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tennispal
04-10-2008, 09:33 PM
how far should the net person stand into the center of the court when his partner is serving? when i watch pro matches, they seem to be in the center of the service box, if not more into the center. wouldnt that open the down the line pass and obstruct the server's angles?

JavierLW
04-10-2008, 10:23 PM
how far should the net person stand into the center of the court when his partner is serving? when i watch pro matches, they seem to be in the center of the service box, if not more into the center. wouldnt that open the down the line pass and obstruct the server's angles?

In the center of the box is decent.

If you want to be chicken, you can stand halfway between the doubles sideline and the center line. Any closer to the alley is bad news (you're not taking up any space and your opponents have an easier time returning).

I have a partner that likes to duck down and sneak in closer to the center line (almost like the I formation). He is very quick though up there and covers a ton of space. He is very threatning for our opponents especially if I can manage any sort of difficulty at all off of my serve.

If your partner can serve more toward the center line and not out wide toward the alleys, that will help you out a lot more to not have to worry so much about the alley shot. (unless your partner can pick on any weaknesses that the returner may have, like a weak backhand, etc...)

tennispal
04-10-2008, 10:30 PM
wouldnt you get hit a lot if you move to the middle? even if you duck down, a missed serve bu your partner would hit you in the head

Solat
04-11-2008, 04:20 AM
you gotta remember that you are watching PRO tennis here, you have to understand all the intricacies of doubles to get why they can stand there.
such things as
- a heap of serves go down the T - reducing the angle of the return and encouraging a successful poach
- standing in the "middle" of the court creates a intimidating (reduced) target to return serve
- encouraging the DTL return (the lower % retn) will get more cheap points via tougher return or easy volley thru the middle
- communication with partner enables the volleyer to move to the "ideal" position after the serve is hit (when the returner has to watch the ball)
- etc
- etc
:D

Nellie
04-11-2008, 09:14 AM
^^^^ you should stand initially in the middle of the service box and move according to the serve to cover the return angles - torward the alley for a wide serve, torward the middle on a serve down the middle.

It is simply too passive to stand in the alley becuase you will never be able to poach. For every shot you give down the line in the alley, you will make 5 slamming the return of service.

LuckyR
04-11-2008, 10:00 AM
how far should the net person stand into the center of the court when his partner is serving? when i watch pro matches, they seem to be in the center of the service box, if not more into the center. wouldnt that open the down the line pass and obstruct the server's angles?


Well the netman should never obstruct the server's angle, regardless. Where to stand totally depends on the mobility of the netman. The key isn't where you start, it's where you end up. If the netman has poor mobility or the server's serve is so fast that there isn't time for the netman to move, then the netman should start close to second volley position. On the other hand, if the netman has plenty of speed they can really start anywhere they want (which is a pretty effective way of messing with returner's heads, especially if you have already poached off a couple of returns).

samprasbackhand
04-11-2008, 10:15 AM
I stand very close to the net and more to the left/right depending on which side my partner's serving, and usually move more to the center once the serve is hit. I usually don't back away, it's alot easier to volley if you're close to the net. Even if I know the opponent is going blast it at me, I still usually stay close

LuckyR
04-11-2008, 10:27 AM
I stand very close to the net and more to the left/right depending on which side my partner's serving, and usually move more to the center once the serve is hit. I usually don't back away, it's alot easier to volley if you're close to the net. Even if I know the opponent is going blast it at me, I still usually stay close


If your partner S&V's a lot and you are playing touch players, you will be lobbed a lot, assuming they are any good.

Rickson
04-11-2008, 11:03 AM
how far should the net person stand into the center of the court when his partner is serving? when i watch pro matches, they seem to be in the center of the service box, if not more into the center. wouldnt that open the down the line pass and obstruct the server's angles?

You can crouch right next to the T if you like. I used to do this a lot, but most of my partners had such weak serves, I stopped poaching.

Ash_Smith
04-11-2008, 11:35 AM
As a general rule - outside foot in the centre of the service box.

Keruchina
04-11-2008, 11:44 AM
I stand very close to the net and more to the left/right depending on which side my partner's serving, and usually move more to the center once the serve is hit. I usually don't back away, it's alot easier to volley if you're close to the net. Even if I know the opponent is going blast it at me, I still usually stay close

I used to use this positioning, but then I read something on tennis.com that suggested standing more in the middle of the box so that you can move diagonally forward to poach. You still hit hour volley close to the net but you don't start there. Making this change has been helpful for me.

vndesu
04-11-2008, 01:56 PM
it depends
wen i play doubles we mix it up.

if its just regular i stand very close to the net.
then we switch off to double back.
then the austrailian formation

sulcer
04-11-2008, 03:38 PM
Nellie has it. You need to start in the middle of the box. Out wide serve, move towards the alley. Serve up the T would have to go right through you if they wanted to hit it down the alley.

Its all about creating a smaller target for your opponent.

Our coach has us start in the middle of the box, when we hear the racket hit the strings take one step forward and split. That way you are going to be prepared to move.

And keep closing the net as you hit your volleys.

TB45
04-11-2008, 06:43 PM
you should be in the center of the service box (or near it).

1. If you stand too close to the alley (to protect it), you only have 1 way to go, and thats towards the middle. You are eliminated as a possible threat to the returner. Standing in the center of the service box will let you go either way, and possibly scare the returner (i highly doubt it:))

2. Dont stand so close to the net. I recommend standing halfway between the net and the end of the service box (so basically in the middle!). You want to have room to poach cross-court. This is a common mistake, most people dont realize that you should poach diagonally and NOT in a straight line (left to right).

3. your job as the net guy is to intimidate the returner. If you stand in your little alley, he wont even acknowledge your existence on the court.

I play varsity doubles in high school. My training coach says, "if that returner can hit in down the alley 100% of the time...well good for him." Even if the returner beats you down the line, challenge him to do it again. hope this helps!

Tennisman912
04-11-2008, 07:42 PM
You need to be in the middle of the box closer to the service line than the net. You cannot camp out on top of the net as you advance up the levels. You will be lobbed over or blasted off the court from solid 4.0 on up.

Some reasons you should start that far back are below. First, this makes it harder to lob you on the return. This will also allow you to move forward to hit your volley as you should be. Depending on the shot you will probably be moving diagonally forward as well, depending on where the return goes. From that position you have your half of the court covered. Here is how. Your first responsibility is to cover the line, which you can do with one step toward the alley. Unless they paste the sideline, you have it covered (and they won't consistently until probably 4.5). If they do paste one on occasion that is ok. You are playing the percentages. That is all that matters. Your second task is to poach any weak returns by moving diagonally toward the center and putting the ball away. You should be aggressive with any ball over the level of the net AND that you can hit in FRONT of you. Do NOT hit a poach shot BEHIND you as you are moving forward/diagonally or below the level of the net because you will not be able to put it away or hurt your opponents consistently. This is true up to at least 4.5. Anything you let go is your partners responsibility. Not trying a shot you can't do consistently is the mark of a smart doubles player. Remember also you will pick off many weak return poaches to every shot they paste up your line. You can work out between yourself and your partner who will get the occasional lob over your head.

Remember playing smart is the most important thing to remember in doubles. A pretty good indicator of someone's ability is how close they stand to the net when warming up the volley. The closer to the net they stand, the weaker they are in my experience.

