Paralympic hero Jack Hunter-Spivey is convinced the secret to success in his sport lies away from the table tennis table.

The Liverpool star is known for his warrior mentality on the table but has ventured further afield to football, UFC and snooker to find the tricks of the trade.

Among his confidantes are ex-Liverpool and England footballer Stephen Warnock, MMA star Dan Hardy and former world snooker champion Ken Doherty.

Hunter-Spivey has drawn inspiration and wisdom from a number of different sources to help prepare himself for international competition.

He said: "I'm a big believer in trying to find these one per cent gains in your career.

"I talk to these guys just to see how they deal with pressure and those situations and how we can move from different sports. I think we can all learn from each other.

"Dan is someone that I grew up watching. I had a mohawk haircut at the Rio Paralympics which was a bit of a tribute to him!

"I just love the way he conducted himself in the ring and he's been really kind to me over social media. It's really good to get in contact with those people and just bounce off each other.

“Talking to Ken about knocking in the black ball to win the World Snooker Championships, it’s about having someone who’s been there and done that, a hand on the shoulder.”

It certainly seems to be working. Last month, Hunter-Spivey rose to No.5 in the world table tennis rankings for the first time.

Hunter-Spivey can call on support from a range of sources as one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

The Birmingham Games see both disabled and non-disabled disciplines integrated into the same programme, a boon for Hunter-Spivey and his team-mates.

He said: "I feel amazing, to have my event in the Commonwealth Games, especially a home Games is a dream come true.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic to have both aspects in the Games at once. In my eyes we are all professional athletes, we are all elite athletes whether you play against someone in the wheelchair or playing standing it's world-class level of sport and that's what we're promoting as well.

"I think it's amazing, it's a unique opportunity for us to compete in the same tournaments as able-bodied players.

This summer, Team England, supported by National Lottery funding, will comprise of over 400 athletes in total, and having secured his place on the squad, Hunter-Spivey is looking to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity for medal success in his home country.

He added: "This is a completely unique challenge and experience and I can't wait to challenge and relish everything I can and make myself a better athlete and hopefully a Commonwealth Games medallist as well."

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