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julian
11-23-2009, 11:46 AM
Please click a link below
http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3633&media_type_id=&Media_FileURL=&media_name=doubles&media_desc=&media_status=1&media_preview=1&show=10&extra=0&reviewed=&errors=&presenter=&AssetCategory=&basicsearch=1&ATT=&LineNbr=1&StartRow=1&ts=1

naylor
11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
Specifically, I'm looking for some specific advice regarding switching and fetching lobs over my partner at the net. I noticed that your clip comes from the USPTA and was wondering whether they've filmed or produced some written instruction material on this matter.

I play mostly doubles, to a good standard (4.5). I can both place serves well and have a decent volley off both sides, so I generally come to the net on both 1st and 2nd serves. In that situation, I was taught that when the returner throws up a return lob, then it's up to each person to fetch it on their own sides.

This is particularly so on lobs over my partner at the net - because it's his job to specifically watch the returner opposite, so should see him preparing to execute a lob, and therefore has the time to adjust his own position to cover behind himself. Certainly, he has more time than me, because it'll only be when I split-step at the service line that I'll have the opportunity to check my own movement and then start moving diagonally and backwards to cover behind him.

It makes sense, in terms of distance to travel. At most, he only has to retreat back from the middle of the service box to the baseline on his side, and I from the service line to my side of the baseline. Also, his moving back to cover gives me time to assess the depth of the lob and the likely quality of his play - if it's deep and he can only play defensively, then I go back and we defend two-back; but if I can see he can play a smash and return back up to the net, then I can easily adjust my own positioning so we both get back to the net as one unit.

By comparison, the automatic switch doesn't seem as effective. If the netperson simply switches sides at the net, then that leaves us 1-up-1-behind and creates a gap in the diagonal between us. If the lob is not deep and I can make an attacking play, then by the same token (if he'd gone back) he could have done the same and I could have continued my motion to the net keeping the players on the other side of the court in view and covering the gaps. But if the lob is deep, then either he stays stranded up front or after moving across he now has to retreat to cover my side of the baseline. In simple terms, keeping the cover movements as backwards and forwards is less distance and much more efficient than having to cover "backwards and diagonally across".

I was taught that the only time I should cover behind my partner against a lob return is when - because of the frequency of this type of return, to a good depth - we as a team had agreed that I would serve and stay back (rather than S&V). If so, then it would be my job to cover the lob, and my partner's job would be to assess its depth and decide whether a simple switch across was enough or whether he needed to retreat diagonally back to the baseline - essentially, get himself in the right place for our next play (stay up if I could move in after playing the lob, or come back all the way if we had to defend from the baseline).

Is this what the coaching manuals currently suggest, or do they advise differently?

julian
11-23-2009, 02:58 PM
Hi,
they provide some in a bit random fashion.
See for example www.uspta.org
a tip of a week.
I may know more in a month or so

Bungalo Bill
11-23-2009, 03:11 PM
Please click a link below
http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3633&media_type_id=&Media_FileURL=&media_name=doubles&media_desc=&media_status=1&media_preview=1&show=10&extra=0&reviewed=&errors=&presenter=&AssetCategory=&basicsearch=1&ATT=&LineNbr=1&StartRow=1&ts=1

Good post Julian.

5263
11-23-2009, 04:09 PM
Specifically, I'm looking for some specific advice regarding switching and fetching lobs over my partner at the net. I noticed that your clip comes from the USPTA and was wondering whether they've filmed or produced some written instruction material on this matter.

Is this what the coaching manuals currently suggest, or do they advise differently?

I learned 20 yrs ago from a Emory U. Hall of Famer, how to cover lobs by crossing behind each other and prefer this coverage on a diagonal.

In the Art of Doubles, Pat says it is up to the one who's head it goes over to make a call- either "mine" or "yours".

5263
11-23-2009, 04:18 PM
Please click a link below
http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3633&media_type_id=&Media_FileURL=&media_name=doubles&media_desc=&media_status=1&media_preview=1&show=10&extra=0&reviewed=&errors=&presenter=&AssetCategory=&basicsearch=1&ATT=&LineNbr=1&StartRow=1&ts=1

It is amazing how few doubles players employ this very simple "follow the ball" technique.

Geezer Guy
11-23-2009, 04:31 PM
I was taught that at the lower levels players would often "switch" to cover behind each other. At the upper levels players were more skilled and more mobile, and should cover their own lobs.

