Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:03
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Pachter
Jeremy Pachter ’14 focuses during the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association Regional Competition.
For Jeremy Pachter ’14, table tennis serves as more than just a hobby. It has become a lifestyle.
At six years old, he practiced for five hours a day in his basement, looking to defeat his father, a regular player, at every opportunity.
As a first-year, Pachter lost in his very first match at the Brandeis Tennis Table Club, falling to a graduate student from India. Even in the face of defeat, though, he had much to gain from the outcome—he re-discovered his passion for the sport.
“I hadn’t played table tennis in a while, and after that match, I was immediately determined to beat him,” he said. “The goal was to become better from that moment…and I did.”
Since then, Pachter has smashed his way through countless regional tournaments, rising to a No. 137 national ranking. After securing second-place finishes in both the New England Regional Tournament and the New York Regional Division, he will compete for the New York and New England regions at the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) Championships. The NCTTA Championships is a 48-player tournament from April 11 through 14 in Rockford, Ill.
With three weeks to prepare for the competition, Pachter noted he must maintain a consistent playing schedule and work on fundamental skills.
“At this point, I’ll just be playing every day, mostly at the Boston Table Tennis Club [in Medford, Mass.]” he said. “I know what I have to work on and how to compete against the highest level of competition in the sport.”
Pachter noted the journey would not have been possible without his coach, Liyung Liang. As an active player, Liang attained a top-75 national ranking and, following retirement, has coached collegiate table-tennis squads in the Boston area.
“Liang was my primary inspiration,” he said. “He coaches for premier squads such as [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], and having the opportunity to learn from him as coach of the Brandeis table tennis squad has really been great.”
Pachter stated that one of Liang’s most important lessons has been to benefit from one-on-one competition.
“When you see yourself against a superior opponent, you use them as stepping stones, and the goal is to eventually become better than them,” he said.
At the NCTTA Championships next month, Pachter will look to make the most of that strategy.
“I’ll work as hard as I can for this tournament, and from there, I’ll see how far I can go,” he said. “Sponsors and the US National Table Tennis squad appear at this tournament, and if I do well enough, the Olympics may even be a possibility one day.”