Ex-England International’s Route into Coaching

As an ex-England international, Tom Maynard is well-placed to pass on his wisdom to the next generation of table tennis stars, though coaching was never something he considered.

Both of Tom’s parents were keen table tennis players, so it was only a matter of time before he would pick up a paddle. Aged 11, Tom became involved in the sport, and it wouldn’t be too long before his natural talent would begin to shine through.

His first trophy came at a local school tournament in Berkshire and it would prove to be far from his last accolade, as he would go on to play professionally around Europe and even represent his country.

“I was unbelievably proud,” Tom told Fen Regis Trophies of his first England call-up. “Especially still being quite young at the time.

“I just remembered how excited all my family and friends were for me which was an amazing feeling!

“The experience was quite surreal and flew by looking back; it makes you want to relive it all again and soak it in more.”

He added: “My proudest achievement in table tennis would have to be representing England at senior level back in 2011…that’s something I’ll always be proud of and a great memory looking back.”

European Adventure

Tom has enjoyed a fantastic career as a player in table tennis, competing across Europe in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Switzerland. He admits that the sacrifices he was forced to make to succeed were difficult, but his success made it more than worthwhile.

“I’ve always loved playing in clubs abroad,” He said. “Firstly, when I was around 17 travelling and playing in Belgium for two seasons and then making the move to play and also live in Switzerland for a couple of years.

“Adapting to playing full-time in Switzerland was tough in many ways, but it helped me to grow a lot as a person I would say.

“Of course, sacrificing social life, family events and all those other things people take for granted was not easy at all, but I knew that’s what it took to improve and grow as an athlete.”

Transitioning into Coaching

Having spent much of his formative years becoming comfortable with a paddle in his hand, Tom never truly considered coaching – that was until a series of injuries began to catch up with him.

Unfortunately, the former England international has never been a stranger to injuries, but Tom points to a hip injury as the beginning of the end of his elite-level playing days.

He said: “I’ve always been resilient and managed to bounce back, but the hip injury I suffered gradually got to a point where I was finding it hard to compete at my usual level and I needed surgery.

“That’s the point where I thought maybe I won’t be able to play at the same level anymore.”

Unable to compete whilst recovering, Tom still needed to earn a living – with table tennis players not fortunate enough to benefit from the same level of financial security as other sports. The move into coaching was a natural progression, and it is a career move that Tom does not regret at all.

“Coaching was never something I thought about doing myself and it happened very organically going down that path.

“I started doing it because I knew it was a way to support myself and get an income during injury recovery, but I also knew I had a lot of knowledge that people were interested in and they could benefit from.

“I started enjoying coaching and helping players on their journey to improve.”


As well as imparting his knowledge and experience through coaching, Tom also remains an active member of the global table tennis community through TableTennisDaily, which he co-founded alongside Daniel Ives.

The website is a social networking site designed to connect table tennis enthusiasts around the world, for which Tom creates valuable coaching content for the platform’s subscribers.

“TableTennisDaily started when Dan, the founder, also found himself injured and he just started filming other players for fun and making videos.

“It progressed from a website into a community where players could come and talk, share ideas, and ask questions.

“Along with this, we started making more serious content for YouTube, as we were both obviously very passionate about the sport and put a lot of time in.

“The videos became popular and we saw that we could make a success of it long term and it’s grown from there ever since!”

The platform serves as a valuable tool for any table tennis player, whether seasoned or have never picked up a paddle before. For those new to the sport, Tom’s advice is to simply give it a go.

“The advice I would give to anyone giving table tennis a try is to do it!” He exclaimed.

“It’s an accessible sport for all ages and abilities and is brilliant for general health and fitness and keeping active.

“It’s very addictive and improving takes a lot of time, like any sport, but for the majority of people it’s a great sport to play causally and often that’s the gateway into playing the sport more seriously.”

With such a wealth of experience to draw back on, it is surely for the betterment of table tennis that Tom has made the transition into coaching, passing on his knowledge to the sport’s next generation.

By Aaron Gratton

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