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Cindysphinx
10-30-2010, 01:49 PM
Say you are captain of a 7.5 combo doubles team. You have a strong 4.0 player, and you have to pick a partner for her.

Even though the 4.0 is by far the strongest player on the team, she cannot win a doubles match by herself. She needs the right type of partner. If she has the wrong kind of partner, she could conceivably be beaten in a game of Xtreme Keep-Away. Opponents can be expected to target the partner and avoid the 4.0 with every shot.

Here are the 3.5 players you could choose to play with the 4.0. And yes, the names have been changed to protect . . . well, to protect me! :)

Linda: Linda has good placement on groundstrokes but lacks pace. Steady overall but cannot finish a point. Weaknesses are footspeed/footwork/movement and shot variety. Tends to get pinned in the back corner with two at net, or comes to net but stops in no-man's land and gets passed. Weak overhead, weak but reliable serve.

Emily: Has a penetrating serve. Struggles with volleys and overheads. Tends to push/lob FH groundies and struggles with BH. Does not come to net and lacks passing shot/lob when pinned in back corner. Weak positioning and court awareness.

Wendy: Singles player. Quick and fit, gets every ball back from the baseline. Does not volley or poach. Uncomfortable at net and will backpedal; will not transition. Struggles when opponents take the net due to lack of lob and dipper, but will make them volley.

Carol: Good agility, quickness and net play. Will transition but can make sitter first volleys. Makes too many UEs by being overly ambitious, overhitting, or bad footwork. Good court sense/positioning/awareness. Effective serve.

Mary: Hits a very heavy ball from the baseline. Volleys/overhead are great some days but poor other days. Poor agility. Good positioning. Can sometimes DF 3-4 times in a service game.

Who would you pick?

OrangePower
10-30-2010, 03:00 PM
Say you are captain of a 7.5 combo doubles team. You have a strong 4.0 player, and you have to pick a partner for her.

Even though the 4.0 is by far the strongest player on the team, she cannot win a doubles match by herself. She needs the right type of partner. If she has the wrong kind of partner, she could conceivably be beaten in a game of Xtreme Keep-Away. Opponents can be expected to target the partner and avoid the 4.0 with every shot.

Here are the 3.5 players you could choose to play with the 4.0. And yes, the names have been changed to protect . . . well, to protect me! :)

Linda: Linda has good placement on groundstrokes but lacks pace. Steady overall but cannot finish a point. Weaknesses are footspeed/footwork/movement and shot variety. Tends to get pinned in the back corner with two at net, or comes to net but stops in no-man's land and gets passed. Weak overhead, weak but reliable serve.

Emily: Has a penetrating serve. Struggles with volleys and overheads. Tends to push/lob FH groundies and struggles with BH. Does not come to net and lacks passing shot/lob when pinned in back corner. Weak positioning and court awareness.

Wendy: Singles player. Quick and fit, gets every ball back from the baseline. Does not volley or poach. Uncomfortable at net and will backpedal; will not transition. Struggles when opponents take the net due to lack of lob and dipper, but will make them volley.

Carol: Good agility, quickness and net play. Will transition but can make sitter first volleys. Makes too many UEs by being overly ambitious, overhitting, or bad footwork. Good court sense/positioning/awareness. Effective serve.

Mary: Hits a very heavy ball from the baseline. Volleys/overhead are great some days but poor other days. Poor agility. Good positioning. Can sometimes DF 3-4 times in a service game.

Who would you pick?

Sounds like the 4.0 is a good player but not an 'aggressive' dubs player, in that she is not looking to poach and/or position herself more assertively.

So she needs a partner who is steady, has few unforced errors, and can basically keep the ball consistently in play to give the 4.0 more opportunities to get involved in the point.

So, I would pick Linda. Emily, Carol, and Mary sound too inconsistent (in different ways). Wendy is a possibility, but probably not good to combine a player with weak positioning and court awareness with a player who will not be active in looking for the ball.

Nor'easter
10-30-2010, 03:18 PM
I would pick Carol because it sounds like she has some natural athletic ability. If she is as quick and agile as you say she probably has pretty good footwork. Good footwork is key successful shotmaking. It's so important to have a good serve to set your partner up for the 'ol one-two at net. Actually, all of her attributes sound like she would make a great doubles partner. Perhaps she needs to develop a little more patience in hopes of reducing UE's.

hpaiste
10-30-2010, 03:22 PM
Carol, but if Mary is having a good day, stick her in.

