Playing as a Tennis Partner
Here are 12 points to great tennis partnerships:
- Get a good tennis partner!
- Try to maintain proper court position as much as possible. If your opponents want to win a point with an outright winner, make them have to try the lowest percentage tennis shot imaginable. Odds are they will make an error.
- Show respect and encouragement toward your tennis partner. Forgive his/her mistakes as you want yours forgiven. Communicate with each other. Always remember that the two of you are in the battle together.
- Be responsible for your own overheads. Play at a spot, far enough back from the net, that allows you to get back for those lobs that are yours to play. It’s not your partner’s job to cover behind you.
- Keep the ball away from the opposing net person. Play the ball crosscourt 90% of the time, and try to set-up your tennis partner.
- Be able to cover your alley when at the tennis net. Your partner can usually help out if balls are played down the middle; he/she can’t possibly help if the ball goes by you down the alley.
- Try to get 70-75% of all first serves into play. Less speed and more spin will help you reach this goal.
- Become proficient at the net. Doubles tennis is usually won by the team that controls play from the net. Use good footwork, and punch your volleys.
- Watch for patterns of play by your opponents, patterns that you might be able to exploit. Learn as you play, and be willing to make adjustments.
- “Poaching” is the best way to help your partner hold serve. It also makes your opponents try to second-guess you when returning. If they have to think too much, they might make a mistake.
- Be determined regardless of the score. Play one point of tennis at a time. Don’t get discouraged. As Yogi always said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” If you keep fighting, you never know what might happen.
- Most importantly, have fun! After all, it’s just a game of tennis!
Doubles Tennis Communication
The best doubles players in the world generally play tennis together for a long time and seem to know each other’s next moves. The biggest issue facing most tennis captains is trying to keep the same teams together long enough to create some kind of chemistry. The problem is most tennis players are not always available during matches so partners change all the time.
The best advice is communication. If you find yourself playing tennis with someone you’re unfamiliar with, don’t become negative about the situation and not talk to each other. Find out as much as you can about each other’s strengths and weaknesses before your match. During competition, communicate, more importantly when you’re losing, talk things out and even if you’re not strategizing and just motivating each other, remember you are a team, and if your body language shows a lack of trust with each other, then the other team will sense it and jump all over you!