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Category: Samson Dubina

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.

Samson Dubina: Peak Performance

samson2 Many professional players peak for certain tournaments each year. By having a systematic training cycle, these players can perform well at the important tournaments. There are usually four parts to the six-month season: Pre-season, in-season, the peak tournament, and post-season. In this article, I’m going to briefly outline how you can learn to peak for that one important tournament six months from now.

Service Strategy and the Element of Surprise

Samson DubinaSamson Dubina shares some tips for effective serving, followed by a video demo of backhand loop.
Most offensive players try to serve short and receive short. If you are an offensive player, I would recommend that you use this strategy… most of the time. If you serve long and push long, then your opponent will have plenty of swinging room and likely loop first, forcing you into a defensive position. A short, low serve is much more difficult to attack because the table is in the pathway of the loop. However, after you have used this strategy for several points, your smart opponent will probably catch on and begin pushing back short…

Serving Precision, by Samson Dubina

samson_serving_croppedWhen serving, many players focus on height, deception, speed, spin, and placement. These elements are very important. However, the main reason that you need when practicing serving is to develop precision. If you have control over your serve, it is easy to control the rally when you are serving. Here are a few consequences of having poor precision, followed by how to master the skill of precision and control on your serve.

Why Does Great Practice Not Always Result in Great Results?

xu_xin_crop Sometimes players will work very hard over the summer training many hours each day. But at the end of the summer, they play in a table tennis tournament and are very disappointed with their results. They might have spent thousands of dollars traveling to China, hiring pro coaches, and giving great effort… but still they didn’t have the expected results. Yet other times, players will take a break for a few weeks and practice very little. Without expecting much from their first tournament of the season, these players are sometimes surprised with amazing results! Why?!

How to Watch a Professional Table Tennis Player, by Samson Dubina

nakedplayerWhen watching a professional player, what you are looking at? Are you looking at the bright color of his shoes, the weird design on his shirt, his massive leg muscles, or the funny expression that he makes when serving? If so, you aren’t studying the right things. When watching a professional player, there are several things that you should be looking at…

What to Do When Your Opponent Has Illegal Table Tennis Serves, by Samson Dubina

When playing tournaments, you will often be up against illegal serves. With the right actions and attitude, you can easily diffuse the problem and play a fair match. Here are the steps of action that I would recommend…#1) Observe the problem. Preferably in a match prior to your match, try to watch your opponent for possible illegal serves. #2) Try to decide if he is getting some advantage. Tossing the ball 5” instead of 6” doesn’t really give an advantage. However, if he is spinning the ball with his fingers, hiding the contact, or throwing the ball into his racket, then he is probably getting an unfair advantage…

Beating Your Friends in Table Tennis, by Samson Dubina

Samson DubinaSometimes, beating your regular training partners, fellow club members, and best friends in table tennis can be very difficult because it seems that they know your every move. They can predict that your forehand flip will go crosscourt, they can predict that backhand serve will go long to the middle, and they can predict that you will block to the corners. They know your every move because they have played against you hundreds of times. There are 2 solutions to overcome these problems…

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