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Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 02:13 PM
I mostly play Singles. There are a lot of Doubles skills I just don't have.

When I do play Doubles, I really enjoy poaching when my partner serves. I like both the "signaled" poach and the "opportunistic" poach.

My problem is that unless I happen to be poaching a ball that's right in my wheelhouse and I can smash, too darn many balls come back! Seems to me like any ball I can get to I should be able to put away. If I get a good read on the return and make a half-way decent poach, we should win about 90% of the points on my poach - right? All too often the net man gets a racquet on my shot and blocks it back.

Any tips on how to end points immediately on a poach?

Heroesque
12-24-2009, 03:09 PM
Seems to me you're volleying towards the net person. Don't do that unless it's an overhead >=D (but not at their body, at their feet)

Try volleying short and angled to the baseliner.

LeeD
12-24-2009, 03:15 PM
First of all, you cannot expect to put away more than 70% of your poaches. Your opponent's are not dummys, and don't just stand there and close their eyes.
Normal low CC incoming ball, you poach and go up the middle, service line intesect with center, away from netman, but not towards baseliner.
Harder shot is to go back DTL and deep.
Some choose to drop DTL.
Toughest might be alley side CC.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 03:31 PM
Seems to me you're volleying towards the net person. Don't do that unless it's an overhead >=D (but not at their body, at their feet)

Try volleying short and angled to the baseliner.

Really? I thought the strategy was when you're at the net you hit the ball at the closest opponent, and when you're at the baseline you hit the ball at the furthest away opponent (unless in either case you're in a position to hit the ball away from both opponents).

I thought a net player hitting to a baseliner, or a baseline player hitting to a net player was NOT a good strategy.

Cindysphinx
12-24-2009, 03:38 PM
^I thought that you shouldn't aim *for* the net player on a poach. Players with good hands will often get a racket on it.

I thought you should aim your poach in the direction you are moving (don't hit the ball behind you) and aim for a sliver of open court if you can. Most important thing is to be moving toward the net so you can get some weight on your shot.

I wish I could actually *do* these things . . . .

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 03:40 PM
First of all, you cannot expect to put away more than 70% of your poaches. Your opponent's are not dummys, and don't just stand there and close their eyes.
Normal low CC incoming ball, you poach and go up the middle, service line intesect with center, away from netman, but not towards baseliner.
Harder shot is to go back DTL and deep.
Some choose to drop DTL.
Toughest might be alley side CC.

Hmmm, OK - maybe I should adjust my expectations somewhat. Still, 75% of my poaches being either winners or forced errors would seem to be a reasonable goal.

When I don't poach, and get a ball hit at me, I have no trouble blocking it into the gap between the netman and the server. I have more trouble when I'm poaching well across the center line. I like your idea, though, of going for the alley (if that's what you intended to say). I've been aiming for the netman's feet or chest (depending on the height of the ball) and maybe I should go for the netman's alley instead.

I currently don't have alot of touch - especially on a hard-hit ball. I'm just trying to block it back.

Heroesque
12-24-2009, 03:40 PM
Really? I thought the strategy was when you're at the net you hit the ball at the closest opponent, and when you're at the baseline you hit the ball at the furthest away opponent (unless in either case you're in a position to hit the ball away from both opponents).

I thought a net player hitting to a baseliner, or a baseline player hitting to a net player was NOT a good strategy.

I didn't mean TO the baseliner directly at him, but on his side. Sorry for the confusion :oops:
I've been taught not to hit at the volleyer because he might get a shot back (which seems to be the TS's problem)

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 03:44 PM
^I thought that you shouldn't aim *for* the net player on a poach. Players with good hands will often get a racket on it.

I thought you should aim your poach in the direction you are moving (don't hit the ball behind you) and aim for a sliver of open court if you can. Most important thing is to be moving toward the net so you can get some weight on your shot.

I wish I could actually *do* these things . . . .