I hope this helps and makes sense to everyone. Good tennis.

TM

tennispal
04-13-2008, 06:52 PM
the problem for me for standing farther into the middle is that i block the server's angle and get hit sometimes. i know, i bend down, but its still easy for a missed serve to hit you. any suggestions?

Tennisman912
04-14-2008, 01:33 PM
Tennispal,
If you are blocking the box of your server you are too close to the net. You need to be pretty far back. This also assumes of course the server is not standing right on the center hash as they generally should not be serving from that spot in doubles. But it is good to move around a bit to give your opponents different looks and different angles ( both serving position and at the net). There are many variables. Just don't be static at the net and you should be fine.

For you to get hit by the server in the proper position is very rare unless your partner has a horrendous serve. Having said that, I have been hit a few times but if I was out of position closer to the net you will be hit more. Nothing you can do but forget about it and be ready to play when they serve.

Good Tennis

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-14-2008, 04:04 PM
Well the netman should never obstruct the server's angle, regardless. Where to stand totally depends on the mobility of the netman. The key isn't where you start, it's where you end up. If the netman has poor mobility or the server's serve is so fast that there isn't time for the netman to move, then the netman should start close to second volley position. On the other hand, if the netman has plenty of speed they can really start anywhere they want (which is a pretty effective way of messing with returner's heads, especially if you have already poached off a couple of returns).

This is very good.

It does depend on how quick your netman can move and catchup to a quick shot down the line. If he is slow, you might want to nudge him toward the sideline. However, too far over and you will have to cover more court then you can handle.

The center of the service box is a good reference.

Geezer Guy
04-14-2008, 04:22 PM
you should stand initially in the middle of the service box and move according to the serve to cover the return angles - torward the alley for a wide serve, torward the middle on a serve down the middle.

I agree with you completely. However, it always ticks me off when my partner hits a really wide serve, so I step over toward the alley, and then the returner hits a ball back that I easily could have gotten to if only I hadn't just vacated that spot.

But the one time I DON'T move? Bam - screamer up the line!

sulcer
04-14-2008, 05:52 PM
Okay, hopefully this works.

These pictures will give you an idea of what I have always been taught.

First picture:

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3261/fh000035rn7.th.jpg (http://img228.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fh000035rn7.jpg)

Obviously this is after my partner missed a serve but you can see the where I stand in the court when my partner is serving. This position allows me to take a step forward when the serve is hit.

Second Picture:

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3435/fh000033sp3.th.jpg (http://img228.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fh000033sp3.jpg)

This is a picture of me when my partner is returning. A little tougher to see where I am standing in the court. But again, gives you an idea of where I stand.

sulcer
04-14-2008, 05:58 PM
And no, I do not normally stand with my legs as close as they are in picture 1. I have come up out of a crouch and my legs came together. Looks a bit fruity.

Tennisman912
04-14-2008, 08:50 PM
Sulcer,

The first picture you are good. Humbly, I think in the second you are way too close to the net. Let me explain why and you can make your own decision.
You need to be back near the service line and preferably behind it. This is true for a couple of reasons. First back there you can help call the service line for your partner. Second, you are giving too much space in the middle of the court if your partner hits a return the server's partner can get too being that close to the net. You are simply giving him too easy of a putaway. All he has to do is stick out his racquet and you don't have any real play on the ball and are out of the point. By starting back just behind the service line and nearer the middle of the court you are right where the natural volley of the opposing netman is, on a percentage basis, going to be hit. You have now narrowed his targets considerably. He now has to hit a much better volley to get it past you and place it well. He either has to hit it deep between you and your partner (which your partner will get if it is not very deep), right at you on accident or on purpose, or angle it off in front of you. And if he has a weak volley and you have decent hands, you have a pretty good chance of getting it back from that position. Now after your partner hits a return past the net man you can step in, making sure to cover your alley and go from there. Now two things will happen. If your partner comes in (as he usually should) you are both at net and in good position. If he doesn't and the server returns cross court (which he usually should) you should move back to the service line area to fill the hole I mentioned above. If your partner doesn't come in and the server doesn't come in, you could be moving back and forth like this multiple times. In good doubles you are constantly moving. Most people don't realize how much these little things matter.
Also, I personally would never be as close to the net as picture two (which looks like 3-4 feet away, the distance you can reach to the net) unless I am putting away a sitter for couple more reasons. You want to ideally be moving forward to hit your volleys (which is tough almost touching the net). Also you are too vulnerable to a lob at the distance of picture two. I would love to have an opponent stand that close to the net giving me easy putaways. Use the court positioning of your opponents to help you gauge their level and doubles skill. If you pay attention it will speak volumes.

I am not trying to rip on you, just giving you another way to look at it. Do what you think is best for you. I hope it helps you.

Good tennis to you.

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-15-2008, 07:46 AM
Second Picture:

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3435/fh000033sp3.th.jpg (http://img228.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fh000033sp3.jpg)

This is a picture of me when my partner is returning. A little tougher to see where I am standing in the court. But again, gives you an idea of where I stand.

Review the link below and learn about the position you are in and how to use it. You are playing offensively and I am not sure you know what you are doing. Basically, you are putting a lot of confidence in your ability to cover the hole and your partners ability to hit good returns. If this is not the case, you leave yourself wide open to a good poacher to take advantage of your position. Read on...

http://www.operationdoubles.com/receivers_partners_position.htm

5263
04-15-2008, 08:14 AM
TM, the question is when your partner is Serving. You don't help with calls when your partner is serving.

I'm going to write off most of these erratic answers to misunderstandings like the one above.

If you are just going to stand there, you better be close to the net and near the alley so you don't get burned down the line when I'm serving. I don't need you stepping over sideways and blowing a poach as I come in to serve and volley the return- I need you to protect that line and your side!!

TM, I hope you will lob, cause after I bang away about 5-7 of those overheads, you will learn why lobbing is a defensive shot and I am happy to have you on defense thank you.

If you are going to be a better player and move as I serve, then start further back and follow my serve. This will give you a great angle and position on every return you need to handle. You will volley better moving forward. It will keep you from putting us in I formation and you getting burned by a return he can't get around on and leaves down your line!

As you follow the ball, closing the net, you add pressure to the returner and I hope he will lob us, cause then we just made him hit up first. That is how you when in doubs is to get your opp to hit up before you have to. He who hits up first loses! Why are all of you guys suggesting positions to avoid getting lobbed?? That is girl tennis. In Mens tennis you always want to force the opp to lob!:?

5263
04-15-2008, 08:17 AM
follow the serve means to go directly towards where the serve is going, not just moving straight in.

ex. If the serve is wide, then move in, but straight towards where the return will take place.

Tennisman912
04-15-2008, 10:10 AM
5263,

We are aware of the what the general thread is about. And I am sure you know what they say about assuming. We are trying to help sulcer understand what is wrong with his positioning and why in regards to the picture he has posted regarding his court position when his partner is returning. As for the rest, where to start. Please reread what we are saying because you have missed or misunderstood what we are talking about.

