In my last post I encouraged players to sign up for a tournament. My thinking was that your tournament experience might be great, or it might be terrible; but tournaments are always educational. In the comment section of my post, I was called out for not playing many tournaments myself. I could be forgiven for avoiding tournament competition if I had retired from playing and was focusing on coaching. But, I think I still have a good tournament in my future. I still love to play and explore bizarre ways to remain competitive into my sixth decade. I feel like all the stars have aligned themselves for me to play in the Georgia Games. Strangely, the Georgia Games will allow players from Florida and neighboring states to play in our state championships. This is a minor technicality and shouldn’t take away from my experience. I trust the games won’t be relocated to Colorado in an attempt to make a point about Georgia’s oppressive voting regulations – but, you never know.
I particularly enjoy the Georgia Games because of the variety of events. With very little effort, I’ve managed to win a few awards in this annual affair. I tend to get a lot of bronze medals. One was for a team event that I didn’t actually play in; and I brought home the bronze in hardbat by eliminating one player in the four player field. In addition to teams and hardbat, there’s doubles, women’s, age group, and junior events. There is normally an under 2000 giant round robin as well. It’s possible to play multiple events and have a very full weekend of table tennis. My intention is to sign up as soon as registration begins and reassemble the T3 Georgia Cup team. I would love to see more of these types of tournaments. A little variety and the chance to cheer on teammates adds so much to table tennis. Doubles is fun and can add some levity. Everybody needs some relief from the pressure of fighting for rating points. I stand by my recommendation that tournaments are good learning experiences and can be fun. So, go out there and find a tournament – just make sure it’s a really good one.