View Full Version : Selection of players for high school team question

03-31-2004, 04:39 PM
This isn't really a tennis instruction question, but I couldnt figure out what topic to post it under. I play for a strong high school team in the south, and this year we had an open varsity girls slot (I have played on varsity for 4 years.) Our coach placed someone in the position that was several places under the varsity level on the ladder, and never had her play anyone to prove herself, saying she was a better "doubles player." Yet there was never any demonstration of these supposed better doubles abilities than the other girls. As experienced players or coaches, how would ya'll suggest determining if someone is a better doubles player than someone even if they're obviously worse in singles, and how much do ya'll buy into that philosophy? In the past we have had players that are definitely stronger in doubles than in singles, but they have still been able to prove themselves over enough people in singles to stay on varsity.

03-31-2004, 07:07 PM
Im also in high school but generally the difference between singles and doubles is that you volley more in doubles. I'd say the only way to test her would be volleying. Thats the only thing I can think of.

03-31-2004, 07:36 PM
Have her and the 3 players above her play doubles for one set, switch partners, play another set, switch partners, play another set. The player with the most wins is probably the better doubles player. In general, strong doubles players are strong volleyers, good at playing the angles, and know how to cover the court when the ball didn't come to them. When I'm playing with someone who normally plays singles I can count on their groundstrokes but find they might not be in the right place when the rally has started. All of this comes out in play.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2004, 12:23 AM
Hard to say what the coach is doing. A good doubles player is more then just good volleys. They have good forward movement. They know how to place their serve and can consistently hit it up the T.

They have good communication abilities and tend to be more team oriented then individual oriented. Depending on how the coach is mixing the team, he may have found something that she has and mixing it with other talent to have a stong team. A good doubles player has a good sense on where to position themselves.

The coach must have saw something. My encouragement to you is to discuss your concerns with him and see what he says.

Tim Tennis
04-03-2004, 04:31 AM
I am helping out with our high school tennis team this year. We established the rankings by having a round robin and adding up the games won. Then we went through some challenge matches. All of our doubles teams (3 of them)are pulled from the top 6 singles players. Our number 6 players on both the boys and girls team have lost challenge matches but we think we will let 1 play singles and one play doubles. Tennis is a rough sport when you are in the number 5 or 6 slot and there are two or three players close in ability. To be fair we let them play challenge matches which get pretty intense. Hopefully they all will get to play.

04-03-2004, 12:12 PM
I have first hand experience with this type of thing. I played for a very competitive high school in New Mexico(team runner-up in state last team), and we had an interesting way of dueling. We'd have 3 singles players, and 2 doubles teams, best out of 5 wins. I played #1-3 on the team in singles, but was #1 in doubles. On the bottom half of the team, it got a little hazy. Our #5 and 6 guys were solid baseline pushers basically, and would play really well in singles competition against lower ranked teams. Problem was, they were horrible volleyers and would get crushed against any decent doubles team.

The #8 guy on our team was smart. He would get outplayed in singles because the 3 guys ahead of him were too solid and consistent from the baseline, so what he did was practice his volleys and serve consistency to death. By the end of the season, he still couldn't beat the 3 guys ahead of him in singles, but because he was a net rusher and was so solid at the net, he was heads and tails above the other guys in doubles, which he proved by basically shlecking them every time we paired him up with anyone on the bottom of the roster.

That said, when it came to duel time, especially at state, this guy got the nod and helped us almost win the whole thing.

04-06-2004, 10:41 AM
Yea, like the last poster said, it makes sense to put someone who is not such a pusher ahead of a pusher in doubles, since pushing really won't win matches in doubles, and usually will result in a bunch of easy put-away volleys.

04-06-2004, 01:02 PM
Did her parents talk to the coach to get her on the doubles team? She should prove herself. Round-robin doubles is good as long as everyone has to prove themselves and is playing their best. Otherwise they could try to play harder when playing with friends that they want on the team. In round-robin doubles, you play 3 sets partnering with each of the other 3 players on the court. Then see who won the most games in those three sets. It's a fun way to play doubles as you get to play with and against everyone else so their is alot of variety and different chemistries between the players.

