Klaus SCHMITTINGER will say Goodbye after BratislavaPhoto: Marco STEINBRENNER
German national coach leads Junior’s team at EYC for a last time before retirement
The 58th edition of the European Youth Championships in Bratislava will be the last one at the bench for the German coach Klaus SCHMITTINGER. SCHMITTINGER will retire by the end of the year, after 37 years on duty as a trainer. In 1979 Klaus SCHMITTINGER took the responsibility of cadet boys and girls as German national coach and since then he is constantly involved in work in the DTTB.
In ’80, SCHMITTINGER lead Women’s team, also, for a few years he has been involved in coaching of Men’s team; four years he taught future coaches and talent’s scouts.
“From 2001 until now I am coaching juniors and cadets,” said Klaus SCHMITTINGER.
Asked about the generation which grew to his heart the most, German expert found it hard to answer.
“There were few for sure. It was nice to work with the generation of Christian SUSS and Patrick BAUM, then, the team with Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, BAUM and Ruwen FILIUS; recently with Patrick FRANZISKA, then Kilian ORT and Ding QIU…”
In Bratislava, in Juniors Boys team are Gerrit ENGEMANN, Tobias HIPPLER, Balasz HUTTER, Denis KLEIN and Jonah SCHILIE.
“It is very young generation. The core of the team will play in junior category for three more years, since they are the last cadet year. Therefore, I am very happy with their result in Bratislava.”
However, SCHMITTINGER underlined that the result at Youth Championships is not the ultimate goal in process of coaching youngsters.
“Medals are important but, most important is to create the player who will be successful latter, as a senior. This is just a development phase.”
What will you do after retirement?
“I can be little bit more active with my hobby. Since a long time, with my wife, I am enjoying dancing twice a week; Salsa, Latino…Maybe I will have more time for few hours of dance more.”
However, SCHMITTINGER has no plans of leaving table tennis for good.
“I hope I will be still involved in table tennis, at lest for a week in the month. I hope that German Federation or ITTF will let me be the part of some development program. Otherwise it will be very bored to be without the sport. If you do not work it is not good for your mind and body.”