I had a chance to interview Georgina Póta who recently got 4th place at the Women’s Table Tennis World Cup, which is an amazing result! Here is the second part of the interview with her. She shared that self-confidence is the most important thing for her and it changed her game. You step to the table differently when you had two or three good matches beforehand. She also shared how she changed from shy to self-expressive and how her amazing teammates helped her to make this change and assisted her in becoming a very successful table tennis player.
What was very challenging during your career?
I didn’t know my schoolmates since I was in homeschool from grade 5 and I had only 10 days break during summer time. My schoolmates were hanging out together and I didn’t know them… I was eccentric and I didn’t spend time with my classmates. I didn’t like to communicate with others and I was very introverted. This changed age 18-20 and I started speaking and opening up to others. I decided not to live only in my world and I realized the beauty of getting to know the world and other people’s views.
Who helped in this process? Did it happen naturally or did somebody help you?
Maria Fazekas helped me a lot. I started training with the adult national team at age 16-17 which is very early and there were 10 years age difference between me and the other players. I had to grow up to the standards very quickly. I became very good friend with Maria Fazekas and we hung out a lot and went to tournaments together. She is very open-minded and likes to talk a lot J and she helped me tremendously. I am very thankful to her. I had only one very close friend in school and I think it tells a lot about how I used to be. I was very introverted and shy.
What helped you to become much more expressive?
It was very challenging for me when I started playing in Berlin because I had to say thank you to the fans after our league matches. Since I was shy and I didn’t get used to the big crowds beforehand, it was really difficult and challenging for me. I had to overcome this fear. It was even easier for me when the fans cheered against me because there was no pressure and it was easier to just play very lousy.
I had to grow up and understand that the more people I speak with and interact with the more open my views become and I also realized that I am not always right 😉 I changed my perspective and reframed my fear and it helped me to overcome it. I also realized how I affected the crowds and the fans. My teammates helped me a lot.
You mentioned earlier during this interview that the hardest thing is the transition from a youth to adult professional? What helped you in this transition?
I learnt so much from Krisztina Toth who won many medals in the European Championship, World Cup and the World Table Tennis Championship. I feel so privileged that I got her as a doubles partner. It took six months or a year to really get used to each other then we achieved many fantastic results together. I am very thankful to her and she really helped me in this transition.
Do you have any role models?
I always looked up to Tamara Boros when she played at Statisztika PSC. She was the World’s number 2 player in 2002! I admired her for her hard work ethic and how she could train with 150% effort every time. I am very different because I like to do many other things and going out, hanging out with friends, doing sightseeing, shopping, ice-skating, skiing even playing tennis. Coaches don’t like some of these activities because they are afraid that I will get injured though 😉 These activities energize me and help me to play better. Tamara was very very focused on table tennis. I am not the one who stays longer to train… so I admired her hard work ethic and her personality. I never saw anybody train so hard like her.
What are your future goals?
My goal is to make the third Olympics. I would love to have a medal but I know the chance for this is very small. My other goal is to have a medal in singles at the European Championship. I already have medals in team, doubles and mix-doubles but the medal in singles is still missing. I am very excited to participate at the European Championship in Hungary in 2016 and play in front of my country! 🙂
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