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Why do players quit table tennis ?

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    Posted: 06/13/2021 at 9:53pm
Speaking for US players here, the juniors who want to fully commit to becoming a pro of the sport, requires a lot of resources put in with a relatively low chances of success.

As for adult recreational players, they may have a hard time finding quality practice partners or aren't as lucky to be near a good club with plenty of active participation.

Finding the right level opponent in table tennis is also kind of a big deal. E.g. Someone too easy to beat doesn't provide enough challenge etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2021 at 10:26pm
In you typical club, there are not enough efforts to build programs so the customers are sure to have a quality time at the club. Group lessons part of the membership for example. 

It is unfortunate that if you do not play a league -that's generally once a week in a club- you will be on your own to build that quality time. Even playing the league, that's 50% playing and 50% waiting at best. In a tournament there is much wasted time too. 

Scheduling with a practice partner of course is great but that should be part of the club's job. To bring people in, it is necessary to put together group training programs so people are busy with the game as soon as they come in for the whole time they scheduled. e.g In a group lesson from 2pm to 4pm, I arrive at 1:55pm, I take my group lesson and I leave at 4:05pm. Now, that's efficient! If I come to the club not knowing what will happen, the risk of wasted time is too high and I get tired of it overtime, I quit.

Let's say a coach imported from China costs $80k a year to the club (including health and dental insurance, Orca card and all what an employee costs to a business); that's very generous, most clubs give much less to their coaches. Let's assume that coach works the typical 2000 hours a year, that's 1000 2-hour group lessons that the club needs to charge $80 a pop to get even. One coach can take care of 12 people over 6 tables and at $10 a pop the group lesson which is rather cheap, the club gets its $80 to get even and brings in $40 profit per lesson. 

Of course one coach will not consistently give 4 2-hour lessons every day but they can do other things like private lessons, control desk work during leagues and tournaments, greeting at the front desk, memberships management, selling blades, rubbers and apparel at the shop, cleaning the place... Several coaches can share all tasks for a more interesting life instead of specializing in one activity that becomes monotonous overtime.

GROUP LESSONS ARE VASTLY UNDERRATED IN AMERICA. 

Maybe we should stop calling them "group lessons" because it does not sound cool. "TEAM TRAINING" is better. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 12:22am
When I was 10 I quit playing TT (sandpaper at rec center) because it was not as cool as baseball, basketball, or tennis.

I started again at 19 because a college roomate played. And promptly quit at 22 after leaving college because there was no organized place to play and tennis and tennis clubs were way cooler than TT and TT clubs.

I started TT again at 56 because I thought it was too hot to play tennis where I lived and found out there was an air conditioned TT club in town. TT was now cool, just not the way I wanted it to be. I have not quit yet because I have come to the realization that I will never be cool no matter what I do.

I will quit again when either 

1. I can not physically hold a racquet or can not see the ball
2. I beat Danny Seemiller for the Over 90's National singles title
3. I lose to Mts388 (just could not face the embarassment).

Well, #1 and #2 for sure.

Mark - Quitter, quitter, and now flat hitter.


Edited by mjamja - 06/14/2021 at 12:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 6:05am
In Belgium, I know lots of people who decided to stop playing TT because of the too many changes in that sport.
As we say in French: too many changes kill the change.....
Materials, balls, points, balls again....
Now, material is better for flat hitters and blokkers so many guys like me (40-50 years old) have difficulties playing their spin oriented games.
That's why some players decided in 2017 to create their own small league, playing with 38mm celluloid balls, 21pts game and speedglue for those who want.


Otherwise, since the covid, forbidden to play for 8 months because of our government décisions, many people started playing paddle which was allowed if played outside. Now, most of these people won't come back playing TT.
Otherwise, we had very solid players in the past: Saive brothers, Cabrera, Podpinka, Bratanov...Those were the leaders of a powerful Belgian team and we had lots of TT to see on television. Now, young people like football and Hockey on grass ...because Belgium is n°1 in the world ranking in those sports.
When we had Henin and Clijsters in Tennis, we also had lots of young people who started tennis. When you have a strong loco, it is always easier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 7:22am
When I was 10 I quit playing TT (sandpaper at rec center) because it was not as cool as baseball, basketball, or tennis.

