Who are you?

My name is Sean Doherty and I am a Scottish table tennis player from Glasgow. I currently live in Edinburgh and study at the University of Edinburgh.

How did you get into sport?

I’ve been playing sport as long as I can remember. Growing up, my parents encouraged me to try as many sports as I could but the sport I always loved the most was football. Around the age of 9 or 10 I tried table tennis for the first time on holiday and when we got back home my Dad was keen to find a club and start playing. There’s not many table tennis clubs in Scotland so we ended up playing table tennis every once in a while at a local leisure centre, but a while later my Dad heard about a couple of local clubs and at the age of 11 I started playing there. At the age of 14 I was in the national squad for my age category and it was around that time that Glasgow won the bid to host the Commonwealth Games. At that time I was only playing football and table tennis competitively. I made the decision to give up football so that I could focus on table tennis and I’ve been training and competing ever since.

What have you achieved?

  • Under 18 British Championships Silver Medal Singles and Team
  • Under 18 National Champion Singles and Doubles
  • Under 21 National Champion Singles x2
  • Senior National Championships Mens Singles Finalist
  • Commonwealth Championships Mens Team Bronze Medal
  • Glasgow 2014 – 5th Mens Team, last 16 Mens Doubles

How does psychology influence your performance?

I believe that the potential of psychology in sport performance is huge. There is so much evidence showing benefits of utilising psychology, yet there is still so much that is unknown. I think it is actually the most powerful factor which influences elite level sporting performance.