Dino Lagaffe
10-30-2010, 03:42 PM
I often played doubles for my league team, and had the best results with the objectively worst player on the team. We played well together and enjoyed playing together, one reason being that our roles on the court were quite clear. We both respected each others efforts and both won and lost as a team.

It's hard to say which 3.5 would fit the best with the 4.0, as sometimes personalities can be more important than playing standard. The psychology of it all can never be overestimated when more than one person play together... Let's suppose that the 4.0 works well socially with all the possible candidates, then I still have a hard time telling who would be the better fit, as I don't know the 4.0's strengths and weaknesses or playing style...

So, I'm left with picking somebody based on good classic doubles skills, serve and volley. In that case I'd pick Carol, who's got good netplay and an effective serve.

Cindysphinx
10-30-2010, 05:42 PM
The 4.0 player hits a sick topspin ball off of both sides. She has a good first and second serve that will generate some weak returns. She can get to most anything. Her technique is good on all shots. She doesn't miss much. She will probably stay at the baseline and do her damage from there.

The opponents will decide after the warm-up that their strategy will be to lob the 4.0, target the 3.5 at the net, and do whatever it takes to keep the ball away from the 4.0.

NoSkillzAndy
10-30-2010, 08:56 PM
I would actually go against the norm here and chose a partner that can hang with the baseline alongside your 4.0. Put them in a two-back formation for most of the match and have them beat the other team with consistency and lack of a target for put-aways. Although giving up the net can be fatal in doubles, at the recreational level a good defense can often shut out all but the best offenses.

Option two would be a more traditional route: picking a partner that can hang with standard one-up one-back and two-up doubles. Linda or Carol seem to be the best fits for this. A consistent serve will allow your 4.0 to get involved in Linda's serve points and her steady overall play will help as well. Put-aways are a luxury but not a necessity as your 4.0 can handle that task. Carol would be a good choice as well, as long as she doesn't make too many errors. Her role should be to play smart & steady and to put away easy shots without going for anything too crazy.

Cindysphinx
10-30-2010, 09:13 PM
I would actually go against the norm here and chose a partner that can hang with the baseline alongside your 4.0. Put them in a two-back formation for most of the match and have them beat the other team with consistency and lack of a target for put-aways. Although giving up the net can be fatal in doubles, at the recreational level a good defense can often shut out all but the best offenses.



Woldn't that weigh in favor of Wendy? Just play two-back the whole match except when the 4.0 is at net?

120mphBodyServe
10-30-2010, 10:07 PM
I'd pick Mary and tell her to hit the gym, and start working on her movement.
Some court movement drills would be most useful. And start employing the methodology of modern tennis footwork.
Look up the videos on youtube from YellowFuzzyBalls.

NoSkillzAndy
10-31-2010, 12:02 AM
Woldn't that weigh in favor of Wendy? Just play two-back the whole match except when the 4.0 is at net?

Ah yes, I forgot to include her name. Definitely Wendy for the two-back plan :)

Dags
10-31-2010, 02:47 AM
It's hard to say which 3.5 would fit the best with the 4.0, as sometimes personalities can be more important than playing standard. The psychology of it all can never be overestimated when more than one person play together...
This is spot on. Ask the 4.0 who she'd like to play with.

Cindysphinx
10-31-2010, 06:48 AM
The 4.0 is fairly new to the team. She couldn't possibly know anything about personalities.

Ken Honecker
10-31-2010, 06:51 AM
For what it's worth my first choice is Linda followed by Wendy who should get more comfortable with doubles as the season progresses.

Really all I look for in a partner is someone who isn't going to kill us. They can push and I'll go for all the winners.

rich s
10-31-2010, 06:50 PM
........ Ask the 4.0 who she'd like to play with.

The 4.0 is fairly new to the team. She couldn't possibly know anything about personalities.

I agree with Dags...... but she doesn't have to know personalities.... if she's seen or practiced with any of the options you have to pair her with, she should be able to tell you who she'd prefer to play with.....

As a player, I've never understood why a captain would tell me who I am going to play with rather than ask me who I'd be most comfortable playing with......

