Any circumstances where it would be justified to criticise your dubs partner?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Torres, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Those are real world examples. What do you think prompted me to start this thread? In the space of the last 2 months I've been asked fill in on two team matches for the club 2nds - mens dubs and mixed dubs.

    In the mixed, the female partner they assigned to me was producing the most absurd patterns I've ever seen seen of a 'team' level player. From the deuce side she repeatedly served a mid court, mid paced ball with practically no spin or kick right onto the guys forehand:

    - He has a reasonable chance of hitting this for cross court winner
    - He can nail it right at me because he'll be hitting the ball just beyond the the service box or well inside the baseline
    - He can opt to trade cross court with her if he's confident that he'll get the upper hand in the cross court exchange
    - He can lob me and if she can't run we've lost the initiative in the rally and probably also the point.

    All of this would create a higher % likelihood of more points in their favor over the course of a match.

    This continued for 3 of her service games, all of which we lost with me having to work overtime to claw points back, without me saying anything.

    Why continue with a losing pattern? She's obviously not seeing or understanding what the effect is of what's she's doing. The male opponent had a big forehand, so why feed into strength? Why initiate an unsuccessful pattern that continually gives away points? It's like veering off the road into your car towards the cliff edge and not doing anything about it because it would be 'impolite' to say anything.

    So having lost so many points now and having got a sense of our opponents and what the advantageous/disadvantages patterns of play might be, I tell her to serve down the middle onto his BH.

    Low and behold! Guess what happens? We're no longer on the back foot and we stop dropping points. Going down the middle makes it more difficult for him to create an angle on his return. As long as its a decentish serve, its difficult for him to hit towards me when he's having to move or stretch for it. It increases the likelihood of me getting a FH volley into space or at his partner's feet (rather than a BH volley) and it decreases the likelihood of him putting her under pressure with a back to server cross court BH return. Even if he occasionally takes a point off that pattern, over the course of the match, I'd say we're likely to take more points off them than they would be from us with that.

    Losing pattern turned into a winning pattern - something that would never happen with your attitude of anything other than "good shot" is offensive. Successful / unsuccessful patterns of play is massive in dubs. One creates a drip, drip drip of points in your favor, and the other creates a drip drip drip of points in your opponent's favor. Similar thing happened in the mens dubs match I played just with a different pattern of play. It's a same reasoning why a dubs pair who individually might be weaker but know how to play dubs well as a pair will match or beat two players of slightly higher ability but don't gel in the way that they play or patterns/tactics that they adopt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
    #51
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Why all the drama?

    You talked about your partner trying to hit through the net player 19 times. That was an exaggeration, apparently.

    Now you give an example of a woman in mixed who serves wide instead of serving up the middle.

    No need to "criticize." Just say, "Let's serve up the middle and get away from that FH."

    Cindy -- impressed that Torres' partner could ever get a serve to the BH of the male opponent if she serves with no depth, spin or kick
     
    #52
  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    After the match I would probably ask you if you preferred another partner in the future.

    But I think this example is not the same as saying "Anything but "good shot" etc is offensive and annoying."

    Human beings are obviously not perfect, and when we do things together things will be said or situations will arise that are far from ideal. If it is relatively harmless you can either ignore it and take it with a grain of salt or you can feel offended or annoyed. The latter will just be bad for your blood pressure.

    Life's too short to be offended and annoyed about just about anything.
    At least that is my opinion.

    I would focus on the game, the ball, try to have a good time together, the rest is noise and yes when people are involved this noise is not always 100% harmonic. :)
     
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  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    So the summary is: You correctly identified a pattern that wasn't working for your team, suggested to your partner that you change it, made the adjustment, and it worked out for you. That's all good, and I don't think anyone here would suggest otherwise.

    But that's not an example of criticizing your partner. Of course I'm assuming you said it in a way like "X doesn't seem to be working for us, why don't we try Y?" That's just good communication and adapting to the flow of the match.

    Criticizing your partner would be saying something like "Why are you making so many stupid mistakes? You're killing us here!" And I don't see that ever being productive.
     
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  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    The hitting though the net player was a real world example. That was from the mens dubs matches against 3 pairs. More than 19 points available in 18 sets...that's only 3 times per set that he has to attempt to hit through that player from a silly position. Or in this case, it happened mostly over 2 sets - 9 times per set if it happened in a 10 game, 2 set match. Alot more than 9 points on offer here, but those 9 points could be difference between winning and losing.

