Samson Dubina's Olympic Training

$11,200 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 44 people in 47 months
Dear Table Tennis Friends,

Thanks for your support of my table tennis efforts!

Yes, I do have a structured 6-month plan as I prepare for the Olympic trials. My intense training begins in August 2015 and goes through January 2016. My plan consists of several points.

Through video analysis, I have been working with several coaches on identifying various aspects of my game that need improvement. Throughout the next 6 months, I'll be working with these coaches to make improvements in these specific areas as well target specific tactics against each possible opponent at the Olympic trials.

Elite Training Partners
As you know, perfecting table tennis takes hours and hours of practice. But it isn't just practice, it is quality practice that counts. My first training partner will arrive in August. He is 2700 level and finished in the top 4 in Sweden in 2011. If the funding continues, I hope to hire several more practice partners during the 6 months of training.

Although practicing with a 2700-rated player at my house is good, I also need a variety of practice partners. At the Olympic trials, it is absolutely essentials that I be able to compete well against all styles. To get more variety, I plan to fly to California for two elite training camps.

The final step the performing well is to be able to handle tournament pressure when it counts. With about 10-15 preparation tournaments, I can mentally gear up and learn how to perform well under pressure with the correct tournament mindset.

With your help, making the US National Team and the US Olympic Team really is in reach. In 2008 at the US Nationals, I qualified to make the US National Team and represented the US at the World Championships. In 2009, I finished #2 in the US at the National Championships. I'm currently #5 for the contenders of the US Olympic team. Here is the current listing:

#1 Adam Hugh
#2 Grant Li
#3 Timothy Wang
#4 Kanak Jha
#6 Kunal Chodri
#7 Mark Hazinski
#8 Jim Butler
#9 Krish Avvari
#10 Yahao Zhang

Thanks for your support!
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Dear GoFundMe Supporters,

I might not be the best table tennis player in the US, but I definitely have the most support!

With months and months of very hard practice throughout the US from coast to coast, I can honestly say that I worked very hard to make the Olympic team through all aspects of the sport. However, I was eliminated today in the 3rd round of the second qualifier today. Because of my work, my attitude, and my effort, I'm not ashamed of losing. My opponent played better that match and won. I'll likely give further details of the match in a later update. But for now, I just want to say - THANK YOU! I gave it great effort and I thank you for the part that you took in helping me progress my game.

So what is the next step for me?

As the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy continues to grow throughout 2016, we plan to continue making major improvements including a larger facility, daily group classes, weekly leagues, and 4-star tournaments on a regular basis. As the academy continues to grow, we will also be hiring several 2500-rated coaches to assist with the private lessons and group lessons. Within several years, Ohio will likely have one of the most elite training centers in the US. For coaching, promoting the sport, and competing, I must say...

My best years are yet to come!
I'm far from retiring!

I would like to send a special thank you to each of you who have supported my journey this year! THANK YOU to Paddle Palace, Newgy Robo-Pong, Nittaku, Bridgestone, ClearChoice Custom Lasik Center, Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions, Canton Table Tennis Club, Feather Crafts 'N' Things, CLJ Studios, Gary Howes, Ralph Ubry, Cynthia Trykall, Fernando Itskowich, Dick Bennett, Cathy Steel, Roger Dickson, Mary Marzano, Marco Borillo, Dave Fullen, Barry Carlin, Mike Wilke, Sam and Nancy Dubina, Vinay Chandra, Wright Family, Barbara Wurster, JinJun Bao, Yijing Chen, Steve Miller, Joe Newgarden, Nelson Nsieh, Ed and Peg Zigler, Ganesan Mani, Kevin Swan, Mike Simpson, Dave Diehl, Don Diehl, Tina Lin, Larry Lotzenheizer, Sudhakar Jalli, Philip Wu, Ying-bei Wang, Ed Zadrozny, Mirza Ahmed, Joe Ciarrochi, Blake Cottrell, Aydin Aykanat, Shelton Ranasinghe, Morgan Tang, and Nathen Eldridge!!!!!!
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Dear GoFundMe Supporters,

This week, I arrived here in California and have been working about 7 hours each day... 5 hours of drills and games, 1 hour of serving practice, 1/2 of video analysis and 1/2 hour of fitness training. I'll continue my practice through next week then return home for a couple days of rest prior to the Olympic Trials. Thanks so much for the support!

Samson Dubina
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Dear GoFundMe Supporters,

We are now only 4 weeks away from the Olympic Trials. The US Nationals gave me a very good look at my game... strengths, weaknesses, and what I really am capable of doing. At the nationals, I beat 3 players over 2500 including Gao Yan Jun (who I had previously lost to 5 times in a row), I beat Jason Plog (who I had previously lost to 3 times in a row), and I beat Teddy Tran. In addition to winning several good matches, I also took home the over 30 year old US National Champion Title.