Hawaii 5.0
04-06-2004, 08:54 PM
Unless your a top player and leader of the team you often will have to take a backseat to the team and play below your abilities might suggest since you may beat someone, but may not be able to beat the people she beats.I was wondering if you play both singles and doubles or whatnot.When I last saw a HS match for the local school the singles only played singles and doubles only played doubles and ranking had nothing to do with where you were placed.So basically if your a good doubles player your impact on the team will be more suited to your doubles specialty if you play #1 dubs versus #3 singles.There are doubles specialists and I know that singles is where teh glory and ego is at there really isn't room for that in team tennis at any level.The glory is in the team and not the individual,unless you are a leader and standout and at that point you worrying about post season tournaments and records and seedings since your so far beyond your team that they have taken a backseat.Rarely does this happen unless your team is not deep.Ideally you want the best sinlges players playing only singles and dubs playing dubs, but often at the HS level people don't show or there is too much ego involved since it's a bunch of individual athletes coming together for a cause.I've picked league teams and had to settle alot of arguements about positions and parings, but in the end when despite individual records we ended up winning the tough decisions will be appreciated.

04-12-2004, 05:07 PM
In response to the question of whether her parents got her on the team... in a way they did- her mom is the coach. As a player who has seen a lot of tennis in high level tournaments both singles and doubles, I'm aware of her doubles ability...which is lacking. The problem is since she can't prove herself in singles that is the only thing the coach can use to argue her case. The number 4 and 5 players beat her handily, 60 61 the last time they played, but they have never been given equal circumstances to play doubles under. Do most of you agree that if you're that far below someone in singles they should get an equal chance to tryout for the doubles position that you are playing?

04-12-2004, 06:06 PM
volley skills, reaction times, footwork, and her backcourt game (usually good baseliners make better singles players), height, arm span, and also her friendliness, attitudes, etc, all make up a doubles player, and also just look at her results while playing doubles and see if shes using wise doubles strategy, etc.

Hawaii 5.0
04-13-2004, 12:25 AM
Doubles is doubles and singles is singles.Let the singles players do their thing and the doubles players do their thing.In your case it's hard becuase of obvious favortism by the coach for her daughter, but results don't like.In HS tennis usually it's a matter of errors and who has the least amount wins.If she sucks at singles, but rocks at doubles there is no reason she can't try-out for that position.See the reason doubles players move up and play singles or your coach can't field her strongest roster is more a matter of team policy and that HS tennis just isn't that dictated.Poor practice ethic and most players have private coaches whose instruction, in the players minds, outweights HS coaches advice.She should play doubles and only doubles.Since her doubles skills to you are lacking then she should still be able to try-out, but again her standing with mom will almost always prevail because of her favortism.I say boot her till senior year till she gets bumped up no matter what, becuase one thing she's prolly not going to college on tennis,it's prolly more social for the team aspect and it'll make mom a better coach for it.Team tennis is all about coaching and mindset.

04-13-2004, 06:30 AM
According to what you have said, it is a clear case of favoritism since both her singles and doubles abilities are inferior. Therefore, I think you do want to request that there be some objective means of making the teams so that it is seen as fair. The suggestions earlier in the post -- i.e. mixing up partners, and recording the win/loss record of the individuals over all the matches, seems to be fair, and to measure doubles ability.

That being said, how do you change the process? You might try discussing this with your guidance counselor and asking her for suggestions, or to the vice-principal (on an informal basis, without making a formal complaint) and asking for suggestions. Just explain that you would like to have some objective process for making the doubles teams so that the process is seen as fair, and that there is a morale problem.

04-13-2004, 06:46 AM
Not a lot you can do if her mom is coach. Her mom is going to let her play. She may not win much in doubles and may hurt your team, but that is the coach's decision. Hope she plays on the #3 doubles team with the other weakest player and her mom doesn't put her with any of the top doubles players. Doubles is best if the partners are of equal abilities otherwise there will be tension if the weaker player constantly lets down the stronger player.

04-13-2004, 02:07 PM
Sadly in our format there are only 5 events- girls doubles, boys doubles, boys singles, girls singles, and mixed doubles, so there's no 1-3 or anything like that. To make matters worse, she HAS been put with the clearly superior guy on our team, sacrificing boys singles almost completely.

04-14-2004, 12:48 PM
This seems to be completely beyond the bounds of what is acceptable. I would talk to your vice-principal, and if he/she is not cooperative, to the coach of some other team who you respect and see if something can be done.