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

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The Mystery Man

NEW Coaching Article - by Samson Dubina

The Mystery Man
By Coach Samson Dubina
In the table tennis world, it is commonly believed that there are 3 types of players – positive, negative, and in-between.
Mr. Positive continues to strongly affirm himself throughout the match, even if he is down 8-0 or 10-2 or whatever the score, he has a high level of confidence.
Mr. Negative always believes that he could play better – it isn’t just right – the conditions are bad, draw was rigged against him, too many lucky shots from the opponent, and he can’t ever perform up to his expectations.
Mr. In-Between says that he is the best of both worlds – encouraging himself but also sees the problem areas.  When people ask about his performance, he replies in a smooth wise tone of voice with a 25 min explanation about the highlights of his game and the downsides of his performance.
Each of these 3 categories have benefits and risks.  These is actually a 4th category that I feel is far superior to these 3.  Let me introduce you to the mystery man…   aka Mr. Solutions.  Mr. Solutions understands his strengths and the ways to keep implementing them.  Mr. Solutions also understands the problems and adapts and fixes the problems point by point.  Mr. Solutions doesn’t complain that he is making too many unforced errors, but he has an analytical mind, can realize the problems, and can adapt as the situation calls for it.  Mr. Solutions has a solid game plan, realizes that adjustments need to be made, has an adaptable technique, and adjust well throughout each match.
So what is the point of this article?
The point is that everyone needs to be working towards solutions.  The reality is that you may show up at the next tournament playing at 30% or 60% or 80% of your full potential.  Do you just mark it off as “I’m going to have a bad tournament”?  Of course not.  You adapt.  You realize the problems, you come back with solutions, and you develop into a strong player each and every tournament regardless of the outcome!

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