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

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Developing New Skills

Am I describing you?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Developing New Skills
By Samson Dubina
 
 
This article is based on a quote from my friend Don Hamilton.  He said, “Every time I step up to the table, I’m able to learn something or improve something during the course of the match.”
 
 
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In the table tennis world, many players believe the lie that says, “You can only improve your game if you play with higher rated players.”  This is definitely not true.  Here is a very common conversation that I have had many many times...
 
Me:  How you doing?
 
Stranger: Oh, I’m not going to get better unless I can develop a good backhand loop, short serve, and smash.
 
Me:  Have you been practicing these three things?
 
Stranger:  Yeah I practice them in drills, but can’t really implement them in matches.
 
Me:  Do you ever play against lower-rated players at the club?
 
Stranger:  No, I only play against people with higher ratings.  I’m trying to improve.
 
Me:  See, that’s the point that I’m trying to make to you.  When playing with much higher players, you are just hanging on for the ride, reacting to      their shots, and trying desperately not to get embarrassed.  When playing      lower rated players, you can work on your serve, your backhand loop, and      hey you might even have some opportunities to use some smashes!
 
In order to fully develop your game, you must be able to play your best against players at your level, players 200 points higher, and players 200 points lower.  The next time a lower rated player asks you to play at the club, welcome the opportunity to develop your skills!  Even if you lose a game or even the match, it is ok, you are in the developing stage!  Improvement doesn’t come to the faint hearted!  Don’t fear losing!  Think long term.  Thing about development!  The scoreboard will eventually take care of itself!
 
 
 
 

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