Highest Level Coaching Course a Success in Ohio

By Matt Hetherington | Sept. 20, 2019, 2:11 p.m. (ET)

The highest level coaching course offered in the world this year, the ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course, found a fitting host in the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy in Akron, Ohio.

Staged from September 4-11 and hosted by the experienced Christian Lillieroos – conducting his 48th ITTF Coaching Course, the course featured 10 coaches from the USA and abroad, from as far away as Bangladesh and as close as neighboring Canada and Mexico.

The ten coaches were – Samson Dubina (USA), Blake Cottrell (USA), Milton Garcia (Mexico), Rajul Kansara (USA), Matt Hetherington (NZL), Wilson Cheah (USA), Zedplin Law (CAN), Jie Chang (USA), Dave Fullen (USA) and Syed Mahmudazzaman (BGD).

Over the course of 8 days the group would delve into the tactical world of the ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course, with time split between classroom sessions, practical table sessions and a couple of trips to an excellent next door gym facility.

Alongside its superb training facilities, the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy also provided 3 practice partners of a suitable level for the course, allowing the coaches to work with and deliver for those players within the focus range of Cadet, Junior and Senior National Teams. Those players were Chance Friend, Seth Pech and Sarah Jalli, who were joined by Samson Dubina and Milton Garcia as the main training partners for the group.

It was a busy week for Dubina, who aside from studying in the course as a coach, also organized everything as the host, while continuing to run his business. A challenge, but one he rose to with a positive vibe.

We were happy to host the ITTF Level 3 Course here at the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy! With Christian Lillieroos as a very competent instructor and 10 ITTF coaches, it was a huge success as we studied high level tactics and strategies, playing styles, timing, 5-point-training system, various aspects of fitness, training camp organization, and how to peak for world class events!” says Dubina.

As the group covered topics from the process of forming tactics, all the way to strength and conditioning training, information and learning were bountiful across the packed 8 day schedule.

Course Conductor Christian Lillieroos spoke of the course content and process:

“This course is the pinnacle of the ITTF coaching scheme and the coaches learns advanced tactical training, weight training for junior athletes, mental training, and several theoretical related subjects. The course has 5 separate tests, and each coach has to pass each test to continue to the next certification criteria. Currently there are only about 50 ITTF Level 3 coaches in the world, out of the total of over 7,000 ITTF certified coaches. USA has about 270 certified ITTF coaches and is a very strong country for coaching with a lot international influence.”

Coaches were required to go through a range of examinations, including a presentation, online test, theory examination and a practical assessment. Across the time it was a rare occasion not to see the coaches without their books, notepads or laptops as they absorbed everything the course had to offer.

Throughout the time one thing stood out for the group, and that was the expert guidance of Christian Lillieroos. Drawing on his experiences from different national team systems, he was able to deliver an exceptional course, providing great insight into different players, national teams and training methodologies.
Lillieroos spoke highly of the group upon the completion of the course, and of the organization and dedication of Samson Dubina in hosting this event.

“The results in this course were outstanding, 7 coaches got enough score to pass with an ITTF Level 3* mark which means they got a score of 75% or higher on all tests, and can continue to the future High Performance course. ITTF plans to have the first ever H.P. course finished in 2021. Matt Hetherington, Samson Dubina, Milton Garcia, and Blake Cottrell, all passed with scores above the 90% mark. 6 coaches scored a perfect 100% mark on the 2 practical tests.” - Christian Lillieroos.

The experience was tough but fun, with a great group of 10 coaches who kept the, often 3 hour-long, classroom sessions light-hearted but focused.

By the end of the 8 days there were many positive outcomes for the coaches who participated, lots learned, and the path forward for practical experience to complete the ITTF Level 3 Course now lit, with some even qualifying to participate further in the next tier - the ITTF High Performance Coaching Course.

We extend our thanks to the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy for being excellent hosts, to the training partners who assisted the coaches throughout the course, and of course to Course Conductor Christian Lillieroos for a great experience and professional guidance.

You can find the photo gallery from the event below on USATT's Flickr.

You can also find video live stream from the course on the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy Facebook Page.

ITTF Level 3 Coaching Course - Ohio, USA