Is Jon’s Table Tennis Training actually the world’s smallest table tennis club? It may be, but not necessarily. With two tables and plenty of space for each of them, this club is twice the size of a one table club. Maybe you wouldn’t consider a room with one or two tables worthy of being called a club. Simple math might change your mind. Two tables with availability forty hours a week equals eighty hours of table time, exactly equal to a part time club, with ten tables and open for eight hours a week. There’s a lot to consider when you size up your local club.
There are some advantages to big clubs, and there are actually some nice things about smaller ones. It all depends what your expectations are. A small club can offer training just as well as even the largest clubs. Obviously you can’t run much of a tournament in a two table facility. Running a small training center requires greater emphasis on scheduling. Any size club can be run well, or run poorly.
In some ways, I’d like the T3 club to be a little bigger. Even one more table could open up some possibilities for group training and league matches. But, I wouldn’t want to get too much bigger. There is an intimacy and camaraderie found in small clubs that’s not always there in the big ones. Being small on space but big on hours allows players to train at times that are not usually available. A normal week involves retirees during the day, students in the evenings, and the employed adults training on Saturdays. Since there are only two tables, I emphasize training over playing, and encourage my students to check out the other local clubs for match experience.
Even if it actually is the world’s smallest table tennis club, the T3 club has been in business for almost five years. There have been plenty of players who have come through the door, and most became better players. There have been some great matches played, and I have learned a lot about coaching. The world’s smallest club has experienced a lot of growth; it just hasn’t gotten any bigger.