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The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong Hardcover – 5 Sep 2013
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"Like nothing I’ve ever read and all the more wonderful because of it, this is a non-fiction masterpiece which deserves a position on the sports writing podium" (Ben Keenan Press Association Syndication)
"Fast-footed, inspiring book about winning the inner game of life in sport" (Iain Finlayson The Times)
"Erudite, experimental and engaging, Mina di Sospiro has given us a work that breaks new ground in sports writing. Whether or not you ever pick up a paddle, The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong provides an initiation into a visionary life, igniting the fires of inspiration through an intriguing intimacy with the mysteries of daily life that is available nowhere else" (David Metcalfe Daily Grail)
"An enthralling guide to the mystery, mastery and practice of ping-pong" (Eric Idle)
"Excellent" (Publishers Weekly)
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK AWARD 2013
Ping-pong: not just a sport for teenagers, ferociously talented Chinese players and East London hipsters – it seems that spinning plastic ball can teach us a great deal about life and the world we live in...
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His playing experiences seemed to parallel mine, as we discovered the wonders of spin, speed and control, while learning, unlearning, and re-learning how to play. In full disclosure, I am one of the players he identified, blind in my formerly dominant right eye, with double vision and blind spots in the left, making my playing journey over the past almost 15 years another very challenging re-learning process. There is a cleansing of the mind when playing, and cleanly concentrating on the singularity of the spinning ball, reacting without really thinking. Almost thinking of nothing... Perhaps it benefits us much like the benefits of REM sleep. Many years ago, as a track sprinter, I used to feel a similar "thinking of nothing" sensation when I ran my best races, but it is much more prolonged when playing TT.
I hope the readers will simply go out and try to experience what we're trying to describe, what the author, my friend, has done so well. I would have enjoyed this book just as much had he been a stranger,and had I not been mentioned. There is a brotherhood and a uniting of nations among those of us tournament and club players... we speak the same language, that of the spinning and bouncing ball.
I got a lot out of reading this book, and I think it will help me on my mental journey as I continue to try to overcome the visual handicaps, and follow the instructions I wrote on one of my t-shirts: "Shut up and Play".