Amazingly, you only took the game up in 2011, can you explain how you have achieved so much in such a short space of time?
I’ve been playing a relatively short time and have had some pretty decent success, but it’s not been all me. I’ve had great support from the very beginning from Drumchapel TTC and of course the great environment in Sheffield at the EIS with the National Team.
Can you describe your emotions when winning the European Team Championships along with David Wetherill and Paul Karabardak in 2017?
Winning the Euros alongside Dave and PK (Paul) was incredible. I didn’t have a big part to play in the outcome of the matches but just to be with the boys and soak up all the experience was incredible. To win it again in 2019 was just amazing. It just showed that it wasn’t a fluke the first time and that we’re a great unit together.
What do you think is the most important factor in being a good competitor?
I think it’s important to never give up or give in. I think this applies to training too. We all get bad sessions and tough results but to be resilient enough to keep fighting, for me that makes a great competitor.
Can you describe what a usual weeks training looks like for you?
In a regular week we train in Sheffield at the EIS 2 times per day with a gym session 3 days a week. During the Covid pandemic I’ve been spending a lot more time at my home club, Drumchapel. It’s brought a lot more stability to my training regime through this uncertain times.
If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
Ooh, too tough to call. I’ll give you two: J.O. Waldner – he just oozes class, his feeling was incredible and made the game look incredibly easy… which we know isn’t true. Also love watching Zhang Jike – the passion in his game I love, also the way he could explode onto the ball with great power and precision was amazing. I also felt he could always win no matter the score. He refused to give up.
Image from Martins Instagram
Can you tell us any methods you use to cope with pressure?
The feeling of knowing I’m well prepared helps me since I know I have done all I can to be ready. Also not thinking about results and having more focus on each point, it’s easy to start thinking I have won or lost the match while your playing and it can harm your focus a lot. If I feel nervous in a match I try to take a bit of time to breathe and think about the right things.
Finally, can you give 2 tips on how you cope with pressure?
Pressure is good, it can bring out the best in you. 2 great ways to cope with pressure is to actually embrace it. Let the thought come, appreciate the moment and then let the thought of pressure slip away. Create a clear thought in your head about service or how you would like to receive and do your best to execute it. Another great way to deal with pressure is to practice being under pressure. Conditioned training can be great for this, a good way to practice conditioned training is for example a best of 5 where the server is 8-6 up or down then upon completion change the conditions as need be.