I know I shouldn't hit behind me, and I don't have the skill to do that anyway. (Please don't read sarcasm into that - none was intended.) I do think you're right - I'm not aiming for open court. I know that I mentally tell myself to be sure and angle forward as I move across. To be honest I'm not sure if I actually do it or not. Good points, thank you.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 03:47 PM
I didn't mean TO the baseliner directly at him, but on his side. Sorry for the confusion :oops:
I've been taught not to hit at the volleyer because he might get a shot back (which seems to be the TS's problem)

If he's S&V'ing he could probably get to anything I try to drop in front of him unless I hit a perfect (or lucky) shot. If he's staying back, that would probably work (if I could pull it off).

86golf
12-24-2009, 04:07 PM
Seems to me you're volleying towards the net person. Don't do that unless it's an overhead >=D (but not at their body, at their feet)

Try volleying short and angled to the baseliner.

Negative. You ALWAYS volley in the direction that you are moving never back behind you. In the case of poaches, a lot is going on and its easy to say "hit at net mans feet". Poaching creates disruption and even if you don't win the point, you may be disrupting your opponents though process. Just keep at it and do some fake poaches about 30% of the time.

Mazilla2219
12-24-2009, 04:10 PM
http://www.tennis 4 you.com/lesson-lounge/operation-doubles/article-020.htm
http://www.tennis 4 you.com/lesson-lounge/operation-doubles/article-028.htm


Here are great articles about the guidelines of poaching (without the spaces b/t tennis 4 you)

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 04:23 PM
http://www.**********.com/lesson-lounge/operation-doubles/article-020.htm
http://www.tennis 4 you.com/lesson-lounge/operation-doubles/article-028.htm


Here are great articles about the guidelines of poaching (without the spaces b/t tennis 4 you)

Thanks. I usually like Kathy's stuff, but that one confused the heck out of me:

You poach the returns of shots your partner hits down the
self; because these returns must pass through the self
of your forecourt — within your poaching reach.

and

A favorite shot to poach is the service return, especially if you have a strong server. Here again, to draw a return up the self, you serve down the self.

??

LeeD
12-24-2009, 04:30 PM
What in the world is a "self" ? :shock::shock:

Cindysphinx
12-24-2009, 04:55 PM
I think it is supposed to be "center."

LeeD
12-24-2009, 05:08 PM
Oh, HI and MerryC, Cindy and thanks.....
Seems to me, most players I play with can hit low dipping returns DTL if the serve goes up the centerline. And that gives the returner positioning to cut off the majority of volleys, except drops shots DTL from the volleyer.
Folks I play with love to test the netman, and if he even hints at poaching, will get a few low hard ones into the body or down the alley.
I haven't played with anyone with a dominating serve in ayear, so don't get to poach too oftentimes.
Most say...7 point games, if I'm serving, my partner at net and not moving gets to hit at least 3 shots.
When my partner's serve, I never get a hittable ball, unless I poach at least 5' past the centerline, something I choose to do little since I'm not exactly spry and fit.
Plenty of guys with 5.5 or better serves around here, but I always play AGAINST them.
Today, watched #2 for Harvard's singles hit some 130+ serves. I'd not enjoy returning those.

fuzz nation
12-24-2009, 05:51 PM
Even if you put the ball at only half to three-quarter speed down on the feet of the net person when you poach, they can't hit an offensive response from off of their shoelaces. Unless you have a wide open lane to hit through, you always want to be driving the ball down on your opponents and making them hit up.

86golf is right, btw. Aside from double faulting, one of the greatest sins we can commit in a doubles match is volleying into the space that we've just vacated. If I poach to my right, but volley the ball "behind me" to the left, I've given my opponents an open court to hit through.

Oh yeah, it's also important to remember that when you poach, it's much better to be moving diagonally in toward the net instead of parallel to it. When you're closing the net, you have at least some general forward motion and more ability to drive the volley.

Off The Wall
12-24-2009, 08:00 PM
I mostly play Singles. There are a lot of Doubles skills I just don't have.

When I do play Doubles, I really enjoy poaching when my partner serves. I like both the "signaled" poach and the "opportunistic" poach.

My problem is that unless I happen to be poaching a ball that's right in my wheelhouse and I can smash, too darn many balls come back! Seems to me like any ball I can get to I should be able to put away. If I get a good read on the return and make a half-way decent poach, we should win about 90% of the points on my poach - right? All too often the net man gets a racquet on my shot and blocks it back.