Fedace
11-23-2009, 04:40 PM
Please click a link below
http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3633&media_type_id=&Media_FileURL=&media_name=doubles&media_desc=&media_status=1&media_preview=1&show=10&extra=0&reviewed=&errors=&presenter=&AssetCategory=&basicsearch=1&ATT=&LineNbr=1&StartRow=1&ts=1

What if your partner's volley really suck and he is missing easy routine volleys left and right ???:confused:

5263
11-23-2009, 04:40 PM
I was taught that at the lower levels players would often "switch" to cover behind each other. At the upper levels players were more skilled and more mobile, and should cover their own lobs.

Makes sense, cause to me it is easier. If it is easier, why wouldn't everyone do it? I think that is due to how a right hander can have a tough time hitting his overhead when crossing to cover the ad side. At the higher levels, they want to make sure they can get an overhead on it if at all possible. The overheads and coverage are my strong point, so I usually get all of them, except the gimme's that come right to my partner.

naylor
11-23-2009, 06:44 PM
I was taught that at the lower levels players would often "switch" to cover behind each other. At the upper levels players were more skilled and more mobile, and should cover their own lobs.

I guess that makes sense - as 5263 says, at higher levels the retreating player can still try to play an overhead.

The tricky situation then comes when you're playing with a partner less comfortable with taking an overhead going over their head, because of lower skill or mobility. In that instance, then you take your own lobs (since you're comfortable doing that) but you also have to be prepared to take the ones over your partner.

In that situation, I assume your partner must always make an early decision/call, to give you enough time to get behind them - and also must move across quickly to cover your side instead? The last thing you want is for your partner to make a half-ars*d attempt to reach the ball, shout "sorry, yours!" and then stay put right in front of you forcing you to angle your smash to avoid hitting them!!!

Rambler124
11-23-2009, 07:25 PM
Tough one.

Some thoughts: A good net player (especially at your 4.5 level Naylor) is going to recognize when they are screwed and getting lobbed. Typically if you are serving and I am at the net as your partner. I will close the net to cut off angles leaving me somewhat vulnerable to a lob. If the lob is deep enough I should recognize that immediately and call yours. If you are serving and volleying you hit your split and cut over and take it out of the air perhaps? Or if its good enough you have to track it down and I move back with you to keep both of us in a D position with no gap. I tend to do this with my partner and it works out most of the time. Granted when he cuts across and takes a ball out of the air its not a super effective volley, but it keeps us at the net and in a position of attacking.

naylor
11-23-2009, 08:57 PM
Tough one.... A good net player ... is going to recognize when they are screwed and getting lobbed. Typically if you are serving and I am at the net as your partner... If the lob is deep enough I should recognize that immediately and call yours... you ... cut over and take it out of the air ... Or if its good enough you have to track it down and I move back with you to keep both of us in a D position with no gap...

Yes, pretty much what I thought and what I normally do. It's just that I played a mixed match last weekend where the opposition kept lobbing returns over my partner, and she just took two steps back, put her arm up, watched it sail over her and then simply turned around and resumed her net position, expecting me to play a high volley / smash / groundie around her (as I was half-way across behind her by that stage). By standing there, I couldn't play down the line and had to go across to miss her, but of course that gave the opponents an empty half court to play back down the line. At one point she said that if I wanted her to move across to cover my side, then I should tell her to switch.

I was trying to find out if there was a sure-fire way to decide who plays what in that situation. Seems to me that they key is early calling, to give us both a chance to move and get to where we need to be in good time. If so, the options are:-
1. As the stronger player, I call for it every time the opponents play a lob, unless I can see it will be an easy sitter of a volley - and if I call, then her job is to move across and cover my side, even if she thinks she could have reached it and played a volley/smash, because as soon as I call for it I will be coming across and behind her after my call regardless;
2. She calls - either "mine" or "yours" - as soon as she sees the lob coming and decides whether she can take it or not, but before she actually attempts to play it.

Seems to me that the better option is 2. If she calls "mine" then my job is to ensure I cover the court to ensure we cover our side as a pair; if she calls "yours", then she immediately "switches" across while I move across to cover, so I get a free court in front of me to play down the line.

If we go for 1, then she needs to be very disciplined and leave some shots she'd probably make. Or else, we'll soon descend into the usual situation where she attempts to play them and gets a frame onto the ball, the ball loops over to the opposite service box, I have moved behind her in the meantime, so the whole of my side is exposed for an easy putaway by the opponents. And if we're going to go that route - she follows some of my calls, but not all - then I'd rather she took the responsibility for making all calls over her side. And if she's not prepared to do that either, then the default position is we each cover our own side... and we both find new partners for the next match!

Solat
11-23-2009, 11:19 PM
nice video, just what i was working on with the ladies in my last lesson, might fwd them the link

papa
11-24-2009, 06:08 AM
Specifically, I'm looking for some specific advice regarding switching and fetching lobs over my partner at the net. I noticed that your clip comes from the USPTA and was wondering whether they've filmed or produced some written instruction material on this matter.

