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Leagratefulrn a great mental technique of how to play table tennis better by being grateful for starting and arriving at this stage of your table tennis journey.

Like positive thinking, it can be developed and nurtured. It might change someone who is a surly, over competitive and cheater player to transform into a contented and confident player by using the following psychological memes. 

After viewing an inspiring video by Benny Hsu, I looked up this Psychology Today article from Amy Morin 

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

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Although I've experienced a few uncontrollable downs like multiple surgeries, I realised how grateful I am that the many ups of playing table tennis have contributed to a high quality of life.

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. Twenty years ago, by volunteering to run the table tennis club for Cherrybrook Chinese Association for many years, it has eventually lead to the formation of a strong tt club in Cherrybrook with hundreds of players enjoying and competing with fellow tt players in our local community, and the envy of countless other people who wished they had a similar club in their suburb.
     
  2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. TT players obviously exercise often, go to physios and visit doctors more (to make sure that injuries don't affect their success!), which overall is likely to contribute to further longevity.
     
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. If we play tt for the enjoyment of a good competitive game and not be bitter about losing, Robert Emmon's research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
     
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Players who rank higher on gratitude scales are less likely to be upset even when they lose by unlucky edges or bad sportsmanship from opponents. They experience more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and have a decreased desire to seek revenge.
     
  5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed (and perhaps what shot you need to improve and train at so that your mind is not cluttered), and you may sleep better and longer.
     
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem.  Gratitude increases a player’s self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who play at a higher grade than them or often wanting to play in a division above their current ability (a major factor in reduced self-esteem) grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
     
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming major trauma such as the Vietnam post war or 9-11 devastation. Some players have undergone knee and back surgeries and have even survived heart attacks. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.

I quote the psychotherapist's recommendations "We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve."

Another benefit of joining a club is that the you receive a great ground swell of support when setbacks happen. For example, many years ago I ended up in hospital with multiple fractures to my right side after being hit by a car when riding my bicycle after work. The friends and family that visited me in hospital all said I was lucky to walk again and warned me off ever riding my bike due to the crazy drivers in Sydney. I was getting sad about it but then several members of my cycling group visited me and said 'pfff' I'll soon forget my injuries and would be riding my bike in no time. I'm glad I got that great support because eventually I hopped back on the bike and now immensely enjoy riding my racing bike around the quiet back streets of Cherrybrook. 

The fantastic attribute of our club is that our teams support each other; they play to win but not at the expense of doing it with style and great sportsmanship which our club encourages in spades.

 

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