#21 – Marc Burman: Greatness is an Attitude (Part 1)

I first started playing table tennis about 16 years ago, aged 9, at the local leisure centre (Westcroft). The coach there at the time was Marc Burman and it was him who introduced me to the sport, taught me the basics, encouraged me to enter my first tournament, and eventually advised me to join Crusaders TTC (who I would go on to represent at junior and senior level for the next 13 years).

Marc was a fantastic coach and helped me tremendously, but he moved away to Sussex in 2003 and it was only a few months ago that I bumped into him again at a British League fixture and we started talking. I was struck by Marc’s passion for table tennis and his extensive knowledge of what it takes to become a great sportsperson. Naturally, we chatted for hours.

Today we carry on that conversation on the podcast. We’ll be talking about a whole host of different topics (there is something for everyone) and we spoke for so long that it was necessary to split the interview into two. This is Part 1. Marc has almost 25 years of coaching experience so, as well as talking about what he can remember from coaching me as a kid, he’ll also be sharing a number of stories to illustrate various strategies and ideas. Whether you are a player, a coach, or a parent, I know you are going to learn a lot from this one!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why Marc started Westcroft TTC at the age of 16.
  • How he managed to quickly grow the club both in numbers and level.
  • What he remembers of me as a nine and ten-year-old.
  • Marc’s philosophy when it comes to introducing players to table tennis.
  • Who Marc believes are the three greatest coaches of all time.
  • The importance of personality and attitude in determining success.
  • What Marc learnt from Carl Prean and Jean-Michel Saive.
  • Why it is so hard to play as well in matches as you do in training.

Links from this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Thank you so much for joining us for part one of the interview with table tennis coach Marc Burman. I really hope you enjoyed the show and are looking forward to catching part two next week. I would like to say a big thank you to Marc for joining me on the podcast and sharing some of his experience and wisdom with us regarding the kind of attitude we need to develop if we want to become truly great table tennis players.

Marc doesn’t have anything to promote – he came on the show purely because he loves talking about table tennis – but if you’re based in West Sussex, and are looking to a coach, I would highly recommend getting in touch with him via the Haywards Heath Table Tennis League.

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See you in a week for part two!