By Michael Reff
NCTTA Media Committee
Temple University class of 2017 alum Daniel Moon is currently the coach of the Bryn Mawr women’s table tennis team, a group of players that have successfully qualified for the 2018 iSet NCTTA Championships in Round Rock, TX April 20-22. He studied biophysics with a pre-pharmacy path. In addition to coaching the up and coming Bryn Mawr Owls, he holds a position in the pharmacy division at a human services company called Merakey and work’s part-time at SPIN Philadelphia. Furthermore, due to being an ITTF level 1 coach, he privately coaches table tennis as well.
You might be asking how a male table tennis player arrived at coaching a historically all female (nowadays graduate admissions is open to both genders) college’s team. Well as in most good things in life, it happened with a little coincidental networking. Back in Daniel’s senior year at Temple, he was participating in the men’s singles regionals tournament in North Carolina. Since it was a long trip, he stayed the weekend, and although he is an avid churchgoer, he had to miss church that weekend. A girl who attended the church and Bryn Mawr college inquired about why he missed church, and Daniel related the story of playing in NCTTA regionals. By chance, the girl said she oversaw the table tennis team at Bryn Mawr, and that the team was looking for a coach with more experience to lead the team. Daniel relates that he was delighted to be told this and thought it would be a great chance for him to bolster his coaching abilities, while also spreading the joy of playing table tennis to other schools in the Pennsylvania area.
Ironically, Daniel’s experiences without having coaches during his tenure playing NCTTA tournaments have helped shape his coaching perspectives in a beneficial way. He says, “As a former athlete for NCTTA at Temple University, I can confidently say that my experience in NCTTA has done nothing but help with my coaching at Bryn Mawr University. During my time at Temple University... I was only able to qualify to the next level through the Men's Singles event. As I participated in the regional and national tournaments, most times alone because my teammates were unable to qualify, I would see other teams interacting with their coaches, getting crucial advice and tips on opponents' weaknesses, and I realized the importance of having a coach in such situations.”
Many table tennis players and aspiring athletes in general would have taken the experience of not having a coach as being a detriment to their improvement as player and future coaches, but Daniel has spun it into something productive. He has taken these years in NCTTA as teachable building blocks to successfully coaching the Bryn Mawr women’s team to a nationals. How is the team preparing for the big day? With lots of training, according to Daniel. “Qualifying for nationals as a first-year team in NCTTA brings us great joy and excitement, but also instills a slight fear and intimidation as we know very well that there are very strong women's teams throughout the country. Regardless, our women's team has been working hard to up their game, practicing not only during our weekly sessions at Bryn Mawr College, but also practicing at the couple available local clubs throughout the weekdays.” Congratulations Daniel on coaching the Bryn Mawr women’s team to contend at the nationals and happy ponging Bryn Mawr Owls!
The 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org