Sebastian Sauer's table tennis journey

Sebastian Sauer's table tennis journey

Sebastian Sauer_Sauer & Tröger

Sebastian Sauer and looking back - how did it all start back then?

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

8 questions for Sebastian:

How did you get into material play?

When I was young, I always liked to watch players with rather unorthodox game systems. However, I had not actively planned to play with material myself. Just for fun, when I was about 13 years old in a table tennis shop, I stuck an old, used short pimple rubber onto my racket. I really enjoyed it and left the rubber on it.

What happened next and how did you train afterwards?

The TTVR association trainer, Georg Imhof, then stuck a long pimple without a sponge on my backhand to test it. After that, a lot was tried and many techniques and tactics were implemented. It turned out that this way of playing suited me wonderfully and that I enjoy playing it. First, I worked on stabilizing different techniques in as isolated a manner as possible, and then gradually incorporated them into the game in irregular situations. I have learned many techniques on my own through trial and error. However, I also had very good support from very good coaches such as Georg Imhof or Jie Schöpp (then world-class defender and current national coach for women).

So you came to the material game rather by accident?

Yes, retrospectively it is amazing what small coincidences in life can change so much in retrospect. If I hadn't accidentally put a pimpled rubber on my racquet when I was 13 years old, my whole life would have been completely different and I would have spent it doing other activities.

What would have gone differently? What do you remember particularly positively?

I would never have met many people who became very good friends. I would also have taken a completely different career path. Ultimately, table tennis had an enormous influence on me. I have had many great experiences here. In addition to the good friendships, there were great championship games and nice tournament experiences such as participation in German championships. Due to the way I played, 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. For example, I was able to take part in training for the European Championships and World Cup preparations for the women's national team or as a warm-up partner at the Champions League finals.

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

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

What is your everyday life 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 in the development process and in consultation with other playtesters. In addition, advice is given on materials and dealer orders are processed. Sauer&Tröger is now very well 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 rather exotic countries across the entire 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.

You also run your own seminars, what do they look like?

I conduct about 10-15 weekend seminars per year. Most of them take place at many different locations in Germany, 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 in material play, the training is carried out very individually. There is a common thread, but many players have their own training program depending on their style of play and goals. For example, techniques on empty, uncut balls, techniques on backspin, block balls, as well as acceptance of serves on short and long serves as well as tactical implementation in the game system are treated. A DVD of mine has also been on the market for several years, showing various techniques in super slow motion and from different angles. In the future we as Sauer & Tröger will continue to expand the coaching area. I'm really looking forward to it.

The plastic ball still seems to unsettle some material players. How is your experience here?

Yes, there is still a great deal of uncertainty among many players. Depending on which ball is played, there are already differences in the effect of a respective shot. However, as a material player, you should not approach the subject with too much fear. Among other things, good results from world-class defensive players who have been playing with the plastic ball across the board for several years show that successful material play is still practiced. In addition, we are still in the development phase with plastic balls and in 2-3 years the balls could possibly react differently than is the case today. However, from the introduction of the plastic ball to the present day, the plastic ball has changed positively for material players. If necessary, slight changes in the material or the playing technique will be advantageous, but I would like to expressly state again that there is no reason to panic. It will be like with all previous rule and material changes: If you have played successfully before and are willing to deal with the change, you will also play successfully again afterwards.

How did your path to table tennis look like? Now share your story with the whole pimple family in the comments.

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Greetings from the Sauer & Tröger team

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