Any tips on how to end points immediately on a poach?

You make it sound as if you are expecting to be putting away 70%-90% of your poaches. Expect nothing of the sort until your shot has bounced twice.

IOW, expect your opponent to block it back somehow; that way, you'll be ready to react to it.

Blake0
12-24-2009, 09:07 PM
Where to aim your poaches too:
1.) open court.
2.) At net player (make sure to keep it low or hit it hard and prepare for a second or third shot to finish off the point)
3.) Angle volley ( move an opponent offcourt to open up court for follow up volley if necessary)
4.) At baseline person, but try to aim around the service line that stays low so your opponent has to hit up on it to hit it, so you have a chance for a second volley/smash.
5.) Drop volley (prepare for the net person if he reaches it, be almost on top of the net for the following volley if you hit a good one, risky shot though, if not hit well..you set yourself up)
6.) Deep at your baseline person, look for a following volley if possible, used to keep the point neutral, or the opponent at a little advantage if it sits up, possibly keep advantage if a good volley.
7.) Lob net person. Not something you would do on poaches, because if you mess up the ball will go out or you'll get smashed on. If it works, start closing in on the side you hit the lob and prepare to poach/smash the ball.

1 is the best/safest choice, 7 is the riskiest/worst. although #5 can be really risky depending on the person.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 09:09 PM
You make it sound as if you are expecting to be putting away 70%-90% of your poaches. Expect nothing of the sort until your shot has bounced twice.

IOW, expect your opponent to block it back somehow; that way, you'll be ready to react to it.

Seems to me that if I'm 2 feet from the net with the ball on my racquet, I SHOULD be able to win the point outright 70%-90% of the time. If not, I just as well not poach. You make a good point though. I get it.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 09:19 PM
Even if you put the ball at only half to three-quarter speed down on the feet of the net person when you poach, they can't hit an offensive response from off of their shoelaces. Unless you have a wide open lane to hit through, you always want to be driving the ball down on your opponents and making them hit up.

Unless I happen to get a nice sitter, most of my poaches are probably going half-speed at or near the net person. They seem to be fairly adept at blocking those balls into the empty court on my side. They're not hitting winners, because one of us will track it down and hit it back. It's just discouraging because it seems to me like we should be winning those points outright, and instead they're starting out fairly neutral.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 09:22 PM
Blake0 - thanks. 1, 2, 3 seem like the best options. 5 & 7 will probably get me killed by either my opponents or my partner.

Blake0
12-24-2009, 09:29 PM
Blake0 - thanks. 1, 2, 3 seem like the best options. 5 & 7 will probably get me killed by either my opponents or my partner.

1,2,3 is what you'll need to be able to do to win most points by poaching. Others are just there if you don't really have these 3 as a option in certain situations, plus you can add your own creative shots in other situations too.

USERNAME
12-24-2009, 10:28 PM
I mostly play Singles. There are a lot of Doubles skills I just don't have.

When I do play Doubles, I really enjoy poaching when my partner serves. I like both the "signaled" poach and the "opportunistic" poach.

My problem is that unless I happen to be poaching a ball that's right in my wheelhouse and I can smash, too darn many balls come back! Seems to me like any ball I can get to I should be able to put away. If I get a good read on the return and make a half-way decent poach, we should win about 90% of the points on my poach - right? All too often the net man gets a racquet on my shot and blocks it back.

Any tips on how to end points immediately on a poach?

You dont NEED to win the point off the poach. While it happens pretty often and is nice, the main goal of the poach is to put you in an aggressive position to easily take the point. Put the ball right at the net mans feet, jam him so all he can do is pop the ball up (if he gets it back.) While this is going on, your partner should be at least at the service line to cover you and cut down any weak reply from your opponents. If he/she is on the baseline, they dont know how doubles works.

USERNAME
12-24-2009, 10:36 PM
Oh also, and this may sound mean, hit the net man (if this is male dubs.) Im not talking about in the gut or face, hit their legs or feet. I do this a ton in 18-u dubs at Nats and ITFs and it works really well.

