This guide to the player pathways has been created using the knowledge of Head Coach Henry Arthur (UKCC Level 3 Head Coach Qualified). We hope you find it useful as you start your table tennis journey with the club.
The guide aims to give you an understanding of what is available to you through the club and through Table Tennis England the governing body of our sport.
All members of the club automatically receive ‘Associate’ membership to Table Tennis England. Further membership requirements are explained later.
The areas of information we cover on this page are:
Coaching - Click Blue text for additional info
Competitions - Click Blue text for additional info
The club provides two group coaching sessions based on ability and Henry will also provide one to one coaching on a Monday or Wednesday evening at an extra cost payable directly to Henry.
The two group sessions are on Wednesday evenings;
6.30pm - 7.30pm for beginners – primarily aimed for juniors (under 18's). We have a height adjustable table to enable us to start players as young as 6 years old. The session includes basic stroke play technique, spin generation, service and footwork/movement. The session is usually lead by Henry Arthur with the support of various other coaches and often members will benefit from some one to one time during the hour. Fun games are used in addition to routine practices to embed knowledge and technique.
7.30pm - 9.30pm is our League Development Session – this session is for players of all ages that have developed the basic techniques and can consistently demonstrate the four basic strokes and service. We also use the time for adult beginners who will be catered for separately from the main group session with a view to integrate them as quickly as possible.
The main session is led by Henry and broken into two - one hours. The second hour 8.30pm -9.30pm is optional as we appreciate that it is not always feasible for players or parents of players to give the additional time. Across both the hours we work on advanced technique, speed and spin generation, ball placement, movement/footwork, service and return, partnering (the ability to support each other through practice) and match play. All players are encouraged to work with different playing partners across the age spectrum. The session is open to juniors and adults.
One to One Coaching – Henry provides one to one coaching at our club on Monday evening between 7.30pm – 9.30pm and Wednesday evening at 9.30pm. You can book time with Henry individually or as a pair if you wish to work together with a partner. One to one allows Henry to work specifically on the individual player’s needs which ultimately will facilitate quicker development and improvement. The cost of one hour with Henry at these times is £20.
Henry is also available for a One to One session at different times at different venues (costs vary) please speak with him directly for more information.
The club works closely with the Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre and provides the centre with two tables that can be hired out on an hourly basis. If you would like to practice outside of the club opening hours please get in touch with Lynn at the Centre and arrange to hire a table and half the hall for an hour.
Any player starting to play will firstly want to know if they like the sport! Therefor the club has a range of practice bats available for people to use, some in better condition than others, and all we ask is for players to respect the bats whilst in use and return them at the end of every session.
The bat a player uses will help in their development and we strongly recommend that as soon as you know you like the sport that you invest in a bat of your own. The club has great starter bats available to purchase for just £20. The bats are Palio bats (also available on Amazon and Ebay). Having your own bat means that you can practice with a consistent feeling of the bat in your hand.
As you develop your skill, timing, touch and stroke technique you will probably want to choose your individual blade (the wooden part of the bat), and rubbers. Blades and rubbers can all have different qualities of speed, feel, weight, spin generation and handle type and can vary in price per individual item from £25 to £400. For guidance I would recommend a budget of £100 for your first bespoke complete bat. If you like the bat you choose and look after the blade you will be able to just replace the rubbers when they wear out after time.
The club is supported by Teessport which is a UK table tennis equipment supplier and discounted rates for equipment are available if you buy through the club. See Chris for details.
The club provides practice balls for the coaching sessions and each team captain will receive 12 match quality (3*) balls for use in league games.
The quality of balls can vary considerably so if you are interested in buying balls for home use or additional practice please feel free to ask for recommendations.
The club has 9 Table Tennis England match quality tables and 1 height adjustable table for use with our younger members.
Not everyone enjoys ‘competitive’ sport but in general we know that competition breeds engagement with sport and a general will or desire to improve.
The club is inclusive to everyone and for those people that would like to play competitively these are the routes to competition available to you:
To compete in any competition you are required to have ‘Player’ Membership to Table Tennis England which the club can organise for you and pass on the cost directly; for some Table Tennis England Competitions you are required to have a ‘Player Licence’ (These are highlighted in the list below) and as with 'Player' Membership the club can organise and pass on the cost directly to you.
Juniors – Under 18s are split into age groups, the two main ones are Cadets (under 15) and Juniors (Under 18) (At the younger end there is also U13 and U11 classifications)
Seniors (Over 18) and Veterans (Over 40)
Kettering Junior League - Organised by Henry on behalf of the Kettering and District League. This is an individual based competition played across 3-4 Saturday afternoons in Kettering. It is aimed at beginners - players that understand the rules of the game and can play the basic shots including service.
National Cadet League and National Junior League – These are Table Tennis England Competitions played in a team format across 4 weekends Saturday or Sunday. These competitions are seen as stepping stones to the Junior British League. Our teams generally play at Weavers Leisure Centre (Westfield TTC) in Wellingborough. Corby Town TTC enters teams into both competitions.
Across the country tournaments can be found most weekends which are run in association with Table Tennis England. These events carry ranking points for the results gained enabling each player to get a national ranking. If you would like information on these tournaments please ask Henry or Chris and they will discuss these with you and direct you to where you can find more information on Venues, Dates and Entry forms
Once you reach a reasonably high competitive standard you can play in the one of the British League Series. These are team events and although at present we do not have a team represented in these leagues (we have previously) we can help you find a team through another club (a number of teams in these events are made up of players from multiple clubs). Each of the Leagues take place at a single venue over two complete weekends usually one between September – December and one January – April.
The club has always had a very strong presence in the local league. We currently have teams playing in each of the three divisions and welcome any club member of suitable ability to represent the club in one of our teams. The matches are played each week between Mid-September and April, starting at 7.30pm with a view to finish no later than 10.30pm. Each team consists of 3 players (although more players can be registered for a team and play on rotation so a weekly commitment is not required). Each player plays 3 singles and then a doubles pairing is selected. The teams are put together based on ability, compatibility and are often mixed age. Players of any age can play, although the end time is sometimes a hindrance for younger players and this is something that we are looking to overcome. Our club home night is Thursday (all of the other clubs play Tuesday and Wednesday).
England Schools Table Tennis Association run individual and team competitions at County, Regional and National Level. To participate in these the application has to made through the school. Unfortunately, Table Tennis is not often seen as a primary sport for schools and therefor if you would like to take part you will need to speak with the head of sport within your school and if further advice is needed please contact Henry.
In summary Corby Town Table Tennis Club are very pleased that you have chosen our club to come and play table tennis. We are here to help you enjoy the sport and progress to whatever level you would like to, whether you want to play socially, socially competitive (Local league) or aspire to reach National and International levels.