    I was impressed too. As long as the opponent can't tee off from it, there's not so much to worry about. Even if she DF'd a couple of times, we're still taking more points from that pattern.

    That's just insulting your partner. You can still be critical of someone without insulting them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    But . . . you wrote, "So your partner saying to you, "Trying to hit through the net player is costing us too many points" (after you've tried it 20 times and lost 19 points as a result) you would find offensive?"

    Are you saying your partner tried to hit through the net player 20 times not in one match but over the course of three matches?

    I guess I still don't understand. If you have a partner who is in love with a bad shot, of course you can discuss it with them. That's how partnerships are built. Again, it shouldn't be criticism. It should be a calm, mature discussion about how the two of you can combine your games to best effect.

    By the time I am finished building a partnership with a particular partner, we have everything figured out. We might even agree that some low-percentage or wonky shot is something one of us will use because it works for us, for instance.

    So long as you aren't firing off poorly worded critique's mid-match, I doubt most people will have a problem.
     
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  7. OrangePower

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    No doubt.
    And you can still communicate tactics and strategy to your partner without being critical of them.
    Which apparently is what you did, so I don't see the issue.
     
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  8. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Criticism has no place in doubles. If you have strategy tips that might help get your partner on track, great, but keep the critical comments to yourself. If you are having a bad day, you are already beating yourself up for it, so it just adds insult to injury.
     
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  9. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    ROLF. Great story.
     
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  10. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I will probably regret saying this---and probably about five minutes after I post it---but I am going to say it anyway.

    I think this is a different issue with women than it is with men. I can tell my male partner, "C'mon, Rafa, stop trying to knock it through him and hit it to his partner camped out at the baseline. He hasn't hurt us once yet." He may give me a "go-to-hell" glare, but he probably also recognizes the truth in what I am telling him. I am much more careful about trying to say anything to a female partner, however, because IN MY EXPERIENCE female players are far more likely to take any such comments not as constructive criticism, but as some sort of attack on them personally. The old joke about the wife who asks her husband if the dress she has on makes her butt look big---no, some hardhearted man didn't just make that up for fun. It's a no-win situation, and lots of men have been there. Women think differently than men. On the whole, men will tell you to be honest and they may get mad, but they do want you to tell them the truth. On the whole, women will ask you to be honest, and what they are really asking for MOST OFTEN is affirmation and support. Don't believe me? Talk to a big sample of male tennis players and ask them why they don't play mixed doubles. Ever.

    Personally, I feel that if you get angry or upset when I suggest you change something you are doing because it is not working, it is no worse than for you to expect me to bite my lip and lose rather than risk offending your delicate sensibilities. I'm not saying you shouldn't use some tact and be considerate in your approach, but doggone it, if someone is so sensitive that the mildest critical suggestion pushes them over the edge, they were teetering already. I'm a gentlemen on the court and a good sport, but I refuse to lose simply because my partner can't take some reasonable suggestion during a match. I don't care what your gender is, sometimes as a player, you just have to man up a little bit and get over yourself. Geez.
     
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  11. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Great post, peddler.
     
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  12. RetroSpin

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    The unspoken assumption in all this is that you are obviously correct and your partner is a moron. In some cases that may be correct, but you are seldom the best judge of that, particularly in the middle of a frustrating match.

    I don't intend to minimize the frustration when you are losing because your partner is making basic tactical mistakes. Obviously there is some room to suggest trying something else. It's just that it's such a thin line from that to your partner feeling they are being micromanaged by someone who is not that much better than they are. The last thing I want is my partner freezing because he or she is worried I'm going to criticize them.
     
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  13. dcdoorknob

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    On the flip side, I'd prefer a partner that feels free to point out something that they've noticed about how the match is unfolding (which I may or may not have noticed myself) rather than someone who is terrified to ever say anything to me beyond "good shot."

    I've tried to get better at this, but there have certainly been times in the past I've been so focused on trying to beat the other team with pace that I wasn't noticing that they actually weren't handling the occasional slice or lob that well. I can think of a couple of occasions where a partner pointing this out (regardless of how it was phrased) helped us to compete better than we were.

