I was much honored to be selected to attend the first ITTF/IPTTC Level 1 Coaching Certification and Course Conductors Seminar by the USATT Coaches Committee at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 5-11, 2010. Twenty-three table tennis coaches from all experience levels and regions of the USA came to share, learn and to be humbled by Glenn Tepper – the ITTF Executive Director of Development. Mr. Tepper created the structure for the ITTF coaches program and wrote the book, so we were lucky to be learning from the master!
One of the unique parts of this class revolved around the large amount of actual practical application time that was spent by the participants working through the skills and drills included in the book. Mr. Tepper wanted us to wear both the student and coaches hat nearly all the time so we could not only see the WHAT and HOW but the bigger reason WHY we teach the sport of table tennis the way we do and new ways to approach our teaching.
Having combined forces with the ITTF, the Para-Table Tennis portion of the course included an introduction to the classification system for Para-Athletes and a simulation where the coaches participated as different classes of athletes! It was truly an experience to see the various difficulties that are unique to each class and how important the tactics are! Luckily we had Daniel Rutenburg, the USA National Para coach and Christian Lillieroos, long time USA Para coach and PTT board member, to show us the best way to help these unique and inspiring athletes!
Much to Mr. Teppers’ surprise and delight, all 23 of the participants were able to pass the Level 1 practical and meet the standards to pass the educational section of the program. Now we must fulfill the needed application hours to complete the course.