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Charlotte Bardsley, 15, is a pupil at Heathfield Knoll School in Kidderminster and an England U18 table tennis player.

 

Monday

 

This is usually a rest day after tournaments and travelling but, like every morning, I do weights before I leave for school. Table tennis requires a lot of leg power, a strong core and very quick movements from the shoulder down to the wrist.

 

Tuesday

 

Training tonight is far from home so we need to get away from school on time and eat on the way. The session is 90 minutes table tennis practice followed by a hard gym session. We also use video analysis in the session to look for improvements. Home after 7pm for another dinner and to get through the homework.

 

Wednesday

 

Early dinner and I try to get as much homework out of the way before I arrive at the training hall. This will be two-hour session with England legend Desmond Douglas. We discuss recent matches and the areas of my game I need to work on. We go into super-fast drills to work on my technique at a high intensity using multi ball feed. I will have to make many consecutive shots in just a few seconds. We will also play matches using different challenges. Then home for more food and finish off any homework.

 

Thursday

 

Another evening after school in the training hall. This will be the third different coach I will work with in the week. In each session, we are looking at different aspects of my game which can be technique, physical or tactical points. As this is probably the last practice before a competition weekend we will simulate some game situations.

 

Friday

 

I travelling to play for my club in Sweden which is in the senior women’s league. I look at videos or notes of my potential opponents. These can be players from many different countries as the Swedish league attracts some very good players.

 

Saturday

 

Early start as we play one match in the morning and one in the afternoon, each match taking around three hours using four players. I am the youngest in the team but I quite often play in the deciding game which adds some extra pressure. It’s a great feeling when you win a big game for the team. We finish the day with a team dinner.

 

Sunday

 

I get to the training hall early and have two hard practice sessions with Swedish national team players before heading back to the UK and starting the week again.

 

 

 

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