    Just because two partners are on the same level doesn't mean one can't have an insight that can help the other. Healthy open communication is preferable to 'shut up and keep to yourself'. This is harder with some partners than others, to the extent that 'shut up and keep to yourself' could sometimes be the best option, but that doesn't mean there isn't something better possible between two respectful level headed doubles partners.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
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  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Ok then, let me respond as a male tennis player who does not play mixed dubs. I don't play it because the quality of tennis is lower. As a 4.5 guy if I am playing 9.0 mixed with 4.5 ladies, they are significantly weaker than 4.5 guys (just being objective). To get four equally skilled players on the court I'd have to be playing 10.0 mixed with a 5.0 or 5.5 lady, and they are very rare around here.

    However in my admittedly limited experience with mixed, I find the women to be just as receptive to constructive feedback and team tactics / strategy as the men. So I think your observation is off base.
     
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  15. dcdoorknob

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    I'd agree with this as well. I do play some mixed and haven't noticed a huge difference between genders. Most mixed partners I've had are not particularly thin skinned and I haven't had problems communicating with them. There are some women, obviously, where this isn't the case, but the same is very true of men.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that most of the players that really stick out in my mind as being the MOST receptive to in match tactics/brainstorming/feedback (both giving and receiving, in a productive way) are women. This could easily just by chance due to my own experiences, but it is true for me.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly.

    If you are obviously correct AND your remarks are truly about strategy and tactics, then you will have no trouble leading by example and by using "we" instead of "you."

    Think of it this way. Saying "you" should do such and such is inaccurate, isn't it? You're a team. You both have to execute the correct strategy. So if you struggle to talk to your partner about what "we" should be doing, then you probably are being critical.

    Exactly, again.

    No one here has said you cannot confer with your partner about strategy.

    But it is not appropriate to make unilateral declarations about what your team strategy should be. You both need to understand what is happening on court and what you might do about it, and you need to agree.

    So. Instead of telling your partner not to hit through the net player, better is to have a discussion about where you will both hit your returns. That's not criticism. That's communication.

    It can be even worse than that.

    Say your partner has missed a lot of returns. Say you march up and say, "Come on. Get your returns in play!" What is the very next thing that happens? The player who said it misses a return. And the partner immediately thinks, "You're no better at returning than I am, so get off my case." This is unhelpful.

    Regarding whether this is a gender thing or not, I have no idea. I play 90% of my matches with women. When I play with men, I don't criticize them no matter how horribly they are playing so I don't know how they would react if I did.

    I do remember overhearing a conversation between two male teammates when I played 7.0 mixed. They were laughing because one of their female partners had the audacity to tell him how to play. I guess her criticisms were not appreciated by the menfolk.
     
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  17. dcdoorknob

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    To be fair the guy you are quoting has said twice that a partner saying anything other than 'good shot' to him is offensive and annoying. I personally took that to mean that he did not welcome his partner conferring with him about strategy or making any suggestion (regardless of how it is presented) about ways that he or they could adjust based on how the match is going.
     
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  18. Fintft

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    What's wrong with using that once in a while? Depending on the levels of course...
     
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  19. Fintft

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    But, those don't sound so bad lol
     
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  20. RetroSpin

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    No, in fairness, I said if I was playing with one of the Bryan brothers, they could say anything they wanted to me.

    I'm an experienced player and don't really need criticism or advice from someone who is my level or worse. Look, if you said, I know that guy and his backhand sucks, that's cool. The question posed by the OP however was whether there were circumstances where it would be justified "to criticise" your doubles partner.

    Let's just leave it at this. You may have some great advice for your partner, but as Cindy and I have pointed out, you are really venturing out onto the thin ice when you start handing it out during a match. No matter how you phrase it, it runs the risk of sounding like you're blaming your partner, which in fact you are.
     
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  21. dcdoorknob

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    Right, so you aren't playing with a Bryan brother, so you don't welcome ANY strategic thoughts from your partner.

    Cindy's assertion that no one was saying you can't (or shouldn't) confer with your (non Bryan Bro) partner about strategy is incorrect, because that is exactly what you are saying.

    That was my point.

    I disagree obviously.
     
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  22. RetroSpin

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    I am getting tired of having to repeat myself. I already said if you wanted to say, his backhand sucks, etc , that's ok. I suppose you could call that conferring. If you want to ask for my advice during a match, I'm ok with that. I just do not want to hear any comments about my shot selection or form, not unless you are way better than me.

