Understanding yourself… To become a better player. Timo Boll, table tennis world number one

When he became number one at the age of 21, eight years ago, Timo Boll from Germany, did not believe he was the best… »I did not deserve it » he said. Now , recaptured the number one spot, after 88 months of chinese domination, he claims that he is a much better player,  » I can play consistently at a very high level »

Let’s see his view on his mental approach of that particular situation : « the first time when I became number one, I felt the chinese players were much better than me. I felt I did not deserve to be number 1 although I won the world cup and the European championship. It was so new. My opponents were my idols in some ways. »

He did not have good runs in all important major tournaments, despite many victories on ITTF tour ( he won two world tour). Six world championship and three olympics, but never won a singles title…

What are the reasons he can tell us?

« it is not so easy…you have to be really fit at the right moment, I was not mentally fresh and my preparation was not perfect..perhaps I played too many tournaments….sometimes also, my opponent was in very good shape, and the is no big gap between number 20 and me.  Unfortunately, I never put together my shape, my body, my mind, ..but I am working on that now ».

Moreover, he is telling us an important aspect of his personality…explaining perhaps his non belief being  « the umber one » at that time…

« I am a pessimistic person. It put pressure on me. During the game, I feel confident. But before the game I was always afraid of losing. », despite a great career, there was some missing titles… But I never had such expectations of myself Now, I will try my best the next few years to push myself really hard to optimize my abilities, and then we will see what happens… If I can win those missing titles or not… Then in the end, I  can say I gave my best…I hope I can get what I feel I deserve. » now, knowing more about himself, and eight more years…he is more prepared for the next challenge, London 2012,  » I think my chance is better than ever because

I am better player than ever, and I have more experience than before. At age of 30, Boll believes he is now approaching his « real peak ».

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