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HappyLefty
04-13-2008, 06:19 PM
I have several books about tennis but none specialized in doubles.
Im looking for practical tips and drill to practice with my partner.
Any advise will be appreciated.

Book, ebook, site, etc.

nyc
04-13-2008, 06:29 PM
www.operationdoubles.com

HappyLefty
04-14-2008, 09:12 AM
www.operationdoubles.com

NYC,
Do you own the booklet "9 Steps to diminating doubles"?
http://www.operationdoubles.com/allproducts.htm#9steps
Any opinion?

fuzz nation
04-14-2008, 02:37 PM
One thing you can try with your partner is to play one-on-one doubles against each other. Play everything crosscourt and cover the half of the court that you serve or receive on, including the alleys. Extend an imaginary centerline all the way to the baseline and play anything that's close to it. Serve & volley, chip & charge, etc.

I also saw a good extreme crosscourt drill where you hit with your partner from sideline to sideline while both of you are at the intersection of the service line and sideline. Heavy on the control! As it gets comfortable, both of you can back up half way to the baseline and hit with a little more gas. Try it on both your forehand and backhand sides - that shot is essential for staying away from the opposing net player.

My favorite drill with fledgeling doubles players that gets them comfortable at the net in a hurry is what I like to call "fireballs". If you have a bucket of balls, set up at the service line as the feeder and your partner positions himself in a typical "at net" position across from you. Keep your feeds at only moderate velocity, but feed at quick frequency so that the hitter has to make a quick reaction volley and recover immediately for the next one. As the feeder, it's your job to challenge the hitter - occasionally put the ball down low or out near the edges of the hitter's reach, but keep them coming. Watch out for strays rolling under the hitters feet! I hold my racquet up on the throat to feed well for this drill and just pop-pop-pop. No hard hits here; just lots of quick reaction and recovery. You can even add other hitters on each side of the net. When a ball goes out of play, the feeder stands ready to pop the next one into the mix.

Bungalo Bill
04-14-2008, 02:48 PM
I have several books about tennis but none specialized in doubles.
Im looking for practical tips and drill to practice with my partner.
Any advise will be appreciated.

Book, ebook, site, etc.

Kathy's site at www.operationdoubles.com (http://www.operationdoubles.com) is excellent. I have her stuff and it is top notch. You will have plenty to work with before playing against the Bryan brothers is in your sights.

The following book is excellent as well to get your arms around doubles and has a slightly different slant on doubles and that is THE ART OF DOUBLES.

If you really want to get into it, you can purchase Doubles Tennis Tactics DVD by Louis Cayer here at TW. http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageKINETIC-DTTDVD.html this is an excellent one and is more geared to advanced levels. However, getting an idea of advanced doubles as you develop is good for you.

For drills:

1. You want to really improve your crosscourt return. I would have your partner stand between the service line and the baseline and pump some serves to you. Get your crosscourt block down and follow it in.

2. First volley is the most important volley as that sets up nealry every point. Hit a good one and you will have a better chance in owning the point.

3. Work on your sprints for fast forward movement.

4. Work on your split-step for your approach and net play.

5. Practice your volleys against a wall for quick exchanges and to develop strength in your forearm wielding the racquet.

6. You can do this volley drill. Get a basket of balls and have your partner feed you balls to each side of you. He will move the ball out wider and wider till you are very stretched but still can get a racquet on it. You will work on NOT crossing over, keeping your feet apart, and stepping to the ball iwth your inside foot. You need to complete 30 of these and then switch.

7. Mini-tennis crosscourt volleys. Get within the service court and execute a crosscourt exchange with your partner - volleys only. No half-volleys. You ned to control the exchange and work your way up to 30 balls.

8. The middle is the most important place to hit to in doubles. Your serves should mostly go up the middle keeping the ball between you and your partner. Set up cones at the T and develop your serve so it is second nature.

Fay
04-14-2008, 03:00 PM
This might have been covered in one of the web sites. I prefer singles, but a clinic that I attend every week has lots of doubles drills .... my favorite one needs four people. We hit cross court very deep until one person makes a mistake and hits out or the net, and the first to notice calls "DOUBLES" and then the remaining ball in play is played like a doubles game. You really have to know where both balls are at all times and where all 4 people are while hitting deep cross court to do well. I enjoy this one!