I started again at 19 because a college roomate played. And promptly quit at 22 after leaving college because there was no organized place to play and tennis and tennis clubs were way cooler than TT and TT clubs.

I started TT again at 56 because I thought it was too hot to play tennis where I lived and found out there was an air conditioned TT club in town. TT was now cool, just not the way I wanted it to be. I have not quit yet because I have come to the realization that I will never be cool no matter what I do.

Who knew this guy wanted to be cool?  Why has this been kept from us all these years?  Why is it so well disguised?

Muhammad Ail was cool.  Stevie Ray Vaughan was cool.  Mjamja?

Thanks.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 7:50am
Hi,

Fundamentally, people respond positively to favorable structure.  A prominent quality of sports in school is that they are structured, with leadership, organization, official recognition, schedules, formalized competition, etc.  The argument for "table tennis in the schools" is, to a great degree, attractive because it provides a structured entry into and on-going participation in the sport by young people.

What characterizes most clubs is a lack of structure.  Nothing compares to leagues in attracting players to the club, not by a small part due to the formal structure provided by the competition organization.  

Much more could be implemented into clubs in this regard.  As mentioned, training programs with creative formats is one area of potential.  Having "mini-training" sessions of a half hour prior to a league start time would have high appeal.  The sessions would be directed by a coach, starting with a five minute lecture on an aspect of the sport, followed by training in the subject discussed.

Another area of possible improvement would be a wider range of individual lesson formats.  As an example, having packages of four 15 minute lessons available on the league days would be an appealing option for many to receive some instruction and warmup at a reasonable price, without incurring scheduling or time constraints. 

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 8:18am
There are tons of reasons why people quit.  Here are five:

1) Table tennis is hard.  The better you get, the more you realize how hard it is.  Many players reach a point where they realize they could practice 1000 years and still not beat whomever they want to beat for whatever reason.

2) There is no money to be made and being poor at an older age isn't any fun.  Unless you can achieve a super high level, you are going to have to be a coach to make a living.  Sure Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Timo Boll are raking in the big bucks but your players ranked 30-200 aren't living like kings.  If you are female it is even harder to make a living playing.

3) Tournaments are a drag.  You have to wait around all day to play.  Players serve illegally.  Some jerks try to change the score to play mind games.  Maybe you have to play in a place with horrible lighting where the ball is impossible to see.  You have to deal with kids screaming "cho le la de da di da da da" after every point along with their entourage. 

4) Finding people who want to play like you do is not easy.  The stars have to kind of align in a weird way for this to happen.  Some people want to train hard.  In some clubs there is no option for this as there aren't enough tables and people play matches.  Even if you find a place to train as much as you want, sometimes your practice partners can be very hard to deal with and you don't need any more headaches in your life.  Other players love to play matches and finding people around your level can be challenging. 

5) Finding a home club can be difficult.  Clubs open and close all the time.  You might have to travel quit a distance just to play.  I know some people who travel 1 hour 1-way just to play.  That kind of time commitment is tough to maintain.  Also one day you are playing in individually barriered courts with professional flooring and then the club closes are you find yourself playing in a basement with a wall 2 feet behind the table.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 8:59am
For me I think the learning curve is way too high compared to other sports. Badminton for eg is almost perfect because it's easy for a novice to rally with a very good player and have some fun regardless of level. In TT it's so hard for beginners to even keep the ball in play due to the lack of spin understanding. Having balls randomly go left, right, up, down is no fun at all. And it's so hard to learn the strokes because there's a lot of precise timing required. And the amount of mistakeqs just turn ppl off. A lot of TT is just serve, receive and 3rd ball still Tongue

For me I think I love the challenge and depth of skills in table tennis, but it's definitely not for everyone. 

