Complete novice plays table tennis every day for a year, becomes awesome

Got a spare year lying around? If you do, perhaps it’s time to realise that dream of becoming a table tennis champ - or at least, get really, really good at it.

Bad news, though – you won’t be the first. Sam Priestley, a 25-year-old café-owner from Wimbledon, spent most of 2014 and the first month of this year training to go from a novice ping pong player to practically a pro.

Trying to break into the top 250 UK players, Sam trained for an hour every single day for a year and 11 days under the guidance of his friend and table tennis coach Ben Larcombe - though there was a little help from a table tennis robot, too.

He ended the project – immodestly but accurately called “The Expert in a Year Challenge” – occasionally beating professional players in local tournaments. And while he didn’t make the top 250, his transformation is genuinely astonishing.

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