Category Archives: Samson Dubina

Samson Dubina – Olympic Hopeful

In August, Samson Dubina began the process of preparing for the Olympic Trials.  Because of the structure of the Olympics, its a long and difficult road for all of those trying – with only 1 to 3 male athletes able to represent the United States in the sport of Table Tennis.  Samson is currently on the short list of favorites, with a ranking in the Top 8.

Samson Dubina: Practice vs. Games

samson2 One of the most frequently asked questions is.. “Samson, why do you do drills? Wouldn’t it be better to exclusively play matches each day?”

Samson Dubina: Decisions


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.

Samson Dubina: Good, Better, Best

samson2 Most players have Good practice sessions on a weekly basis but it isn’t THE BEST! Many players continue practicing the same things over and over without pushing themselves to improve their spin, placement, variation, power, and shot selection.

Samson Dubina: Inside Information

samson2 When hitting backhands, many table tennis players do a great job hitting to different locations. Because they are able to bend at the wrist, these players are easily able to contact the inside of the ball, the back of the ball, and the outside of the ball in order to hit to different locations.

Samson Dubina: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

samson2 It sometimes feels to me that table tennis players go through post-traumatic-table-tennis-rating-point-loss-disorder. Often, at the conclusion of a match, players seem traumatized.

Samson Dubina: Your Morning Wake-up Call

samson2 You needed to take that match serious, even when your opponent was rated much below you. By waking up early enough to eat a good breakfast, by jogging and stretching, by playing a few practice matches, by doing a bit of research on your opponent, and by mentally gearing up prior to the match, you should have given your best from the very first hit!

Samson Dubina: Advice To Beginner Coaches

samson2 Many aspiring coaches talk to me about improving their coaching skills. I feel that the most important aspect is developing early credibility. So how do you establish credibility when you were never a good player, never a good coach, and never had any elite students?

Samson Dubina: Excessive Celebration

samson2 Today, I would like to share a few tips with you regarding table tennis celebration. These principles can apply to you regardless if you are competing in your first recreational tournament, competing in an average USATT tournament, or playing for a gold medal in the Olympics.

Carbonado – The Newest Blade from Stiga

carbo2 The New Carbonado Blades – Now Available at Paddle Palace

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…

Bad Words to Avoid: for Students and for Coaches

Samson DubinaThis short read gives a tip on a simple word for students to avoid, and a simple word for coaches to avoid. The mental and emotional game is every bit as important as the physical game, and these pearls of wisdom from Coach Samson Dubina are a good lesson to keep in mind.

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…

Spin, Spin, Spin! Boosting Your Table Tennis Level with Spin

Samson DubinaProducing more spin in table tennis is important for several reasons, as Samson Dubina explains. And he also explains how to produce more spin, on your serves, on your forehand loop, on your backhand loop. As Samson says, “Spin, spin, spin is the key to improving your game.”

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…

How Do You Know If You Have Good Table Tennis Strokes? by Samson Dubina

Samson Dubina from backI hear hundreds of comments regarding strokes. So, how do you know if your strokes are good or not? Is it personal opinion? Is it what your friends tell you? Is it defined as what the top players are currently using? Good strokes all have several common elements. If all of these elements are true about your strokes, then you probably are on your way to success. If these elements are not true about your strokes, then you need to make some changes.