Of course if one person hits a short ball, the cross court parter must move it to keep the ball in play and dodge the other cross court ball. Really helped my overall court awareness!

HappyLefty
04-14-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks everybody for your valuable advices.
I hope to practice your recommended drills next week with my partner.

LuckyR
04-15-2008, 10:41 AM
I have several books about tennis but none specialized in doubles.
Im looking for practical tips and drill to practice with my partner.
Any advise will be appreciated.

Book, ebook, site, etc.

Some learn better with books, others with video etc. For books, The Art of Doubles (first edition) is a good introduction. Stan Smith's book is a good followup to it, and will take you well into intermediate doubles. To be honest, with the amount of knowledge you will have at this point, I am unaware of a single book that will do a good job of reaching the advanced ranks. I have taken a tidbit here and there from various sources and would like to know if there is a single resource others have found.

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-15-2008, 12:15 PM
This might have been covered in one of the web sites. I prefer singles, but a clinic that I attend every week has lots of doubles drills .... my favorite one needs four people. We hit cross court very deep until one person makes a mistake and hits out or the net, and the first to notice calls "DOUBLES" and then the remaining ball in play is played like a doubles game. You really have to know where both balls are at all times and where all 4 people are while hitting deep cross court to do well. I enjoy this one!

Of course if one person hits a short ball, the cross court parter must move it to keep the ball in play and dodge the other cross court ball. Really helped my overall court awareness!

Yep, my clinic does the exact same thing occasionally. For clarification, the drill starts out with two balls. You are teamed with the player on your side of the net. You exchange shots with the player crosscourt across the net from you. Your partner does the same...until one of you four people misses the ball.

Then that one ball is played out as a doubles point, including alleys. I think in the first part where you hit crosscourt, it is the teaching pro's decision to include doubles' alleys or not.

burosky
04-15-2008, 01:27 PM
Check out Dynamite Doubles: Play winning tennis today! by Helle Sparre Viragh. I've read the book and seen her explain the concepts during a live seminar. Very useful and a great light read. I highly recommend this book.

naylor
06-11-2010, 10:40 PM
Kathy's site at www.operationdoubles.com (http://www.operationdoubles.com) is excellent. I have her stuff and it is top notch...

Kathy Krajco's site is no longer active, and her stuff has been archived - try the two links below:-

http://web.archive.org/web/20070928002759/www.operationdoubles.com/

http://web.archive.org/web/20071023034536/www.operationdoubles.com/od-tennis_content.htm

larry10s
06-12-2010, 04:47 PM
here is the link to operation doubles:)
http://web.archive.org/web/20071023034536/www.operationdoubles.com/od-tennis_content.htm

larry10s
06-12-2010, 04:48 PM
I have several books about tennis but none specialized in doubles.
Im looking for practical tips and drill to practice with my partner.
Any advise will be appreciated.

Book, ebook, site, etc.

luis cayer book and dvd is excellent

55 Feelin' Alive
06-20-2010, 10:25 AM
I agree with Bungalo Bill that Art of Doubles is an excellent book. However, I find in my experience that few 3.5 players play this type of doubles, which I call "real doubles." Probably because it takes more fitness to serve and volley frequently, if not always, and probably because some of these skill sets are just not emphasized enough in intermediate level adult clinics. Reading this stuff and executing are two very different things. I also like Pat Doughtry's DVD with Nick Bollettieri regarding need to communicate. I generally play singles because I like to run, but have this year joined a newly formed 3.5 USTA team, and we're losing each of our matches badly, and I'm losing in the #3 doubles slot, playing with different partners each time. Bill, while I agree with your list of important things that comprise recommended doubles practice, I ask you and others the following:

I have yet to be in an adult tennis clinic where these three shots are emphasized over and over and over, for club doubles play: Serve, Return of Serve, and first volley. Instead, the adult clinics I'm familiar with work on other strokes, such as FH and BH groundies, volleys, approach shots, movement on the court.

