January 15, 2018

Dean Shu looked to take his table tennis to the next level by heading to the USA. (Photo: ITTF World)

New Zealand’s Dean Shu was awarded an ITTF-Oceania Scholarship for winning the Under 18 Boys’ Singles title at the 2017 ITTF-Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. Shu used the scholarship to assist his preparations for the 2017 World Championships in Italy. Check out what he learnt during his time at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center. 


Training at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center 

by Dean Shu

I recently competed at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Italy. I underwent final preparations for the event in the USA at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center (LYTTC) in New Jersey. The scholarship ITTF-Oceania provided made it all possible.

Once I arrived in America, it was easy to shift my attention on to the one thing that I was used to, table tennis. My mind was always on the sport and I was constantly reminded of my goals. This played a huge part in putting me in a better frame of mind for the competition that lay ahead.

At LYTTC, concepts are taught with meaning. One thing I learnt was the technical role that the core plays in keeping one’s form together. Maintaining an activated core allows the separate parts of a stroke to be connected and thus allows for more efficient power transfer to the ball. This is especially important when playing shots off-balance and on the run as it ensures that the power generated by your legs from the ground is still utilized when contacting the ball above. This way of thinking has helped me reach new understandings in the way the game is played.

On Fridays, LYTTC hosts a league night competition for all to join. Players are placed into divisions using their league rating. The competition is a tough battle with each player playing seven matches with hardly any rest in between. The matches pushed both my focus and endurance to their limits and areas in need of improvement became more apparent as I became tired. The ability to not dwell on one match for too long and quickly get geared for the next was something that became necessary. This experience produced learning crucial to my development.

The trip to the USA proved instrumental in preparing me for the World Juniors. It put my head into the game and gave me a sharp start to the competition that I would otherwise not have gotten.

I am grateful for the generous assistance I have received and would like to thank ITTF-Oceania for making the trip possible.