I'm encouraged by these results, but I still have much work to do. I would like to THANK YOU for your generous support, I now have enough funding to make an additional trip to California where I'll be training 15 sessions with elite players as well as playing in 1 competition.

The Olympic Trials will be in Greensboro, NC on February 4-6. Check out the live streaming on the usatt homepage. Thanks again for your support - I'll see you on the podium.

Samson Dubina

PS...For those donors who have donated $100 or more, you should have received a free book or dvd as your thank you gift.

For those donors who have donated $200 or more, you should have received a free book AND dvd as your thank you gift. If you have not received them yet, please send me a quick note. As I was traveling, I think that I might have missed some donors. As you know, the Olympic Trials is very important to me. If I happened to miss you, please send me a message and I'll mail it right out. Thanks!
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Dear Sponsors and GoFundMe Supporters,

Thanks for your continued support. As you know, my training will now be continuing through the first week of February. Your support has allowed me to recently travel to California and New Jersey for training and competing. This week, I'll be playing a tournament here in Ohio then on Monday, I'll be leaving for Las Vegas for the US Nationals and National Team Trials!

For the last nine years, I have been a 2400 level player. This year, I have been consistently playing 2500-2550 level for the last 8 months and winning most tournaments. Ok, so what is my secret?

No, no, no it isn’t booster or steroids or a flashy serve or a powerful smash…

So, what is it?

It is something very, subtle.

It is something that most players, most spectators, most coaches, and most of my opponents have not noticed.

The secret is that I fixed my weak point. Because I’m tall and have a good backhand and forehand, I play very well from the wings (wide forehand and wide backhand). For the last nine years, players have played to my middle transition point in order to win free points. With the help of Carl Hardin and some others, I have adjusted my technique and become very very consistent in dealing with the middle balls. This improvement has helped me about two points per game. Is two points significant? Absolutely! Two points is the difference between winning and losing a close game. Two points is the difference from closing out your opponent early or having a tight match. Two points per game really does make a difference.

I’m now going to describe to you how YOU TOO can play well when jammed at the middle transition ball, then I’m going to show you a short video demonstrating my loop when jammed.

Here are few key points:

#1 Watch your opponent’s racket. If you can see his racket angle, you can have an idea where he will block.

#2 Try to move. It isn’t always possible to be in the perfect position, but if possible, try to make a small steps to use forehand or backhand.

#3 Keep your backswing short. When jammed in the middle, a short backswing will allow you to play the ball in front of your body. If you take a big backswing, sadly, you will be scooping the ball off the floor.

#4 Don’t feel guilty. If you have committed to taking a forehand, at the point of contact try to complete the stroke as much as possible. Same thing for the backhand. I have seen many players miss backhands from the middle-forehand side or forehands from the middle-backhand side then grumble to themselves that they should have played a backhand or should have played a forehand. In order to hit this shot, you must complete the stroke with confidence. There are no set rules saying exactly which ball you must hit with forehand and which ball you must hit with backhand.

#5 Focus on friction, not force. When jammed, spin will be your biggest weapon. Instead of trying to use a huge body rotation, you a smaller body rotation will focusing on imparting spin with your wrist.

#6 Target a specific location. Because you can’t apply much speed to the ball, placement is absolutely critical. When jammed, your mind will probably go blank and you will forget about placement. Target specific drills where you will be surprised and still forced to play a quality shot to a good location.

#7 Payback! Every time your opponent jams you and wins a point, ask yourself the question, “How often have I jammed him this game?” Sadly, many club level players focus on playing to the corners; instead they need to consider using the middle more often.

#8 It doesn’t have to be pretty. When jammed, you will not be able to take a pretty stroke. Rarely, will you be positioned perfectly, rarely will you be able to take a full swing, rarely will you be able to contact the ball at the desired location, rarely will you be able to have the perfect follow through. It is ok. It is ok to do what is takes to sometimes lean, change your stroke, use your wrist, and spin to a great location!

Last year, I had one of the worst transition balls in the US; now I have one of the best middle transition balls. Follow these 8 key points and you too can develop this important shot!!!

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$11,200 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 44 people in 47 months
Created June 29, 2015
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Fernando Itskowich
40 months ago (Offline Donation)
41 months ago
41 months ago (Offline Donation)
Ralph Ubry
41 months ago (Offline Donation)
41 months ago
Marco Borrillo
41 months ago

Merry Christmas Samson. Keep up the good work.

canton table tennis club
41 months ago

Good Luck Samson, May all the net and edge breaks go your way. Best Wishes, Gary Howes and all the players from Canton Table Tennis Club.

Dave Fullen
41 months ago (Offline Donation)
Barry Carlin
41 months ago
Mike Wilke
41 months ago
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