#30 – Nick Ryder: Making a Comeback After 20 Years

Nick Ryder started playing table tennis in the early 80s at a young age. His dad was a coach and he was living in Yorkshire, which was one of the strongest counties for table tennis in the country. By the age of 14, Nick was already a very strong player and found himself #6 on the England cadet list.

Upon entering the juniors, Nick found the going tough and wasn’t sure whether all the hard work and sacrifice was really worth it. He slowly began to drift away from the sport and quit completely at the age of 20. He didn’t pick up a bat for twenty years, until coming back to the sport in 2012 after taking his son along to a local kids coaching session.

Nick is my first listener interview and I’m really keen to share his story with you. I know that plenty of players give up the sport once they hit 18, only to take it up again later on in life. Nick is highly motivated, goal oriented, and has been steadily improving his performances and results over the last three years. I hope you find it easy to related to his story and experiences and get some valuable advice from our chat.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Nick first started playing table tennis back in the 80s.
  • Why he decided to quit playing as a junior.
  • What he learnt from training with future England star Mike O’Driscoll.
  • Why he chose to make a comeback to the sport in 2012.
  • How he has consistently improved his level over the last three years.
  • The types of training and drills he’s implemented.
  • What his goals are for the next couple of years, and beyond.
  • TOP TIP: Develop a special serve to win you cheap points.

Links from this episode:

Thanks for listening!

It was great to do something a little different and I hope to be able to interview a listener every now and again. A big thank you goes out to Nick for being the first one to step up to the plate!

I’m sure that loads of you guys must have similar stories to Nick. Did you play a lot as a kid and then quit, only to come back to the sport as a veteran? If so, leave a comment below and let us know how you are getting on.

And a big thank you to our sponsor – ttEDGE

Running and producing a weekly podcast costs money (not a lot of money, but I do have to pay out for hosting each money and buy equipment and tools). It also takes up quite a lot of my time (probably about 4-5 hours per episode if you include prep, doing the interview, editing and uploading it, and then promotion).

In order to make it all a little more financially viable, I have taken the decision to have each episode paid for by a sponsor. The format of the show will remain the same, except that after the interview I will give you a very brief message from them, whoever it might be. It could be promoting a product or service. It might be making you aware of a special deal. Anything really. I hope you understand.

And I have to say, I couldn’t be happier with our first sponsor…

ttedge logo

ttEDGE is an online table tennis coaching service run by William Henzell (Australian #1) and Brett Clarke (former Australian national team player and coach). They produce top quality coaching videos and offer one-to-one online coaching and video analysis to platinum members of their website.

If you haven’t heard my interview with Brett Clarke yet, you can listen to that here.

It’s actually pretty unbelievable that you can have such an experienced coach as Brett Clarke, watching your videos and giving you one-to-one feedback and advice on your game, all included in the price of membership. I would probably charge £30 an hour just for this alone!

That’s the main reason why I believe joining ttEDGE could have a massive impact on your game. The videos are great, and will help you loads, but one-to-one access to a top quality coach like Brett is what’s really going to push you on to the next level.

If you are interested in becoming a member of ttEDGE, and I highly recommend you do, here is the link you’ll need…


  • Standard membership is free.
  • Platinum membership, which gives you access to everything and one-on-one feedback from Brett himself, is only $19.95 per month.

If you are interested in sponsoring future episodes of The Expert Table Tennis Podcast, please email me via ben@experttabletennis.com.

Fancy being a guest on the podcast yourself?

Your podcast needs you!

I like to have a variety of different guests on the show (professional players, up-and-comers, bloggers, top coaches, sports psychologists/scientists etc.) to keep each episode fresh and appeal to a wide audience of table tennis fans. One idea I’ve had is to feature you guys, the podcast listeners, from time to time. I think it would be a great way to learn from each other and share what is working in practice.

If you are a regular listener to the podcast, and fancy being on the show yourself at some point, then drop me an email and we can discuss how it would work. My email is ben@experttabletennis.com.

Please share the show

All that I need to say is that downloads are at an all-time high so far this month. It’s a great feeling to see so many people listening to the show and I know that loads of you are helping me to spread the podcast by sharing it with your table tennis friends.

Thanks for all the help you’ve given me already! Please continue to support the show and subscribe on iTunes, leave us an honest iTunes Podcast review, share this episode on Facebook or Twitter, or simply just mention it to a friend. I appreciate your help so much!

This is the final episode of the podcast for 2015 – I decided it was a bit much to release an episode on Christmas Day – but I’ll be back with a whole roster of fantastic guests in 2016. The show is going to be bigger and better and I can’t wait to share loads more amazing interviews with you.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and I’ll be back with more great Expert Table Tennis content for you in the new year.