How I Got into Table Tennis – Roger Dickson


I get asked a lot by new players when they come for lessons about how I got my start in Table Tennis. It’s not a pretty or glamorous story – it was more driven by my hating to lose! I played team sports like baseball, football and basketball like all kids, but I started racing motocross when I was 11 and it was very different for me. I finally saw the direct result of my personal effort in training and preparation having effect on winning and losing!

Within two years I was racing at the pro level in my age group and received a youth development sponsorship! But now fate threw a wrench in things as a wreck in a practice session left me with a broken leg and a change in my desire to go fast! So I first went back to martial arts to strengthen my leg, as I had several complications, then basketball for competition.

Fast forward to college and I was now missing that competitive outlet that I had always had, until I saw a group of people playing some serious pong, aka table tennis! They had custom rackets, special shoes and played by actual rules! I got beat by every one of those players but was in turn winning against the other “recreational players” and even started a club at our college to encourage more players to get and stay involved. Right about this time a group of players at another university invited our group to play and told us of a “sanctioned” event not far from our schools.

A small group from the two schools travelled to the event together and while I played well, I lost to an eleven year old GIRL! Talk about a new motivation, I was determined to play her again and win! Try as I may, I never got that chance as both of us would be at the same tourney, we never got in the same events or group if we did play in the same event! But I learned a lot from that experience and found that same direct effort to result I had when I prepared for racing events applied even more so to table tennis.

What about you – what is YOUR story?

Roger Dickson

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