The Understanding of Believing

Zero success so far for Omar Assar and Egypt

One hour to go until the annual ITTF Junior Commission meeting gets underway.  

 Some new faces will appear this year,  which is good news for the commission and healthy for the ITTF.The role of the ITTF Junior Commission is to evaluate the ITTF GJP and make recommendations to the ITTF Ex committee and the Ex board concerning matters related to junior activities within the ITTF. 

Spent the best part of the morning watching Egypt vs Germany in the Junior Boys group stage final match. Egypt would have advanced with win  , but was not up to the challenge and lost 0-3. Omar Assar – the undisputed nr one Egyptian Junior dropped his third match i a row here in Colombia  against the  German nr two Philipp Floritz ,  three games to one with the team match very much alive. Disappointing  of course for Omar and for the Egyptian team  who had a good preparation run with Peter Karlsson in Falkenberg prior to the event. 

The scenario with a young promising player failing to deliver at major events is not new. Instead it is pretty common for a young ambitious eighteen year old to run into a few bumps in the road, especially when expectations from outside and from yourselves reaches the roof almost overnight.  

I have a feeling than many coaches and players fail to analyze success. What i mean is to break down and take enough time to reflect and analyze matches.  The thinking is way too often Black (loss) or White (win) and nothing in between.  In reality both ends of the scale will need quality time to be understood. A very good sports-psychologist that i worked with during my time as the national coach in Denmark once said ;  Use the 10 to 1 ratio. 10 minutes to break down the wins – why ? – what did i do good ? – tactical elements – execution etc and 1 minute on the losses.. 

So , for Omar and the Egyptian Boys team,  it will be an easy after match meeting.. 1 minute x 3.. that is if the follow Mr Ravnholts model . True is that dwelling never works. And to be perfectly honest,  i am convinced that the journey for Egyptian Table Tennis – both for the  girls team  and for the  boys    just is about to start. To quote Peter Karlsson who watched the match with me ; 

 ” Maybe it is good for Omar to hit a few bumps in the road already now. Still like his attitude and match appearance. You can see it in the eyes at times.  He has sharp eyes , generally a  good body language and always show ambition to win.. Thats good. We have to realize that ten years from now Omar is 28.. Thats a good age for a table tennis player” Peter said

Meeting around the corner – cheers 





Filed under ITTF Global Junior Programme

2 responses to “The Understanding of Believing

  1. Alaa Meshref

    Nice comments Mikael and nice point from Peter. I want to add to the psychological part (my opinion).
    1. Omar feels this is his last tournament in the juniors event (end of world to him – he cannot see senior competition as a goal now). He wants to pay back to his committment with the ITTF support. He wants to do something wow to prove himself. He wants to do something extra for his team and country. He has very high ambitions (very good attitude) BUT he needs to be put in the right track. Which in my opinion, is that he needs to BELIEVE he IS on the right track and does not need to prove it in this tournament. This will remove the burden from over his shoulders and perform better. He needs to understand that even world champs can lose points and lose events, and you never choose the tournament where the wow happens. He needs to relax psychologically (and physically) and perform in this tournament as any one tournament before BUT add concentration and not overdo things. I knew from Dina Meshref that he was practicing all day long 1st day till the time of the opening ceremony. Then he runs 6 o’clock in the morning. I don’t believe this is his normal routine in the other WJCs that he won and in which he made several successful achievements. So, he needs to follow his success pattern as USUAL and not OVERDO because of the extra importance of this tournament.
    2. No. 2 is a bit touchy. He is of course very much into Peter Karlsson (great), BUT this should not affect his respect to his seniors in the Egyptian team. Discipline and hearing advice is always important. I know he wont feel that any Egyptian coach or Egyptian management currently available in Columbia would give him the same environment of Sweden and Peter. But if he feels inside that there is mis-trust from his side, he will have an internal war fighting within himself between discipline and what he is convinced that should be done. This conflict may make him feel CONFUSED.
    This is my analysis and I wish I can find Omar enough time on skype to talk to him and give him the needed support. He should not be punished for the zero success. He should not feel that something very bad happened. We do not need to add guilt to his mixed feelings. We need positive and forward-moving thinking. The Team matches are still not finished and 9th is better than 10th and 10th is better than 11th, etc. The esteemed singles matches are still there to go and adjusting his performance is of paramount importance.

    Good luck Omar and I am sure you can still make it. The past is past, and only think of the CURRENT point and CURRENT game and CURRENT match. One by one. Good luck and I am still SURE you can do something WOW in this tournament.

    Alaa Meshref

  2. Thanks Alaa,
    Interesting info – point one and point two. Both needs to be adressed.
    Think personally that the chase for last minute improvments may have played a huge part in the flat performance day one.
    Agree that we need to give him a boost for singles and doubles – mixed as well…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s