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

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The Story of My Life

Read about my 20-year table tennis career

Olympic Training
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
-Edgar Albert Guest

For what I have accomplished as an athlete, coach, and promoter of the sport, I give God the glory for what He has done through my life.  With many limitations, God has allowed me to accomplish much.  Let me briefly explain to you about the last 20 years of my playing career…
Throughout my playing career, I have hit many roadblocks and received plenty of negative feedback on my game – no talent, terrible strokes, did not start young enough, no coaching, bad training environment; you name it, I’ve heard it!  Despite all the road blocks, I’m still making progress, even today!
At age 13
I started off playing table tennis at the local club at age 12.  By age 13, I had lost nearly every match week after week, month after month.  I was getting demolished by the experienced club players.  I wanted to play at a high level and tried to apply the little knowledge that I had.  Often club members would encourage me to develop a good pushing and blocking game because then I might have a chance to win a match sometime.  I decided to be persistent in my offensive game and focus on developing strokes and not worry about winning so much.  Within 2 year of persistent attacks, I finally starting landing them and beating nearly everyone at the club.  I kept working…
At age 16
Even as a beginner, I have always had high goals in table tennis.  At a very low level, I decided to target one particular player – Mark Hazinski, who was ranked #1 in the US for his age.  I told my goal to a club member who thought it was a joke – there was no way possible for it to happen, no way possible.  Within 6 months, I pulled off the biggest upset at the junior Olympics and metaled in the u18 year old division with a series of wins, which included a win over Mark Hazinski.  It was one of the first times in table tennis history that a very low-level player won a medal in the u18 year old division at the Junior Olympics. I kept working…
At age 17
Before finishing high school, I was ranked in the top 4 juniors in the US and finished #2 at the US Nationals in the junior division.  USATT normally took the top 4 as representatives for the US National Junior Team.  They did not choose me for the team.  I kept working…
At age 21
After high school and during my college years, I made it my goal to make the US National Men’s Team; I wanted to represent the US at the World Championships.  Again, people thought it was a joke that a player who wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 in the US would possibly finish in the top 5.  I went to Canada for three years of intense training with the Canadian Olympic Team.  While working night-shift in New York (across the border from Canada) I often trained 5-6 hours per day.  At the National team trials that year, I sadly missed making the US National team by one match!  I kept working…
At age 24
After I moved from Canada back to Ohio, I continued going to college as well as coaching and competing.  With the assistance of some elite training partners, I was able to boost my level more in Ohio than I did in Canada.  Persistence paid off and the very next year, I MADE IT.  With a series of wins against Mark Hazinski, Timothy Wang, Chance Friend, Joe Cochran, Marcus Jackson, John Leach, and Niraj Oak, I accomplished my goal and made the US National Men’s Team!  I kept working…
At age 27
This was the year that I decided to give up my future career as a firefighter/paramedic and make the commitment to do table tennis full-time.  As a promoter of the sport, I decided to support myself through several aspects – competing in tournaments, tournament management, private lessons, skype lessons, group clinics, and equipment sales through my website. Since I had already accomplished my previous goal of making the US National Team, I decided to start working toward my next goal – the US Olympic Team!  I kept working…
Now at age 32
Considering the fact that I did not have consistent professional training until age 21, I still currently have several more years of improvements to do.  However, the Olympic trials are fast approaching!  For 6 consecutive months, I plan to work together with several coaches who will be fine-tuning each aspect of my game.  For 6 consecutive months, I plan to be actively involved in a cardio, strengthening, and flexibility program.  For 6 months, I plan to practice about 15-30 hours per week.  For 6 months, I plan to play in as many league matches and tournament matches as possible.  I plan to work hard for 6 months to boost my game to the Olympic level!
I would like to personally thank my backers for all the support and encouragement over the years – Newgy Robo-Pong, Paddle Palace, Nittaku, Feather Crafts N’ Things, Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions, CLJ Studio Photography, Clear Choice Custom Lasik Center, Studio 330 Wedding Professionals, Butterfly, Norwalk Concrete, Joe Newgarden, Aydin Aykanat, Chris Jordan, Mirza Ahmed, Joe Ciarrochi, Blake Cottrell, Ed Zadrozny, Shelton Rainasinghe, Nathan Eldridge, and Morgan Tang! Thank You!
If you would like to help me reach my Olympic dream, please consider a donation through

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Samson Dubina