    Again, the original question did not deal with conferring on strategy. It asked if it was ever ok to criticize your partner. I think we are beating a dead horse here. I can't ever recall having this come up in a match. Cindy and I are on the same page, but it's just our opinion. You can deal with the situation your own way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
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  23. dcdoorknob

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    Are you sure? It really doesn't seem to me that you are.

    So if you were playing with Cindy, or anyone who is not better than you, and that person said these things to you:

    "Wow. He has a great volley. Should we try lobbing his backhand?"

    or

    "Let's serve up the middle and get away from that FH."

    How would you react? From your posts in this thread, it sure seems to me that you would react negatively, and do not approve of these type of comments, suggesting that you consider changing something about the way you are playing. But these are direct quotes of suggestions that Cindy has suggested that one partner can say to another in this thread.

    I mean you just said you don't want to hear any comments about your shot selection, but those 2 quotes seem to be quite clearly about shot selection. She likes saying WE instead of YOU, which is fine, but it still is clearly at least half directed towards you and about adjusting shot selection. If you are fine with a partner who is not clearly better than you saying these things to you, you have a weird way of articulating that.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't see much difference between what Retrospin and I are saying.

    OK: Conferring on how you are going to work together to win a match. This especially includes observations about what the opponents are doing, where they are strong, where they are weak.

    Not OK: Watching your partner miss a shot (or even several shots) and then criticizing their decisions or their form.

    It is a subtle, but very important, distinction.

    Fortunately, an easy rule of thumb exists. If you are making *unilateral declarations* about what your partner should do differently when he hasn't asked for your opinion, you have crossed the line.
     
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  25. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I think that if you are in a competitive doubles match and try to win a close match you absolutely should discuss shot selection. And two pair of eyes always see more than one pair.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, one area I might disagree with my Retrospin is if I am partnered with Bob Bryan.

    When there is a huge discrepancy in level, the stronger player should pipe down. The weaker player can only execute what he can execute. It is the job of the stronger player to Man Up and figure out a way to play such that the match can be won.

    I play 7.5 combo, and you won't catch me telling my partner to come to net, to take balls out of the air, to stop alley camping, etc. I observe what they can do and work with what we've got. If we lose, so be it.

    What never works is getting on their case and demanding they do things they simply are not comfortable doing.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Geez, have you ever played with a Critical Cathy? It's a nightmare.

    You try to lob the BH of the net player, but your lob is not deep enough. "Can you stop hitting short lobs?" Cathy scolds.

    You try a crosscourt return, but the net player poaches a winner. "Don't hit the ball to the net player!" Cathy instructs.

    You S&V, but you miss your approach volley into the net. "Just stay back!" Cathy cries.

    Yeah. A total nightmare. There's a big difference between criticizing your partner's shot selection and conferring on shot selection.
     
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  28. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ Are those examples made up? Apart from the occasional oddball (who would never get onto a team behaving like that) no tennis player is that dictatorial.
     
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  29. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    If you don't want to hear any comments about your shot selection or form, then you should, as a rule, make halfway intelligent choices. Doubles is a team game, and as much as you don't want to hear your partner's comments about your shot selection, I don't want to take a major league beat-down because my partner is too thickheaded to recognize or too stubborn to admit something he keeps trying isn't working,

    I'm not suggesting one player tell his partner that he sucks. I'm saying if my partner is doing something that is hurting us as a team, I don't see anything wrong with bringing that to his attention. I'm half of the team, too, after all, and the result affects me as well as him. If his ego is so fragile that he takes offense at my comments, that's his issue. When you take the court in doubles, you are a team, and if you can't talk frankly and openly with your partner, something is seriously wrong with your on-court relationship.

    I've played team sports my whole life, and I can tell you that in basketball, if a guy, even a talented guy, is throwing up one clanker after another, sooner or later one or more teammates are gonna tell him to start passing the ball more. It doesn't matter if he is normally a good shooter---if he is off tonight and we are going to lose because he insists on taking every shot, several of us are going to tell him so.