Even at my shit level of badminton I could have like 20 shot rallies with people easily.... And that's a lot more fun than random misses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kindof99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 9:53am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

For me I think the learning curve is way too high compared to other sports. Badminton for eg is almost perfect because it's easy for a novice to rally with a very good player and have some fun regardless of level. In TT it's so hard for beginners to even keep the ball in play due to the lack of spin understanding. Having balls randomly go left, right, up, down is no fun at all. And it's so hard to learn the strokes because there's a lot of precise timing required. And the amount of mistakeqs just turn ppl off. A lot of TT is just serve, receive and 3rd ball still Tongue

For me I think I love the challenge and depth of skills in table tennis, but it's definitely not for everyone. 

Even at my shit level of badminton I could have like 20 shot rallies with people easily.... And that's a lot more fun than random misses.

Badminton is easier to start with, but to play at a like USATT 2000+ level, it requires as much dedication, and usually not possible to achieve if you are not strong enough.

Good part about Badminton is that there are many girls playing......


Edited by kindof99 - 06/14/2021 at 10:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 10:08am
Hi Sjan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 10:35am
Originally posted by kindof99 kindof99 wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

For me I think the learning curve is way too high compared to other sports. Badminton for eg is almost perfect because it's easy for a novice to rally with a very good player and have some fun regardless of level. In TT it's so hard for beginners to even keep the ball in play due to the lack of spin understanding. Having balls randomly go left, right, up, down is no fun at all. And it's so hard to learn the strokes because there's a lot of precise timing required. And the amount of mistakeqs just turn ppl off. A lot of TT is just serve, receive and 3rd ball still Tongue

For me I think I love the challenge and depth of skills in table tennis, but it's definitely not for everyone. 

Even at my shit level of badminton I could have like 20 shot rallies with people easily.... And that's a lot more fun than random misses.

Badminton is easier to start with, but to play at a like USATT 2000+ level, it requires as much dedication, not usually not possible if you are not strong enough.

Good part about Badminton is that there are many girls playing......

Yeah it's the perfect recipe for an addictive game, badminton is easy to learn and hard to master. TT is hard to learn and even harder to master LOL

Also having girls playing is a big plus Tongue


Edited by blahness - 06/14/2021 at 10:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 10:39am
Do more people quit TT than other sports?  People stop doing stuff all the time for their own reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TT newbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 12:38pm
Around the people I know nobody quit TT forever.
Some young players stop playing when they go to college, some when get a job, but all of them return to the sport sooner or later.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by DonnOlsen DonnOlsen wrote:

Hi,

Fundamentally, people respond positively to favorable structure.  A prominent quality of sports in school is that they are structured, with leadership, organization, official recognition, schedules, formalized competition, etc.  The argument for "table tennis in the schools" is, to a great degree, attractive because it provides a structured entry into and on-going participation in the sport by young people.

What characterizes most clubs is a lack of structure.  Nothing compares to leagues in attracting players to the club, not by a small part due to the formal structure provided by the competition organization.  

Much more could be implemented into clubs in this regard.  As mentioned, training programs with creative formats is one area of potential.  Having "mini-training" sessions of a half hour prior to a league start time would have high appeal.  The sessions would be directed by a coach, starting with a five minute lecture on an aspect of the sport, followed by training in the subject discussed.

Another area of possible improvement would be a wider range of individual lesson formats.  As an example, having packages of four 15 minute lessons available on the league days would be an appealing option for many to receive some instruction and warmup at a reasonable price, without incurring scheduling or time constraints. 

Thanks.
I now remember that the Bellevue Community Center TT Club (20+yo club) had that practice before Covid: on league day, 2000+ rated volunteers give 15 minutes of practice to whoever gives $5 additional to the club or something like that; maybe it was $10 for 1/2 hour. That was a step in the right direction. Anything that maximizes TT quality time while we are at the club is welcome. Anything that allows a player to minimize waiting/sitting time is to be put on a list of actions to perform.

That practice could be applied every day. If a 2000+ volunteer wants to put themselves on a board as "Volunteer available to practice $20/h", I'd be a customer at least 2h/week. 

One caveat: I do think volunteers would show up but only if they serve a cause like funding the kids training program to pay for the costs of taking them to tourneys out of town for example (Nationals, Teams...). If the money goes into the owner's pocket, it won't work. I suppose a treasurer independent from the club ownership should keep the books hand in hand with the control desk on that matter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote astaroyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 4:23pm
everything seems very individualistic in USA, this could cause many people to quit.

where I played most times there was a coach, a group.... so it was more like a group training.


