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Improve your game with Coach Samson Dubina!
We are proud to have Samson as part of the Paddle Palace family. In recent years, Samson has achieved many titles while traveling to Europe, Asia, and throughout North America competing in nearly 400 tournaments over the last 20 years. Currently Samson is training, competing in tournaments, coaching the top players in the state of Ohio, and is now coaching the top players in America as a US National Team Coach.
More from Samson.
The ball goes to your forehand, you lean that way, and . . . suddenly you can’t move. And so you lean more, and perhaps you are able to making a flailing, off-balance return. Then you watch a top player move to the ball, and while in perfect position, he makes a perfect forehand. What goes through your head? “He has a better forehand than me.”
What’s wrong with this picture?
Everyone has a “biggest weakness” in their game, almost by definition. Beginning and intermediate players may have many weaknesses, but there’s probably a biggest. Even great players don’t do everything great – it’s all relative, and their biggest weakness might be something that would be a powerful strength for an intermediate player.
So what should you do about this “biggest weakness”? FIX IT!!! So how do you go about doing that?
The first step, of course, is really identifying this biggest weakness. Is it a stroking technique problem? Footwork? Weak serve or receive? Choking under pressure? Analyze your results and figure it out. Perhaps watch videos of yourself playing, and compare what you do with what top players do. A coach or top player might be able to help out in this analysis.
STIGA, Escalade Sports, and Paddle Palace are proud to announce their sponsorship of the ICC Elite Table Tennis Team
At the highest levels, many top players don’t even bother to smash – even if the ball is eye-level high, they loop. However, for most players, a smash is a must. Here are some keys to developing a good smash, forehand or backhand. First, get some coaching or watch the top players.
A lot of problems arise when players don’t use their free arm properly. It’s a major problem with a lot of players. Here are two common problems.
First, many players let their free arm just sort of hang down instead of holding it up as a counterbalance to the playing arm. Every time they stroke the ball there is no counterbalancing arm to act as a counterweight, and so they are thrown slightly off balance with each shot. Worse, they become so used to this they don’t even realize it is happening. The cure –
I like to divide tactics into five levels. First, think of your game and your opponent’s game as a combination of strengths, average aspects, and weaknesses. Then there are nine possible combinations, divided into the five tactical levels.
Level 2 tactics
• Your strengths against opponent’s weaknesses