After last year's format debacle, I'm pleased to say that Table Tennis Australia have attempted to come up with a new teams format (on page 2 of the pdf) that will make as many players as happy as possible.
Although I'm not totally thrilled with it, and at least one top local player dislikes it so much that he has decided not to compete, while our #1 Australian male is apparently only competing in the individual events (although he might be having a rest to save himself for the London Olympics). So maybe it's a compromise that just makes everyone equally unhappy? Trying to meet the needs of elite players while still making the tournament worthwhile for everybody else is a tough job, and I'm not sure I have a better solution. So kudos to Table Tennis Australian for at least trying their best.
Attitude Re-AdjustmentIn my last blog post, I mentioned that I had lost my enthusiasm for local competition. I've since competed in a couple more tournaments with decent results, but still with no keen interest.
Perhaps it is just the fact that I can play almost all our local top players at my club where we go to practice and play games, all within the space of a couple of hours. So why would I find it exciting to play the exact same players in a tournament that just spreads things out over 5 or 6 hours instead? There's no fame and precious little fortune in these tournaments, so what's the benefit, apart from supporting our local tournament organizers? Maybe I've just been spoiled by being able to play four or five tough matches in a row at our club, with no waiting, and being able to go home early instead of hanging around the playing hall all day.
At any rate, I just realized that the cutoff date for our next local tournament has come and gone, and I really don't care that I haven't entered. That should tell me something.
TrainingMy team mates for the upcoming Australian Open have been keen to do some more training in the last couple of weeks, in order to sharpen up for the big event. Their enthusiasm has rubbed off, and I find myself looking forward to going over to Brisbane and giving the Teams another crack. We've got a pretty tough team (three different styles of combination bat users, and one conventional double inverted player), so although we aren't likely to get a medal we should be capable of finishing in the middle of the pack, and if any of the other teams have a bad day or don't handle combination bat players all that well, you just never know what might happen.
My teammates haven't competed on the national scene for quite a while, so we aren't quite sure just how competitive we are going to be - we are all playing quite well against each other, but it's a different story when you start competing against the top players. I think if we can return serve well and prevent our opponents from third balling us, we'll be pretty strong in the rallies. But we'll find out come Sunday, when we kick things off against a President's team containing some pretty strong Korean players.