I think you'd get the best result asking the 4.0 who'd she prefer to play with....

as a side note.... I'd tell the 4.0 not to "show her hand" in warm up....

my $.02

Cindysphinx
10-31-2010, 06:54 PM
She doesn't know these potential partners. In other words, she couldn't pick them out of a line-up. If I ask her, she will say, "I don't know. I've never met them."

I could describe them to her as I've described them to you, but I would not wish to taint her opinion of them. My observation/opinion is only my opinion, and just because these ladies play as described with me does not mean they would not play differently with her.

I would think that she will handle playing with a new partner exactly as I do: Talk to them before the match begins to learn how they work, watch during warm-up, and take it from there.

rich s
10-31-2010, 07:08 PM
If you were to rate the partners 1-5 with 1 being the best of the bunch....and 5 being the least talented....... who would be #1 and #2?

I'd pair the 4.0 with the #1 or #2 of your potential partner list.

If there is too great a disparity between the 4.0 and her partner, they are going to pick on the partner, so pair the 4.0 with the stronger/strongest of the potential partners......

NLBwell
11-01-2010, 12:31 AM
I can't really know, but here is my reasoning:
Don't use Mary - don't want to waste a strong 4.0 when you might lose the match on double faults.
Initially I agreed with Orange Power to use Linda, but if your 4.0 isn't aggressive in taking shots, you likely will end up with every ball hit to Linda since with little power attacking them, the opponents can direct every ball where they want.
From your description, Emily is very weak except for her serve, probably not a good pairing.
Wendy may be able to keep the opponents back and at least put some pressure on them, so they can't direct the ball where they want and your 4.0 may get some chances to hit some shots in the points. May be a pretty good pairing.
Best pairnig may be with Carol if she can consistently hold her serve. If she serves well, it gives the 4.0 a chance to take over the point quickly off a floating return. Also, it is harder for the opponents to pick where they want to hit the ball if they are being pressured from the net. Having a partner better than her may also make Carol less likely to press and overhit and she may become more consistent.
Try some practice matches with both Carol and Wendy and see how they do and also note when they are having problems (both at net, both at baseline, opponents 2 up, etc.).

larry10s
11-01-2010, 04:22 AM
id plck wendy. they wont pick on the 4.0 at the net and the strong groundies from the backcourt should give poaching opportunities. they will have to go to wendy when she is back.
id have them play 2 back alot and let the 4.0 come foward.
the steadiness of wendy will help the 4.0 win
jmho
id rather have someone who is consistent as a partner.we can work around their deficienceis. (ie 2 back or have wendy"s nose on the net so a framer is a winner and ill take care of the rest when wendy is at net if her volleys are that bad)

spaceman_spiff
11-01-2010, 05:07 AM
When I was just getting back into tennis and was playing 7.5 mixed, my best results came with two partners who both played like the Carol character above.

The reason for this was that my serves and returns often caused the other pair to pop up a lot of floaters, which my aggressive partners were able to put away with ease. On the flip side, their solid serves and aggressive groundstrokes often gave me a chance to poach as well.

The number of easy points set up or put away due to their aggressive play more than offset the number of UE's, DF's, etc. Also, knowing that my partner could finish the point allowed me to relax and just go for setup shots, so I didn't find myself losing points by going for too much. On top of that, it seemed that my ability to set up or put away points calmed them down and helped them avoid going for too much at the wrong time.

The same is true in men's doubles. If I have to play with a weaker partner, my best results are with people who can finish points like Carol rather than people who are consistent but not aggressive.

So, if Miss 4.0 can serve and return very effectively and set up put-away chances, the best pair might be her + Carol, where Miss 4.0 is the setup player and Carol is their to put it away.

larry10s
11-01-2010, 06:35 AM
Say you are captain of a 7.5 combo doubles team. You have a strong 4.0 player, and you have to pick a partner for her.

Even though the 4.0 is by far the strongest player on the team, she cannot win a doubles match by herself. She needs the right type of partner. If she has the wrong kind of partner, she could conceivably be beaten in a game of Xtreme Keep-Away. Opponents can be expected to target the partner and avoid the 4.0 with every shot.

Here are the 3.5 players you could choose to play with the 4.0. And yes, the names have been changed to protect . . . well, to protect me! :)

Linda: Linda has good placement on groundstrokes but lacks pace. Steady overall but cannot finish a point. Weaknesses are footspeed/footwork/movement and shot variety. Tends to get pinned in the back corner with two at net, or comes to net but stops in no-man's land and gets passed. Weak overhead, weak but reliable serve.