    I have to say, tennis is perhaps the only sport where this whole discussion could ever come up without everyone just laughing. Can you imagine a lineman missing his blocking assignments, but insisting he didn't want to hear any criticism from his running backs or the quarterback? LOL. Please. Maybe stuff like this is why so many people still look at tennis as a sissy game. Maybe they have a point.
     
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  30. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    LOL. In the situation you describe, I would call Cathy to the baseline, look her straight in the eye, and tell her she could either shut the #$%& up or finish the match by herself. Problem solved.
     
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  31. RetroSpin

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    So it's ok for you to tell Cathy how to play but the reverse doesn't work? Ok, got it.
     
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  32. RetroSpin

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    Whatever. I can handle my end. If you can't , get your partner to advise you.
     
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, those examples are made up. Sort of.

    Again, I captain. Players complain about partners who are like this. And people who make remarks like this have no idea they are doing it. I have one person in mind, and NOBODY wants to play with her.

    Storypeddler:

    That bold part is a problem.

    I have played with a whole lot of partners with huge, glaring weaknesses. (I have huge glaring weaknesses myself, but let's not get into it). Common examples of "things partner is doing that is hurting us as a team" are refusing to come to net, refusing to hit BH volleys, missing returns on cream puff serves, or hitting high to two at the net.

    My experience tells me that it does no good whatsoever to go back and suggest that your partner come to net. Or hit BH volleys. Or put the return in the court. Or hit the ball lower over the net.

    The reason is that the partner is not an idiot. She knows we are losing points, and she feels bad about it. She is trying to figure it out. The last thing she needs is additional pressure.

    Sure, if you want to suggest some solutions like you play two back, fine. If you want to suggest that you poach, also fine. If you want to suggest that both of you start lobbing, cool.

    Walking over to your partner and saying essentially "Stop doing what you're doing!" is a waste of perfectly good oxygen.
     
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  34. dcdoorknob

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    I was playing tonight, not a league match but a practice set. I hit a nice topspin lob that had the opposing guy retreating and scrambling across the court and back further behind the baseline. I just kept standing where I was near my own baseline.

    After the point, my partner said "You really should follow that in to net rather than stay back at the baseline and give the guy an easy escape valve from a difficult position. Put the pressure on."

    I agreed with him. I should have come in and I didn't, it was a strategic lapse in concentration or judgement on my part. My partner knew my game enough to know that I am capable of coming in and executing volleys or overheads effectively. His comment helped me to not make the same mistake on similar situations as we continued to play.
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Did you win the point despite your lapse?
     
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  36. dcdoorknob

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    Yeah we won the point. I don't think it matters much though. Me staying back in that position might still leave us with like a 65% chance of winning the point, but coming in could bump that up to an 85% chance of winning the point (I made those up obviously, but hopefully you get the point). It was still a strategic mistake to stay back and I didn't mind having it pointed out to me, and wouldn't if we lost the point either.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but I think it does matter whether you lost the point. If the remark is made when the point was lost due to the mistake, it feels like rubbing it in.

    Say your partner at net crossed, but you didn't cross behind. Opponents hit into open court. Would you turn around and say, "you have to cross if I cross because I can't see you but you can see me, and your failure to cross s why we lost the point."

    I would never say that. I would say, "Oh, wow. Smart play to hit behind me like that. When I poach, I will keep going and then stay on that side. I won't cross back."

    I will let you connect the dots.
     
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  38. dcdoorknob

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    Obviously, some people would prefer it that way.

    I personally would prefer you to connect your own dots and be direct. I'm not easily offended and so long as the advice is sound and you aren't yelling at me I won't mind. Even if I don't agree with the advice it's still good to have open lines of respectful communication, and I don't need things sugar coated.

    Of course, I also get annoyed when women won't be direct in relationships. :D I should know why you're upset? Really? Well I don't, so it might be helpful to tell me. Or you could just storm off in a huff while I stay confused. *shrug*
     
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  39. brokenRPM

    brokenRPM Rookie

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    if my partner double faulted 3 times a game.
     
    #89
  40. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Then the situation is ultimately one of your making. Either you have a word with her - which presumably you don't like doing because it would amount to 'criticism' (of her critical behaviour) - or you're going about it in such a roundabout way that she doesn't understand what you're saying. If her behaviour is a bad as you suggest, then why haven't you dropped her?

    You can't have your cake and eat it.