Geezer Guy
12-25-2009, 07:43 AM
Oh also, and this may sound mean, hit the net man (if this is male dubs.) Im not talking about in the gut or face, hit their legs or feet. I do this a ton in 18-u dubs at Nats and ITFs and it works really well.

Actually, I'm kinda thinking that's part of my problem. When I was playing 3.5 I could hit "at" the netman and usually win the point outright. Wasn't doing any "headhunting", just hitting his feet, jamming into his body, etc. Now against 4.0 and sometimes 4.5 players, those balls are coming back. I need to try harder to hit away from the netman (and away from the baseline man, too).

LeeD
12-25-2009, 08:29 AM
I also have been accused of just hitting to opposing netman's feet, not cleanly putting the ball away.
In my defense, I can say I poach on much tougher balls, as my partners usually have no serve to speak of, and the returns go faster and lower, CC and farther from me.
OTOH, my partners can just stand in place and intercept a slow moving backspin head high return to put it away cleanly.
And once a net exchange starts, all 4 inside the service line, there are very few putaways unless the ball is popped up high or defensively returned short and slow. The whole point if volley exchanges is to probe their low volleys without giving up a high or soft one yourself.

USERNAME
12-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Actually, I'm kinda thinking that's part of my problem. When I was playing 3.5 I could hit "at" the netman and usually win the point outright. Wasn't doing any "headhunting", just hitting his feet, jamming into his body, etc. Now against 4.0 and sometimes 4.5 players, those balls are coming back. I need to try harder to hit away from the netman (and away from the baseline man, too).

If you hit a solid volley at the persons feet, even if they get it back, its gonna be a weak shot. Do not jam the body, EASY to block, you gotta hit low. I usually aim for the knees or lower.

Fedace
12-25-2009, 11:16 AM
what if the returner stands in really close to the service line. I find it in these cases,, you just dont' have the time to cross

LeeD
12-25-2009, 04:10 PM
If a returner stands inside the baseline, just jam him with spins right into his body over and over until he proves he can move out of the way and still hit the ball.
Much tougher for me is the hard hitting baseliner who stands back 6' to return my first flat serves.

USERNAME
12-25-2009, 11:05 PM
what if the returner stands in really close to the service line. I find it in these cases,, you just dont' have the time to cross

Iv not seen this to much above the 4.0 lvl because at around the 4.5-5.0 lvl, standing that close is basically asking to get hit. I have seen it though.

Cindysphinx
12-26-2009, 08:21 AM
I will volley behind myself on a poach in certain situations.

Say it's a signaled poach. I take off. Return is very wide. By the time I reach the ball, I only have a sliver of court to work with if I poach in the direction I've been moving. In that case, volleying a hard angle behind myself will work because my partner was crossing behind me so the court is not wide open.

Also, say I am doing a planned poach in 7.0 mixed when the 3.0 woman is returning. Game plan is to keep the ball away from the 4.0 guy. It's a good bet that the returner is staying back. In that case, I will often try to volley behind myself, angled away from the guy.

If there is no planned poach, none of that stuff works very well . . . .

papa
12-26-2009, 08:48 AM
Today, watched #2 for Harvard's singles hit some 130+ serves. I'd not enjoy returning those.

Is that the kid from Berkley - Aba?

LeeD
12-26-2009, 08:59 AM
I thought it was Abba.
His dad is a regular at our courts, but he (Abba) nevers plays there because he's too good for us old farts. His dad is OK too, but very inconsistent and wild normally.
Lots of old farts play there, the RoseGardenCourts, and at least 5 of them had/have Div1 kids lately. None of the kids play there.
Good at least Abba got to play against a former #1 for UCRiverside.

tennis_balla
12-26-2009, 09:30 AM
Keep in mind that in doubles, court positioning will win you more points then actually having to hit winners or poaching. Being active at the net even if you're not hitting the tennis ball is important and making your presence felt up there. Put the pressure on them and make them feel like any tiny mistake and you'll be all over it.

Its simple things such as moving your position just before your opponent hits the ball to try and get them off their shot for example. I don't mean flailing your arms in the air like a madman :razz: or opening up the alley and daring them to go for it. Stuff like that, move around. Some like to move up when their opponent is about to hit the ball and then back up when their partner is hitting the ball from the baseline.

