|▲Changwon University Table Tennis Department, Coach Oh Yoon-kyung and the players.|
|▲Coach Oh Yoon-kyung and player Kang Ha-eun for the interview.|
On May 7th, Changwon University's Table Tennis Team won the Best Group Award at the 2019 ‘A Man Regular Merit Commendation Ceremony’ of the Korea Table Tennis Association held at the Olympic Parktel in Seoul. Changwon University's table tennis team has won many competitions, including the 2019 National Athletic Meet, and conventions attended by the President and the Minister of Culture and Sports. At the ceremony, Coach Oh Yoon-kyung, who won the best coaching award, and Kang Ha-eun, who won an award for Best Performance, were both interviewed.
Q: Please introduce yourself.
Oh: My name is Oh Yoon Kyung. I majored in sports psychology at Changwon University where I received my master's and doctoral degrees. Since then, I have been giving lectures and coaching table tennis at Changwon University for 18 years.
Kang: I'm Kang Ha Eun and I'm a student in the Department of Physical Education at Changwon University.
Q: Please tell us how you feel about winning the best group award at the 2019 A Man Regular Merit Commendation Ceremony of the Korea Table Tennis Association.
Oh: It's been 28 years since the establishment of the table tennis team. This is the first time we’ve won the grand award. It’s more meaningful because the group award was achieved together. I'm happy to repay my gratitude to those who have helped and supported my team to do well, especially academic advisors by showing our achievements through this award, and players who always do their best.
Kang: Thank you so much because I know winning this award was not easy. I think we were able to receive a valuable award because of the good teaching from academic advisors and the coach.
Q: How do you feel about winning the best leadership award at Korean Table Tennis Association?
Oh: When I was in the early stages of coaching, I thought “I wish I could win a leadership award someday.” I'm happy that what I imagined has become a reality. And thank you so much to the players. This award was given to me by the players, not by the Table Tennis Association..
Q: As you have had good results in many competitions, What are the methods that you have been using?
Oh: I think that a training system that the players can do by themselves is important. Rather than training by force, the joy of training with freedom is important.
Kang: The coach and the professor tell players to focus on the process and do their best rather than just focusing on the results. I think this training process naturally led to good results.
Q: What is the most important skill for doing well in a competition?
Oh: The academic advisor and I majored in sports psychology. We are well aware of each player's characteristics. Through this, it is important to be able to control the condition of the players properly. I think the biggest advantage is that we have strong trust in each other. It is based on the trust of the leaders and players to bring about good unity and good results.
Kang: There are times when players get nervous in competitions. Whenever that happens, the coach catches it right away and addresses it. The unity of the players is also important.
Q: Do you have any memorable anecdotes?
Kang: I remember last year's disappointing first competition, which gave me a chance to train harder
. The doubles match of last year's last competition was memorable. I was taken off guard by the coach’s sudden strategy of changing two players. However, I thanked the coach for the strategy, and it remains an impressive strategy now.
Q: Lastly, what does table tennis mean to you?
Oh: Table tennis is not just a part of my life, but life itself. I have been living table tennis life for almost 40 years. There may be boredom in everyday life from table tennis, but the tension and fulfillment I get from table tennis leads to delight. We learn about the world by playing table tennis; feeling joy and sorrow and growing up.
Kang: Table tennis is a growing process for me. It's table tennis that leads me in a good direction and makes me feel a lot in the process, even in hard training.
By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter email@example.com
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