The first point is also that you should not "just be standing there" as your partner returns. You need to be constantly moving in doubles. At no time are we suggesting you not cover the line when appropriate. But it is not appropriate until your partner's return has been returned successfully past the opposing netman. Nothing better for me than an opponent who stands their and takes themselves out of the point. I can cover the line from the center of my service box. With one step I cover the line or one step and I cover the middle.
Also you should be happy if your partner poaches because if he/she does, it means he going to put the ball away. If he can't put it away or severely hurt your opponents, he should not be poaching anyway. He certainly should not be stepping in front of his partner unless he/she can end the point. Period. But that again is not what we are discussing. We are talking about your positioning and movement when your partner is returning and covering the volley up the middle by the server's netman.

By saying you use lobs only defensively you are also showing your lack of experience. People at higher levels use lobs offensively as well. Not only for clean winners but for gaining a positioning advantage as well. As far as lobs being only girls tennis, I will allow the ladies to have at you. We are advocating a position to cover both lobs and volleys and the reasons why are clearly outlined in previous posts.

Now as to your thoughts and comments regarding how to act and move as your partner the server comes in, they are overall pretty reasonable. You should move in and move based on where the serve was hit and hitting volleys moving forward. And yes, if you are moving in as we both suggest you do make a lob harder but if they come in too close to the net you are still susceptable to a lob. Not necessarily to win the point but to gain control of the net. And your comment about one of the keys to doubles being make your opponent hit up, that is the most intelligent comment in your whole post. That generally applies to your opponent having to hit up from below the level of the net though, and not a lob as you suggest. Also, we will never be in the I formation as you suggest because if I poach, the point will be over. Again, I don't know your level, but that may not be true in your usual games.

As to the netman of the server applying additional pressure by moving forward on the serve that is simply not the case at my level. It is a good idea in theory. He/she can do anything he wants. I will still take advantage of any positioning error he makes (ie. being too close to the net, afraid of a shot right at him, whatever). That may bother players at the lower levels but at the higher levels it will gain you next to nothing. The truth is you are going crosscourt the majority of the time anyway and most of those I play with are rarely out of position.

I would be happy to explain anything else you may be unclear about regarding any positioning and my reasoning behind it. Use what you like and discard the rest. Good tennis to you.

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-15-2008, 11:10 AM
Sulcer,

The first picture you are good. Humbly, I think in the second you are way too close to the net. Let me explain why and you can make your own decision.

Actually he is in an offensive position for doubles when his partner is returning in the second photo. This is common position in the pros.

You need to be back near the service line and preferably behind it. This is true for a couple of reasons. First back there you can help call the service line for your partner.

Not every team believes in this. Many teams allow the returner to call the serve whether it is in or out allowing the return teams netman to focus on the service teams netman in case of a poach.

Second, you are giving too much space in the middle of the court if your partner hits a return the server's partner can get too being that close to the net.

I can buy the larger hole opening but I dont think that is what you are getting at. Further, this is a starting position, it doesnt take much to take a step or two to where they want to be after the return. Being in more does forces a more precise return from your partner which is one reason why most club players stand back in a more defensive position.

sulcer
04-15-2008, 11:42 AM
I agree with everything Bill said. I have confidence in my partners ability to return the ball with great accuracy. Now maybe if our opponent has a big serve, then I will be back maybe another step. But it is not my job to be calling balls out on the service line. I am watching the net player to make until the ball passes him on the return. If I watch the serve bounce, then try to move my head to see the net player, that is when I am going to get hit. By watching the net player, I am going to get most of the balls back that are hit to him, unless it's an absolute floater.

There are a few Pros that start behind the service line but they are moving forward before or while the serve is being hit. They aren't watching where the serve lands, they are getting themselves moving forward and allowing themselves to get into position. Standing behind the service line basically shows your partner you have absolutely no confidence in his return and you think you are going to get blasted if you stand closer.

Tennisman912
04-15-2008, 05:13 PM
In my experience, until you get to 4.5 or so, too many people hit a lots of shots to the server's netman. I agree you want to move forward to a more offensive position, but after your partners return shot has cleared the netman. And I am moving slightly forward as my partner hits it so I have some forward momentum as you suggest. If you want to stay that close to the net, have that much confidence in your partners return and want to leave the middle wide open, be my guest. I am just positioning myself to make the opponent netman's shot a little harder. Then I move in to a more aggressive position. The best of both worlds in my opinion. But hey, if you don't like my method and reasoning, use what you think will work best for you. I wish you all the best gents, just my opinion. There are no right or wrong answers. My thinking is certainly not infalliable.

Good tennis gentleman

TM

5263
04-15-2008, 05:13 PM
TM,
OK, I've broken the code now and I have been insensative. By getting to your level, you mean the over 60 crowd who ain't moving too well anymore. I understand that and agree that it can help you to cover the lob as well as the volley, by hanging back a bit like the ladies do. I'm sure I will get to your level in that aspect all too soon. I respect how effective you guys can be with your game from those compromised court positions.

As for assuming, boy you take the cake assuming you have higher experience than someone just because YOU don't understand this level of tennis. I excel at Open level tennis in one of the toughest regions in this country. I play with and against 2 guys with multiple gold balls in under 40s. I also get called to play by coaches who want their top Jrs and Div I players to play with and against me, to learn high level doubles. Yes, I guess you are just so much higher than that. I guess we can watch you at the US Open this year, except they still feel the pressure of closing tight. I just returned from winning 4, and 4 against a couple college boys today who play much like you have described. Even though they were both much stronger hitters and quicker than me (I'm 45) their court positioning let them down just enough to crack the door!
My son, who I coached and plays Div I, was not only the top dubs player on his team as a freshman, not only tops in his conference, but also seeded #2 in the Region tourney. He and his partner did all this using the dubs techniques I'm sharing here and believe me, pressure from closing tight is felt at all levels along shifting properly on diagonals in a staggar. When he came home for Christmas he was still amazed how my positioning allowed me to outplay him in our dubs.

Start a new thread when you Johnny Mac talking about how lobbing is an aggressive weapon for one of the Davis cup teams. A counter punch, maybe, but attacking. Give me a break.
I did mess up by giving up after about 7 weak positioning suggestions posts, so I didn't notice that the thread had changed to returning as well. Sorry.
:-?

Tennisman912
04-15-2008, 07:15 PM
5263,

Well someone didn't get their recommended sleep or take their midol I guess. Thank you for explaining how you are a great player and how superior you are. That is impressive. I usually ignore those who like to get in ******* contests because they are insecure for some reason and think their opinion is the only correct one. The more they try to impress me with who they play with and how great they are, the worse they usually are. Maybe you are an exception though. I am just offering my views for the benefit of everyone and you are entitled to your opinion no matter what they are. But my methods have served me pretty well over my career.

(OH, hang on a second while I change my colostomy bag).


Wew. Much better. Sorry about that. You know how it is with us old guys. If you ever make it to Ohio, I would be happy to take some lessons from you. Just let me turn up my pacemaker first. If I make it to the North Dakota in the near future I will look you up.

And for the record I did say I agreed with some of what you said. But I guess at my low level that doesn't really matter. It will be hard, but I think I can turn off my lobs only strategy. As if that is all I can do.

Good luck to you and all sarcasm aside, I would be more than willing to listen to your advice in another forum or via PM if you are mature enough to teach someone who in your opinion, is quite inferior. I am open to any idea that will help my game if you will explain your reasoning for it. Are you mature enough to impart your wisdom or not? That is the only question I have now.

