Sam Priestley was never Mr. Sporty. After failed attempts at rowing and running, he had given up on the possibility of becoming a sportsman. That was until childhood friend and table-tennis coach Ben Larcombe convinced him to act as the guinea pig in an experiment he had concocted: The Expert in a Year Challenge.
Starting January 1, 2014, novice Sam was immersed in the world of competitive table tennis. He began training every day and, over the course of the year, notched up hundreds of hours of practice in an attempt to reach a seemingly impossible goal. There was blood, sweat, tears, injuries, frustrations, and moments of elation as the pair traveled up and down the UK and beyond in their quest for training, mentors, and competition.
Sam found potential he never thought he had, got better at table tennis than most people thought possible, and discovered what it feels like when 1.5 million people watch you fail. Here is their story, including all the ridiculous training methods and unreachable goals and the surprising lessons they learned from playing table tennis every day for a year.
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