In my limited experience playing USTA 3.5 doubles this year at the advanced age of 58, on a team where each match we are assigned a different partner, I don't have someone I can count on to drill with. In fact, most players I know don't drill, they may spar, but they don't drill. Life gets in the way of that. Too bad, because I now have time in my life and an inclination to do such practicing. I firmly believe in putting in the effort, but I can't find anyone to do drills with, and I'm reluctant to start burning a hole in my wallet and employing a pro. Clinics, as I said, don't emphasize these three very essential parts to the doubles game.

But if I could,

1. I would drill so that all my serves emphasize depth and placement, to the righty's backhand (I happen to be a lefty). I would throw in the so-called sonic serve as well as the various spin serves. Hit constantly to the righty's backhand and you give your net partner the chance to poach and win the point.

2. I would have someone serve at me from their service line, and I would stand just inside my baseline, and I would be able to get better training and practice on the return of serve, especially getting used to Mr. Big Server. In my limited experience in USTA play (didn't I just say that?), I find that many a player gets bumped up in USTA doubles because they've mastered Big Serve, playing on hardcourts. It's a terrific offensive weapon, and it can totally thwart the defensive return of serve unless you develop return skills. Unless you are used to and can anticipate Big Serve, it might take well into the second set of a doubles match for you to get a hang of Big Serve (by that time, the match is being lost big time). But no clinic drill I have ever seen or participated in has ever worked on developing quickness on the return of serve against Big Serve, so that as returner, you accomplish your main job: get the ball back in play, preferably x-court and away from the opposing netman. No clinic has someone standing so close so you can develop monster timing habits. (Pat Doughtry likes this drill).

Third, if I could, I would have someone with sufficient skill return my serves towards my feet as I was rushing towards the net, so that I could get a lot of practice in sprinting forward, split step, and practice getting rock solid volley skills to handle the return of serve before it bounced. Over and over again. I know of no local clinic which emphasizes this. A mishit on the first volley, and you're probably going to lose the point. It's a tough shot without sufficient practice. Continuous mishits, and you're going to stop s&volleying altogether that day (your partner may demand it of you).

Bill, do I have this right...please advise, I value your opinions over the years...that these 3 strokes/situations just aren't drilled enough in the adult level clinics, yet are fundamental in winning a doubles match? Yes, I'm having a poor season playing 3.5 doubles, and yes, other than practicing keeping volleys in the air against the backboard in the local public park, I'm at a loss on what to do about getting these 3 skill sets "rock solid", given that no adults have the time or inclination to want to do these kinds of drills. Your thoughts?

58 Feelin' Great
formerly 55 Feelin' Alive

naylor
06-20-2010, 02:03 PM
... I have yet to be in an adult tennis clinic where these three shots are emphasized over and over and over, for club doubles play: Serve, Return of Serve, and first volley...

I'm 54 (so will catch you up next year!) and playing the best tennis of my life (technically) - after a 27-year break I started again 6 yrs. ago, and have relearnt my groundies to play the modern game. And like you, I find it very difficult to find drilling partners.

My solution (which answers your points 1 and 2) - a basket of balls, a ball machine, a high table and cones.

1. Serving. Take the basket, set the cones as targets in the receiving boxes, and get on with it - don't need a partner for that. But serve with a purpose (hence, the targets to hit), and vary your serve (1sts, 2nds, down the T, sliders, kickers, jammers) the way you'd need to do in a real match. And do try to hit targets you actually aim for!!!

2. Receiving. Take the table, set it up by the middle of the net, put the ball machine on top, aim it down at the T (or the corner), set cone targets in the areas where you want your return to go (deep or short cross-court, or deep down the line - drilling the netperson!), load and fire - and crank the speed up as you get better. Yes, this only practices your return for the fast bullets, but get this right on both wings (footwork, more compact swing) and you'll be surprised how much extra time you now have to move and intercept the sliders and kickers and play good returns on those too. No partner required for this either - actually, you'll get much more consistent workouts than having a partner serve 80 bullets down the T but then having his arm fall off and needing a new partner to groove your returns on 80 wide serves...