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-15-2008, 07:29 PM
If you are just going to stand there, you better be close to the net and near the alley so you don't get burned down the line when I'm serving. I don't need you stepping over sideways and blowing a poach as I come in to serve and volley the return- I need you to protect that line and your side!!

This is not making sense. Are you saying that if you are serving, your partner at the net should be close to the net and towards the sideline? Please tell me you are not saying that.

Bungalo Bill
04-15-2008, 07:34 PM
TM, I hope you will lob, cause after I bang away about 5-7 of those overheads, you will learn why lobbing is a defensive shot and I am happy to have you on defense thank you.

Dude, where are you coming from. A lob can be offensive as well in doubles. Why wouldn't you know that?

Djokovicfan4life
04-15-2008, 07:42 PM
What kind of lobs are you playing against? :confused:

blakesq
04-15-2008, 08:10 PM
I stand a step behind (away from the net) from the center of the service box, I start moving up towards the net when I hear (or suspect) my partner hit the serve, if the ball goes wide, i go to cover the alley, if the ball goes down the T, I move straight, but think about poaching. Because I am already moving forward, poaching is much easier, than if I standing close to the net.


how far should the net person stand into the center of the court when his partner is serving? when i watch pro matches, they seem to be in the center of the service box, if not more into the center. wouldnt that open the down the line pass and obstruct the server's angles?

5263
04-15-2008, 08:59 PM
Bill,
Face it, most players pretty much take a spot and sort of lean or something lame like that. They don't close, shift well or stagger. Look at the question they ask. Where do I stand? That is what most do, Stand.
So if they are going to take a spot and stand, they better get close to net to protect their feet and near the alley so maybe no one will hit there. That funnels the ball back to me, and I assure you, I am moving.

I don't advocate standing around like that, but if you are going to stand around like most do.....

Once they start to move at the action and follow the ball, close, create choke points, retreat to center field when their partner is pulled out of court...or has lobbed... then we can start to talk.

By the way, you guys aren't agreeing with TM that a lob is this aggressive, attacking shot are you??

5263
04-15-2008, 09:01 PM
djokovic4,
what kind of lobs do you find attacking?

WBF
04-15-2008, 09:16 PM
I'm a fan of mixing up the net man's position, after failing to adapt to our opponents doing it during a recent tournament. If you have solid volleys and speed, work on mixing in different formations to ensure your opponent won't groove his return. You won't regret it.

5263
04-15-2008, 09:43 PM
WBF,
I love what you are saying, but remember 2 things.

1. If you like dealing with the groove he's found, don't mess with it and he will stay predictable, which is nice when an important point comes around and you know right where to serve to get just what you want out of him.
Just cause he's grooving, doesn't mean he's hurting you.

2. Don't change too much if you don't see any evidence of a dangerous groove coming. Don't change just to change. It can help him make a few returns and get his confidence up. I've had several times where guys went Aussie on me for no apparent reason. I love returning against that. I made a few and turned the match around. They went bk to standard, but the damage was done. We got hot and they lost some nerve.

Bungalo Bill
04-15-2008, 10:49 PM
Bill,
Face it, most players pretty much take a spot and sort of lean or something lame like that. They don't close, shift well or stagger. Look at the question they ask. Where do I stand? That is what most do, Stand.

I dont agree with you at all. What the hell are you talking about. What? Do you think you are some high and mighty player that is the secret to the doubles world?

Many players who play doubles move. Their first position isn't their only position. Now, they may not move to the right spot or may get themselves in a jam but to say MOST players is flat out BS.

I think you are reading too much into the posters request.

The players position in the picture for a return (second picture) is an offensive position so he is fine. I would not have him stand any closer otherwise you make the return more difficult and you would have to consider the teams ability to cover a huge hole left open in case the opposing player poaches. Further, the player that is close to the net would have to have good volleying skills as far as reflexes are concerned.

So basically? I dont agree with you. I think you are seeing only from how you play and not how others with different skills can manage to play. If anything, the player should be on the defensive side not the offiensive side if he is "standing" there. At least the returner can have more of an opening to return through and the hole will be somewhat protected.

All in all, I think you are fabricating things to support your posts.

So if they are going to take a spot and stand, they better get close to net to protect their feet and near the alley so maybe no one will hit there. That funnels the ball back to me, and I assure you, I am moving.

LOL, you? This post isn't about YOU! LOL!

I don't advocate standing around like that, but if you are going to stand around like most do.....

Well thankfully one person in this world moves. However, once again, I think you are fabricating things. The player simply wants to know where he should line up. And the answer is - IT DEPENDS. ON WHAT THE TEAM's SKILLS ARE, STYLE OF PLAY, AND WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO.

Once they start to move at the action and follow the ball, close, create choke points, retreat to center field when their partner is pulled out of court...or has lobbed... then we can start to talk.

By the way, you guys aren't agreeing with TM that a lob is this aggressive, attacking shot are you??

LOL, I think (I know) a lob can be either be defensive or offensive. Again, I think you are putting words in people's mouths and fabricating stories.

Nobody has said attacking or aggressive! Get with it man! You are making things up to support your lame claims.

AGAIN, NOBODY SAID ATTACKING LOBS, OR ATTACKING WITH LOBS, OR ATTACKING PERIOD!!!!! YOU SAID THIS!!!

AGAIN, NOBODY SAID AGGRESSIVE! NOBODY SAID ATTACKING AGGRESSIVE LOBS! OR AGRESSIVE ATTACKING LOBS! LOL

A lob can be used as an offensive reply, in other words they are not just aout "getting the ball back" from a poor fellow who happened to be outstretched or is just happy to stay way back in the court and dink it around.

WBF
04-16-2008, 03:41 AM
WBF,
I love what you are saying, but remember 2 things.

1. If you like dealing with the groove he's found, don't mess with it and he will stay predictable, which is nice when an important point comes around and you know right where to serve to get just what you want out of him.
Just cause he's grooving, doesn't mean he's hurting you.

2. Don't change too much if you don't see any evidence of a dangerous groove coming. Don't change just to change. It can help him make a few returns and get his confidence up. I've had several times where guys went Aussie on me for no apparent reason. I love returning against that. I made a few and turned the match around. They went bk to standard, but the damage was done. We got hot and they lost some nerve.


Ohh, no no no, I mean use variations nearly every time, not to randomly pull it out in the middle of a match. The best teams I played brought out *normal* doubles positioning about as often as you see I-formation or australian from a typical team. Mostly I-Formation, occasionally Australian, occasionally normal. Using it often will help with your reaction time, your volleying skills, and assuming you are reasonably decent at net, your chances of winning.

And being able to hit an opponents grooved stroke isn't quite relevent. The important thing here is that you aren't letting your opponent get comfortable, and this will result in your opponent making more mistakes typically. You might have done relatively well against a team that randomly pulled out the australian formation, but the fact is, it can get in an opponents head and make them think they need to come up with a bigger or riskier shot than they would typically go for.

Poor Bill

http://lc-capslock.org/images/capslock.jpg

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 05:57 AM
djokovic4,
what kind of lobs do you find attacking?

The ones that the net man can't touch. :confused:

A good lob shouldn't even be close to being hit by the net man, lets say it should hit about a foot within the baseline. Heavy topspin if possible.

If you can smash these "lobs" at net, I wouldn't even call that a lob. More like a puff-ball if you ask me.

