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.