I play mostly doubles, to a good standard (4.5). I can both place serves well and have a decent volley off both sides, so I generally come to the net on both 1st and 2nd serves. In that situation, I was taught that when the returner throws up a return lob, then it's up to each person to fetch it on their own sides.

This is particularly so on lobs over my partner at the net - because it's his job to specifically watch the returner opposite, so should see him preparing to execute a lob, and therefore has the time to adjust his own position to cover behind himself. Certainly, he has more time than me, because it'll only be when I split-step at the service line that I'll have the opportunity to check my own movement and then start moving diagonally and backwards to cover behind him.

It makes sense, in terms of distance to travel. At most, he only has to retreat back from the middle of the service box to the baseline on his side, and I from the service line to my side of the baseline. Also, his moving back to cover gives me time to assess the depth of the lob and the likely quality of his play - if it's deep and he can only play defensively, then I go back and we defend two-back; but if I can see he can play a smash and return back up to the net, then I can easily adjust my own positioning so we both get back to the net as one unit.

By comparison, the automatic switch doesn't seem as effective. If the netperson simply switches sides at the net, then that leaves us 1-up-1-behind and creates a gap in the diagonal between us. If the lob is not deep and I can make an attacking play, then by the same token (if he'd gone back) he could have done the same and I could have continued my motion to the net keeping the players on the other side of the court in view and covering the gaps. But if the lob is deep, then either he stays stranded up front or after moving across he now has to retreat to cover my side of the baseline. In simple terms, keeping the cover movements as backwards and forwards is less distance and much more efficient than having to cover "backwards and diagonally across".

I was taught that the only time I should cover behind my partner against a lob return is when - because of the frequency of this type of return, to a good depth - we as a team had agreed that I would serve and stay back (rather than S&V). If so, then it would be my job to cover the lob, and my partner's job would be to assess its depth and decide whether a simple switch across was enough or whether he needed to retreat diagonally back to the baseline - essentially, get himself in the right place for our next play (stay up if I could move in after playing the lob, or come back all the way if we had to defend from the baseline).

Is this what the coaching manuals currently suggest, or do they advise differently?

Good post. This is why playing together as a team is so important because you get to experience your partners ability when it comes to court coverage. Some players simply cannot cover their own lobs and are better to immediately switch and take up a position either behind the service line or if the lob is deeper, near or behind the baseline. If you can cover your lobs, I think you should do it. If your partner is constantly getting caught too close to the net, get him backed up. There is really no reason why a player should remain tight to the net after they have been lobbed - makes no sense and puts way too much pressure on the retriever.

2ndServe
11-24-2009, 06:46 AM
serve to the backhand, volley to the backhand. Easy game. I don't even play dubs and these guys were awesome, their forehands were ridiculous and the backhand was pretty good but you can't imagine how much easier it is to volley seeing a backhand vs a forehand. Also lots of dubs players have 1 handed backhands, must serve to that. I'd rather serve 50mph to a backhand than 110mph to a forehand.

Slazenger07
11-24-2009, 07:14 AM
You dont wanna serve 50 mph to my backhand. Ill send it back twice that fast.

raiden031
11-24-2009, 07:42 AM
I was taught that at the lower levels players would often "switch" to cover behind each other. At the upper levels players were more skilled and more mobile, and should cover their own lobs.

At all levels, players should cover the lobs that they are capable of getting.

A perfect example of when switching is necessary is when the returner lobs over the net person and its a good lob. There is no way the net person who has already moved towards the front half of the service box can get the lob. The server must get it, as they have either 1) stayed at the baseline so its easy, or 2) S&Ved in which case they are likely in 1st volley position so if they read the shot they can run back to get the lob.

LuckyR
11-24-2009, 01:02 PM
Specifically, I'm looking for some specific advice regarding switching and fetching lobs over my partner at the net. I noticed that your clip comes from the USPTA and was wondering whether they've filmed or produced some written instruction material on this matter.

I play mostly doubles, to a good standard (4.5). I can both place serves well and have a decent volley off both sides, so I generally come to the net on both 1st and 2nd serves. In that situation, I was taught that when the returner throws up a return lob, then it's up to each person to fetch it on their own sides.

This is particularly so on lobs over my partner at the net - because it's his job to specifically watch the returner opposite, so should see him preparing to execute a lob, and therefore has the time to adjust his own position to cover behind himself. Certainly, he has more time than me, because it'll only be when I split-step at the service line that I'll have the opportunity to check my own movement and then start moving diagonally and backwards to cover behind him.