Then again I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Best of luck.

5263
04-16-2008, 06:51 AM
Djok4,
next time you go to a div I or top jr or pro dubs match, count the number of topspin lobs tried and compare that to the number that actually hit the court in the back 3 feet.

If you are honest with yourself, you will see that in 19 of 20 matches in mens tennis, there will be very few tried and even fewer will meet the criteria you describe. You will probably see more shank winners than topspin lob winners. In fact half the "lob" winners you do see are shanks (meaning some frame) to start with and this is at top levels tennis. I've done these stats right there courtside at the US Open and the Erikson.

I'm not saying that it is not a very good shot for many players at times, but clearly not what you see often as you move on up the ladder. Many top players never even practice a topspin lob, so how important is it to them if they don't even do practice work on it. I'll bet TM doesn't even go out and work on his topspin lob weapon once a month!
You seem like a nice person, don't follow Bungling Bills weak example. He was probably a pretty good 4.0 coach in his day and we need those, but....he just doesn't get the big pic.

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 07:12 AM
Of course that's true, but you're leaving out the simple reality that some of us will never be top Div 1 players, like myself.

That's all I'm saying.

Thud and blunder
04-16-2008, 07:23 AM
Of course that's true, but you're leaving out the simple reality that some of us will never be top Div 1 players, like myself.

That's all I'm saying.

1000 posts in three months...that's a lot of practice time ;)

5263
04-16-2008, 07:27 AM
Ok, but the context of this was that others were claiming that this was a shot that had to be dealt with by not closing tight to net, even at the highest levels of play.

The truth is that few hit the topsin lob well, and even fewer against the shots that you should be closing in tight to net on. Not picking on anyone, but you do see more lobs in womens and older gents tennis much more- and thats cool, but it's because they don't hit the forcing low skidding shots to begin with to set all this up.
You at 18, do hit these agressive shots, or you will soon!

When you do hit these shots, you want to get in there and force that weak defensive lob (or the easy put away volley) so you can impose your will with your overheads.

In dubs it's get to net, or defense at the baseline, with absolute minimal time in the mid court area. There is almost NO in between time.
But You must have good overheads to play this way.:-?

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 08:08 AM
Djok4,
next time you go to a div I or top jr or pro dubs match, count the number of topspin lobs tried and compare that to the number that actually hit the court in the back 3 feet.

Again, you are going down a path that NOBODY is talking about! We are not talking about the NUMBER of lobs that are hit in a professional match. A professional match with the training pros receive is a different match then what club players contend with.

We are talking about whether a lob can be hit defensively or offensively, and the answer is YES!!!

If you are honest with yourself, you will see that in 19 of 20 matches in mens tennis, there will be very few tried and even fewer will meet the criteria you describe. You will probably see more shank winners than topspin lob winners. In fact half the "lob" winners you do see are shanks (meaning some frame) to start with and this is at top levels tennis. I've done these stats right there courtside at the US Open and the Erikson.

Again, you are digressing into things we are not talking about. There is no argument about whether the lob is used frequently in a professional match, it is used when necessary and when a team deems they can. At the professional level with the conditioning these athletes are in, the lob is used on occasion. However, it does not nullify its use offensively.

Once again, the lob can be hit either offensively or defensively.

I'm not saying that it is not a very good shot for many players at times, but clearly not what you see often as you move on up the ladder. Many top players never even practice a topspin lob, so how important is it to them if they don't even do practice work on it. I'll bet TM doesn't even go out and work on his topspin lob weapon once a month!

He may or may not. That isn't what we are discussing. A lob is used when needed. It is not a shot where it will be used frequently. However, some teams at the lower levels use lobs to take advantage of their opponents ability to hit and overhead, the amount of times they practice hitting lobs, and their conditioning. It just is.

You seem like a nice person, don't follow Bungling Bills weak example. He was probably a pretty good 4.0 coach in his day and we need those, but....he just doesn't get the big pic.

LOL, hilarious. So now we are resorting to name calling? You got all high and mightly about yourself and added things into your posts that nobody was talking about. You got into "pros and me, me, me does this." Do you realize that the majority of people here are not pros? Some are seniors, some are juniors, some are recreational players that have jobs and a family. You are the perfect example as to why good players dont always make good coaches. And to degrade Seniors and their play? How arrogant is that? I would be lucky if I was 60 years old and still able to play tennis. So do you normally poke fun at them because there game is slower? Is that what gets you off?

If you are resorting to name calling, I now know your argument and posts are weak.

http://www.bryanbros.com/photos.html, no photo for the Bryan brothers are showing they are hugging the net. In fact, if anything they support the OP's pictures. First volley position is not played close to the net.

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 08:20 AM
1000 posts in three months...that's a lot of practice time ;)

I still DO get plenty of time actually, believe it or not. :wink:

And 5263, if you can't even give experienced instructors like BB a SHRED of respect, then why should we listen to you? Why even comment on a tennis INSTRUCTION section if you're better than us? This section is for learning, not internet bullying.

5263
04-16-2008, 08:29 AM
Can you read?
The context of the whole offensive lob discussion came from a post about the need to lay off the net to "protect against the lob", which I think is silly unless your movement is limited.
The poster said this was true at the highest levels of the game.

OK Bill, what is this offensive Lob situation you have in mind? Can you explain to the readers when you would look at a ball that you have a open shot selection with,
and why you would choose to hit a lob with this easy ball.
If you come up with a good one, then I will say Uncle to you on this one.
Maybe you can get me here, but I really am scratching my head to think of one situation where hitting a lob is not from a defending mindset. No one serves and lobs. No one is ahead in a rally and just starts to lob to finish the point.

Yesterday, in my match I used it to return a guys kick serve, as he was getting in so well with his serve and volley; and doing a nice job handling everything I threw at him. But I was clearly defending against his quality, aggressive play, no matter if the lobs came out winners or not.
:)

just out
04-16-2008, 08:43 AM
Can you read?
The context of the whole offensive lob discussion came from a post about the need to lay off the net to "protect against the lob", which I think is silly unless your movement is limited.
The poster said this was true at the highest levels of the game.

OK Bill, what is this offensive Lob situation you have in mind? Can you explain to the readers when you would look at a ball that you have a open shot selection with,
and why you would choose to hit a lob with this easy ball.
If you come up with a good one, then I will say Uncle to you on this one.
Maybe you can get me here, but I really am scratching my head to think of one situation where hitting a lob is not from a defending mindset. No one serves and lobs. No one is ahead in a rally and just starts to lob to finish the point.

Yesterday, in my match I used it to return a guys kick serve, as he was getting in so well with his serve and volley; and doing a nice job handling everything I threw at him. But I was clearly defending against his quality, aggressive play, no matter if the lobs came out winners or not.
:)


Ok, can't resist...we are not talking about the highest levels of the game. I think it is obvious that the lob is more of an offensive shot at lower levels for the reasons you state - limited/poor movement or anticipation, poor overhead, etc. As much as I hate to admit it there have been days when lobs have been used against me offensively after I missed my first let's say 1,000 overheads :mad: and there have been days when I've returned the favor, including when I can't hit a forehand pass to save my life. Ok, there's a situation for you if you can relate to this low level stuff.

5263
04-16-2008, 08:54 AM
Pretty good examples for sure.