Edited by astaroyd - 06/14/2021 at 4:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 5:53pm
People quit because too many rif raf players take advantage of the fact tt is a small community where the level to brag doesn’t have to be high, they have a big mouth and think everybody loves them, they compensate the mediocrity of their professional and family life with a bullying attitude in a sport where they see themselves as a big shot, those losers. In the end they rot the atmosphere and since there is no authority from the control desk that most often talks poor English if any, they feel entitled and validated. 

IMHO, year memberships are wrong. A year, semester, trimester or monthly membership should only give discounts on products available. The fact an actual year membership allows a player to spend 10 hours a day at the club is unhealthy, those will hit a bit and try to socialize the rest of the time, often minding other people’s business without their consent.

Make it so I pay the league $3 instead of $8; gimme discounts on tourneys, equipment and apparel, lessons etc… when I am a member but charge me for everything I do at the club, including table time, rented at a discount too. Pricing should be set so at the end of the year, the player will have spent about the same money than before. E.g $200 year membership, $2 per 4-hour session (closing doors 15 minutes in between sessions?), $2 per hour renting a table instead of $5 for walk-in customers, $3 instead of $8 per leagues, 25% discount on tourney entry fees and lessons…

What we want is the typical member to spend about $1000 a year (everything included but rubbers) showing up 3 to 4 times a week.

Above all the training hall should not be the clubhouse for players like it is now. Just like in golf, the clubhouse is where we go to hangout when playtime his over. Acting in a clubhouse mindset in the training hall is plain inappropriate and people will quit over such disorganized practices.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 11:07pm
You can look at reason number 5 that LIGHTSPIN mentioned first... look at how clubs start... and WHY clubs close... and this is one major reason and several others are related to this. Why? With the exception of a few US cities, once a club closes down, it may be anywhere from 1-5 hours to get to another place. This creates gaps in playing.

** For a full time club open daily with dedicated facility, usually, this is in a city of 500,000 or more where thee are many non-US born people, often larger than 500k. These are the only places with any feasbale market for a full time facility. An entreprenurially minded individual would need to invest a goodly chunk of money to get started and be ready to cope with very high fixed and variable costs... unless one just happens to own a place with very low fixed and variable costs... or owns a LOT of property and does not give a damn if the place loses money. Often, someone pulls $100,000 - $200,000 out of their arse and gets started.

** Running a facility with 10 tables and getting it into acceptable shape with what we would expect out of a facility starts off at $10,000 - $12,000 a month and goes up... and up and up.

** Even with the smaller 10 table facility, $10-12k a month expenses means that you need 125 members paying $60 a month and 30 peopple taking lessons at least once a month. 

** Even with a full time, daily visit of the local cheerleader squad, attracting those numbers within the first year, and then sustaining them does not happen as much as we would hope.

** Then stuff happens, like more taxes, more regulation, increased lease costs, members getting pissed off at this or that, cheepskate memebrs leaving since they don't get 1/2 discount on membership, a beloved coach leaves or dies, or people in general do not choose to keep membership after so many months...

** That means owner bleeds cash and it gets to a point where they go bust. No more club and players have too far to go to play and either do not play or play less frequent

** Once full time club evaporates, you have only a few places that rent out school or community center gym space 1-2 times a week for a couple of hours where tables are setup and some matches are played... no time or space to do anything else... and since there isn't much training, no one really improves much... and everyone, except the ones not interested in anything except playing a few matches do not get much out of the deal


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2021 at 11:22pm
I live in a USA city metro area with TWO MILLION PLUS population... many milionaires. Zero full time clubs. There is only one  place that is semi official... and it is one of the meetup 2x a week in a rec center, setup tables and play matches kinda setup...

Why? Dude running that setup might well be a millionaire, but he isn't stupid or nor does he seem to take stupid risks.

There are some individuals with a table in their garage, a few churches with a table or two, or the Russian Church with 3-4 tables. These are mostly 1x a week for a few hrs, maybe 2x sometimes.

