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View Full Version : So you watch your partner hit the ball behind you?


W Cats
12-23-2009, 07:49 AM
I've always believed that you don't. My eyes are on the opposing closes netman until I know that he is not involved in that contact then my eyes are on the deeper player and adjust position as the play dictates. But watching a recent Bryan Bros. vid it appears as if they do.

PimpMyGame
12-23-2009, 07:51 AM
I'll only watch if the ball looks as if it's going close to the line, so I can call it out if necessary.

Kostas
12-23-2009, 08:04 AM
I'll only watch if the ball looks as if it's going close to the line, so I can call it out if necessary.

I do this also. Many times my partner is so focused on playing the ball and making the shot they'll play a clearly out ball and I will call it.

I used to feel weird about making these calls but only because I worried about what the other team would think with me calling it and my partner not saying anything. However, I'll only call these out if they're clearly long and no longer worry about it.

Most of the time though I'm focused on the net man across from me.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 08:07 AM
If my netman comes forward, I don't watch his volley or half volley.
If he chooses to stay back, I turn and watch to see if the ball is in or out.
If my partner happens to be the new 5.5 on the block, I never turn to look at him because he hits too hard for my eyes to track back to him and then quickly back to my opponent's court.
Depends.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 01:57 PM
So checkout this vid. of the Bryan Bros. Does it appear as if he's turning his head to see what's going on behind him? They don't have to watch for lines. What's going on?:-?:-?

Kostas
12-23-2009, 01:57 PM
Video Link Fail

:-)

Ripper014
12-23-2009, 02:07 PM
I'll watch my partner hit the ball... and then quickly snap to see where the net man is positioned in case they intercept the ball. I think the key is not to follow the ball but to anticipate who is going to hit the ball on the other side of the net.

Watching my partner helps me reposition myself in case they hit a shot other than where I might expect it. An example is if the shot goes between me... and my partner decides to go down the line... if that is the case I can quickly reposition myself to cover the center of the court.

Also if my partner hits a really bad shot... it gives me the head up to get out of the way.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 02:22 PM
Sorry, here is the link. The title for the thread was suppose to be "Do watch your partner......"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duqYjAaujwQ

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 03:01 PM
Yes, I watch my partner. But I try to do this only when I have a reason to do so. I feel like if a player glances at her partner and you were to freeze frame the action, the player ought to be able to say *why* she is looking -- what information did she gather? There are good reasons to glance -- not stare -- at your partner during a point. Ya just don't want to make a habit of it. IMHO.

86golf
12-23-2009, 03:05 PM
Coaches will always tell you not to watch your partner hit the ball. I break this rule all the time. I can't think of a time that it cost us a point. Most of the higher level guys at my club will peek some but usually not. I think a quick peek to check your partners position won't get you into too much trouble. But then again I'm no coach.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 03:32 PM
With the exception of a possible line call all the info you need is across the net from you. Checking partners position? Try this experiment sometime: have a friend on the other side of the net hit a ball over the net, while you are at a net position facing forward watch the ball only till it crosses the net, then go and stand at the spot you think the ball landed at, have a friend as an observer on your side of the court. Try this for 5 times. I'll bet you come within about 5 feet of where the ball landed just about every time.

What other reasons do you look behind?

rk_sports
12-23-2009, 03:50 PM
It depends on my partner.. if I play with a good partner, I don't bother to watch, else I do just to see if I've to make adjustments (defense)

LeeD
12-23-2009, 03:53 PM
If you just look forwards at the opposition, you know where your partner is depending on the return he gets. Now if he quietly falls down, you didn't see it.
You can hear the sound of your partner's shots, knowing lob, hard topspin, short slice, so your can react accordingly.
Volley exchanges, stay focused foreward.
Slow moving groundie exchange, you can admire your partners flourescent shoelaces and his double lacing.

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 04:03 PM
With the exception of a possible line call all the info you need is across the net from you.

Nah, I don't think so.

Say we are both at net, with me farther from net than you. Say they lob you. You yell "Switch" and move over.

At this point, what should you do with your eyes?

If I look over at my partner, I can see whether she is about to throw up a strong shot or a weak shot. I can often see this even before she hits the ball, and a glance is enough to recognize the problem. If I do not watch my partner, I will not see that she has thrown up a weak shot until my opponents react to it. So seeing what is happening with my partner gives me crucial reaction/movement time -- the time it takes for her to hit, and the time it takes for my opponents to react. If you only watch your opponents, you see only the last bit, their reaction. This will cause you to be later in your own reaction/preparation than you otherwise might be.

