TT coach unhappy with easy-going approach of players

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2013, 21:04 PM IST

New Delhi: India`s new table tennis coach Peter Engel today expressed his frustration at the lack of focus and discipline among most of Indian players and said that their easy-going approach will not help them in achieving success at the international level.

"From what I have seen in the last two months, the players have the talent but are not giving their 100 percent. What is irritating is they tend to pick and choose their training sessions without realising that this approach will not work if they want to succeed at international level," Engel said at the sidelines of the ongoing North Zone National Ranking Championships here.

The German, however, refused to name the players. Since his arrival in October he has not spent enough time with the senior players other than travelling with them for tournaments in Germany and Poland.

Yet he has spent some quality time at both the NIS, Patiala and at the Lucknow camp until last week before coming here.

Talking about his experience with the campers during the ongoing North Zone National Ranking Championships here, Engel said he was disappointed to see players preferring long holidays than spending extra hours around the table.

"What surprised me was how the seniors found excuses to skip training before the tournaments. Sometimes they don`t want to train citing festivals. If they waste so much time on these things, how are they going to concentrate on the game," asked the German, who said he would work to change the system after his Christmas break.

In fact, earlier coaches Massimo Costantini from Italy and Poland`s Leszek Kucharaski have said the same about some of the Indian paddlers.

Nevertheless, the German was impressed with the rich talent but pointed out to the lack of dedication and fitness.

"The situation is not bad as some of the players are willing to learn. I personally prefer them to improve their fitness, the lack of which makes a player lose his intensity around the table," said the coach, who played for his country at the World Championships in Kolkata in 1975.

On the technical front, the Barcelona-based coach felt that the Indians tended to use more of forehand than the backhand.

"There has to be a balance. You can`t expect to win points by opting for forehand alone. The modern game needs variety, including a steady backhand," he added.

Engel was candid enough to admit that the women paddles have a lot of catching up to do on the international stage.

"The difference is that the men play in European clubs and get to practice with quality players. But the women get to practice mostly in camps and in India only. I am planning to have more camps at frequent intervals when I come back," said Engel.