It makes sense, in terms of distance to travel. At most, he only has to retreat back from the middle of the service box to the baseline on his side, and I from the service line to my side of the baseline. Also, his moving back to cover gives me time to assess the depth of the lob and the likely quality of his play - if it's deep and he can only play defensively, then I go back and we defend two-back; but if I can see he can play a smash and return back up to the net, then I can easily adjust my own positioning so we both get back to the net as one unit.

By comparison, the automatic switch doesn't seem as effective. If the netperson simply switches sides at the net, then that leaves us 1-up-1-behind and creates a gap in the diagonal between us. If the lob is not deep and I can make an attacking play, then by the same token (if he'd gone back) he could have done the same and I could have continued my motion to the net keeping the players on the other side of the court in view and covering the gaps. But if the lob is deep, then either he stays stranded up front or after moving across he now has to retreat to cover my side of the baseline. In simple terms, keeping the cover movements as backwards and forwards is less distance and much more efficient than having to cover "backwards and diagonally across".

I was taught that the only time I should cover behind my partner against a lob return is when - because of the frequency of this type of return, to a good depth - we as a team had agreed that I would serve and stay back (rather than S&V). If so, then it would be my job to cover the lob, and my partner's job would be to assess its depth and decide whether a simple switch across was enough or whether he needed to retreat diagonally back to the baseline - essentially, get himself in the right place for our next play (stay up if I could move in after playing the lob, or come back all the way if we had to defend from the baseline).

Is this what the coaching manuals currently suggest, or do they advise differently?


In my experience although you are correct that the person being lobbed has a shorter route to where the ball is going to land, he usually has a poorer angle on the ball. I have had good luck with a variant on your advice, namely: 1- If you can hit an overhead on lobs to your side (either on the fly or on the bounce) then do so, 2- if you are going to have to hit a groundstroke, then the baseline partner generally has a better angle on the ball and should take the shot, 3- the netman who is lobbed and is not going to take the groundstroke, decides if they feel comfortable staying at the net or retreating to the baseline depending on their prediction of the quality of the likely return, based on the lob. If they retreat, naturally they cross to the other side of the baseline that their partner vacated. If they choose to stay at the net they can cross, but usually don't, since for a RH/RH team, the usual scenario is a lob over the ad court netman, returned by the deuce court baseline player crossing over, the baseline player can commonly hit a high quality shot crossing back with a running forehand, though if his lob return is good enough it might not be all that difficult to cover the next shot. This last part is a bit of personal preference and not a question of right vs wrong.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 01:07 PM
I like to place blame on the guy on our team who hit the short approach or weak groundie ...... :shock::evil::evil::evil:

papa
11-24-2009, 07:50 PM
I like to place blame on the guy on our team who hit the short approach or weak groundie ...... :shock::evil::evil::evil:

Yeah, and your about to have the ball for lunch. You know, in some tennis circles, its been advocated that in these situations if you turn your back and take a step to the alley, you have basically given up and all they have to do is get the ball back over the net and the point is over - period. This has its merits, maybe but I would count on it.

In most situations I'd rather be facing forwards or duck if I think I'm about ready to get a cannon shot.

Off The Wall
11-25-2009, 02:14 AM
Generally, the team lobbed can tell whether the lob must be bounced. If so, both players go back. Then it depends on who recognizes it first and gets the better jump.

Frequently, the server sees the lob coming and aborts his approach in case the lob gets over his partner's overhead. Sometimes, the net player thinks he has an overhead until the last second and, instead, bounces it. Then he'll return the lob.

papa
11-25-2009, 05:54 AM
Generally, the team lobbed can tell whether the lob must be bounced. If so, both players go back. Then it depends on who recognizes it first and gets the better jump.

Frequently, the server sees the lob coming and aborts his approach in case the lob gets over his partner's overhead. Sometimes, the net player thinks he has an overhead until the last second and, instead, bounces it. Then he'll return the lob.

Let me jump in here and give a little hit to the "older" players. As a general rule, if the ball is going to bounce inside the service line, try to take the ball in the air. If however, it would carry beyond the service line, let it bounce first - you'll win a lot more points.

I actually practice bounce overheads with players and it amazes me how many cannot seem to hit these shots properly. They either miss time the bounce and are out of position, fail to get turned, over hit, and so forth. It amuses me how someone can take it in the air but screws up the bounce overhead. Next time you play pay attention to how many bounce overheads you really have to handle - it might induce you to practice the shot more.

2ndServe
11-25-2009, 08:18 AM
I always try to take it out of the air. Once it bounces you the net team, at best to back to neutral but probably are on the defensive now. I take it out of the air and hit it as hard as possible at the net man. We don't see many lobs after this.