Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Learn WHAT?

Maximizing Your Tournament Performance

In order to maximize your performance, it is important that you learn how to win and that you learn how to lose?
You might be thinking to yourself, “Samson, if you saw me at the last tournament, then you would say that I already have enough experience losing!!!”
Actually, that’s not what this article is about…
This article is about the post analysis of a match.  Sitting down in the bleachers after an awesome win and knowing what to do next.  OR…   Sitting down in the bleachers after a terrible loss and knowing what to do next.
How to Win
1. Keep in mind that just because you won the match, it doesn’t make you a better person.  Many times, high-rated players look down on rec players as if they are the scum of the earth.  You must first remember to treat your opponent with respect.
2. If you played an awesome match, remember what you did differently in this match than previously had played in other matches.  Remember what you did RIGHT!  Many of my coaching articles are geared around what you did wrong to correct it.  Now, I want you to focus you attention on what you did RIGHT.  Were you moving better?  Were you spinning more?  Were you placing the ball well?  Were you looking for the first attack?  Were you giving good speed and spin variations? 
3. Finally, regain your focus for the next match.  Often after a great win, you might not go into the next match with the best focus.  Remember, each opponent is different.  You might need to have a slightly different strategy against the next player.
How to Lose
1. Keep table tennis in perspective.  Character should come first. Winning or losing is not a life and death issue.  After a hard loss, try to briefly leave the gym and clear your mind and think about something else for a few minutes – listen to relaxing music, go for a light job, or play a video game – do something to distract you.
2. Understand that losing will help you more than winning.  When you win, you probably don’t learn much about your game – besides the fact that you are awesome.  When you lose, it clearly shows you your flaws and you have more knowledge about what you should change in your training routine.
3. Come back with more determination on your next match.  Come back for your next match with a renewed focus – be ready to make quick adjustments and do your best to apply your strategy.  One loss in a tournament probably won’t ruin you.  However, if you lose your focus and your desire to fight…  then you will continue to play poorly and continue to lose.