree, you can learn the game, but can you still play "well" ?  I think that is a much harder to answer question. The problem of playing good tabletennis has many aspects.  Your inner ability " natural talent some would say to play the game "fast reactions,  agility of body and mind are very, very important. Next being a bit older, it is not always easy to find the right coaching, lots of coaches prefer younger boys and girls (I think, after doing  some observations, that's because they find bossing players around much easier then when they are older. I don't believe that older players have less 'future' then younger ones considering how much players drop out when they are 17 or 18  ) Third, You have to be very determined and spend lots of time hitting balls just to get used of the behavior of the ball. I started 2 years ago and I still have moments I'm quite desperate about my playing level and say 'f*** it' I'm gone return to athletics' but the next day I find myself back at the table dreaming of shots like zhang Jike makes them (guess I'll never be a grown up).... Hope your still playing Hammad!      

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Interesting comments Lorenzo.  Thanks you for sharing your thoughts.

Hammed are you still out there??

Sundar Rajan

Sundar Rajan Posted 7 years ago

I tend to agree with Lorenzo, at least on aspects of how it gets harder to play well when you are older.

I am myself 43 and I had played decent table tennis more than 25 years ago. I started to play competitive table tennis about 2-3 years ago and I have realized there is a world of difference in scaling your game. I have of course done reasonably well, I play in the veterans 40+ circuit (which is very competitive and has players who have played for Province and Country in their youth) and manage to hold my own in the top 8 within my province. However, I have had to make several adjustments to my training routine and more importantly to setting milestones, goals and pacing myself. There was a point in time where I tried short pips to support my age related limitations but have now overcome that and back to playing normal rubbers on both FH and BH. With the modern game, I have had to re-learn a lot of stuff too.

From my experience, apart from obvious aspects like motivation, dedication and training, I would think the following 3 are the TOP critical success factors for older players aspiring to play well.

1. Setting realistic expectations (both in terms of effort/time and bench marking with others).

2. Focus on fitness. For me, its a 70/30 split between fitness and table-time. Older you are more time you need to dedicate to fitness (that suits your health condition and game needs)

3. Pick a playing style that suits you (both from a natural affinity perspective and age/movement perspective).  For example, It could be easier to play a blocker style then an all out attack style but will have its limitations with some opponents.

Bottom line, enjoy the game, set small milestones and what the heck, age is only a number. 


D K Posted 7 years ago

In one of the clubs in ym town,there is a 92 years old player.

And she is still quite fast and powerful player for her age....

So I think that age is really only a number

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