Coaching at Tournaments by Samson Dubina

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Encouraging and coaching fellow club members at tournaments is one of best aspects of a competition. In this article, I’m going to outline how to coach another player between games. If I were coaching a friend or student, here is what I might possibly say.

Good game – you ended strong with a nice comeback.

He is having difficulty when you attack first into his wide forehand; try to open most of your loops to his wide forehand side. Once the rally begins, your opponent nearly always backs off the table. Once he is far from the table, his backhand with pips gets pretty weak.

Remember to keep using your strong loops; stay close; be aggressive; and try to play long rallies. You are much more consistent than he is in the long rallies.

The above coaching had 3 parts:

#1 Positive Comment

Good game – you ended strong with a nice comeback.

Your friend needs to see that you are on his side. Don’t start arguing with him; stay positive!

#2 Two Observations

He is having difficulty when you attack first into his wide forehand; try to open most of your loops to his wide forehand side. Once the rally begins, your opponent nearly always backs off the table. Once he is far from the table, his backhand with pips gets pretty weak.

You are suggesting some game sequences that worked very well for him during the previous game.

#3 Reminder About Using One’s Strengths

Remember to keep using your strong loops; stay close; be aggressive; and try to play long rallies. You are much more consistent than he is in the long rallies.

Giving your friend positive reminders is one of the best ways to build his confidence.

Samson Dubina

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