I can't agree that is in context with where this came from but it's about as good as any explanation as any I guess.

Wouldn't u have to agree that one of your situations, you described how you were defending your out of kilter forehand by lobbing?

And even in the example of hitting to your bad overhead (that day only of course) he was just feeding you the ball you were missing that day. The choice was offensive minded maybe, but nothing offensive about the lob itself.
Like if you were missing every sitter at the net one day; would that make giving up sitters an offensive shot?? Not to my way of thinking, but I can accept it if you feel that way.
:-?

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 08:57 AM
When both players are at net a lob can be very offensive. I've seen this watching OSU tennis.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 08:59 AM
OK Bill, what is this offensive Lob situation you have in mind? Can you explain to the readers when you would look at a ball that you have a open shot selection with, and why you would choose to hit a lob with this easy ball.

Easy ball? Who said easy ball? Are these your words now? Is this the mental picture you derived from your readings?

Would an easy ball be hit as a lob? Are we talking about the professional level? Are we talking about 3.0 level? Which level? While you are at it, where are the players positioned and where is the lob hit? Where are they retrieving this easy ball in the court? Are they in position to choose a better shot? Where is the partner?

Since you are terrible in your communication, let me help you.

A lob can be hit anytime a player wants to hit one. This does not mean it is the best shot choice. A lob should be used as an element of surprise and should not be overused. At the pro level, lobs are used less frequent but they are still used! In other words, they are used more often then you are implying.

At the lower levels you will find lobs used more frequent. For some teams, they are used very frequently. It really depends on the skill of the team. At lower levels the lob can be effective depending on the skill of the team using it and the skill of the team defending it. Not everybody has the time or the desire to train to be professiional tennis players.

However, if the lob is to be used, it is used to get people off the net, when opponents are hugging the net, as an element of surprise, and can be used defensively especially if both players are back and are defending.

So your answer is - IT DEPENDS.

No one serves and lobs. No one is ahead in a rally and just starts to lob to finish the point.

Serve and lob? Who said that? You are now bringing more junk into the conversation. Are you lost? Is this really hard to understand? Heading into a rally and just starts lobbing? LOL! Man, you put words inside peoples mouths. Where do you come up with this stuff? ROFLMAO!

You just cant see that a lob whether offensively and defensively is simply another shot choice depending on the situation? You cant see that a lob can be used as an element of surprise (offensively) or to stay in a point hoping to get back into the point (defensively)?

Are you really thinking we are saying to use it all the time? Serve and lobbing? That's a good one.

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 09:07 AM
"The lob is a dandy device for catching the opponents off balance. The offensive lob was perfected by tennis players like Lott, Laver, and Conners. Their attacking topspin lobs, after faking a drive, often caught the opposition flat-footed and bounded away toward the backstop for a placement".

I guess those guys are just 3.0 pushers though!

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 09:25 AM
"The lob is a dandy device for catching the opponents off balance. The offensive lob was perfected by tennis players like Lott, Laver, and Conners. Their attacking topspin lobs, after faking a drive, often caught the opposition flat-footed and bounded away toward the backstop for a placement".

I guess those guys are just 3.0 pushers though!

Unbelievable isn't it? I am dismayed as to why we are even having this conversation. Everytime I turn around there is another "insert" and "twist" in the conversation.

5263
04-16-2008, 09:28 AM
Ok. lets get your blood pressure under control.

for those who are paying attention, here is the quote that started all this from a player who has never been burned down his line for crossing too early, because, when he poaches, he always puts the ball away. I guess that is all we needed to hear from him, but this is what he said to start all this "offensive lob used at high levels" trash:

"By saying you use lobs only defensively you are also showing your lack of experience. People at higher levels use lobs offensively as well."

Of course I never said I only use lobs defensively, but that is besides the point. This is the source of these offensive lob claims we are discussing. No one has claimed that defense lobs are not used at any level.

Now you say this somehow supports your point about offensive lobs???
"The Bryan Brother in a Davis cup match against France hit about four lobs in a row before they finally got a ball they could hit with their forehand."
or this??
"with Youzhny surviving two break points before smashing a lob into the net on the third."

Sounds like Youzhny was attacking and just missed to me. He was SMASHING an overhead, right?
I didn't think you could come up with any offensive lob examples. thanks for proving it.
remeber that blood pressure now.

just out
04-16-2008, 09:35 AM
Pretty good examples for sure.

I can't agree that is in context with where this came from but it's about as good as any explanation as any I guess.

Wouldn't u have to agree that one of your situations, you described how you were defending your out of kilter forehand by lobbing?

And even in the example of hitting to your bad overhead (that day only of course) he was just feeding you the ball you were missing that day. The choice was offensive minded maybe, but nothing offensive about the lob itself.
Like if you were missing every sitter at the net one day; would that make giving up sitters an offensive shot?? Not to my way of thinking, but I can accept it if you feel that way.
:-?


The shot as I described it, in this case the lob, is offensive because it is being used to exploit a weakness and win the point. It is not a defensive reactionary shot. Also, my forehand in some situations (against certain players and when I'm not able to hit it consistently) may not be my best offensive option and though it's hard for you to believe a lob might be.

Another example. Let's say my opponent has a terrible backhand. I can hit even weak shots to that backhand that are offensive because of this weakness. Against someone else or on a day when his backhand is on those shots would not be offensive. Some shots I guess are by definition offensive (130 mph serve) others depend a lot on the context where they are used. A scrambling on the run forehand pass down the line for a winner may have been a last ditch defensive effort but some watching would consider it a great offensive shot.

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 09:38 AM
Don't feed the troll guys. At first it looked like an actual argument, but it obviuosly isn't, so just ignore him.

5263
04-16-2008, 09:44 AM
For me, all that would be offensive strategy, but I can accept your comments and point of view as reasonable.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 09:51 AM
Ok. lets get your blood pressure under control.

for those who are paying attention, here is the quote that started all this from a player who has never been burned down his line for crossing too early, because, when he poaches, he always puts the ball away. I guess that is all we needed to hear from him, but this is what he said to start all this "offensive lob used at high levels" trash:

"By saying you use lobs only defensively you are also showing your lack of experience. People at higher levels use lobs offensively as well."

Of course I never said I only use lobs defensively, but that is besides the point. This is the source of these offensive lob claims we are discussing. No one has claimed that defense lobs are not used at any level.

Now you say this somehow supports your point about offensive lobs???
"The Bryan Brother in a Davis cup match against France hit about four lobs in a row before they finally got a ball they could hit with their forehand."
or this??
"with Youzhny surviving two break points before smashing a lob into the net on the third."

Sounds like Youzhny was attacking and just missed to me. He was SMASHING an overhead, right?
I didn't think you could come up with any offensive lob examples. thanks for proving it.
remeber that blood pressure now.

Dude, you are once again putting words in everyones mouth. So once again, since you are a bit slow...

- A lob can be used either offensively or defensively depending on the situation.

- Lobs are not used frequently in a pros match because of conditioning, athleticism, talent, ability, training, and on and on. It is simply an option to be used sparingly.

- When a lob is used at the pro level, it can be used either defensively or offensively. A defensive lob is seen more often at the pro level then the offensive lob. Groundstrokes, volleys, half-volleys are the main choices to score points. However, this doesn't mean a lob is not used either offensively or defensively.

