Image Credits: @Arjun
It is no secret that Arjun Ghosh is one of the promising paddlers hailing from Punjab, having been crowned National Champion in Mixed and Men’s doubles (Senior) and UTT League Champion with the highest World Rank of 34 in the U-21 category and ranked No.8 in the country, the 24-year-old has come a long way and still has got a long way to go.
Born in 1996, Arjun Ghosh grew up in a table tennis-friendly household in Punjab. He always had his eyes on TT, this, however, was no surprise given the Arjun’s family background. His father was an International coach who runs a TT academy while his mother was a former Table Tennis player. Thus, Arjun Ghosh was always given the freedom to make a career in Table Tennis and rose up the ranks, quickly being viewed as one of the promising talents to emerge in the country.
How did TT happen? Did you play any other sports growing up? And how would you define your journey till now?
My father is an international coach and he also runs an Academy and my mother is also a player, so, Table Tennis was there from the beginning. I used to play cricket and football a lot while growing up. My journey till now has been great as all my efforts that I have put in have shown results but I still want to be the best so it is still a long, long way to go.
Who was your favourite player growing up? They’re probably still playing.
I had two idols while growing up one of them was Soumyadeep Roy and Sharath Kamal. Soumyadeep Roy is now my coach and I train under him and Sharath Kamal is still playing and he is guiding player like us to be able to perform at the top level.
What makes table tennis so attractive to you?
The most interesting thing is that table tennis has got so much variation like there are different types of spin every opponent is different some have different rubbers and some players have a unique style, hence, this is very interesting and attractive to me.
Competing at such a young age, how did you juggle studies with sport?
It has always been tough managing both studies and sports but I was very lucky that my school and college were always very supportive they played a huge role.
If you are a relatively calm and quiet player. Do you think this beneficial to your game? Does it bother you when your opponent is very loud and vis-à-vis?
Actually, I am that kind of player who shouts a lot and especially when in tense moments the shouting helps me to get over the tense moments.
I am sure there are times during your training that you aren't achieving the results that you want. What do you do to lift your spirits during such times?
It is very difficult to get the best results every day and every single session. In table tennis, a professional player train almost 11-12 sessions in a week and it is difficult but I try to give 100 per cent every session. And when things don’t work, I try to tell myself that it is okay and the next session will be great.
Backhand is naturally my stronger side.
What are the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on and off-court?
One time I went out to eat and I completely forgot to pay for the food and as the restaurant owner knew me, I paid the next time when I went there.
How much of a mental aspect is involved in table tennis?
I think in all kinds of sports mental training is very much important and also in general life. I have recently been doing mental training for the last one year, it has changed my approach towards life and towards the game completely. It has helped to be more stable.
What goes through your mind when you have just lost a point?
When I lost a point, I just try to focus on the next point and not think too much.
How supportive is your school/college when it comes to TT and other sports?
My school and college both have been very supportive. I think, it is because of that support I got I could complete my school and college
Do you have a favourite win?
Yes, in 2019, I was having a bad year and in one important tournament in the quarterfinals, I beat Harmeet Desai. He was the national champion that year.
Many people see Table tennis as an “easy sport”, what do you have to say about that?
I think people don’t understand how difficult and complicated the sport is because there are a lot of things that goes on like spin control speed and also you need to be super fit also.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the distant future?
Winning a medal for India in Olympics.
Non-TT players that you admire the most?
Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafal Nadal
Which is your favourite social network?
What do you prefer: training or the end result?
Training as I believe in the process
Dream Mixed Doubles Partner
Ding Ning from China
What is your go-to shot?