3. Cross-court rallying. This is mainly for singles, but also works for doubles (sometimes, you have to rally to a good depth while you wait for a shorter ball to come in, and you have to rally without giving intercept chances). Set up the ball machine in one corner of the court, set up some cones around it inside the court as targets for deep rally balls, set the speed for a deep, heavy groundie (and crank the speed up as you get used to it), load and fire. Don't cheat (get back to a proper recovery position), count how many you dump in the net (or long - a lesser evil), or are easy putaways, how many targets you actually hit, and hammer away at your consistency.

4. First volleys. You may not find drilling partners (too much like hard work!), but there are bound to be plenty of have-a-set-with partners. So, ease off on your serve (only seconds) and place it so the returner has a good chance to get a good return back that will test you. You're still practising your service placement (if you can place it where you want, consistently, you can place it anywhere else you want consistently also) and your action on second serves, but are "managing your practice opponent" into making returns that will test your first volley. In turn, your opponent is getting practice at returning consistently, and also in handling serves with some action, so it's good for them too (the better they get, the more you can gradually crank it up and the more their good returns will test you). But if they get a bit cocky and start thinking "they now have you in their pocket", then crank up your serve to good first and seconds for a couple of games - good practice for you in doubles, serving normally at 80% but being able to turn the heat on when you need to - and show them it's you who have them at the end of the string.

SystemicAnomaly
06-20-2010, 02:21 PM
Tennis 4 You has quite a bit of Kathy Krajco's (Operation Doubles) excellent doubles stuff in their Lesson Lounge (select the 1st archive link for her name).

.../lesson-lounge/operation-doubles/archive.htm
.

larry10s
06-20-2010, 03:59 PM
I agree with Bungalo Bill that Art of Doubles is an excellent book. However, I find in my experience that few 3.5 players play this type of doubles, which I call "real doubles." Probably because it takes more fitness to serve and volley frequently, if not always, and probably because some of these skill sets are just not emphasized enough in intermediate level adult clinics. Reading this stuff and executing are two very different things. I also like Pat Doughtry's DVD with Nick Bollettieri regarding need to communicate. I generally play singles because I like to run, but have this year joined a newly formed 3.5 USTA team, and we're losing each of our matches badly, and I'm losing in the #3 doubles slot, playing with different partners each time. Bill, while I agree with your list of important things that comprise recommended doubles practice, I ask you and others the following:

I have yet to be in an adult tennis clinic where these three shots are emphasized over and over and over, for club doubles play: Serve, Return of Serve, and first volley. Instead, the adult clinics I'm familiar with work on other strokes, such as FH and BH groundies, volleys, approach shots, movement on the court.

In my limited experience playing USTA 3.5 doubles this year at the advanced age of 58, on a team where each match we are assigned a different partner, I don't have someone I can count on to drill with. In fact, most players I know don't drill, they may spar, but they don't drill. Life gets in the way of that. Too bad, because I now have time in my life and an inclination to do such practicing. I firmly believe in putting in the effort, but I can't find anyone to do drills with, and I'm reluctant to start burning a hole in my wallet and employing a pro. Clinics, as I said, don't emphasize these three very essential parts to the doubles game.

But if I could,

1. I would drill so that all my serves emphasize depth and placement, to the righty's backhand (I happen to be a lefty). I would throw in the so-called sonic serve as well as the various spin serves. Hit constantly to the righty's backhand and you give your net partner the chance to poach and win the point.

2. I would have someone serve at me from their service line, and I would stand just inside my baseline, and I would be able to get better training and practice on the return of serve, especially getting used to Mr. Big Server. In my limited experience in USTA play (didn't I just say that?), I find that many a player gets bumped up in USTA doubles because they've mastered Big Serve, playing on hardcourts. It's a terrific offensive weapon, and it can totally thwart the defensive return of serve unless you develop return skills. Unless you are used to and can anticipate Big Serve, it might take well into the second set of a doubles match for you to get a hang of Big Serve (by that time, the match is being lost big time). But no clinic drill I have ever seen or participated in has ever worked on developing quickness on the return of serve against Big Serve, so that as returner, you accomplish your main job: get the ball back in play, preferably x-court and away from the opposing netman. No clinic has someone standing so close so you can develop monster timing habits. (Pat Doughtry likes this drill).

