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

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A True TT Story

Trust is a must or your game is a bust

I once had a student who was very ambitious about learning to attack.  Prior to taking lessons, he had only developed a pushing and blocking game.  For 9 months, I taught him to attack.  He said that he was using his attack against other players at the club.  Finally, the day arrived that I was ready to watch him play against another opponent, instead of just giving him a lesson.  Before the match, I told him not to worry about the score, but merely to focusing on using the weapons that he had been trained to use.
As the match progressed, it became very evident that he reverted back to his old style of pushing and blocking; he played poorly.  He only attacked a couple times during the entire match.  Afterward, I asked him why he didn’t use his strong weapons.  He replied that he was trying to win.
Winning matches comes from playing your best game. 
You have probably heard the expression, “trust is a must or your game is a bust.”  This is so true. 
You need to learn to trust yourself and play as you have practiced.  My student said that he had been using his attack, but when I was watching, then he wanted to WIN.  Wanting to win too much is often a bad thing. 
Improvement is not for the faint-hearted.  Don’t be too sensitive – losing is a natural part of the learning process.  Don’t worry about what the other club members say.  If you want to make positive changes in your game, then you must take some risk and be willing to lose.  If you are willing to make positive changes, then you are showing your coach that you are taking his advice and actually applying it in matches.
When I was a beginner, I was very persistent at trying to use my loop in matches.  I lost nearly every match for the first 12 months, but I was very persistent.  The other club members often said to me, “You should just be pushing the ball and not trying to loop very much.”  They continued by saying, “However, if you can someday land those loops, you might develop into an elite player.”  My persistence paid off and I quickly jumped from 1100 to 2100 in 2 years.
Remember, that merely taking lessons won’t help you improve.  You will improve when you apply your new skills.
Remember, trust is a must of your game is a bust.
Remember, improvement is not for the faint-hearted.