- An offensive lob is used as an element of surprise, when the opponents are very close to the net, or in place of a passing shot, an offensive lob is used when the team or player feels the time is right.

- A defensive lob usually means the players are in trouble and are trying to get back into the point as was the case with the Bryan Brothers against France

- Lobs are used more often at the club level to take advantage of common club player weaknesses. Pros use the lob only at select times.

- Nobody serves and lobs. If there are people who do so, I have never seen them. This is stuff you made up.

- The OP's position in second photo is his first position. He can move back or forward from that position. He can also gaurd the line depending on where the ball is on the opponents side.

- The position he is in is used at the pro level on down and is considered more as an offensive position which means the hole is more open which requires the player to be alert for the opposing netmans poach. This also puts slightly more pressure on the return mans accuracy in his return.

- Players learn doubles considering their ability. If they do not have a good overhead, they should practice it, however, they also need to play within their means.

- At the club level, the lob, just as Serve and volleying, can be an effective way to win a point.

Now, is this okay? Are you alright now? I have coloring books for you if this is too hard. LOL

5263
04-16-2008, 10:34 AM
They still let you have coloring books? That's nice.

Hey, I never asked for your comments about the offensive lobs till you chimed in. No one but you has debated anything about defensive lobs.

Talking about slow. You are right, I am the slow one.
I arguing with a 3.5 level, 18 yr old with nearly 1100 posts in place of practice and you are probably some old retired, self proclaimed retired expert, drooling in a sad dark apartment somewhere and can't even follow the discussion. Do you even still play?

Yes, I'm slow. Send me 2 of your coloring books and forgive my sad effort here.

Oh, and if anyone is still paying attention, and wants to improve, Try to stay out of no mans land and don't back up into it in fear of the lob unless 2 things.
1. you can't move so good
2. your overhead is real bad
have a nice day!:)

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 10:38 AM
The shots at our level of play are totally unnecessary and also against the rules if I'm not mistaken. Go somewhere else, you're not welcome here.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 10:40 AM
They still let you have coloring books? That's nice.

Hey, I never asked for your comments about the offensive lobs till you chimed in. No one but you has debated anything about defensive lobs.

And nobody asked for your SERVE and LOB comments. The bottom-line? You have nothing to say.

Talking about slow. You are right, I am the slow one.
I arguing with a 3.5 level, 18 yr old with nearly 1100 posts in place of practice and you are probably some old retired, self proclaimed retired expert, drooling in a sad dark apartment somewhere and can't even follow the discussion. Do you even still play?

Whatever you want to think.

Yes, I'm slow. Send me 2 of your coloring books and forgive my sad effort here.

Oh, and if anyone is still paying attention, and wants to improve, Try to stay out of no mans land and don't back up into it in fear of the lob unless 2 things.
1. you can't move so good
2. your overhead is real bad
have a nice day!:)

Now we insert no-mans land? LOL! This is too good. See ya chump.

Djokovicfan4life
04-16-2008, 10:45 AM
things.
1. you can't move so good
2. your overhead is real bad
have a nice day!:)

Nice grammar! :shock:

5263
04-16-2008, 10:46 AM
Dj, you call me a Troll and now you squeal that I'm breaking rules?

But you are right, I have said too much.

Bill, you didn't even know that backing up from the net in fear of the lob can take you right into no mans land. Sorry, made an assuption that ole pro like you knew that.

Now get the last word, you deserve it.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 11:03 AM
Bill, you didn't even know that backing up from the net in fear of the lob can take you right into no mans land. Sorry, made an assuption that ole pro like you knew that.

Now get the last word, you deserve it.

Again, we are not talking about backing up for fear of something. Players need to be alert for the lob but play in the appropriate position given there situation. A lob will not happen as much at higher levels for reasons I stated above. If that means close the net, then so be it. However, it is obvious that doubles is not always played hugging the net. I hope you know that.

Either you get what I am saying or you don't. My take? I think you do, but dont want to admit it.

just out
04-16-2008, 11:09 AM
For me, all that would be offensive strategy, but I can accept your comments and point of view as reasonable.

Reasonable, wow, I feel so much better now. Why can't we just all get along. Sorry for the sarcasm.

I do think 5263 makes a valid point though not well stated that better high level players should (and I say should) and generally do not have to worry about being lobbed to death like so many club players because they have the footwork and overheads that would make only very well hit lobs a challenge for them. They certainly would not alter their positioning to protect against a low percentage offensive lob. I've played plenty of doubles on both ends of the spectrum and I've run up against many good players where my lob would have to be near perfect to even get me back into the point, especially in doubles.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 11:20 AM
Reasonable, wow, I feel so much better now. Why can't we just all get along. Sorry for the sarcasm.

I do think 5263 makes a valid point though not well stated that better high level players should (and I say should) and generally do not have to worry about being lobbed to death like so many club players because they have the footwork and overheads that would make only very well hit lobs a challenge for them. They certainly would not alter their positioning to protect against a low percentage offensive lob. I've played plenty of doubles on both ends of the spectrum and I've run up against many good players where my lob would have to be near perfect to even get me back into the point, especially in doubles.

True, but it also doesnt mean they are hugging the net either. In many cases, good doubles teams will be positioned to close a point and field offensive shots with there volleys which means they are in a neutral position because they are quick enough and alert enough to do so.

Hitting a lob to them while they are in first position is borderline stupid at the pro level.

5263
04-16-2008, 11:25 AM
Bill, I get it.

Just in, well said.

thanks,

Tennisman912
04-16-2008, 03:28 PM
Wow, I have missed a lot since checking this forum. Now to clarify a few points. First, I am not talking about backing up out of fear of lobs. I am just trying to better cover every possibility. I am suggesting moving a lot. One of the keys to doubles is giving opponents lots of variety. Lobs, angles, slice to their feet, pace, etc. I, like you, would welcome lobs from most as I agree with you that most don't lob well consistently, especially the lower you go down the food chain. My overhead is fine thank you very much. And as I thought was obvious, I do miss an occasional volley. I am not a pro nor ever portended myself as one. But I like my chances when I poach over the long run.
My positioning is more about covering an opponent's poach and to make them have to hit a better shot with me in a position to get it back than worrying about a lob, because as you know, lobs are used less at higher levels. I am also aggressively moving forward after this is no longer a possibility. As I thought was obvious. I am as comfortable as you are at any level to D1 tennis but don't have to belittle everyone who disagrees with their opinion. I believe my posts generally speak for themselves and people can make up their own mind about whether I know what I am talking about.

As we all agree, there are many levels and many situations and many variables that come into play in all this. Now since you have all the answers, please help us all out. Besides arguing with everyone while I have been gone, you have yet to explain why your positioning is superior.

My scenario is the same as sulcer's second picture. Explain your reasoning on two playing levels. Say 3-4.0. And 4.5+ if you think they should be different.
Your opponent is returning, you are in sulcer's position. It looks to me like he is 3-4 feet from the net. All I am saying is I want to be back farther and nearing the T of the service boxes to cover an opponents poach on my partners return. After he returns, I will move more forward and central to his service box to cover the line and his half of the court with one step either way (obviously with some shifts side to side depending on where the return goes). Also I am going to be moving constantly and I want to drift back nearer my original position if the server doesn't come in to the cover more of the middle again if my partner hits it to the opposing net man Obviously, this scenario applies more at the lower levels as almost all 4.5 and above will all be at the net ASAP mixing it up on occasion). From my starting position I will get back a lot of balls below 4.5. From there up, obviously the volleys will be much better but I will still get a few whereas if I start and stay closer to the net always (still moving laterally, etc. as needed as we both suggest) I have almost no chance to return any shot up the middle, poached or otherwise. Please explain how I am making things harder for my team starting in this position as opposed to your view of starting close to the net? We are both ending up in your position so why am I wrong? Maybe I am wrong but I see no downside in my thinking.

