Tennis – Key Points for the Doubles Team

“Winning Doubles”… what does that mean?

As most of you know doubles is a somewhat different game than singles – and much is written and said about doubles strategy. Although many of these tips and strategies are correct – very few get at the fundamental changes players should make to become “a doubles player”. mycarscent

Many very good singles players are just not top doubles players – they hit the ball too high over the net, they don’t know how to move forward well or when to move forward, akunprorusia they don’t understand the importance of a strong doubles serve, they don’t know how different a good doubles return is, and more.

In this brief article I will give you a few points “to work on” with your game – that will assure you can become a much better doubles player than you are today. In fact, if I were a better, semar128 I would wager significantly that these will also make you a better singles player, because they will add to your “arsenal” of shot variety and shot-making capabilities. verduurzamendeurne

Here are my quick tips to work on to make you a better, winning stronger and more sought after doubles player. Remember – these are things to “work on” and develop, so don’t give up but practice putting them to use. spintenniscoach

Tip 1) Move Forward!!!

I can’t believe how many players today “pass” on an opportunity to move forward when they have one. I don’t mean playing a predominantly serve-and-volley game, I mean taking the court (the net) when the situation gives you the opportunity. This I speak of in singles and it is a true shame. But in doubles you “must” have a “Move Forward!!!” mentality. In my entire tennis life (8 yrs old to now 53 yrs old) I can only think of one or two cases when moving forward was not the thing to do – and those were created by team-mates who were not doubles players and had never developed this skill. antminet

– When you Return… be moving in to hit the ball, even if you have to step back before returning to get some forward body movement. IT WILL help – you will see. Learn to hit the ball moving forward, and if your opponent has a big serve, return the ball with more of a volley-type of hit moving into the contact point… FORWARD. ufa88myanmar

– When you Serve… sometimes it is more important to hit a good spin serve than a big flat serve – this will give you more time to move in and take the net. If you and your opponent can control the net you will win the majority of the points – and the match. crosstrainer-kaufen

– When you Volley… OMGoodness!!!! I see this OVER and OVER and OVER in today’s players… when you hit a volley (bare with me)… DRIVE FORWARD pushing off your back foot, pushing you into AND THROUGH your contact point. Every volley you hit should be initiated with a split/stutter step when your opponent is hitting the ball, to help you get your feet organized to PUSH THROUGH your volley and DRIVE FORWARD into your opponents. Do this and you will have them on their heels. Fail to do this and they will have you on your heels. Which would you prefer? askanadviser

– When you hit Overheads… REACT QUICKLY when the ball goes up… see if you can get your “back foot” in place before you have to hit the ball. Your “off hand” is up pointing at the ball gauging your position, your racket is up behind (and above) your head… you find your position on your back foot and if necessary shuffle a bit to get in the exact hitting spot… and DRIVE UP AND FORWARD with your back leg into the overhead “smash”. (Lovely – well done!!!)

Do you see the recurring theme of “moving forward” in these tips? For doubles, it also – and more importantly than just hitting your shot – it also gives you a constant forward emphasis that will give you more “court dominance” and “court position”, and with those two things you’ve pretty much won the match. sgmytrips

Tip 2) Develop your Doubles Serve

How many times have you been standing “at the net” with your partner serving and he/she just puts a “softie” in to just get the ball into play. I think this should be considered “voluntary manslaughter” if not “premeditated murder”.

One of the best things any coach ever taught me was to hit my second serve more like my first serve – and in fact I developed a VERY strong second serve. And when my first serve is giving me trouble, I can pull out this second serve and use it like a first serve. You know what – SO CAN YOU!!! It’s a mental block that keeps you from doing so.

The key is to practice the though of “what would have fixed that first serve” – sometimes you then feel totally confident that you can do it now on the second serve. Sometimes you decide not to “fix” the first serve, but you can then decide what other “aggressive” but “safer” serve you can use for the second.

If you can get 3 out of 4 serves in this way that is a VERY effective percentage – and you know what – you can do it – it’s just mental attitude, confidence and don’t forget… practice.

Tip 3) Hit Your Volley’s Moving Forward!!!

Yes, this is bit of a repeat – but now a different focus – being a real “volleyer”. This is huge to winning doubles. So I’ll say it again.

HIT YOUR VOLLEYS MOVING FORWARD – But… this does not mean running forward through your volleys – NEVER. It means ALWAYS HAVE YOUR FEET MOVING making small adjustments and keeping your body weight “forward” – on your toes, slightly leaning in.

You must be “poised” to “spring” forward in a manner that allows you to DRIVE with your back foot into the volley. To do this:

– be watching your opponent’s contact point, do a split-step then while slightly leaning forward
– this allows you to move your feet and body forward with a very slight shuffle
– which finally allows you to position your “back foot” to “drive forward” with it into your contact point – which is slightly to the side and in front of you.


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