Once the previous full time club closed (due to excessive local government harassment) (the owner was perfectly fine bleeding away $10k+ a month loss, but was not gunna stand for being hassled), at least 1/2 the previously active players simply did not play... and the remainder did not get to play very much and not with much quality.

A number of players were close to forming a 25 player co-op to rent a space for 4 tables to privately play at a cost of $200+ a month.

This is what happened in my metro area with TT and why a large number of players quit TT.


Edited by BH-Man - 06/14/2021 at 11:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 2:26am
Well said Bh-Man!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote astaroyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 4:08am
Originally posted by BH-Man BH-Man wrote:

You can look at reason number 5 that LIGHTSPIN mentioned first... look at how clubs start... and WHY clubs close... and this is one major reason and several others are related to this. Why? With the exception of a few US cities, once a club closes down, it may be anywhere from 1-5 hours to get to another place. This creates gaps in playing.

** For a full time club open daily with dedicated facility, usually, this is in a city of 500,000 or more where thee are many non-US born people, often larger than 500k. These are the only places with any feasbale market for a full time facility. An entreprenurially minded individual would need to invest a goodly chunk of money to get started and be ready to cope with very high fixed and variable costs... unless one just happens to own a place with very low fixed and variable costs... or owns a LOT of property and does not give a damn if the place loses money. Often, someone pulls $100,000 - $200,000 out of their arse and gets started.

** Running a facility with 10 tables and getting it into acceptable shape with what we would expect out of a facility starts off at $10,000 - $12,000 a month and goes up... and up and up.

** Even with the smaller 10 table facility, $10-12k a month expenses means that you need 125 members paying $60 a month and 30 peopple taking lessons at least once a month. 

** Even with a full time, daily visit of the local cheerleader squad, attracting those numbers within the first year, and then sustaining them does not happen as much as we would hope.

** Then stuff happens, like more taxes, more regulation, increased lease costs, members getting pissed off at this or that, cheepskate memebrs leaving since they don't get 1/2 discount on membership, a beloved coach leaves or dies, or people in general do not choose to keep membership after so many months...

** That means owner bleeds cash and it gets to a point where they go bust. No more club and players have too far to go to play and either do not play or play less frequent

** Once full time club evaporates, you have only a few places that rent out school or community center gym space 1-2 times a week for a couple of hours where tables are setup and some matches are played... no time or space to do anything else... and since there isn't much training, no one really improves much... and everyone, except the ones not interested in anything except playing a few matches do not get much out of the deal



those places that rent for 1 or 2 hours are quite expensive, you can't really set up a club there.


Edited by astaroyd - 06/15/2021 at 6:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeaverMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 4:46am
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:


5) Finding a home club can be difficult.  Clubs open and close all the time.  You might have to travel quit a distance just to play.  I know some people who travel 1 hour 1-way just to play.  That kind of time commitment is tough to maintain.  Also one day you are playing in individually barriered courts with professional flooring and then the club closes are you find yourself playing in a basement with a wall 2 feet behind the table.  

Hahaha! So very true.  I have to say related to finding a home club, pongers are just too cheap (including me!) As an example years ago, a friend of mine got a community college to agree to let us use the gym for TT two school nights a week.  It was free except we had to pay the janitor for the night hours and we had to replace the light bulbs which were yellowish.  We had four tables and donated two worn out ones and pre-made paddles to the school's recreation program.  With the cost of the lights, tables and nets, maintenance, and Christmas presents for the janitor and school administrator he asked the approximately 40 members to donate $75 the first year to recover expenses and $40 per year after.  Visitors paid $3 per visit.  Everything was considered donations because the facility was free.  Looks reasonable, right? Wrong, not for pongers.

I assisted in collecting fees one time.  People were questioning their fee.  They wanted to see the bookkeeping, expenses, reserves, etc.  Where is the money going? I thought "are you freakin' serious?" I had to deal with people's excuses, delays, and escaping early :) One guy even had the audacity to say his taxes pay for the school so why should there be a fee.  This guy was a known real estate investor that bragged about "making a killing" with his rental properties.  There was a dentist, bunch of IT guys, and several white collar jobs so a pretty educated group.  They think of TT as an extension of their garage or basement so it should be free.  And don't get me started on those visitors who feel entitled not to put away tables because they paid $3.  I collected from one visitor and he half-jokingly told me "No one here is really giving me any competition so it should be free" while he acted high and mighty handing me $3.  I was thinking the next time you act like a buttwipe in front of me, wear a cup.