That my partner is blithely ignoring my predicament explains why I frequently find myself running full-out to run down a lob and have to yell, "Come back with me!" I know I am in trouble. My opponents know I am in trouble. The only person who seems not to care that I am in trouble is my partner, who is happy to stare intently at the net person.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 04:07 PM
Still depends how fast moving YOUR ball is going.
Even if your partner is behind you, you can tell by sound whether it's a fast mover or a slow lob/dink, by sound. If you're at net, your partner back, you don't want to be turning around backwards when the ball is moving at higher speeds.
The back person should yell, "short" if their lob is short.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 04:34 PM
Cindy

I yell switch, if I've played with you before I'll either have some idea of what you can do with the ball or you yell "trouble". If I'm looking at the reactions of my opponents across the net don't you think they will also see your predicament at the same time I see it if I had turned around, and they will react accordingly.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 04:41 PM
In addition, I think it always prudent to begin to prepare for your partners worse possible shot with the time you have to defend the position you deem ideal until you see that the conditions have changed.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 04:47 PM
I love it when I serve a ball, my netman takes his racketback and almost swings, but doesn't, allowing the up the middle ball to fall harmlessly away from me....:shock::
He says he could have hit it, but just chose not to. I just shake my head, and next serve, plan to hit any and every ball.
This mostly on their forehand volleys.
Of course, they love to reach out, almost dive to intercept a hard low shot with their BACKHAND volleys, only to pop it up short and high, robbing me of a volley right at my strikezone ..... :confused::confused:
Happens over and over, set to set, any partner.

W Cats
12-23-2009, 04:54 PM
LeeD My post was more about defending my partners shot behind me rather than in front. LOL I've been in your situation many a time. I've even been the guy at net missing the volley down the middle too LOL.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 05:04 PM
Geez, after posts 4, 13, and 15, you'd think there would be some wiggle room to wander and walkabout.... :oops::oops:

W Cats
12-23-2009, 05:06 PM
LeeD Have a Merry Christmas.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 05:18 PM
U2, hope you like your 4D as much as I like my Mfil and Aero 200's.....

tennytive
12-25-2009, 09:06 AM
I love it when I serve a ball, my netman takes his racketback and almost swings, but doesn't, allowing the up the middle ball to fall harmlessly away from me....:shock::
He says he could have hit it, but just chose not to. I just shake my head, and next serve, plan to hit any and every ball.
This mostly on their forehand volleys.
Of course, they love to reach out, almost dive to intercept a hard low shot with their BACKHAND volleys, only to pop it up short and high, robbing me of a volley right at my strikezone ..... :confused::confused:
Happens over and over, set to set, any partner.

Been there, done that. Soooo frustrating after salivating over the approaching sitter.

To answer the question, I look every so often, mostly to check on whether my partner can get back into position after a shot pushes him wide, back, etc. so that I can adjust and cover if needed. Your example of the partner falling down, though slim, is also another good reason to be aware of what's happening behind you.

Geezer Guy
12-25-2009, 10:40 AM
I track the path of the incoming ball until it bounces. If it's out I call it out. If it's in I immediately focus on the opposing net player(s). I don't actually watch my partner hit the ball, but I do get a feel from the location of the bounce and what I can see of what my partner is about to do what will probably happen.

Spas
12-26-2009, 11:39 AM
Just a little sidetrack. There was once in badminton i was playing doubles and kept looking back to see my partner hit. In one instance, i believe he got distracted and i saw his focus turn to me while i was looking at him as he was about to hit. Then Wham! The shuttlecock flew straight at my eye.
Better for tennis as u have much more time to dodge. =/

5263
12-26-2009, 11:58 AM
If I look over at my partner, I can see whether she is about to throw up a strong shot or a weak shot. I can often see this even before she hits the ball, and a glance is enough to recognize the problem. If I do not watch my partner, I will not see that she has thrown up a weak shot until my opponents react to it. So seeing what is happening with my partner gives me crucial reaction/movement time -- the time it takes for her to hit, and the time it takes for my opponents to react.


That my partner is blithely ignoring my predicament explains why I frequently find myself running full-out to run down a lob and have to yell, "Come back with me!" I know I am in trouble. My opponents know I am in trouble. The only person who seems not to care that I am in trouble is my partner, who is happy to stare intently at the net person.

Well here is something we agree on and very well stated.

LeeD
12-26-2009, 04:56 PM
I think you can track baseline to baseline shots mostly, but 4 players at net who can volley, no chance to move your eyes fast enough to track from side partner to opposition. Just not enough time.

5263
12-26-2009, 05:38 PM
I think you can track baseline to baseline shots mostly, but 4 players at net who can volley, no chance to move your eyes fast enough to track from side partner to opposition. Just not enough time.

Pretty clear she is talking about when her partner is behind her.

