Mark Smythe Table Tennis

Australia's no. 1 coach

Heming's 2nd article from Germany

Heming is now 5 months into his stay in Germany, playing League and some International Tournaments. At the end of October he wrote about his experience from first frew months. Now he has provided 2nd update.

Article 2

Hi everyone

It is now Christmas time. At the end of my last update, I had just finished the Belgium Open and was sitting on 2-4 in the German League and was not playing well results wise. 

My bad form continued going into early November and was a tough time for me. I played Swedish Open then back to German league, losing all my matches at Swedish Open and another 4 league matches in a row. However, I did start to play better throughout the end of the Swedish Open and the last 2 matches in the German League. I started to be more positive and confident and finally got my first win for the season in the league early December. I was beginning to feel happy again and was training well, which all helped. I then defeated some very good players in the league and went on to win another 3 in a row the week after and losing some matches but close ones. I now sit on 6-11 with my win loss record. 

Unfortunately, I had to pull out of the Austrian Open due to visa issues towards staying in Europe. This caused me to have to stay in Bremen and eventually my visa was granted during the time of the event.

I have continuously been training hard and well. Additionally, I have had a very nice Christmas break and begin training tomorrow. The next set of league matches begin on January 14 and 15, followed by the Hungarian Open on the 16th-22nd January. There will be a few league matches in February and then I will be back home on the 22nd of February. I am feeling happy and confident in my game, learning a lot and look forward to the challenges ahead very much.

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I haven't been home since July26, before the Rio Olympic Games and miss home quite a lot! It is very difficult mentally for Australian Players playing professionally in Europe as it gets very mentally hurtful and depressing when you are in down times and losing matches. Additionally, it gets hard many times when being the only Australian away alone. Of course, it is nice being paid to play the sport you love and practicing full time with good players day in day out, and playing competition regularly. However, as fun as it can be it times, it is a very difficult path and can be quite lonely. Also, you are constantly being put under pressure throughout the season and are being paid to win matches, so when you are losing it is extremely daunting. Not many understand how difficult it really is, playing overseas for long periods of time and many can think, "I love the sport so much, it would be the best playing overseas and perfect". I also thought this way when I was a kid. It is fantastic but a lot of the times it is a tough path for Australian players that is very difficult to work well through. I have been fortunate to have had some good people who have been through similar experiences helping me when I needed some advice. They include, William Henzell, Brett Clarke, Trevor Brown and Mark Smythe.  The utmost respect goes to someone like William Henzell, who was able to spend over a decade doing this.