Emily: Has a penetrating serve. Struggles with volleys and overheads. Tends to push/lob FH groundies and struggles with BH. Does not come to net and lacks passing shot/lob when pinned in back corner. Weak positioning and court awareness.

Wendy: Singles player. Quick and fit, gets every ball back from the baseline. Does not volley or poach. Uncomfortable at net and will backpedal; will not transition. Struggles when opponents take the net due to lack of lob and dipper, but will make them volley.

Carol: Good agility, quickness and net play. Will transition but can make sitter first volleys. Makes too many UEs by being overly ambitious, overhitting, or bad footwork. Good court sense/positioning/awareness. Effective serve.

Mary: Hits a very heavy ball from the baseline. Volleys/overhead are great some days but poor other days. Poor agility. Good positioning. Can sometimes DF 3-4 times in a service game.

Who would you pick?

shhhhhhhhhhh......... you can tell me...........which one is you??:wink:

Cindysphinx
11-01-2010, 06:55 AM
^Shhhh. I am the 4.0. :)

TourTenor
11-01-2010, 10:25 AM
I was going to suggest asking the 4.0 which player she plays better with ...

escii_35
11-01-2010, 02:44 PM
As the 4.0 who can't put a static volley away at the net I want someone who can or a pard who will double back and pray our opponents are not a bad fit.

Wendy or Carol for me.

Mary maybe.

Linda and Emily would be bad fits.

Spokewench
11-01-2010, 03:59 PM
I'd go with Carol.

TNT34
11-01-2010, 04:39 PM
I agree that you need to consider the strengths/weaknesses/style of the stronger player, but in my experience the critical thing is how the weaker player reacts when thrown in with a stronger players. Some people play better with a stronger partner, but some feel too much pressure, get overwhelmed, and do worse.

So I'd probably go with Wendy. She sounds like the most mentally tough and competitive player of the group, and I'm guessing that she'll pick it up when playing with a stronger partner, even though she may not feel comfortable playing doubles. My concern about Carol is that playing with a stronger partner may exacerbate her tendency to be overly ambitious and overhit.

T.

kevoT
11-01-2010, 04:56 PM
carol. nuff said :).

larry10s
11-01-2010, 05:00 PM
ok cindy ...... shhhhhhhh.......... you can tell me......
how do you see the pros and cons of playing with each partner and who you are leaning towards playing with

Cindysphinx
11-02-2010, 07:51 AM
I paired the 4.0 with Emily, and they won easily.

It basically turned into the 4.0 crushing the ball, with Emily staying out of the way. Eventually Emily would get an easy ball at net that she would put away. I saw Emily pushing high lobs from the baseline, just staying in the point until the 4.0 could do something.

You know, I personally wouldn't enjoy playing with the 4.0, I've decided. My role on the court would be to stay out of the way and avoid being picked on, and that's no fun. I prefer the challenge of knowing that I *have* to make a considerable contribution and play my best or we'll lose.

LuckyR
11-02-2010, 10:44 AM
You don't mention Emily's consistancy. If it is good, I would go with her, if not I would go with Wendy.

Cindysphinx
11-02-2010, 01:27 PM
You don't mention Emily's consistancy. If it is good, I would go with her, if not I would go with Wendy.

Depends on how you define "consistency." If Emily can reach the ball, she will shovel it back some kind of way more often than not. Is this "consistency"? It doesn't feel like it when you're her partner and balls are being bounced off your forehead because Emily is being unnecessarily defensive. But it is the sort of consistency that will win you some singles matches at 3.5.

LuckyR
11-04-2010, 08:07 AM
Depends on how you define "consistency." If Emily can reach the ball, she will shovel it back some kind of way more often than not. Is this "consistency"? It doesn't feel like it when you're her partner and balls are being bounced off your forehead because Emily is being unnecessarily defensive. But it is the sort of consistency that will win you some singles matches at 3.5.

Ha, ha. That is a great visual. Yes, in doubles, getting a shot to land within the lines and not hit the net isn't good enough. That's why it is more difficult than singles...

jakemcclain32
11-05-2010, 10:06 PM
Carol, no question.

I'm a net guy, and always have been. Anyone that has consistency at the net will help win you more than a few matches.