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

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Training Reminders

Just a few things to remember...

Hi ___________ Online Student,
Today, I wanted to give you some reminders about your game.  I would recommend printing this list out, having it next to the table, and spending 30 seconds reviewing this list before each of your training sessions.
Forehand Loop Against Topspin
The main element that I want to see is efficiency.  Efficiency in keeping the stroke and weight transfer together.  This means keeping the racket in the triangle, being active with your feet, and making sure that you physically feel weight transfer to the left foot.
Backhand Loop Against Topspin
There are two things that I want to see with your backhand warmups.  The first is that the wrist and forearm are working together.  Previously, the wrist would roll over the ball.  Now, you are able to keep the angle more stable and generate more spin.  The second is that you wait a bit longer - this allows more time for you to move and allows the ball to come back in your hitting zone.  Of course, if the ball is slower, you do need to move forward.  But on the deeper balls, let them come back to you.
Forehand Loop Against Backspin
The big point to remember here is moving.  The legs serve two purposes on the loop against backspin - to get you there then lift.  If you aren't in position, it will be tough for them to lift.  Now perfecting it is just as much a mental challenge as a physical challenge.  When surprised with a quick push to the middle or wide forehand, you might have a tendency to reach.  You have time.  You have time to move.  The backspin begins slowing down at contact and it is highly recommended to hit the ball on the drop (as it descends).  You do have time to move.  
Backhand Loop Against Backspin
Mentally, you need to prepare for deep serves to the backhand and deep pushes to the backhand.  If you give yourself enough space and are prepared for the deep push and deep serve, you should be able to loop with 70-90% accuracy.  Another big key here is the accelerate the wrist at contact.  Accelerate faster than you normally would.  Your accuracy here largely depends on the amount of spin that you can generate to overcome the opponent's spin.
Deep Serves
When serving deep, try to focus on getting your first bounce as close to the white line as possible.  Most of your deep serves should go to the backhand or middle.  The key here is very fast and very deep.
Short Serves
When serving short, each type of serve has a different contact point on your side of the table.  Visualize exactly where you want the bounce to be and hit that spot again and again.  You should have the ability to serve short backspin, short sidespin, short topspin, and short no-spin.
Returning Deep Serves
Keep your hand high and ready for fast deep serves that are no-spin, sidespin, and topspin.  If the backspin serve comes, then you can drop your racket connected to your core and legs.  But if you aren't sure of the spin, then go directly over the table with a compact stroke and lots of spin guessing that the serve is no-spin, sidespin, or topspin.
Returning Short Serves
Against all types of spins, you should have the ability to push short, push long, and flip all types.  But for now...  I'm ok to push deep to the backhand on all backspin serves, and flip all no-spin, sidespin, and topspin serves.  With the flip, find the inside of the ball (by moving both feet) and flip to an excellent location.  Flip after the top of the bounce.  Flip and recover.  If you aren't sure where to flip to, the backhand or middle are usually good choices.
Returning Half-Long Serves
When looping the half-long serves, actively move both feet into position, start your racket over the table, take a short backswing, and generate plenty of spin with a compact stroke.  If the serve is heavy backspin, you will need to wait until it clears the edge of the table and give plenty of arc on your loop.  If it is light spin, then you can meet the ball over-the-table more.
This will be one of the primary themes in the coming months.  With the Power Pong Robot, you should be doing both systematic footwork (around 65 BPM) and random footwork (around 55 BPM).  Stay on your toes, slightly on the inside of your feet, push with the outside leg, keep your center of gravity low, be ready to make a secondary adjustment, feet the weight transfer, recover and respond for the next hit.
The priority right now is your own balance, positioning, timing, and action (feel) on the ball to generate more spin.  As you get better and better with this, we will be talking more in-depth about tactical locations to hit to.  For now, with Power Pong Robot training, I would recommend hitting 80% of your shots to the wide backhand.  About 20% of the time, when you are in-position and can hit with more quality, then intentionally change to the middle or wide forehand.  Intentionally change.  That is an important concept.  When you watch the top players in the world, they are decisive and intentional about every hit - directly pushing short here, directly flipping there, directly counterlooping over there, every single shot has a designated location.  Yours should too!  We aren't talking about very very specific tactical location, but general locations at this point.  Wide to the backhand 80% with robot training and intentionally change to the middle or wide forehand.
Keep up the good work!



Learn Table Tennis - ONLINE
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During the last 15 years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach many players - recreational to national champions.  Some are kids, some teens, some adults, and some seniors.  After closing the Samson Dubina TT Academy, I have now shifted to sharing my table tennis knowledge to players worldwide with live, personalized, online coaching.
Yes, I now have openings.  
Yes, I'm available to give you an online lesson.
Everything that we work on together will be accumulative.  
After scheduling your online lesson, here is the adventure that we will go on together...
Step 1
Your goals.  Yes, we will have an interactive discussion about your short term, medium term, and long term goals.
Step 2 
Your commitment.  We will talk about your weekly schedule and your opportunities to improve.
Step 3
Your progress.  We will discuss ways of measuring your progress, overcoming obstacles, developing a playing system, strengthening your strong points, and reaching your peak potential.
Step 4
The Sessions.  I highly suggest 1 or 2 online lessons per week.  Between lessons, you will have assigned training sessions to maximize your improvement and test your skills.
Yes, there are several pitfalls to avoid.  The first pitfall is to think that you cannot improve with online lessons.  You truly can improve.  I have given over 700 online lessons to people around the world and these students have seen results - measured results!  The second pitfall is thinking that just one lesson will do it.  It won't.  Everything that you are learning is accumulative.  I'm personally looking for major improvement over the course of weeks and months, not minutes.  This is the reason that I have the price structure designed to give you excellent discounts with long-term commitments.  Why?  Because I'm interested in seeing major progress.  This will only happen with a long-term plan.  The final pitfall to avoid is thinking that Samson will do everything for you.  I won't.  It will take much effort on your part with weekly notes, weekly discipline to follow a structured training program, and the mental focus to remember and apply what you are learning.
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Once you have made the online payment via PayPal, then take a look at my online calendar.  Next, e-mail me the lesson time slots that you want.  I'll confirm, add it to the calendar, and see you at your upcoming lesson!
Cancellation policy:
All lessons needs to be scheduled before the 1st of the month.  All lessons are pre-paid, non-refundable, non-rescheduleable.  If you absolutely can't do your lesson, let Samson know right away.
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Coach Samson Dubina