The club was closed before it even got any momentum.  So yes, finding a home club is difficult but sometimes, we pongers ourselves make it difficult.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kindof99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 6:54am
Originally posted by BeaverMD BeaverMD wrote:

Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:


5) Finding a home club can be difficult.  Clubs open and close all the time.  You might have to travel quit a distance just to play.  I know some people who travel 1 hour 1-way just to play.  That kind of time commitment is tough to maintain.  Also one day you are playing in individually barriered courts with professional flooring and then the club closes are you find yourself playing in a basement with a wall 2 feet behind the table.  

Hahaha! So very true.  I have to say related to finding a home club, pongers are just too cheap (including me!) As an example years ago, a friend of mine got a community college to agree to let us use the gym for TT two school nights a week.  It was free except we had to pay the janitor for the night hours and we had to replace the light bulbs which were yellowish.  We had four tables and donated two worn out ones and pre-made paddles to the school's recreation program.  With the cost of the lights, tables and nets, maintenance, and Christmas presents for the janitor and school administrator he asked the approximately 40 members to donate $75 the first year to recover expenses and $40 per year after.  Visitors paid $3 per visit.  Everything was considered donations because the facility was free.  Looks reasonable, right? Wrong, not for pongers.

I assisted in collecting fees one time.  People were questioning their fee.  They wanted to see the bookkeeping, expenses, reserves, etc.  Where is the money going? I thought "are you freakin' serious?" I had to deal with people's excuses, delays, and escaping early :) One guy even had the audacity to say his taxes pay for the school so why should there be a fee.  This guy was a known real estate investor that bragged about "making a killing" with his rental properties.  There was a dentist, bunch of IT guys, and several white collar jobs so a pretty educated group.  They think of TT as an extension of their garage or basement so it should be free.  And don't get me started on those visitors who feel entitled not to put away tables because they paid $3.  I collected from one visitor and he half-jokingly told me "No one here is really giving me any competition so it should be free" while he acted high and mighty handing me $3.  I was thinking the next time you act like a buttwipe in front of me, wear a cup.

The club was closed before it even got any momentum.  So yes, finding a home club is difficult but sometimes, we pongers ourselves make it difficult.
Those are not real pongers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 9:10am
Originally posted by BeaverMD BeaverMD wrote:

Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:


5) Finding a home club can be difficult.  Clubs open and close all the time.  You might have to travel quit a distance just to play.  I know some people who travel 1 hour 1-way just to play.  That kind of time commitment is tough to maintain.  Also one day you are playing in individually barriered courts with professional flooring and then the club closes are you find yourself playing in a basement with a wall 2 feet behind the table.  

Hahaha! So very true.  I have to say related to finding a home club, pongers are just too cheap (including me!) As an example years ago, a friend of mine got a community college to agree to let us use the gym for TT two school nights a week.  It was free except we had to pay the janitor for the night hours and we had to replace the light bulbs which were yellowish.  We had four tables and donated two worn out ones and pre-made paddles to the school's recreation program.  With the cost of the lights, tables and nets, maintenance, and Christmas presents for the janitor and school administrator he asked the approximately 40 members to donate $75 the first year to recover expenses and $40 per year after.  Visitors paid $3 per visit.  Everything was considered donations because the facility was free.  Looks reasonable, right? Wrong, not for pongers.

I assisted in collecting fees one time.  People were questioning their fee.  They wanted to see the bookkeeping, expenses, reserves, etc.  Where is the money going? I thought "are you freakin' serious?" I had to deal with people's excuses, delays, and escaping early :) One guy even had the audacity to say his taxes pay for the school so why should there be a fee.  This guy was a known real estate investor that bragged about "making a killing" with his rental properties.  There was a dentist, bunch of IT guys, and several white collar jobs so a pretty educated group.  They think of TT as an extension of their garage or basement so it should be free.  And don't get me started on those visitors who feel entitled not to put away tables because they paid $3.  I collected from one visitor and he half-jokingly told me "No one here is really giving me any competition so it should be free" while he acted high and mighty handing me $3.  I was thinking the next time you act like a buttwipe in front of me, wear a cup.