In terms of poaching the easiest is either down the middle of the court or right at the feet of the net player. Its all about reading the play and your opponent and paying attention to their tendencies as to which shots they usually hit in those situations and then striking quickly at the right moment. Quick feet, controlled hands.

Geezer Guy
12-27-2009, 04:57 PM
... Quick feet, controlled hands.

I like that.

Bagumbawalla
12-27-2009, 06:47 PM
Of course these guys are a little better than most of us, but there are some good examples, here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gyqHjNzFeM&feature=related

Takes a while for this guy to get started, but, basically, correct.

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

And this guy is VERY annoying, but basically correct.

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

Nellie
12-27-2009, 07:46 PM
If possible, aim into the open court, between the netperson and the baseline player - this is winner most times, and once you get used to this angle, it becomes almost automatic in your brain.

If you aim at the net person, aim low (at their feet). You will notice that pros doubles players rarely hit this shot, and I even read that the Bryans specifically train to not hit this shot. Expect the ball to come back, and if it does, it will be a sitter that will allow you to hit an overhead - you should not be in a 'neutral' position.

As an additional thought - you may not be closing in to the net on the poach. Poach is not sideways, but diagonal - almost right at that opponent at net. If you can take a high volley closer to the net, it will be almost straight down, so it is really tough to hit back.

Geezer Guy
12-27-2009, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the videos Bagum. I did like the 2nd and 3rd one. That guy is kind of annoying, but it's good stuff.

Geezer Guy
12-27-2009, 08:18 PM
Thanks Nellie. Let me ask (to anyone)... I think most of my poach volley's are just kind of a regular punch/block volley. I'm not taking a swing at the ball - just blocking it back. So, it tends not to have a lot on it. Should I be taking more of a swing at it?

Zachol82
12-27-2009, 10:06 PM
Really? I thought the strategy was when you're at the net you hit the ball at the closest opponent, and when you're at the baseline you hit the ball at the furthest away opponent (unless in either case you're in a position to hit the ball away from both opponents).

I thought a net player hitting to a baseliner, or a baseline player hitting to a net player was NOT a good strategy.

When you're at the net, only hit at the opponent's net player if they suck or if you're sure you can put that shot away. If the opponent's net player returns it, then you have even less time to react to it. A ball coming off your racket, striking your opponent's net player's racket and coming back to you all happen in less than a second, assuming decent volleys.

It is usually better for you, at the net, to volley it wide and out of the court if your opponent has a person at baseline. Chances are the ball will come back to you and you can put it away behind your opponent's net player. There is also a chance of a lob coming, try to overhead it...if you can't let your partner get it and reset to a different strategy. There is NO WAY your opponent at baseline should be able to hit to where you cannot reach it, unless it is a lob as aforementioned.

There is no definitely rule saying you should hit the ball to this person or that person, it all depends on who you're facing and how you play.

Here's a drawing because I have nothing better to do:
http://i46.tinypic.com/2ibghmq.jpg

See how after you volley the ball out wide, your opponent at baseline will not have much room but to either hit it to you, where you can get it, cross-court, where you should be able to reach it from that angle, down your alley where you can reach it, or lob it.

The small red-line protruding from your body is to represent the distance from you to the net and from you to the left sideline as well as the center service line. These distances should be equal, despite the drawing, for maximum court coverage when you're at the net. Most people make the mistake of standing in the middle of the service court/box, which leaves you too far from the net and too far from the left sideline to cover down-the-alley shots.

Cindysphinx
12-28-2009, 03:53 AM
Thanks Nellie. Let me ask (to anyone)... I think most of my poach volley's are just kind of a regular punch/block volley. I'm not taking a swing at the ball - just blocking it back. So, it tends not to have a lot on it. Should I be taking more of a swing at it?

NO!! :)

You've got a lot going on already -- you are moving, ball is moving. You do not want a big ol' backswing messing you up.

