Sebastian Sauer's table tennis journey

Sebastian Sauer_Sauer & Tröger

Sebastian Sauer and looking back - How did it all start?

As a player, Sebastian Sauer was active for many years in the 2nd Bundesliga and Regional League with his long pimple game close to the table and was able to win against players in the top 100 of the world rankings. He is the founder and managing director of the table tennis brand Sauer & Tröger and also leads table tennis seminars.

8 questions for Sebastian:

1. How did you get into the material game?

When I was young, I always enjoyed watching players with rather unorthodox game systems. However, I hadn't actively planned to play with material myself. Just for fun, when I was around 13 years old, I glued an old, used short pimple rubber to the racket in a table tennis shop. I really enjoyed that and left the topping on.

2. What happened next and how did you train afterwards?

The TTVR association coach, Georg Imhof, then stuck a long pimple without a sponge on my backhand for testing. Afterwards, a lot was tried out and many techniques and tactics were implemented. It turned out that this style of play suited me wonderfully and that I enjoy playing this way. At first I worked on stabilizing various techniques in isolation as much as possible and then incorporated them into the game more and more in irregular situations. I acquired many techniques on my own through trial and error. However, I also had very good support from very good coaches such as Georg Imhof and Jie Schöpp (then a world-class defender and today's women's national coach).

3. So you came to the material game by chance?

Yes, it's amazing in retrospect what small coincidences in life can change so many things in retrospect. If I hadn't accidentally stuck a pimpled rubber on my racket when I was 13, my whole life would have been completely different and I would have spent it doing other things.

4. What would have been different? What do you remember as particularly positive?

I would never have met many people who became very good friends. I would also have had a completely different professional development. Ultimately, table tennis had a huge influence on me. I had many great experiences here. In addition to the good friendships, there were great championship games and wonderful tournament experiences such as taking part in German championships. Because of my style of play, I was also a welcome sparring partner in many training groups. Here I was able to train with very high-ranking and well-known players. Among other things, I was able to take part in training for the women's national team's preparation for the European Championships/World Cup or as a play-in partner at the Champions League finals.

5. Today table tennis determines your everyday life and you were able to turn your hobby into a profession, right?

Yes, I am very grateful for that too. It's wonderful to be able to combine your hobby and passion for table tennis with your job. You can also tell that our customers also like to talk about their hobbies. So there is actually always a positive mood. It is different than dealing with a “problem area” such as an insurance claim. I feel like me every day

6. What does your everyday life look like?

There is no real everyday life. You could say that almost every day looks different. Of course, I spend a lot of time working on the table tennis brand Sauer & Tröger, which specializes in material games. Many materials are developed and tested here during the development process and in consultation with other test players. Material consultations are also carried out and dealer orders are processed. Sauer&Tröger is now very established and there is a large dealer network worldwide. In addition to the well-known “table tennis nations”, there are now also dealers in many more exotic countries across the continent. The popularity of the brand continues to grow and so administrative areas are now outsourced and additional helpers support me in processing some tasks.

7. You also hold your own seminars, what do they look like?

I hold around 10-15 weekend seminars per year. Most of them take place at many locations in Germany, and some also in neighboring European countries. However, there have also been exotic seminars, for example in Cyprus or even in Seoul in South Korea. Since there are many different game systems for material play, the training is carried out very individually. There is a common thread, but many players carry out their own training program depending on their style of play and goals. For example, techniques on empty, uncut balls, techniques on backspin, blocked balls, as well as serve assumptions on short and long serves as well as tactical implementation in the game system are discussed. A DVD of mine has also been on the market for a few years now, which shows various techniques in super slow motion and from different angles. In the future, we as Sauer & Tröger will expand the coaching area even further. I'm really looking forward to it.

8. The plastic ball still seems to unsettle some material players. What are your experiences here?

Yes, there is still a lot of uncertainty among many players here. Depending on which ball is played, there are differences in the effect of each shot. However, as a material player you shouldn't approach the topic too timidly. Among other things, good results from world-class defenders who have been playing with the plastic ball across the board for several years show that successful material play continues to be practiced. In addition, we are still in the development phase of plastic balls and in 2-3 years the balls could possibly react differently than they do today. However, from the introduction of the plastic ball to today, the plastic ball has changed positively for material players. If necessary, slight changes to the material or playing technique will be beneficial, but I would like to reiterate that there is no reason to panic. It will be like all previous rule and material changes: Anyone who has played successfully before and is willing to deal with the change will play successfully again afterwards.

What did your path to table tennis look like? Share your story now with the whole Noppen family in the comments.

Kind regards from the Sauer & Tröger team

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