The club was closed before it even got any momentum.  So yes, finding a home club is difficult but sometimes, we pongers ourselves make it difficult.

That is a very good story.  Thanks!

All on-going organized ventures have a cultural overlay.  In the United States, the recreational/casual hobby/unorganized culture dominates among the 20 (or 40 or 60) million players.  Some other countries have a much distinctively different cultural overlay for table tennis.

It is due to the above-expressed U.S. condition that the growth of the competitive dimension of table tennis must be based upon others than the recreational.  Means must be deployed that foster introductory exposure and enjoyable early participation to the general public to attract those who respond to serious sports' participation.  This context is then attached to greater and greater competitive-associated opportunities.

The aforementioned participants in the sad tale told above are not citizens of the competitive class of table tennis players.  They are neighbors with conflicting interests to those who associate table tennis with the other extraordinarily special international and Olympic sports.  Good and correct it is to have recreational clubs for recreational players.  At best, the activity cost is zero dollars.

These recreationalists are always welcome to climb over the fence and play at the culturally-competitive venues.  Few do or will as the cost is perceived as exorbitant.  

For the rest, the vision is elsewhere.

Thanks.
"Pierre Curie's greatest discovery was Marie Sklodowski." Frederick Soddy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 3:51pm
A chronic issue at my club was new people would show up and nobody would play with them.  I was sometimes guilty.  This has probably already been mentioned but I haven't read the entire thread.


Edited by Baal - 06/15/2021 at 3:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 5:28pm
When I first started playing I went to the local club (5 players).  Play was Sunday morning at 9:00.  There wasn't a cost, but they asked for a donation.  The donations totaled 2-4 dollars a week.  They wanted a better facility and better times.  I got the YMCA Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons.  The YMCA bought 7 tables and our cost was $3 per player.  The club members refused to go, saying it was to expensive.  They felt as 1300 rated players they should get to play free.  They didn't join until I built it up to 14 tables and 38 garage players.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 5:34pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

A chronic issue at my club was new people would show up and nobody would play with them.  I was sometimes guilty.  This has probably already been mentioned but I haven't read the entire thread.

Catch 22 situation at our club.  If we played with new player and everyone beat them or just showed a much higher skill level they never came back.  If just the one player at their level played them they never came back.

I never figured out how to handle the situation.  I tried just blocking for them.  I tried doing a little coaching for them.  I tried explaining that when I first came to club I went several months without beating anyone but now was one of the better players because members helped me get better.  Nothing worked for most of them.  The one thing we never tried was having everyone lose to the new guy until we got his annual membership fee. 

Would that be considered "membership hustling"?  

Mark - Who really hated to lose new members.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andzejgolot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2021 at 5:46pm
there is no pleasure to see lighting fast balls and if rallies are short 
you won't be happy with your performance.
We are playing for fun and when we find problems and less pleasure to play what is your drive to Play? Be better than someone for what ?
Attractive Long rallies, interaction with guys and chill 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2021 at 11:17am
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

When I first started playing I went to the local club (5 players).  Play was Sunday morning at 9:00.  There wasn't a cost, but they asked for a donation.  The donations totaled 2-4 dollars a week.  They wanted a better facility and better times.  I got the YMCA Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons.  The YMCA bought 7 tables and our cost was $3 per player.  The club members refused to go, saying it was to expensive.  They felt as 1300 rated players they should get to play free.  They didn't join until I built it up to 14 tables and 38 garage players.  

while all the discussions about the difficulties of how hard it is to run a club is interesting, I don't know if it directly addresses the OP.  Something I could draw from these discussions is, in NA, TT tend to draw the not so attractive (not talking about looks) people and thus discourage many newer players with continuing with the sport (again maybe not addressing the OP) - kind of sad
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chongqinghotpot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2021 at 11:58am
Pickleball
USATT rating 2200
05Vis64
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2021 at 1:16pm
Butterfly chasing...

oops I meant badminton, sorry
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