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

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Beat the Champ

Learn Mental Strategies Against Elite Players!

When you play against high-rated opponents, do you play better or worse?
 
If you play better against them, it is probably due to the fact that you are more mentally relaxed having a “nothing-to-lose” mentality.  If you have this focused, relaxed attitude – wonderful!  Try to go into every match and every practice session giving your best, having fun, and not putting the pressure on yourself.  This is a great experience!
 

Beat the Lefty

Learn 6 New Strategies!

Generalizing all lefties into one category is difficult, but I’ll do my best to explain some general strategies that would apply to most lefties.  I’m assuming that you (the reader) are right-handed.
 
Serve Return
When the lefty is serving a forehand serve from the backhand side, adjust your position slightly more to the right.  The lefty will often use a sidespin serve to curve the ball away from your wide forehand.  By standing more to the right, you will be able to better cover the wide forehand.
 
Down-the-Line Block

The Comeback

Learn Some Strategy from Shreyans Bafna (age 15)

 

Beat the Chopper

Learn How to Beat 2 Different Types on Choppers...

In this blog, I’m going to outline the strategies in beating 2 types of choppers…
 
 
Choppers Who Strictly Defend (and don’t attack)
 
What he wants to do
The chopper wants to extend the rallies and win points from your mistakes.  He will often serve long (hoping that you will attack) and give low, deep pushes.  If you loop, he will go away from the table and give spinny chops.   He moves well side-to-side and reaching the wide balls fairly easily.
 
What you should do

A Daring Challenge

Try this out for 2 weeks each year...

 
 
Each year, you should take about 2 weeks and try to experiment with some new skills in your table tennis game.  During this time, instead of focusing on matches, focus on practice.  Try to play every day with a robot or training partner.  Here are some possible new things to try…
 
Distance. 
Instead of playing only 1 distance, try playing slightly closer to the table or slightly further back from the table.
 
Spin.
Instead of looping with the same spin, try to add slightly more or less spin to give your loops more variation.
 

Serving in a New Dimension

Learn How Zhang Jike and Other Top Players Have Changed Our Sport

Throughout the last 20 years, when returning serves, most of the world’s best players have looped the long serves and pushed short on the short serves.  In order to attack first, about 90% of the elite serves have been short.  This information has trickled down to even the lowest of the club level players.  I heard many many many club players repeating, “Com’on, serve short!”
 
SERVING SHORT has been the theme of coaches and players in an attempt to stop the receiver from looping the serve.
 

The Best Coach

Read About My Criteria For Selecting an Assistant Coach

 
Within the next few years, I plan to open a professional table tennis training center here in Akron, Ohio.  As I look into the possibility of hiring some elite coaches, I have written out some criteria.  Today, I want to share my thoughts with you as to what I feel would make an excellent coach.
 
He must first know the info.  He must know table tennis at an elite level. 
 

Scouting Your Opponent

Learn a new method on how to improve your game!

Whether you want to make the US Olympic Team, win the senior games, or beat your Uncle Bob; it is always a great idea to scout out your competition.  In this article, I’m going to describe two separate methods of scouting your table tennis opponent.  The first is the long-term method.  This is best accomplished by video analysis.  The second is short term; this is a more common situation.  You enter a tournament and are watching your opponent play the round robin group ten minutes before your match against him.  You have never seen him before, and you need to quickly make a game plan.

The Angles

A Good Question To Ask...

Next time that you are discussing ping pong with a recreational player, ask him the following question, “If the table tennis table is five feet wide, why is the Olympic-size court thirty-five feet wide?”   …he probably won’t have an answer.
 
Most recreational player hit the corners, but can’t hit the ball any wider.  By using spin and contacting the side of the ball on a push or loop, you can easily develop a wide shot.    If you add some sidespin to your shot, you can make it go even wider.
 

Timeout!!!

Find Out the 4 Secrets About When to Call It

Picture this: You are playing the most important table tennis match of your life in the final round, crowds have gathered, big money is at stake, you are preparing to serve, the score is 9-9… should you call timeout?
The question above could be answered “YES” or “NO” depending on the circumstance. In the above situation, you should possibly call timeout if:
1. You need to consult your coach. If you are unsure on what to serve or what strategy to use, ask your coach.

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