#17 – Adam Gittings: Hard Work Pays Off

Adam Gittings is 18 years old, lives in Doncaster, and has Asperger syndrome, dyspraxia, and type 1 diabetes. Three years ago he was invited to a South Yorkshire disabled sports trial day at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, where he was given to opportunity to try out a load of different sports and see if he had the potential to join any of the regional squads. Little did he know at the time, but that day would change his life forever.

One of the coaches, Shaun Alvey, spotted something in Adam and invited him along to his club. Instantly, Adam was hooked. Despite his late start (15 is considered very old for table tennis, which is an early specialization sport) he dedicated himself to training and played as much table tennis as possible. 18 months later he was the Class 11 BTTAD Junior National Champion.

Adam has now moved on from the juniors to the seniors (but not before winning double gold medals at the Sainsbury’s School Games a couple of weeks ago) and I really wanted to get him on the show to talk about his fantastic results and find out what he’s got planned for the next few years. SPOILER ALERT: Adam has just moved down from Doncaster to Bristol to join the Table Tennis Academy at the Bristol Academy of Sport.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • All about Adam’s triumph at the 2015 Sainsbury’s School Games.
  • How he first got into table tennis.
  • How disabled table tennis works with the class category system.
  • The kind of training Adam did to improve so quickly.
  • What his plans are for the next two years at Bristol Academy.
  • Who Adam’s biggest rival is in British Class 11 table tennis.
  • Adam’s top tip for improving your tournament mentality.
  • How to follow his progress online.

Links from this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Thank you so much for joining us. I really hope you enjoyed the show and learned a lot from listening to Adam. I am so pleased to hear about the positive impact table tennis has had on his life and I wish him the best of luck with his quest to become British #1 and join the Team GB Paralympic squad. Keep your eyes fixed on Tokyo 2020, Adam!

The Expert Table Tennis Podcast is on track to have its most popular month ever. We had seen over 2,500 downloads by the half-way point this month so let’s keeping downloading, subscribing, liking and sharing the show to see if we can break through the 5,000 download mark for September!

As always, you can help me to make that happen by subscribing on iTunes, leaving us an honest iTunes Podcast review and sharing The Expert Table Tennis Podcast with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. I really appreciate your help!

Next week I’m joined on the show my Chris Main, who is a professional table tennis coach up in Scotland and head coach of North Ayrshire TTC in Saltcoats. We’ll be talking about coaching tips, player development and how to improve the sport of table tennis in the UK and abroad.