    That for me is key. I'm fed up of matches where I'm having have to play at 120%, work 3 times harder than I might have to runing around for 3 hours in 100f heat, trying to find an 'A' game / 'in the Zone and Beyond' brand of tennis just to compensate for a partner giving repeatedly points away that they don't have to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
    #90
  41. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you might be better off sticking to singles. No excuses.
     
    #91
  42. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    Just ask yourself, how would you feel if you are having a bad day, or a you are a worse player out of you two and your partner starts to criticize your every play in front of your opponents?
     
    #92
  43. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I hope your partners are not reading this.
    Do you still play with them?
     
    #93
  44. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    match play

    some of u guys act as if you are playing for the US open championships. At my lowly level of 3.5, I usually know what I am doing wrong. Does'nt mean I have the ability to change that. I would never criticize my partners play in a match. I might point out some different strategies if what we are doing is not working but still would not drive that point across my partner's head. We are usually at equal levels and sometimes shots we want to hit just wont happen. That's why its recreational. I wouldnt criticize my partner and wont take it likely if Im criticized for putting out my best effort.
     
    #94
  45. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    Part of the reason I love Singles. No excuses, being on your own and no one to blame but yourself. Just put it all out there. The only time you really get rewarded for being selfish.

    I do enjoy doubles as a change of pace.

    I didn't want to be a richard(d!ck) when I first joined this team so I decided to be a team player and just partner up with whomever the captains wanted me to play with. (although with a winning record in singles I am surprised they didn't play me more there. I do give them the benefit of the doubt as we have 2 other really good singles players.) But since this season is over and next season is a month away, I am really going to have to ask that I either play with my friend or this other player I just met as I am comfortable with them and our play styles as well as personalities mesh well win or lose.
     
    #95
  46. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Not all comments are criticism - and it helps if you know what your partner is good at. For instance if you know your partner has a good lob then I think it is fair to say "hey, they're really crowding the net, do you think you can put a few lobs over them?" Saying that to me wouldn't do any good, since my lob stinks, but that's why you have to know your partner.

    Constructive strategic ideas that play into your partner's strengths are a good thing. Comments like "try to get a first serve in" and "try to avoid the net player on your return" are not good things. If your partner isn't already trying to do those things then nothing you say is going to help them.
     
    #96
  47. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I never criticize partners in dubs but I do get annoyed with one aspect. In our club league, we play three sets and switch partners each set. The person with the most wins goes up and the person with the fewest goes down a court with the other two guys remaining on the same court the next week You always get the guys who have everything figured out and they end up mailing it in for the third set if they don't need the wins. That really makes me mad.
     
    #97
  48. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I once played with a partner who double faulted an entire game away. That is inexcusable at any level of tennis, much less for a teaching pro. That break also turned out to be the margin of loss in the set. I understand what it's like to play with 'teaching legs' but in this case it wasn't stiffness/fatigue, it was a tight match and it seemed like he just mentally lost it.
     
    #98
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Once? Just once? :)
     
    #99
  50. musto9030

    musto9030 New User

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    This is an interesting thread. I am surprised how many people take the side of suggesting to their doubles partner that "We should try...." as opposed to pointing out what you are actually thinking. Everyone has a different skill set (or weakness) when it comes to tennis, so it seems to me that the "We should try..." approach would not be appropriate in some/most situations. Consider the following scenario:

    Partner A has a superior backhand return, but weak forehand return.
    Partner B has a superior forehand return, but weak backhand return.
    (both right handed)
    Opponent A hits 90% of serves to the backhand side.

    In this situation, Partner A is likely to have very little trouble returning Opponent A's serve, whereas Partner B is likely to be struggling. It would not make sense, in this situation, for Partner A to suggest that "We should try lobbing the returns back". Partner A should probably keep doing what he/she is doing, Partner B is most likely to need a different strategy.

    I can envision several scenarios similar to this one where the "We should try..." is not the best approach. In the above scenario, Partner B SHOULD notice what is happening and make a change, but if for some reason he/she does not, I don't think Partner A should sit back and watch the troubles continue.

    My guess is that the reason a lot of people on this thread are saying not to criticize your doubles partner is because the word 'criticize' is used and tends to carry a negative connotation. I wonder if this thread would have taken a different route if the title was "Any circumstances where it would be justified to suggest your dubs partner tries a different strategy?"
     

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