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Table tennis unlike team sports offers you the opportunity to enhance your capacity as an individual

There are times where parents push their children in sport. This challenge also tests the capacity of the child. ‘Capacity’ is a nice word. It denotes substance in a person. Coaches love such children who can play multiple roles and don’t complain when circumstances stretch them to the maximum. It’s a coach’s dream to have a team full of them.

In sport, we have two kinds of sportsmen; the ones who are born to do sport and the ones who are made. From a coach’s perspective it is valuable to have in a team a player who gets up before all others and starts preparing for the day ahead.

Reading about sports is seldom heard. In the years gone by, captains, who followed the game on and off the field read a good deal about sport, experienced great success. We hear that the number of readers of newspapers is thinning, but the number of books published each year has steadily increased.

Lalith Priyantha
Lalith Priyantha

Then comes multi-tasking. At present a lot of gym work is needed because athlete needs to have his muscles conditioned to endure a heavy work load. Naturally more and more people take to sport which gives the opportunity for existing teams to play more games and contest more tournaments. If the muscles supporting a joint, that works rapidly, are not it shape then the athlete is bound to invite injury. But how many athletes show the same enthusiasm they show for sport when they hit the gym for strength and conditioning?

Renowned table tennis coach Lalith Priyantha believes that, akin to skill, capacity also comes to people though genes. “I think I got speed from my parents,” said Priyantha a three-time winner of the national singles crown. The squint-eyed Priyantha played his shots close to the table and mesmerized opponents with his sensational speed. The only complaint against him was that people could not sit back and enjoy his matches because they finished before the seat a spectator was seated on became warm.

According to Priyantha we are in modern times and comfortable clothing does help to lift performance. “I always tell people that attire and attitude are key features that contribute to the final result,” he stressed.

Priyantha confessed during the interview that he was not among the hardest working table tennis players during his time. “I trained somewhere like 2 ½ hours a day. That was little compared to others, but the little practice I did, I did very well,” recalled Priyantha.
Another factor that contributed towards the few hours he put in the sports stadium was that fact that he didn’t have a coach during a good part of his career. “I was not coached till I won the national title,” he said.

Another issue that highlights the low capacity of children is their absence from sports during examinations. There is a huge issue that contributes to this problem. Today’s education tests the student’s memory and not his or her intelligence. Students have to cram and memorize lessons despite being aware that a good percentage of what they learn is never going to be of any use to them in their lives. But Priyantha wishes to see his students at the table tennis hall even during exams because he believes that playing table tennis gives the brain and eyes a good workout. We all know that any part in the body performs at optimum level when conditioned. “When we were in school we played with pleasure. Now children are playing with pressure,” he affirmed.

Priyantha still believes that hard work pays rich dividends in sport. We hear so much negative things associated with four words that are interwoven. They are coach, player, parents and selection. When a team is selected naturally some parents are grumbling. “I stress the point that a coach should not select a player. The player must get selected,” said Priyantha who is actively involved in coaching schools teams at this racket sport.
Priyantha said that he was happy that he selected an individual sport like table tennis. “In individual sport you have a lot of room to enhance your capacity because there are little restrictions when compared with team sports.  In individual sports no one can stop you,”
he concluded.