“My family is my psychologist”

Jens FellkeNews, PortraitLeave a Comment

— For German version – click here —

2nd part of the interview with Annett Kaufmann

Fitness training, breathing, school discipline. Also Marvel and Grey’s Anatomy. Find out more about Annett Kaufmann in the second part of our interview.

Joy during training. For compass player Annett Kaufmann, the joy and positive feeling for table tennis is the basis of everything. Photo: compass

How do you work with your physical fitness? A lot of training requires a strong and sustainable body.

“I have Melanie Heilemann – it’s the best thing ever to work with her. She knows my body as well as I do. I can tell her what I want to improve and she immediately knows how to work on it. But she doesn’t just know my body, she knows me as a person. I have been working with Melanie for three and a half years now, twice a week in person and then additionally I train on my own. I have significantly improved my physical performance. I don’t get tired as quickly as I used to. I can cope better with the strain of training, games, tournaments – and additionally with school and homework.

Melanie has also taught me how to deal with nervousness and calm down. I do that by breathing. I breathe in – and think I’m good, I breathe out – and tell myself I can do it. That helps me a lot. I’m not really patient in general. I can quickly get into negative emotions. At the beginning I didn’t believe in this breathing, but now I’m convinced it works. I also have a shortened method that I can use during the little breaks in the game.”

Annett and Melanie Heilemann training together. Photo: Melanie Heilemann

Do you also see a sports psychologist?

“No, my family is my psychologist. My mother, my father and my sister Alexandra. They can help me directly. My parents both have a sporting background. And Alexandra is a player and coach herself.”

Small talk with Sister Alexandra at a session in Böblingen. Photo: compass

What does a normal day look like for you?

“I wake up at 6.00 am. At 7.15 I leave the house and go to school. At 7.30 a.m. I meet some friends in front of the school. At 7.45 am, classes start. I have a best friend at school who helps me a lot. She explains things to me when I have been absent and missed class and takes notes for me.

At 1.15pm I go home, eat, do some homework and go to training. When I get back home after training, I finish my homework and everything I need to prepare for the next day. Then, after a shower, I can finally go to sleep.”


What do you do outside of table tennis?

“Meeting friends. I try to play the piano, although I’m not talented at all. But I like to try new things. I play some volleyball and like to draw. And I spend time with my family. And I love watching series, for example on Disney+. I especially like watching Marvel movies and Grey’s Anatomy!”


What is the difference between men’s and women’s table tennis?

“The strength or the hitting power. Otherwise, we play with the same rackets, the same balls and on the same table. According to the same rules. So there are no other differences.”


What would be your advice to girls who want to become number one in table tennis?

“Play with joy and not for success. Don’t give up – there are always hard times and good times.”


— – 1st part of the interview to be found here- —

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