Volley pace comes from your legs/body, not your arm. If you aren't getting enough pop on your poached volleys, make sure you are moving forward toward the net (so you can't start superclose to the net or you won't be able to move forward). Make sure you're getting a good shoulder turn. Also, make sure you are close to the ball. If you reach, you won't have any power.

I'm having the same problem with crummy, ill-timed poached volleys. Still, a lot of these balls don't come back because they are aimed into the gap between opponents. Nevertheless, this is something I am actively working on because I think it will win me a lot of matches.

You know . . . .

I was in the ladies locker room at a snazzy country club last season. I had time to kill, so I was reading the bulletin board. There was an instructional piece from one of their pros about poaching. It said something like, "You should poach at least twice during your match. Go do it!!!!"

Twice? There's a pro out there who is happy if his students poach just twice during a match?

I stood there thinking a better goal is twice per service game. I sort of feel if I don't hit two volley winners when my partner is serving, I haven't done my job at net.

larry10s
12-28-2009, 05:18 AM
NO!! :)



You know . . . .

I sort of feel if I don't hit two volley winners when my partner is serving, I haven't done my job at net.

with that attitude you can be my partner anytime.:)

86golf
12-28-2009, 05:39 AM
When you're at the net, only hit at the opponent's net player if they suck or if you're sure you can put that shot away. If the opponent's net player returns it, then you have even less time to react to it. A ball coming off your racket, striking your opponent's net player's racket and coming back to you all happen in less than a second, assuming decent volleys.

It is usually better for you, at the net, to volley it wide and out of the court if your opponent has a person at baseline. Chances are the ball will come back to you and you can put it away behind your opponent's net player. There is also a chance of a lob coming, try to overhead it...if you can't let your partner get it and reset to a different strategy. There is NO WAY your opponent at baseline should be able to hit to where you cannot reach it, unless it is a lob as aforementioned.

There is no definitely rule saying you should hit the ball to this person or that person, it all depends on who you're facing and how you play.

Here's a drawing because I have nothing better to do:
http://i46.tinypic.com/2ibghmq.jpg

See how after you volley the ball out wide, your opponent at baseline will not have much room but to either hit it to you, where you can get it, cross-court, where you should be able to reach it from that angle, down your alley where you can reach it, or lob it.

The small red-line protruding from your body is to represent the distance from you to the net and from you to the left sideline as well as the center service line. These distances should be equal, despite the drawing, for maximum court coverage when you're at the net. Most people make the mistake of standing in the middle of the service court/box, which leaves you too far from the net and too far from the left sideline to cover down-the-alley shots.

This is a nice drawing, but I think you've missed the point of this thread...Poaching. You're example is net man staying home on the return and even such, many trained players will disagree with your logic.

W Cats
12-28-2009, 06:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachol82
When you're at the net, only hit at the opponent's net player if they suck or if you're sure you can put that shot away. If the opponent's net player returns it, then you have even less time to react to it. A ball coming off your racket, striking your opponent's net player's racket and coming back to you all happen in less than a second, assuming decent volleys.

It is usually better for you, at the net, to volley it wide and out of the court if your opponent has a person at baseline. Chances are the ball will come back to you and you can put it away behind your opponent's net player. There is also a chance of a lob coming, try to overhead it...if you can't let your partner get it and reset to a different strategy. There is NO WAY your opponent at baseline should be able to hit to where you cannot reach it, unless it is a lob as aforementioned.

There is no definitely rule saying you should hit the ball to this person or that person, it all depends on who you're facing and how you play.

Here's a drawing because I have nothing better to do:


See how after you volley the ball out wide, your opponent at baseline will not have much room but to either hit it to you, where you can get it, cross-court, where you should be able to reach it from that angle, down your alley where you can reach it, or lob it.

The small red-line protruding from your body is to represent the distance from you to the net and from you to the left sideline as well as the center service line. These distances should be equal, despite the drawing, for maximum court coverage when you're at the net. Most people make the mistake of standing in the middle of the service court/box, which leaves you too far from the net and too far from the left sideline to cover down-the-alley shots.


