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

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A Unique Coaching Method

Learn questions that you should be asking yourself everyday!

During a private lesson at the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy, I usually ask my student about 20-30 questions. 
So why do I ask them questions? 
Aren’t I getting paid to answer questions? 
Let me explain...   If a student keeps looping my push into the net, I will ask him…
A. Why is your backhand loop continually going into the net?
B. Were you watching my racket?
C. Did you read the amount of spin that I put on the ball?
D. If I give you the same push again, what will you do differently?
E. If you make that adjustment and still loop into the net, what else could you change?
F. Did you check your distance from the table?
G. Did you check your height (center of gravity)?
H. Did you check your racket starting position?
I. Did you check your racket angle?
I continue to ask many questions like these throughout the lesson.  I do give input about how to improve technique, footwork, strategy, etc… but I mainly want my student to learn to be his own coach and to think for himself.
There are several reasons that I choose to coach this way…
Reason #1 – Knowledge that is self-learned, sticks longer.
If I ramble on between points about how my student should spin more, adjust with his feet, use his wrist, and many other things, he will only remember about 10% of what I said.  He is listening but quickly forgets.  By asking probing questions, he becomes the one coaching himself.
Reason #2 – So that I can know how progressed the student has become.
By asking questions, I can then know how well my student understands a particular stroke.  If he is on the right path, we will continue to progress to more difficult things and more game-situation drills.  If he doesn’t have a very clear understanding, then we continue to work hard a particular element of his game until we perfect it.
Reason #3– The student must become a good problem solver.
If my student wants to be a good tournament player, he must be a good problem solver.  He must be able to quickly adjust to various opponents.  He must be able to read the spin by watching the racket, watching the bounce, and listening for the sound of the spin.  After making a mistake, he must be able to adjust and fix his problem within 1-2 points. 
Reason #4 – The student must form the habit in practice and tournaments.
In practice and in tournaments, my student should have the same mindset.  If my student is winning many consecutive points, then he doesn’t need to over-analyze or think too critically.  However, as soon as my student makes one mistake, he must step back, take a breath and ask himself, “why did I miss that shot?  If my opponent gives me that same ball, what should I do differently?”  The student must be able to coach himself point-by-point; this applies to both practice and matches.

If you have enjoyed our coaching articles and videos...  make sure that you check out the Ohio Mega Camps this summer!

 To register, you can choose 1 of the following options.  It is your choice:
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4. Drop off a check at the SDTTA
5. Mail a check to:  Samson Dubina TT Academy 2262 South Arlington Rd Akron, Ohio 44319


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