Coach Samson Dubina 2016 US National Team Coach 2015 - 2018 USATT Coach of the Year
 

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An article related to improving players table tennis skills.

Beat the Lefty

Learn 6 New Strategies!

Generalizing all lefties into one category is difficult, but I’ll do my best to explain some general strategies that would apply to most lefties.  I’m assuming that you (the reader) are right-handed.
 
Serve Return
When the lefty is serving a forehand serve from the backhand side, adjust your position slightly more to the right.  The lefty will often use a sidespin serve to curve the ball away from your wide forehand.  By standing more to the right, you will be able to better cover the wide forehand.
 
Down-the-Line Block

Asian and European Training Centers

Learn about 4 recent changes!

During the last 18 years, I have practiced at many table tennis training centers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.  In recent years, I have recognized four modern changes at the elite level.
 
Blocking with More Variation
In the past, one player would consistently block in a set pattern and the attacking player would attempt to loop 10-20 balls in a rally.  Now, the blockers have added more variation – sometimes harder, sometimes softer, sometimes flat, sometimes with a little topspin.
 
Multi-Location Blocking

Beat the Chopper

Learn How to Beat 2 Different Types on Choppers...

In this blog, I’m going to outline the strategies in beating 2 types of choppers…
 
 
Choppers Who Strictly Defend (and don’t attack)
 
What he wants to do
The chopper wants to extend the rallies and win points from your mistakes.  He will often serve long (hoping that you will attack) and give low, deep pushes.  If you loop, he will go away from the table and give spinny chops.   He moves well side-to-side and reaching the wide balls fairly easily.
 
What you should do

A Daring Challenge

Try this out for 2 weeks each year...

 
 
Each year, you should take about 2 weeks and try to experiment with some new skills in your table tennis game.  During this time, instead of focusing on matches, focus on practice.  Try to play every day with a robot or training partner.  Here are some possible new things to try…
 
Distance. 
Instead of playing only 1 distance, try playing slightly closer to the table or slightly further back from the table.
 
Spin.
Instead of looping with the same spin, try to add slightly more or less spin to give your loops more variation.
 

The Best Coach

Read About My Criteria For Selecting an Assistant Coach

 
Within the next few years, I plan to open a professional table tennis training center here in Akron, Ohio.  As I look into the possibility of hiring some elite coaches, I have written out some criteria.  Today, I want to share my thoughts with you as to what I feel would make an excellent coach.
 
He must first know the info.  He must know table tennis at an elite level. 
 

Stepping Forward

Learn from watching this short video clip!

In table tennis, footwork is important for all levels.  Using the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 is one of the best ways to improve footwork.  Most players try to improve their side-to-side footwork, which is important.  However, only a few players try to improve their in-and-out footwork.
 
In-and-out footwork is vitally important for the slow block, especially when you are away from the table.  Watch how Joo Se Hyuk demonstrates the stepping in on this video:

Practicing the right things!

Find out which strokes are the most IMPORTANT

I have received hundreds of table tennis e-mails with questions regarding table tennis.  One of the most common questions is…
“Which skills should I be working on?”
 
That’s a good question.  My answer will vary because of…
1. The age of the player
2. The game-style of the player
3. The mental game of the player
4. The physical condition of the player
With that said, I’ll attempt to list some general items that should be learned at each level.
 
Novice
A. Rules of the game
B. Basic footwork (side-to-side)

Active Blocking

Steps to learning this modern skill!

Most table tennis players label topspin shots into several categories such as: loop, block or smash. However, modern attacking players have developed an offensive block called an active block. Active blocking is a combination between a block, loop and counter loop. It is best used off-the-bounce against a slow to medium speed loop.
Watch in this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwbcgOPxx8w&feature=fvsr as Kenta effectively uses active blocking to stop his opponents’ attack and take control of the table.

Trajectories

When do I contact the ball early? Top-of-the-bounce? Fall?

In table tennis, you can contact the ball on the rise, on the top of the bounce, or on the fall.  Sometimes beginners have difficulty controlling the spin, depth, and power because they don’t know when to hit the ball. 
 

Prepare For Disaster

What to expect...

When you serve, return serve, or hit any shot throughout a table tennis match, your opponent will have a variety of choices on how to return the ball.  You need to prepare yourself for the worst-case-scenario then adjust if he does something easier.
 

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