I disagree, unless it's a floater of a return in which case you can do pretty much anything with it. If it's a hard hit return, look at the percentages of hitting your set-up shot. You have a pretty slim corridor of hitting your shot, a pretty wide corridor of hitting it back to him, and an equally wide if not wider corridor of hitting it out because you not only have to hit for the angle but the shot is also very depth sensitive.

larry10s
12-28-2009, 06:35 AM
When you're at the net, only hit at the opponent's net player if they suck or if you're sure you can put that shot away. If the opponent's net player returns it, then you have even less time to react to it. A ball coming off your racket, striking your opponent's net player's racket and coming back to you all happen in less than a second, assuming decent volleys.

It is usually better for you, at the net, to volley it wide and out of the court if your opponent has a person at baseline. Chances are the ball will come back to you and you can put it away behind your opponent's net player. There is also a chance of a lob coming, try to overhead it...if you can't let your partner get it and reset to a different strategy. There is NO WAY your opponent at baseline should be able to hit to where you cannot reach it, unless it is a lob as aforementioned.

There is no definitely rule saying you should hit the ball to this person or that person, it all depends on who you're facing and how you play.

Here's a drawing because I have nothing better to do:
http://i46.tinypic.com/2ibghmq.jpg

See how after you volley the ball out wide, your opponent at baseline will not have much room but to either hit it to you, where you can get it, cross-court, where you should be able to reach it from that angle, down your alley where you can reach it, or lob it.

The small red-line protruding from your body is to represent the distance from you to the net and from you to the left sideline as well as the center service line. These distances should be equal, despite the drawing, for maximum court coverage when you're at the net. Most people make the mistake of standing in the middle of the service court/box, which leaves you too far from the net and too far from the left sideline to cover down-the-alley shots.

i use that target but often i dont get enough angle between the baseliner and the net man so the baseliner gets to it and resets the point. yes the next shot could be a out away overhead off their lob or a winning volley off their reply since they are out of position and there is more room to hit a winner.

larry10s
12-28-2009, 06:38 AM
i like to use the angle volley in front of the net person to vollley past them. hitting to thier feet is my last target. too many times ive had them get a racquet on it and pop a lob volley by luck over my head. if possible id rather not hit at a person but around/past them. this goes for overheads too

tennis_balla
12-28-2009, 07:12 AM
Nicely drawn diagram but thats not a poach. Thats a return hit directly at you where you usually don't have much time to react, and if you do have time then its an easy put away right it between your opponents going cross court.
If it was a poach you would end up with your positioning at or past the middle service line after contact, in which case if you hit it back to the player at the baseline you'd of course get beat up the alley even if you tried aiming for the doubles alley which would be a higher risk shot and no necessary. The best play is still at your opponents feet who is at the net or right down the middle in between your two opponents.

Edit:

Also, your opponent would hopefully never stand that close to the net while his partner is returning ;)

W Cats
12-28-2009, 08:33 AM
I've always used as a general in doubles: if you have the shot between the two players go for it, other wise - short to short and long to long. In short to short go for the feet of the netman as a set-up shot for the likely hood of the pop-up reply that you can put away. The occasional lob volley as the situation allows really can take the wind out of their sails.

naylor
12-28-2009, 02:22 PM
I was playing doubles with my son for the first time - he's a good junior (12 yrs. old) but much more used / coached to playing singles, rather than doubles. So, I gave him some basic instructions in terms of what to do when I was serving:-
1. he should stand in the middle of the service box;
2. his volleying move should be diagonally forward (rather than across and parallel to the net);
3. if I served wide, he should follow the ball to cover the tramlines (the clever stuff, where he comes across to take the weak cross-court return, and I move across to cover his trams, is for the advanced S&V session... it may take sometime till we get to that one...);
4. if I served down the T or into the receiver, he should get ready for a poach, by taking a step diagonally forward towards the middle of the net (making the court narrower for the returner) - because of his height, we're always exposed to a defensive lob over his head, but he can't do anything about this and becomes my job to cover, and by him moving slightly forward and across he gets out of my way early if I need to call for the ball and a full switch but I feel I can still attack the ball with a high volley;
5. on second serves if I haven't got enough action on the ball (slice, kick) to jam or move the receiver more than a couple of steps, he should simply split-step, get his weight on the balls of his feet and keep racket in front - and see what happens;
6. volley placement when intercepting the returner's ball - keep it simple:-
i. ball comfortably above net height - punch / smash for winner down past the opposition netperson (ideally, to knees/feet of rackethand), recover;
ii. ball above but close to net height - punch to gap between opposition players, ideally to good depth, recover, get set for next volley;
iii. ball below net height (must hit up) - punch right back at returner, ideally deep (so, well away from opposition netperson, and ideally also forcing returner to make room to play their next shot), recover to middle of service box (more defensive position), get set for next volley.

