Olympic hopeful returns from Germany
Two months of table tennis in Germany have shown Jamaica's Mark Phillips what he needs to do to improve. Phillips, a final year student of the University of the West Indies, says he has already begun to implement some of the training improvements he learnt in a trip to Munich. He hopes the visit will be a step on the road to the 2020 Olympics.
Ranked at 7 in Jamaica, Phillips trained at TTF Ochsenhausen during the summer. The 22 year-old Banking and Finance student says he benefited greatly from his time at TTF Ochsenhausen which is one of the strongest clubs in the German Bundesliga.
"I could see where I'm at and where I should be," reflected Phillips in an interview on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies this week.
"I just know I have a lot more to work on when I see these guys playing."
"We sometimes rush the point", he explained, "They make sure every single shot is perfect and their movement at the table and off the table is superb."
He has already started to use the movement drills he learnt there.
"Everyday, before they start training, they do a lot of footwork drills, 30 minutes or more, just footwork", he recalled, " and I think that is really important."
Phillips, who is a former national junior champion, played for Jamaica at the 2016 World Team Championships.
He is hoping to join Garfield Jones, Stephen Hylton and Michael Hyatt as a Jamaican table tennis Olympian four years from now. "I'm planning to go to the 2020 Olympics," he declared. "That's what I'm really working forward to and in 2018 there are a lot of Games, CAC Games, Commonwealth Games, and I want to be part of those teams so that's what I'm actually training for."