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

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Understanding Your Mistakes

table tennis blog
By Coach Carl Hardin

Coach Carl Hardin is both a table tennis coach and a top-level bowling coach.  This week, we had a brief conversation on the phone.  At the end of the talk, I asked him to summarize what he was explaining in article form so that you could see the difference.  If you have ever come to one of my classes, you will understand that Coach Carl Hardin's approach has had a huge impact on my coaching.
Understanding Your Mistakes
By Coach Carl Hardin
There is a difference between the (USBC) US Bowling Congress coaching system and the (USATT) USA Table Tennis coaching system. The USBC focus is more on training the students mind first and the body will follow, whereas USATT coaches focus more on training the body without the why.
 There are job openings for USBC Gold or USBC Silver level certified bowling coaches all over the world. Whereas; I doubt that a USATT certified National Coach can find a Table Tennis coaching job in China or other places in the world. Also I am sure that a Certified Chinese Bowling coach will not find a bowling coaching job in the USA.
Train the mind first and the body will follow: such as WHY you need to execute in the correct manner, 1 step at a time. In case of an error in any part of your drill, the drill should be stopped immediately, and then explained (why) it was incorrect and (how) so the student understands why it’s important to execute it properly. Then repeat the drill as many times as necessary to execute it correctly, before you continue to the next step. If the mistake was with: The anticipation, footwork, stance, arm-swing, blade angel to ball contact. The coach will explain why it was a mistake so the student understands how to correct the mistake before the drill is restarted and continue until executed properly before going on to the next drill. The camcorder is a great tool for that purpose.
Note: If the drill is not stopped immediately to explain and correct the mistake, the student will not remember when and how the mistake was made. I believe that the extra time you spend coaching arm-swing mechanics will pay big dividends for the students consistency on their way up the ladder to be the best they can be. The proper why and how training in the beginning of the students TT training, 1 step at a time, will take a little longer at the start but the benefits are: They will reach their goals in the shortest amount of time and it will remove all blocks that would keep them from reaching their goal to be the best that you can be.