Third, if I could, I would have someone with sufficient skill return my serves towards my feet as I was rushing towards the net, so that I could get a lot of practice in sprinting forward, split step, and practice getting rock solid volley skills to handle the return of serve before it bounced. Over and over again. I know of no local clinic which emphasizes this. A mishit on the first volley, and you're probably going to lose the point. It's a tough shot without sufficient practice. Continuous mishits, and you're going to stop s&volleying altogether that day (your partner may demand it of you).

Bill, do I have this right...please advise, I value your opinions over the years...that these 3 strokes/situations just aren't drilled enough in the adult level clinics, yet are fundamental in winning a doubles match? Yes, I'm having a poor season playing 3.5 doubles, and yes, other than practicing keeping volleys in the air against the backboard in the local public park, I'm at a loss on what to do about getting these 3 skill sets "rock solid", given that no adults have the time or inclination to want to do these kinds of drills. Your thoughts?

58 Feelin' Great
formerly 55 Feelin' Alive

im not bb but heres my thoughts. find a foursome if you can that want to learn "how to play doubles" not yes i play doubles.then find a pro to do doubles specific traing with you. the cost per pewrson should be affordable and you will get alot out of it.

naylor
06-20-2010, 04:59 PM
... find a foursome ... that want to learn "how to play doubles" ... then find a pro to do doubles specific traing with you...

Easier said than done, Larry - I've tried.

I tried first with some guys/girls at my club who are of the same standard (4.0 - 4.5). Even at that level, getting 4 people who 1) were prepared to commit on a regular weekly basis; and 2) were interested to do drills and routines specifically aimed at improving singles and doubles play, rather than play a couple of sets, proved impossible.

I then tried the "if you build it, they will come" approach. Our club coach has a talented junior squad and runs one or two sessions each week when they do singles / doubles drills (4 to a court). I said "why not offer a weekly session on the same basis to senior members who want to improve?". I also downloaded a summary of the Bolletieri Academy weekly programme, and suggested he used it as a template to do a 4-weeks 60/90 mins-week course (ie, week 1 theme:- serving, returning, 1st volley; week 2:- rallying, short-ball approaching; week 3:- attacking, volleing, smashing, defending, passing; etc. etc.). I further suggested a 4-week rotation could be done at different playing standards, to attrack members of different levels, and to progress them with more difficult sessions as they improved - so, "repeat business" for the coach. The reply was "members will not be interested" (which really translates as "too much like hard work for me...").

Next, I went to my son's tennis club, where the coach runs a very good scheme for juniors and had actually started running a couple of evening sessions for seniors. I also sent him the Bolletieri stuff and the thoughts about weekly themes. Still, the outcome was mediocre - first, there wasn't enough people to split playing standards into two groups, so exercises often broke down because of inconsistency; second, (as 55FA has already pointed) we never did any work on serve / return / first volley, which is meat+potatoes for doubles, it was mostly fast-paced attacking/defending (and, frankly, with some feeds you'd have been nuts to have gone up to the net, so you get passed and run back to the baseline, and spend more time running in and back into attacking and defending positions than actually playing the attacking shots that would get you there, and moving in as part of the flow of play); and third, it was mostly run like a bootcamp (miss 5 backhands, do 10 pushups - whereas what you want is to replace the pushups with 1 minute aside with the coach during which he gives you a quick technical refresher on your weak stroke while your friends do a quick 2-on-1 routine). Still, at least it was "hitting balls with some kind of purpose".

papa
06-20-2010, 05:10 PM
im not bb but heres my thoughts. find a foursome if you can that want to learn "how to play doubles" not yes i play doubles.then find a pro to do doubles specific traing with you. the cost per pewrson should be affordable and you will get alot out of it.

Yes, this can be a good approach. My only problem with it, and I dislike criticizing other teaching pros, is that many are not that interested in doubles until they get a little older. This isn't always the case but many times getting younger pros teaching "older" players doubles doesn't work out well. The doubles game is very different and the players are "generally" older. Strategies and positioning used in singles play does not generally translate into successful double play.