The search for young talented players to enter our talent development programme is essential to England’s future international success. This success needs to be achieved on a regular, consistent basis and to this end, we must have a system in place that first finds and then develops children with the table tennis talent to make international class players. Table Tennis England’s performance target is to identify young players who MAY have the qualities to perform successfully at world level.

A ‘Scouting System’ has been developed by Table Tennis England in each of the ten regions.  Each region has identified a group of talent scouts to search for young players on the competition circuit and in the training environment, who have the time to develop and may have the abilities that are needed to become a top international player.

Things to look for

Table Tennis is a complex sport and the observation of young players to come to a decision as to their potential is more than ticking attribute boxes. If we did attempt to list the visual qualities that a young player with potential should possess, it would be very extensive.

Physical Attributes

Balance, Strength,  Energy, Enthusiasm, Stamina, Timing, Athleticism – physique, Dealing  with Spin, Rhythm- movement, Speed- Quickness, Hand Skills- Touch, Feel, Agility, Co-ordination- Hand/Eye, Anticipation, Adaptability-Ability to Change.

Mental Attributes

Competitiveness- Will to Win, Intelligence, Behaviour, Attitude towards Practice/Training, Attitude towards Competition, Personality, Perseverance, Ability/keenness to learn, Commitment, Concentration, Confidence, Awareness,  Discipline, Spirit, Enthusiasm, Reactions, Focus, Mental Strength, Lack of Self-Consciousness, Ambition, Positivity, Ability to deal with Stress/Pressure Humility

What will be done with information

Each talent scout will be given a form to complete regarding the players they have been watching. This can be done in competition, training or both. The form will then be passed on to the regional coach and they will arrange to have a look at the player. If they feel the player is up to a good enough standard their details will be passed onto the Talent & Coaching Manager Jill Parker. They will then be invited to attend to Youth Development Training where they will be assessed by the national coaches.