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View Full Version : To net-players in doubles: do you look back when the ball is hit to your partner?


jevonclyde
07-21-2009, 11:31 PM
I've been trying to watch something they don't normally show much on tv here in Europe: doubles. Today I saw a pic where the ball is hit to the player and his doubles partner, standing at the net, turns back, tracking the ball hit to his partner. Back in the day I was taught not to do that. The primary reason being that you would lose track of what's going on at the other side of the net. Albeit, for a fraction of a second. As the opposing (net-)player thatís all the time I would need to scoot over, intersect the ball hit and volley the ball right between the net-playerís feet.

Your thoughts?

plowmanjoe
07-22-2009, 12:01 AM
i was taught to never watch my partner and to keep my eyes forward. from watching your opponents, you can see where your partner is hitting.

but, i have seen some higher level doubles where the net player does turn back to look at his partner.

so i don't know. i just know what works best for me, and that's not looking back.

naylor
07-22-2009, 12:09 AM
I tend to look back when the ball goes deep to my partner, if I think he'll be under pressure. When that happens, I also move a bit further back to a more defensive position, at least level with the service box (sometimes, even further back), so I don't stand my ground at the net and turn 90 degrees to "watch the game" (which is fatal).

From my new defensive position, I can see what my partner is up to by just turning my head slightly, and I can still keep the opposition netman in my field of vision to check whether he's making an aggressive move to intercept.

SystemicAnomaly
07-22-2009, 12:35 AM
I only look back in certain situations. I will usually look back when it appears the the ball will probably land pretty close to the baseline or sideline. Quite often, when a player is very close to such a ball, they will be unable to determine if the ball in IN or OUT. This is because of their close proximity to the bounce point, the ball travels across their field of vision too rapidly for their eyes to track the ball. In this situation, even tho' I am further from the ball (or because I am further from the ball), I can make those line calls much better than they can.

Once in a while, I'll take a look back because I suspect that my partner cannot get to an optimal position to make a play on the ball. I am looking back to get a better idea of what options my partner might have. This can have a bearing on where I will move.

SystemicAnomaly
07-22-2009, 12:37 AM
^ naylor explained the 2nd point that I was trying to make better than I did.

jevonclyde
07-22-2009, 04:17 AM
Great stuff, guys. Thanks for your response.

Cindysphinx
07-22-2009, 01:48 PM
When I was new to doubles, I was told not to look at my partner. Now, I look at my partner, but I like to think I have good reasons for doing so.

For example, if a ball goes really wide, I want to know if my partner is or is not under pressure or off the court (especially the latter). If she has been pulled wide or has chosen to run around her BH, I need know that so I can shift toward the middle. Sometimes a high lob goes up the middle and I am a bit unsure about whether it makes sense for me to cross to the other side, so I will note my partner's position to see whether it makes more sense for me to stay on my side or not.

As it was described to me, it is perfectly fine to glance at your partner, but not OK to stare. Much the way you quickly glance to check your blind spot when driving, you can and should quickly check on your partner. I was told you want to be aware of what is happening on the whole court.

I don't think I look at my partner too much. There are certainly plenty of times when I will be focused on my opposing net player, I will hear a scuffling sound behind me, and I won't know the point ended due to my partner's error because I didn't look! :)

5263
07-22-2009, 02:46 PM
When I was new to doubles, I was told not to look at my partner. Now, I look at my partner, but I like to think I have good reasons for doing so.

For example, if a ball goes really wide, I want to know if my partner is or is not under pressure or off the court (especially the latter). If she has been pulled wide or has chosen to run around her BH, I need know that so I can shift toward the middle. Sometimes a high lob goes up the middle and I am a bit unsure about whether it makes sense for me to cross to the other side, so I will note my partner's position to see whether it makes more sense for me to stay on my side or not.

As it was described to me, it is perfectly fine to glance at your partner, but not OK to stare. Much the way you quickly glance to check your blind spot when driving, you can and should quickly check on your partner. I was told you want to be aware of what is happening on the whole court.

I don't think I look at my partner too much. There are certainly plenty of times when I will be focused on my opposing net player, I will hear a scuffling sound behind me, and I won't know the point ended due to my partner's error because I didn't look! :)

Excellent description Cindy.

user92626
07-22-2009, 06:15 PM
OP,

It really depends on the level of the group. Not only can I look back at my partner (because the shot is exchanged slow enough), but sometimes I also NEED to watch my partner hit and dodge to avoid getting injury! One time my random partner tried to do an overhead to a lob, I clearly crouched low, facing forward, below the net in the fetal position and way off to a side -- waiting... then the idiot smashed the ball to the side of my head (above the earlobe). Hurt like hell. From then on I no longer trust anyone, especially when they try overhead, and I probably have dodged closed balls like 3,4 times since.

kuhdlie
07-22-2009, 07:43 PM
OP,

It really depends on the level of the group. Not only can I look back at my partner (because the shot is exchanged slow enough), but sometimes I also NEED to watch my partner hit and dodge to avoid getting injury! One time my random partner tried to do an overhead to a lob, I clearly crouched low, facing forward, below the net in the fetal position and way off to a side -- waiting... then the idiot smashed the ball to the side of my head (above the earlobe). Hurt like hell. From then on I no longer trust anyone, especially when they try overhead, and I probably have dodged closed balls like 3,4 times since.

I do the same when some of my partners are serving, especially if they serve fast but not accurate. it hurts a lot more if you don't see the 100mph tennis ball coming and hitting you in the back of the head or ear. i would just stand almost outside the doubles line and wait for him to serve it over the net. hehe.

Off The Wall
07-22-2009, 08:00 PM
OP,

It really depends on the level of the group. Not only can I look back at my partner (because the shot is exchanged slow enough), but sometimes I also NEED to watch my partner hit and dodge to avoid getting injury! One time my random partner tried to do an overhead to a lob, I clearly crouched low, facing forward, below the net in the fetal position and way off to a side -- waiting... then the idiot smashed the ball to the side of my head (above the earlobe). Hurt like hell. From then on I no longer trust anyone, especially when they try overhead, and I probably have dodged closed balls like 3,4 times since.

I think it would be better for you to not stand/crouch so close to the net when your partner is overheading. If the overhead is successful, you can always move forward to volley a weak return. If they lob it back, you're both in a better position to handle it.

user92626
07-22-2009, 10:52 PM
I think it would be better for you to not stand/crouch so close to the net when your partner is overheading. If the overhead is successful, you can always move forward to volley a weak return. If they lob it back, you're both in a better position to handle it.

I learned quick, bud. Whenever my partner tries to hit an overhead, I make sure I get way out of the way! I do the same thing with inconsistent FH maniacs. Really you do need to glance and gauge where and how the ball passes back and forth and subsconsciously calculate the chance of it hitting you. This level of tennis is not worth getting injury for! lol.