FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is a list of questions frequently asked to Andrew Baggaley.
Q. At what age should you start playing Table Tennis?
A. “You can start playing Table Tennis at absolutely any age with immense benefits for both body and mind but just like all sports the younger you start the better!”
Q. I see you also played Tennis at a high level when you were very young, why did you choose Table Tennis?
A. “I do believe I have a special talent for racquet sports but I chose Table Tennis because as a family we had a far greater knowledge of the sport and of course it made it an easier decision as my brother Stephen was a professional coach.”
Q. How often do you practice in a week and do you visit a gym?
A. “My practice schedule varies throughout the year. In the off season I can practice up to 25 hours a week on the table with most days working out in the gym or running. During a match play period I will reduce my practice and gym time to ensure I am fresh and able to ‘peak’ for matches.”
Q. Should I always practice with players better than myself?
A. “If it’s possible, generally, it is good to practice with players slightly higher than your level but it is also important to practice with players considered slightly weaker, particularly if you train in group situations.”
Q. Should I get coaching and is technique important?
A. “I believe everyone regardless of age should get some coaching as I believe it will enhance your appreciation and development of your game. Learning good technique is imperative and it is essential for a young ambitious player.”
Q. Do you have a special diet?
A. “I basically try to eat as healthily as possible!
A diet that is high in carbohydrates such as pasta and rice and rich in protein such as chicken and fish is ideal for Table Tennis players. I personally tend to cut down on my carbohydrate intake in non match play periods and try to eat more protein to build muscle.”
Q. Why do the Chinese dominate the Sport internationally?
A. “There is NO big secret behind their dominance! They simply train MUCH harder from a MUCH earlier age.”
Q. Can you make a good living from playing Table Tennis?
A. “Of course you can but unfortunately not in the UK!
There is a growing number of European Countries who have very well paid players competing in well organised National Leagues structures and also each year the ITTF Pro Tour continues to raise its prize money.”
Q. What is it like to represent the England National Table Tennis team?
A. “It is always a great honour to represent my country England.
I am proud to say I AM and always WILL be available for selection for the England and British National teams. I feel privileged to have represented England at major events such as the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. To represent England successfully is why I started playing Table Tennis"
Q. In the future would you start your children playing Table Tennis?
A. “Yes! It would definitely start out as a hobby but if they showed the desire I would give them every opportunity to progress!”
Q. If you weren’t a Professional Table Tennis player what would you have like to have done?
A. “I believe a career in Music may have suited my personality and maybe its something I could spend time on developing in the future.”
Q. How should I start to play Table Tennis?
A.“Go and play at your local Club, get some coaching and most importantly enjoy yourself!”