Daniel is 33 years old, he was himself a table tennis player and a member of the Hungarian national team. In 2012, he even represented Hungary at the Olympic Games in London as a member of the table tennis team of his country. But that’s not the reason why we’re introducing you to Daniel.

Daniel actually occupies a very important position at the LMC. He is the sports manager – the interface between the LMC talents, coaches and management. He has the necessary understanding and know-how for both parties: he was a professional himself and studied Sports Management at the same time. Daniel knows what the talents and coaches need to be successful. He also knows that the LMC can only be successful if it is managed as a smoothly-run, economical business. Daniel holds a key position at the LMC and that makes him a very interesting dialog partner for us.

“Sport gives you a great feeling when it becomes an active part of your everyday life.”

DANIEL ZWICKL

1

Daniel, why table tennis?

Bobby Fischer (American chess genius and world champion) once said: “Table tennis is like a 100-meter-dash where you play chess at the same time” – that’s the game in a nutshell. Table tennis requires speed, fitness, strength, endurance, but also great mental strength – table tennis is extremely demanding. At the same time – in terms of the time between two ball contacts – is the fastest “racket” sport in the world.

On the other hand, table tennis is also a game for everybody. You can play it easily at any playground with a table or play it well into old age.
Very few sports are so versatile.

2

In your opinion, how do you get the youth to the table?

In my opinion, it’s not so easy to inspire young people for a sport anymore. There are many “competing” leisure time offers. Although sport has many convincing arguments: sport is fun, you can quickly get to know new people and often make friends – sport gives you a great feeling when it becomes an active part of your everyday life.

People who don’t get the passion for our sport at first sight should give it a second look. Table tennis must be seen, experienced and above all, tried out. I can only advise anyone to watch a professional table tennis match, e.g. the First Bundesliga live and on the ground (Ochsenhausen just happens to have a team in the First Bundesliga) – what the athletes here achieve is absolutely fascinating.

3

What is it that makes a good table tennis player a potential talent for the LMC?

Three qualities are essential: will, motivation and mental strength.

These are the basic prerequisites for us to work well with a player. In the next step, we look at the potential that he brings with him at the table and at the same time, what physical capabilities he possesses – how far has he developed in this area and how well does he knows his own body and knows how to apply it. But perhaps the most important aspect: does his family stand behind him and does he get the necessary support for this? Without his family’s support, this path is a waste of time.

4

What can a talent player that starts at the LMC expect from you?

First of all, we do not perform miracles at the LMC. We offer the best coaches in Europe, optimal training conditions, professional structures and professional management. More importantly, we work with passion and commitment to our sport – but we also expect that from our talents. The thing that attracts a lot of guys is the opportunity to train with us with the current best young up-and-coming talents of the European table tennis scene. To play on the same table as Gauzy, Calderano or Dyjas and to watch them while they’re training – this is only possible at the LMC! In our hall, the Sparkassen-Tischtennis-Leistungszentrum, only young, talented and motivated players train day after day, which creates a very special atmosphere among the players. As mentioned above, but I emphasize it again: the player must have a strong will to become a pro table tennis player. Life with us is not always easy – and I don’t want to put anything over on anyone, because it can also be rather tough. But if you have the right attitude, we will be ready and willing to help you get through these phases.

5

Why do you think that no one before you came up with the idea to build a TT Performance Centre in Europe?

Very simple: it’s very hard work. It takes a lot of time, energy, perseverance and patience. In addition, the athletic education of guys between the ages of 13 and 18 alone is not enough. We are your contact in all areas of life. If they are far away from their family with us in Ochsenhausen, we have a great responsibility towards them and their parents, who trust us and put their kids in our care. This isn’t as easy as you think. There are still not enough coaches. The talents are there. Professional structures and great coaches/people who take care of the players are the basic prerequisites for successful learning.

In addition to the right sporting structure, a performance centre also needs a sound economic base. All this is a real challenge you must meet and successfully manage.

No one has ever tried or believed in this before us. We’re now proving the opposite to everyone.