Table Tennis fascination beats injury for coach Parham
Though a knee injury stifled his dream of becoming world class, coach Dale Parham remains fascinated with table tennis. Parham is devoted to arming youngsters with the right technical tools early on, and he takes joy when his students begin to...
Though a knee injury stifled his dream of becoming world class, coach Dale Parham remains fascinated with table tennis. Parham is devoted to arming youngsters with the right technical tools early on, and he takes joy when his students begin to master the skills that he once struggled with.
The former Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica player changed lanes in 2005.
“I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and from that point on, I could not perform certain technical skills within the sport, and after recognising that I just cannot do certain moves anymore, I came to the realisation that if I can’t do these things then it would be impossible for me to become a really good player and that was my ultimate goal, to be a world-class player,” he recalled after his trip to Guyana as one of the Jamaica coaches at the Caribbean Region Mini and Pre-Cadet Championships.
Once a high jumper in the famous purple and white of KC, he felt the need for more technical knowledge early in his playing career. “Even if you’re strong and fast and quick, if you don’t learn the technicalities of the sport, you have no chance of becoming a good player,” he said on Monday.
“So I decided, if I won’t be able to achieve my ultimate goal as a player, I decided that I am going to go into coaching and I’m going to help kids to learn the game the right way at the early stage,” Parham said.
Level 2 coach
Allied to his playing experience, Parham Dale is an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Level 2 coach. “I created a little history in the level 2 course by scoring a perfect 100 per cent. That was the first from this region,” he related with an even tone of his 2016 achievement.
Since then, in 2018, he started his Skills Unlimited Table Tennis Academy.
His work there gives him real satisfaction.
“When I see my kids getting these things I’m teaching them from early, yeah man, it’s a joy, it’s a pleasure and every day I look forward to training every day,” he said with a bounce in his voice.
Among his students is Logan Royes who was a member of Jamaica’s ten-medal team in Guyana. It was a maiden voyage overseas for Royes and his teammates. “I thought that being out for the first time, out into a new environment for them, they performed well above what was expected,” coach Parham assessed.
Now 41, Parham’s fascination with the game hasn’t dimmed. “There’s something about the bouncing ball and the spin and how you can manipulate the ball to make the ball move through the air. There’s something about it. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s something about the spin and just being able to move the ball and make the ball do different things on the table,” he said with wonderment lacing his comments.
“I can’t find that one word to describe it.”