Coach Samson Dubina 2016 US National Team Coach 2015 USATT Coach of the Year
 

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Mental Strategies - Part I

What should I be thinking about during a table tennis match?

Most top players would agree that table tennis is about 50% physical and 50% mental.  Yes, a top table tennis player must have good technique and good physical fitness, but equally important is the ability to play courageously, think strategically, overcome obstacles, and adapt to different game styles. This is an outline of the most important things that I concentrate on and the thoughts that I avoid while playing table tennis.
During a table tennis match, I want to focus on three primary things:

Four Elements of Footwork

Footwork Mechanics, Anticipation, Visualization, and Fitness

Four Elements of Footwork
 
“If I can lose 10 pounds, my footwork will really improve!”
This is a common statement made by hundreds of club players nationwide.  Yes, their footwork probably will improve, but losing 10 pounds is only 1 of the 4 elements to having excellent footwork.  I have seen some great athletes (in other sports) who had very poor footwork in table tennis.  I have also seen some 300 pound table tennis players who had decent footwork.
 
Element #1 Mechanics

Playing Better vs. Improving

Learn How to Boost Your Level Faster!

Playing Better vs. Improving
 
Last week, coach Massimo Costantini was discussing with me the difference between playing better and improving.
 
I can play better if I continue to practice hard.  My strokes become more solid and possibly my mind will become sharper from getting more experience.  However, my progress curve will be fairly slow.
 

Perfecting the Short Game

Learn the Details on How to Control the Game!

Perfecting the Short Game
 
 
     Mastering the strong short game is crucial at the intermediate to advanced level because it allows you to attack first, which gives a huge advantage during the point.  There are three primary ways to receive a short serve – short push, long push, and flip.  Each player has a preference with which they use more often, but it is vitally important to perfect all three so that you have more options.

Understanding Your Mistakes

table tennis blog
By Coach Carl Hardin

 
 
 
 
 
Coach Carl Hardin is both a table tennis coach and a top-level bowling coach.  This week, we had a brief conversation on the phone.  At the end of the talk, I asked him to summarize what he was explaining in article form so that you could see the difference.  If you have ever come to one of my classes, you will understand that Coach Carl Hardin's approach has had a huge impact on my coaching.
 
 
Understanding Your Mistakes
By Coach Carl Hardin

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