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Blask
11-03-2009, 03:38 PM
What hand signals do most people use to indicate Poach, fake, stay, serve placement, etc?

Also, when you poach, do you move as soon as the serve passes by you or do you hesitate momentarily before making your move? I was playing a match this past weekend and my partner seemed to be moving just a split second late and wasn't covering the wide side of the court fast enough to cover the return.

LeeD
11-03-2009, 03:51 PM
Can't say for other's, but we used to use just go, no go, serve middle, or serve wide. Netman figures the fake is normal.
One finger go. 3 fingers middle serve. KISS.

Cindysphinx
11-03-2009, 03:57 PM
What hand signals do most people use to indicate Poach, fake, stay, serve placement, etc?

Also, when you poach, do you move as soon as the serve passes by you or do you hesitate momentarily before making your move? I was playing a match this past weekend and my partner seemed to be moving just a split second late and wasn't covering the wide side of the court fast enough to cover the return.

I've heard so many different signals being used. Personally, I prefer those that are most intuitive. A closed fist is powerful, so that means go. A flat palm means stop, so that means stay.

That said, I will go with whatever my partner is comfortable with, with one exception. I won't do one finger means one thing and two means another and then let's use fingers for serve location. I'm sorry, but I cannot keep all of that straight.

I also think it is best to signal between first and second. The point is to freak out your opponents with the very idea of signaling, right? So why would you pass up an opportunity of making a big show of signaling?

My partner last night had a different view, which was that you abandon signals if the first serve is missed. She would say out loud, "All bets are off." I can understand the idea, but I think this is a mistake because there isn't all that much difference between my first and second serve, so why not poach off of the second. Signal a stay, but by all means signal.

Regarding how soon to move, it depends. I just kind of play it by ear, knowing that the crosscourt ball is mine and I absolutely have to get there. If I just relax and leave when my instincts tell me to leave I usually do OK.

That said, I am very new to signaled poaching so I would love to hear what others do.

Cindy -- whose opponents in a social match last night actually said out loud, "Oh, God. They're signaling."

LeeD
11-03-2009, 04:03 PM
If you notice your opponent's are signalling, it's time to PREPLAN your returns....heavy topspin DTL to keep them honest once every 3 or 4 returns.
Or if you're tentative, lob DTL gives you a safe return, if you just get it over the netperson. Sliced lobs are easy to gauge height over netman, and almost always drop well in.
As for fingers or not, my partner was a college Div11 player, and could keep track of TWO different signals without getting all abothered.

5263
11-03-2009, 04:13 PM
Also, when you poach, do you move as soon as the serve passes by you or do you hesitate momentarily before making your move? I was playing a match this past weekend and my partner seemed to be moving just a split second late and wasn't covering the wide side of the court fast enough to cover the return.

You gotta go in time to cover, but the later the better to an extent.

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 04:25 PM
What hand signals do most people use to indicate Poach, fake, stay, serve placement, etc?

Also, when you poach, do you move as soon as the serve passes by you or do you hesitate momentarily before making your move? I was playing a match this past weekend and my partner seemed to be moving just a split second late and wasn't covering the wide side of the court fast enough to cover the return.

It varies.

The key thing to know is you and your partner need to be on the same page regarding the signals uses.

1. Open hand: Poach

2. Closed fist: Stay

3. Use index and pinky to indicate serve placement. You can also use both the index and pinky finger up (like horns) to indicate in the body.

4. You can still fake on a stay signal because your partner will know that.

Just keep it simple.

Geezer Guy
11-03-2009, 05:26 PM
We have a poach signal before the first serve. The server, knowing what the netman will do, is free to serve wherever he wants.
1 finger means poach on the 1st serve (only).
2 fingers means poach on the 2nd serve (only).
3 fingers means poach on the first and second serve.
Fist means stay for both serves.

Aside from that, the netman is encouraged to take anything he can reach, even if he didn't signal a poach.

As for when to move on a poach, it depends on how strong the returner is. Timing is everything, and sometimes you're going to get burned on either a great wide return you can't reach, or a dtl return when you poach. You just gotta keep with the plan and hope the odds are in your favor.

W Cats
11-03-2009, 08:33 PM
I like to start my poach as the returner starts the forward movement of his/her swing, at that point the commitment to the type of return has been made. At contact is too late. During take back is too early.

Nellie
11-03-2009, 09:26 PM
A closed fist is powerful, so that means go. A flat palm means stop, so that means stay.


Funny - I always use a close fist for no poach and an open hand for poaching - that way I can flash my hand to my partner to make sure they have my attention. I assume that if I am going to poach, my partner will serve accordingly and I do not need to tell my partner where to go.

SystemicAnomaly
11-03-2009, 11:56 PM
...

3. Use index and pinky to indicate serve placement. You can also use both the index and pinky finger up (like horns) to indicate in the body...

I recall seeing the Jensen bros using the "bad" finger. I noticed that net guy would sometimes flip the other off as a signal. After the 2nd or 3rd time seeing the middle finger gesture, it occurred to me that it meant to jam the receiver (into the body).