Here is your chance. Please help us all out.

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 04:06 PM
Wow, I have missed a lot since checking this forum. Now to clarify a few points. First, I am not talking about backing up out of fear of lobs. I am just trying to better cover every possibility.

Tennisman912,

I get what you are saying. The issue lies in someones ability to think that everyone should play advanced doubles irregardless of age, physical limitations, or anything else. It is awfully presumptuous to assume that everyone that doesn't play or line up exactly as the pros is playing in fear. It's pretty ignorant if you ask me. It is also ignorant to think the pros hug the net when it is so clear that they don't!

The point to doubles is you need:

1. Good communication.

2. Good positioning

3. To recognize that it is a team game.

4. Good movement and energy

5. Know your limitations and strengths.

6. Know how to hit the ball and where to hit the ball.

This stuff about injecting comments like "serve and lob" is utter nonsense.

You are fine. The OP is fine as well. I am glad you folks are taking an interest in doubles the way you are. It is a fantastic game.

sulcer
04-16-2008, 04:38 PM
I would also like to add, even though it may be a little late, that my second picture is more than likely my position while my partner is returning a second serve. My position when he is returning a first serve is about one step back from where I am in that picture. Therefore giving me a little more time to pick up the ball if the opponent does poach. I move forward on the second serve to add a little visual pressure and because my partner is going to have a good chance to go after the return. Unless the opponent is cranking his second serve, in that case I would be about a step back. Sorry for the confusion guys. I don't know if it matters anymore since this conversation has seemed to deter from the original question.

Tennisman912
04-16-2008, 06:42 PM
It is never too late to chime in sulcer. So sounds like you are in positions similar to what I prefer for the same reasons I do. Of course we may be wrong but whatever works best right?

Bungalo Bill, well said. I agree with you all the way. I love doubles as much as you do. A chance to use every weapon in the arsenal and out think an opponent who on paper is supposed to be better than you is why I prefer doubles. I play smarter the older I get and never stop learning. And for the record, I am only 35 so hopefully I can learn as the much in the next 20 years as I did in the previous 20.

Good Tennis to all

TM

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 07:26 PM
I would also like to add, even though it may be a little late, that my second picture is more than likely my position while my partner is returning a second serve. My position when he is returning a first serve is about one step back from where I am in that picture. Therefore giving me a little more time to pick up the ball if the opponent does poach. I move forward on the second serve to add a little visual pressure and because my partner is going to have a good chance to go after the return. Unless the opponent is cranking his second serve, in that case I would be about a step back. Sorry for the confusion guys. I don't know if it matters anymore since this conversation has seemed to deter from the original question.


Hey Sulcer,

I think everyone got it a long time ago except for one person.

Here is the deal, on your 1st picture, I would probably take a step in. On your second position, I would take a step back unless you are confident in your ability to protect the hole and also your partner can place his return pretty well.

Otherwise, I would take a step back. Get used to allowing your partner to call his own serves. You need to concentrate on that netman and be ready for a quick poach.

The bottom-line is pros line up differently. They line up on the baseline, They line up where you were in the second photo and they line up a step back.

So keep learning doubles and if you have questions, just ask.

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 07:31 PM
Bungalo Bill, well said. I agree with you all the way. I love doubles as much as you do. A chance to use every weapon in the arsenal and out think an opponent who on paper is supposed to be better than you is why I prefer doubles. I play smarter the older I get and never stop learning. And for the record, I am only 35 so hopefully I can learn as the much in the next 20 years as I did in the previous 20.

Good Tennis to all

TM

Yeah, I love watching doubles. Many times at the Pacific Life Open you would see me watching doubles instead of singles. When my favorite player Patrick Rafter retired, doubles was what I started watching more then ever.

Keep up the good work. Doubles is a game of quickness, so work on your volley exchange skills and always on your footwork and positioning.

5263
04-16-2008, 09:11 PM
Don't think I was the first one to throw the insults, but maybe I did. I'll take the blame as obviously I stirred the pot some.
Part of this was intentional to bring attention to something I see everyday in Div I down thru Jrs and the 3.5 -5.0 crowd. I just intended some good natured jousting like I'm used to with my buds, but much is lost in print and as Bill pointed out, my com skills were less than stellar.
What I see over and over is guys finding every excuse in the world to position themselves around the service line during the point. Clearly there are plenty of reasons and situations to soften up and back off the net a little and those are not what I'm talking about.

So often in practice when a guy misses a volley down around his shins or ankles, I ask him to freeze and look where he is on the court. He has backed up (or never came on in) to about a step in front of the service line and exposed his feet and opened the available angles of attack. We discuss how much easier that volley would have been from second volley position and that the shot likely wouldn't have come at him anyway if his position was stronger! He would have forced them into a harder shot.

The excuse is usually, "I was afraid he was going to lob me" or "what if he lobs me?" Then we discuss how we want them to lob so we can hit overheads if they don't miss long or wide trying to lob. (not to mention how easy the real short lobs are to put away) Also I rather get lobbed than get a ball blasted at my ankles.
I play all over the US and it is the same everywhere, at all levels. I have to believe this happens more than some of your are willing to admit. I didn't mean to brag about work with Div I and top Jr players, as it is no big deal and lots of people do it, but just making the point that I'm not just some 3.5 player repeating something I heard someone say.

I'm convinced that most volleys are missed because of poor position, mostly too far from net, sometimes not shifting side to side. We all clearly agree that more movement needs to take place.
Sorry for the ruffled feathers

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2008, 09:27 PM
I'm convinced that most volleys are missed because of poor position, mostly too far from net, sometimes not shifting side to side. We all clearly agree that more movement needs to take place.
Sorry for the ruffled feathers

It is not that I dont agree with you. I think you provided some good information regarding positioning, movement, and being aggressive. I have no problem with that at all.

It was the other stuff that was a bit hard to take. Keep posting you have some good insight. However, dont forget that players aren't always able or have the desire to ever play at advanced levels. Tailoring your instruction so that all players can benefit is in a way an art.

I usually stick with the fundamentals because everyone, no matter what the level, needs to stay in touch with the fundamentals.

That is what I like most about coaching with Braden. He made us play tennis with our weaker hand. So I played righthanded. I served righthanded - everything righthanded. It was awful and akward. It really taught us patience with players that struggle a bit with concepts or coordination on certain strokes. It was really good training for coaches.

I'm convinced that most volleys are missed because of poor position, mostly too far from net, sometimes not shifting side to side. We all clearly agree that more movement needs to take place.
Sorry for the ruffled feathers

Yes, movement is important which is why I believe in tough physical tennis workouts complete with technical training, footwork training, and conditioning.

Being too far from the net is at times the problem. However, there is usually other things like not using their legs, poor volley technique, or poor focus that can also contribute to poor volleys.