I also told him the key for a successful volley intercept - on anything other than the simplest putaway - was that he should be able to recover after he's played the volley, ready to cover the opponent's next shot, so that it's still two of us covering the court. If not sure he could do that, then he should leave it for me coming in from behind.

Cindysphinx
12-28-2009, 02:40 PM
^I told my 12 year old son to clean his room.

He ignored me.

naylor
12-28-2009, 03:34 PM
^I told my 12 year old son to clean his room.
He ignored me.

Mine does, too.

But it's different playing doubles with his old man. When he plays with his mates, his partner will serve and stay at the baseline so the worst that can happen if he gets it wrong is that he eats fur dished by the opponents... but more often than not nothing happens, other than the points go on forever. But when he plays with his old man, the downside is a hard volley between the shoulderblades if he strays across my sights when I'm in full flight, but the upside is he gets set up for a quick kill and "he's the man!". And boy, does he like winning...

And it also makes it good, effective, clinical doubles play - a bonus lesson.

Zachol82
12-28-2009, 04:24 PM
Haha oops, this thread is about poaching isn't it...

Anyhow, the above scenario will still work if you're used to playing net. Fast shots coming from someone at baseline isn't that difficult to return if you're expecting it. If it doesn't work for you then chances are your volleying skill needs improvement. True that hitting at that angle at a fast paced shot coming toward you is difficult though.

Now where's the "Delete" button?

Geezer Guy
12-28-2009, 04:59 PM
Haha oops, this thread is about poaching isn't it...

Anyhow, the above scenario will still work if you're used to playing net. Fast shots coming from someone at baseline isn't that difficult to return if you're expecting it. If it doesn't work for you then chances are your volleying skill needs improvement. True that hitting at that angle at a fast paced shot coming toward you is difficult though.

Now where's the "Delete" button?

No worries - it WAS a very nicely done diagram. Maybe you can use it for something else sometime.

When I'm stationary at net, I can handle a fast shot from the baseline. My problem is when I get those fast shots when I'm trying to poach.

Geezer Guy
12-28-2009, 05:04 PM
... Volley pace comes from your legs/body, not your arm. If you aren't getting enough pop on your poached volleys, make sure you are moving forward toward the net (so you can't start superclose to the net or you won't be able to move forward). Make sure you're getting a good shoulder turn. Also, make sure you are close to the ball. If you reach, you won't have any power.

...

I stood there thinking a better goal is twice per service game. I sort of feel if I don't hit two volley winners when my partner is serving, I haven't done my job at net.

Good points about the shoulder turn - AND NOT REACHING. Too many times I'm stretching for the ball and can just barely pop it back over the net. Easy pickins for the opposing netman.

Agree with you about poaching frequently. Twice a game is a good MINIMUM.

Geezer Guy
12-28-2009, 05:06 PM
I've always used as a general in doubles: if you have the shot between the two players go for it, other wise - short to short and long to long. In short to short go for the feet of the netman as a set-up shot for the likely hood of the pop-up reply that you can put away. The occasional lob volley as the situation allows really can take the wind out of their sails.

Yep - pretty much what I've been taught, although I'm not a big fan of the lob volley. (I play too much like an old timer as it is.)

Geezer Guy
12-28-2009, 05:09 PM
i like to use the angle volley in front of the net person to vollley past them. hitting to thier feet is my last target. too many times ive had them get a racquet on it and pop a lob volley by luck over my head. if possible id rather not hit at a person but around/past them. this goes for overheads too

This is my new plan, I think. I (hardly ever say this but I) can't wait till I play doubles again.