Ken Honecker
11-04-2009, 02:16 AM
Naive little me I always thought the server was supposed to hit the crap out of the ball and then the netmans job was to make sure it never got back there again.

larry10s
11-04-2009, 04:54 AM
i use fist for stay, palm for poach , pinky for serve to that side and thumb for serve to that side (ie im in ad service box thumb ="t" serve, pinky = wide) (im in deuce box pinky "t" serve, thumb =wide.) when in I forrmation i use pinky or thumb to say which side im going to and let theserver pick his target expecting mainly "T" serves

Thud and blunder
11-04-2009, 05:29 AM
You really have to be on the same page with this signalling stuff. There's not much chance that you're going to have a one minute pow-wow before the match and instantly be on the same wavelength. This stuff requires work. If you're a scratch team, keep it very, very simple.

Somewhat apropos, the other day, I signal a serve down the 'T', get confirm from parter...partner serves fault out wide..; me: 'OK.....', him: 'same again!', me: 'WTF???! same as what???'

BajeDuane
11-04-2009, 06:07 AM
You just need to figure out with your partner what signals you both are comfortable with and will remember.

Personally I use:

1. Open hand: Poach

2. Closed fist: Stay

I use my left hand to signal with, so for serve direction, I start with a closed fist, so.....

Little Finger = Left side of box (Out wide on deuce court, down the T on Ad court)

Thumb = Right side of box (down the T on deuce court, and out wide on Ad court)

Middle & Index finger = Middle of box (Into the body)

I personally, give direction of serve first, then poach or no poach.

I think it is better to try to poach when the returner is about to make contact with the ball as to not leave too early.

larry10s
11-04-2009, 07:40 AM
^^^^^^ agree completely

Loco4Tennis
11-04-2009, 07:56 AM
Funny - I always use a close fist for no poach and an open hand for poaching - that way I can flash my hand to my partner to make sure they have my attention. I assume that if I am going to poach, my partner will serve accordingly and I do not need to tell my partner where to go.

i like to keep it simple like this as well, center and body serves seem to be best times to poach
while outside serves will require covering the alley

Slazenger07
11-04-2009, 08:03 AM
Me and my friend need to start using hand signals...never put much thought into it, would be really nice to be on the same page, especially on big points. Usually when I want to poach I just do it, and I usually end up hitting a winning volley.

Bungalo Bill
11-04-2009, 08:20 AM
I recall seeing the Jensen bros using the "bad" finger. I noticed that net guy would sometimes flip the other off as a signal. After the 2nd or 3rd time seeing the middle finger gesture, it occurred to me that it meant to jam the receiver (into the body).

Lol, well, you said it not me. I was trying to help those that want to be politically correct on court with an option. I have actually seen a doubles team arguing with each other over things. Then the netman, made the signs with his middle finger for the serve location. The server took it as an insult and they started arguing again.

Yes, middle finger works fine and is useful in cetain situations with your partner. :)

LeeD
11-04-2009, 08:22 AM
Couple dings...
1. NOBODY, being a netman, can cover every CC return.
2. Players with good topspin returns like to DTL on middle returns.
3. Players who get served wide go DTL sometimes, but a short angle CC is much easier. After a couple of short angle CC's, it's time for the DTL lob.
4. WHEN you go DEPENDS...on your reflexes, on the opponent's reflexes, their ball speed, their mental state, how good was your partner's serve...ETC.
5. And facing a really hard returner, it's a toss of the dice.

BajeDuane
11-05-2009, 05:27 AM
The main reason for signaling before you poach is so you and your partner do not end up on the same side. If you poach he should be moving to cover the line. Without the signal he might just move in as usual, then you poach, but the person goes DTL, there is no one there to cover it.

SystemicAnomaly
11-05-2009, 07:31 AM
The main reason for signaling before you poach is so you and your partner do not end up on the same side. If you poach he should be moving to cover the line. Without the signal he might just move in as usual, then you poach, but the person goes DTL, there is no one there to cover it.

I prefer not to use signals very often. When the net guy moves to poach, the server should react accordingly. If it appears that the net person will actually cut off of the shot, the server should react and move to the other side. If it appears that the net person has been too ambitious and will possibly/probably not make the shot, the server should stay alert to this and stay on task to make a play for the ball.

The net players that screw me up are those that cross the center line when they poach and then switch back to their original side. If they do not hit a winning shot on the next hit, they've left their partner confused & in a bad position. As soon as I see that the net person is crossing the middle, I (as the server) will start moving toward the open side -- even tho' I'm probably coming in behind my serve.

If using an Aussie or an I-formation, I might be more tempted to use hand signals.

Burt Turkoglu
11-06-2009, 12:35 PM
We usually don't use signals on the 1st serve as we talk briefly in between each point. I will tell him if I want him to poach or stay, where my serve will go (middle, wide or body) so he can assume the ideal position as my serve is struck; and the speed and type of my serve. Then we may signal if my 1st serve is a fault:

Fist=stay
open hand=poach

then......

1 finger.....middle serve
2 fingers...body
3 fingers...wide



Burt