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The table tennis journey of Sebastian Sauer
Sebastian and the look back - How did it all start back then?
As a player Sebastian was active in the 2nd Bundesliga and Regionalliga for many years with his table-close long pimples and could win against players up to the top 100 of the world ranking list. He is the founder and managing director of the table tennis brand Sauer & Tröger and also leads table tennis seminars.
8 questions to Sebastian:
How did you come to the pimples
Already in my youth I always liked to watch players with rather unorthodox playing systems. But I hadn’t actively planned to play with material myself. Just for fun, I glued an old, used short pimpled rubber onto the racket in a table tennis shop when I was about 13 years old. I really enjoyed that and so I left the rubber on it.
How did it go on then and how did you train in the consequence?
Georg Imhof, the coach of the TTVR, glued a long pimple on my backhand for testing. Afterwards I tried a lot and many techniques and tactics were implemented. It turned out that this way of playing suited me wonderfully and that I enjoy playing like that. At first I worked on stabilizing different techniques in as isolated a way as possible and then I incorporated them more and more into the game in irregular situations. Many techniques I have learned on my own by trial and error. However, I also had very good support from very good coaches like Georg Imhof or Jie Schöpp (then world-class defender and today’s national coach for women).
So you came to the material game more by chance?
Yes, in retrospect it’s amazing what small coincidences in life can change so much in retrospect. If I hadn’t accidentally put a pimpled rubber on my racquet at the age of 13, my whole life would probably have been completely different and I would have spent it with different activities.
What would have been different? What do you remember most positively?
I would have never met many people who became very good friends. I would also have taken a completely different development professionally. In the end, table tennis already had an enormous influence on me. I had many great experiences here. Besides the good friendships there were great championship games and nice tournament experiences like the participation in German championships. Due to my playing style I was also a welcome sparring partner in many training groups. Here I could train with very high-ranking and well-known players. For example, I was able to participate in the training of the EM/WM preparation of the national women’s team or as a warm-up partner at Champions League finals.
Today table tennis determines your everyday life and you could turn your hobby into your profession, or ?
Yes, I am also very grateful for that. It is wonderful to be able to combine your hobby and passion for table tennis with your job. You also notice that our customers like to talk about their hobby. So there is always a positive atmosphere. It’s different from dealing with a “problem area” such as a damage report in the insurance sector. Every day I feel like
What is your everyday life like?
There is no real everyday life. You could say that almost every day looks different. Of course, I spend a lot of time working on the table tennis brand Sauer & Tröger, which specializes on pimples. Here, many materials are developed and tested in the development process and in consultation with other test players. In addition, material consultations are held and dealer orders are processed. Meanwhile Sauer & Tröger is very well established and there is a large dealer network worldwide. In addition to the well-known “table tennis nations”, there are now also dealers in many rather exotic countries spread across the continent. The popularity of the brand is growing more and more and so administrative areas are outsourced and additional helpers support me with some tasks.
You also conduct your own seminars, what do they look like?
I conduct about 10-15 weekend seminars per year. Most of them take place in Germany at many locations, some also in neighboring European countries. But there have also been exotic seminars, for example in Cyprus or even in Seoul in South Korea. Since there are many different playing systems in the material game, the training is carried out very individually. There is a common thread, but many players have their own training program depending on their playing style and goals. For example, techniques on empty, uncut balls, techniques on undercuts, block balls, as well as serve assumptions on short and long serves and tactical conversions into the game system are dealt with. Since a few years there is also a DVD from me on the market, which shows different techniques also in super slow motion and from different angles. In the future we as Sauer & Tröger will expand the coaching area even further. I am really looking forward to that.
The plastic ball still seems to unsettle some material players. What are your experiences here?
Yes, there is still a lot of uncertainty among many players. Depending on which ball is played, there are already differences in the effect of the respective stroke. However, as a material player you should not approach the topic too fearfully. Good results from world-class defenders, who have been playing with the plastic ball all over the country for several years, show that successful material play is still practiced. In addition, we are still in the development phase of plastic balls and in 2-3 years the balls could possibly react differently than is the case today. From the introduction of the plastic ball until today, the plastic ball has changed positively for material players. If necessary, slight changes in the material or the playing technique will be advantageous, but I would like to say again explicitly that there is no reason to panic. It will be like all previous rule and material changes: If you have played successfully before and are willing to deal with the change, you will play successfully again afterwards.
What did your way to table tennis look like? Now share your story with the whole pimples family in the comments.
Greetings from the Sauer & Tröger Team
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The article by Sebastian Sauer in the Table Tennis Magazine of the German Table Tennis Coaches Association is more up to date than ever, because it is a kind of immediate help for your next championship game. -> Guaranteed more successful with table tennis pimples of all kinds!