Category Archives: Samson Dubina

Samson Dubina: Devastate the Smart/Dumb Guy

samson2Some players know how to anticipate and adjust quite well during a match, usually these players are viewed as being “SMART”; while others don’t anticipate and don’t adjust well. On the surface, this article might seem like common sense, but this there is much more depth here. Let’s dig in…

Samson Dubina: Devastate the Top Dog

samson2Everyone wants to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament – that is everyone’s aspiration when entering a tournament. In this article, I’m going to outline some of the major keys that can turn your dream into a reality.

Samson Dubina: Devastate the One-Wing Looper

samson2If your opponent’s primary shot is an extreme topspin attack, he is considered a looper. Loopers can play far from the table or close to the table; some loopers are penholders while others use the shakehands grip, some loop from both forehand and backhand and some just forehand. In this article, I’m going to describe the opponent who loops with just his forehand.

Samson Dubina: The Tactical Mind

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Just like any other table tennis skills, developing a tactical mindset takes discipline. As I work through the various styles over the coming weeks and teach you how to play against various opponents, I want you to understand that you too can think of your own tactics. I’m not very smart, I’m just an average guy. However, I do spend quality time thinking. You too can develop this same discipline

Samson Dubina: Devastate the Offensive Blocker

samson2 There are many different types of choppers; however, I’m going to lump all the choppers together
into two categories – offensive choppers and defensive choppers. Today, I’ll be talking about the offensive chopper, he likes to go back from the table, chopping with pips on his backhand, while fishing and counterlooping with his forehand. Even though he is away from the table, he is looking for the opportunity to move in and smash with his backhand or loop with his forehand. He wins about half of his points with consistency and half with his power shots

Samson Dubina: Devastate the Defensive Chopper

samson2 In table tennis, there are two general player types. There are players who win most of their points by
hitting strong shots; against these opponents, you need to stop their big guns. Then, there are…

Samson Dubina: Bad Strokes?

samson2In order to get the timing correct, it is important that you move into position quickly so that you aren’t diving at the ball.  The longer the racket stay in front of your body, the easier it is to “time” the ball.  If you take your racket back too quickly and wait for 1.5 seconds in your backswing, then you are likely to whiff the ball, especially against a long-pips-type floating shot.

Samson Dubina: Looping Flips

samson2When looping a long push, you have about 0.5 seconds to react to the push.  When looping a fast flip, you have about ½ that time.  In order to loop a fast flip from near the table, you need to shorten your backswing on your loop using mostly wrist on the backhand and using mostly forearm on the forehand with a slight waist rotation.  Most players error…

Samson Dubina: Targeting the Transition

samson2Over and over again, I hear coaches at tournaments wisely reminding their students about the importance of ball placement, especially placement to the middle transition ball to jam the opponent. However, these same coaches never give their students SPECIFIC drills in the training hall to help to learn to find the middle and attack the middle. In this article, I’m going to give you the reasons for attacking the middle then a few drills that might help you get started.

Samson Dubina: Serve Return

samson2About 95% of all players say that serve return is their biggest problem. #1 Strokes: In order to return very spinny serves, it is vitally important that you know how to stroke the ball with spin so that you can loop, chop, push, or flip the serve. Blocking the serve is rarely ever a good option. By generating your own spin, you…

Samson Dubina: Fun, Active, Educational

samson2Between pitches in baseball, the batter steps out of the batter’s box to re-focus. The same thing is true in table tennis; the pros often call this the “think circle.” Between points, step back about 4-6 feet away from the table and draw an imaginary circle around yourself and collect your thoughts in your think circle.

Samson Dubina: The Think Circle

samson2Between pitches in baseball, the batter steps out of the batter’s box to re-focus. The same thing is true in table tennis; the pros often call this the “think circle.” Between points, step back about 4-6 feet away from the table and draw an imaginary circle around yourself and collect your thoughts in your think circle.

USATT National Championships

Nationals-SM-version-A(1)The National Table Tennis Championships is underway in Las Vegas (July 3 – 8). Over 700 players in almost a hundred events will compete this week in one of the featured table tennis events of the year. This is an Olympic Year and all six US Olympic athletes will be competing…

Samson Dubina: Multi-Tasking

samson2At the lower-levels, it is critically important to unit-task, to focus exclusively on one particular skill and get it right. With many of my students who are rated 300-800, I will focus exclusively on their forehand loop or backhand push for 20-30 minutes and …

Samson Dubina: Forgetting & Remembering

samson2 During a table tennis match, is it beneficial to remember previous points or to just block out the past and play in the moment? The answer is… BOTH!

Samson Dubina: Breaking 2600

samson2 What does it take go from the club level to the elite level? This is the question hundreds of players are asking. Before giving you the answer, I’m going to refute 2 myths. Myth #1 – The Formula: The first myth that is always mentioned in table tennis circles is …

Samson Dubina: Fix It or Trash It

samson2I would recommend fixing a particular stroke when it is a core aspect of winning.  Let’s examine one of your previous matches…   In last tournament, you were in the finals of the u2100 event.  Your opponent kept serving long.  If you blocked or pushed his serve, he followed-up with a deadly smash.  When you tried to loop the serve, you were missing most of your loops long against his heavy sidespin-topspin long serve.  Fix it or trash it?

Samson Dubina: The Details of Pushing

samson2Pushing is one of the most neglected strokes in table tennis.  By applying these principles of timing, angle, wrist, and placement, you will be on your way to having a better serve return, controlling the short game, and forcing errors from your opponent!  As with any stroke, it takes months and month of intentional practice!

Samson Dubina: Follow the Example of Sarah Jalli

samson2When I coached table tennis in a school program, I was coaching up to 90 kids per day.  Over the last 20 years, I have seen thousands of kids play (or attempt to play) table tennis.  Sarah Jalli is one of my top juniors and recently went up 1000 rating points in 10 months and is now ranked #4 in the US for her age.  With the right environment and a great work ethic, Sarah definitely has Olympic potential.  So why is it that some kids rise to the top and others stay at the lower level?

Samson: Backhand Footwork – Is It Necessary?

samson2Typically, playing about 60-65% forehand and about 35-40% backhand will allow you to cover the table best.  However, for some of my students, I give some flexibility as each player/style/age/conditioning/body type is unique.  Because the forehand zone is larger, most players practice forehand footwork or full-table footwork.  I have rarely seen players practicing backhand footwork.