Michael Gadal

Ex-England coach’s book covers elite performance

Paul Stimpson

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Leading coach Michel Gadal, who was performance director of English table tennis at the turn of the century, shares his coaching philosophies in a fascinating online book published today.

The French coach, who guided compatriot Jean-Philippe Gatien to the world championship men’s singles gold in 1993, was at the helm of the England performance team from 1998 until 2001, when he returned to his homeland as national technical director.

He held that role until 2013, since when he has worked with a number of national federations to develop their high-performance programmes.

The book, Reflections on Excellence, shares the experiences of his career and focuses on the common qualities of champions, questioning traditional training methods.

Gadal chose to publish the book online only, and in five languages, to ensure it could be as accessible as possible, as he explains in this video message:

He says: “Performance is a complex system and I have put into the heart of this book my view about this complexity in order to add a new dimension to our work . . . to your work.

“I am convinced that champions possess common qualities which without a doubt form the basis of excellence. This is why I wanted to question our traditional approach to training – are we taking these common qualities into account in our strategy from the very beginning?”

Downloads cost €14.90 (around £13.50). The book can be downloaded here.

Michel Gadal with an England squad during his time as performance director

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