LeeD
12-26-2009, 06:13 PM
Oftentimes, at my paltry doubles level, one team has a volleyer up close while his partner tends to stand just behind the service line. Up close volleyer maybe 3' inside the service line. Sorta one up, one back.
Still, if it's a baseline exchange, plenty of time to watch your partner at the baseline set up for the shot, but not enough to watch him hit his shot and still react.
If all 4 can volley, you never look over at your partner....no time, eyes can't track dat fast.

fruitytennis1
12-26-2009, 07:11 PM
I love volley exchanges b/c my low volleys are amazing. High volleys(sitters are average or below though)

Cindysphinx
12-26-2009, 09:49 PM
Well here is something we agree on and very well stated.

Ha! Thanks. We probably agree on lots of things; we just need more time to figure out what they are.

My pro gets credit for this approach. He says doubles is like driving. You want to know what is going on with everyone around you. A quick glance at your partner is like a quick glance in your mirrors. I think that makes a lot of sense.

LeeD
12-27-2009, 08:31 AM
The quick glance doesn't work when your partner is at the baseline and your two opponent's are at net position.
Even if your partner strikes a fast mover low ball, your eyes can't track it from your partner to the netman in time for you to react. Remember, for your eyes to react, you have to be looking at the spot where the ball comes for at least a few milliseconds!
Notice ready position, your eyes are not wandering around the background, but staring at the ball position of your opposition. If you're turning your head and turning it back, you don't have time to acquire the location of the source of the incoming ball.

dbusiness
12-27-2009, 02:40 PM
The two groups I play with reguarly one I look back(the slower paced group) to get an idea what direction my partners hitting as he doesn't communicate a short ball or over head sitter.
Also with the slower group I look back to see if I need to adjust my court position to see if I need to adjust for any large gaps.

The 2nd group which the pace is faster I don't have time to look back very much and usually get an idea from the opponents at the net what shot was hit.

Rambler124
12-27-2009, 03:13 PM
From a coaching perspective the biggest issue is when people move their head to watch the ball go all the way back to their partner and not engage their feet. If you will, their head does the movement their feet SHOULD be doing. Peeking is fine I think like Cindy stated to get an idea of what to anticipate based on what your partern hits. The issue is when people move their head only and not their feet to position properly for the next reasonable scenario. Fair?

Cindysphinx
12-27-2009, 04:23 PM
From a coaching perspective the biggest issue is when people move their head to watch the ball go all the way back to their partner and not engage their feet. If you will, their head does the movement their feet SHOULD be doing. Peeking is fine I think like Cindy stated to get an idea of what to anticipate based on what your partern hits. The issue is when people move their head only and not their feet to position properly for the next reasonable scenario. Fair?

Fair.

Lee, I find it utterly unhelpful to watch the *ball* if I look at my partner. I'm not interested in the ball. I'm interested in my partner. By the time she has actually struck the ball, I should be focused on my opponents. Otherwise I'd get hit in the face a lot, no?

But yes, if the pace is fast enough, then I may have to decide what to ignore. The first thing I will ignore is my partner. I certainly can't ignore the opponents, right? :)

Off The Wall
12-27-2009, 06:59 PM
It takes some doing, but watching your partner can be done.

A point is a progression of shots, not a series of independent shot events. Therefore, you are able to read the point as it develops. In its simplest form, if your partner is hitting aggressively or is in a balanced position to be effective, if you know it, you'll be ready to attack. The opposite is true.

You need to know what your opponents are doing while you're watching your partner. You also need to know what options your partner has. And you need to know what you are going to do in each instance. Obviously, it takes experience for this knowledge to be there in a look back.

Nellie
12-27-2009, 08:50 PM
You should not be watching your partner "hit" the ball. You should see where your partner is positioned to know where you need to move to best cover the reply ball and to anticipate what type of reply is coming. If your partner is hitting deep and defensively - you better move back and be ready for an overhead!

W Cats
12-27-2009, 09:51 PM
Again, can you not tell where your partner will be positioned based on reading the trajectory of the ball from opponents contact to as it crosses the net? And from there wouldn't you then put yourself in the best to position to 1)defend your partners worse shot or 2) take advantage of your partners best shot.

You can decide option 1 or 2 based on your opponents cues, For example: net mans eyes move up and starts to turn sideways - here comes an overhead, netman's partner starts moving in from the baseline even before you hear your partner make contact - likely weak reply, netman split step and you only see his eyes tracking the ball and nothing else - your partner just hit a crosscourt reply, etc....

The netmans job is to influence your opponents shots by reducing the amount of real estate on the court and defend or attack the position or ball based on your partners shot. IMO this can be done by keeping the game in front of you.

keepurpowderdry
12-29-2009, 01:52 PM
I do , I can also watch everyone else at the same time.. I have been playing doubles allot for a long time so maybe thats why I do and maybe thats why the pros do.. I like how you watch the net player first though. Seems like thats what you should do .