Table Tennis: Timo Boll on his Fascination and Motivation

Timo Boll continues to play in the world elite at 38. He was number 1 in the world rankings several times and is considered one of the smartest tacticians in this sport. In China, the country of table tennis world champions, he is one of the most popular Germans.

Watching you train, it looks like table tennis is a lot of fun.

(Laughs.) On the one hand it is fun, on the other hand it is also torture when you almost always have to push yourself to the limit and when everything hurts after training.

What is the fascination of table tennis ?

I am fascinated by the speed, especially the rotations of the ball and thus the calculation of the ball. And the tactics during the competition. We always say table tennis is high-speed chess. You have to think a lot ahead because it’s so quick. And you also have to train a lot.

In addition to the high training intensity and the demands of the public, there is a full competition calendar. How can you always achieve top performance?

That is the problem in table tennis. You have to find a middle ground to play „OK“ in the National Ligue and the smaller competitions and then to achieve your best form in the larger competitions. That is not always easy.

What is the difference between the way the Europeans and the Chinese play ?

The Chinese play with a different forehand pad that is more grippy and affects the ball flight curve differently. This is unusual for us and you have to get used to a different rotation of the ball. In addition to this main difference, they play a bit more forehand-oriented than the Europeans.

ITTF-Tour – China & Corona-Virus

The ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) calendar is packed:

The 2020 World Cup in China at the end of March and the Olympic Games in Tokyo at the end of July are two highlights. However, there will be adjustments due to the corona virus pandemic.