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. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    If Partner B can't return the serve, then pointing this out accomplishes nothing.

    Sure, you can suggest things. It is very unlikely you will suggest something in Partner B's toolkit that Partner B didn't already think of.
     
  2. musto9030

    musto9030 New User

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I don't think I agree with this. I have experienced and seen players get so flustered when something they know is a weakness of their's being picked on, to the point that they can't think of anything else. Maybe Partner B has not considered what you are going to suggest. Not saying anything doesn't accomplish anything either. Why not give it a try? I have a hard time believing many people are so fragile that they can't accept their partner suggesting they try something different. Partner B surely realizes everyone is aware of his/her weakness at this point.

    And, so what if your suggestion isn't in their toolkit? It can't be any worse than what is already happening on Partner B's return. Lobbing a service return is certainly not in my toolkit, but if I am in Partner B's situation and Partner A suggests to me that I try lobbing the return, I would point out that my lob return is weak. As long as Partner A is ok with that, then I give it a try. Worse case scenario, we lose the point, which was happening anyway.
     
  3. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,767
    Dubs is great when you have evenly matched players or at least players who try to play the game properly or have complementary styles to each other.

    But its sheer torture if you have one player or more who's a law unto themselves, doesn't understand patterns or constantly makes poor shot choices or constantly plays low percentage tennis. Just ruins it for the others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  4. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    One could gently feel out partner to see if open for strategy adjustments but during a match, unless you have a long standing special relationship with partner, best to just just keep quiet and offer up encouragement. They are either already down on themself for poor play or silently seething that it's YOU that's the problem.
     
  5. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    I played only singles for a long time because of crap like this, but for the last year I have been forced to play only doubles because of my hip going bad (needs to be replaced because of my football days) I have played with 2 guys that act like this and I try not to play with them if I can avoid it. like Cindy said earlier “ makes me so tight that I can’t do anything wright” Playing singles if you hit a bad shot it’s on you. :oops::oops::oops:
     
  6. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,251
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    So are you talking about a hypothetical or are you actually playing or have played with partners who are below your level?
     
  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I would agree, but I wonder what you consider "evenly matched".

    For example if there are four 4.5s on the court, yeah one of them could be stronger/weaker than the others, but I would still consider that evenly matched and would expect good tennis.

    On the other hand if you have three 4.5s and a 3.5, then that is not going to be nearly as much fun.

    But why would you do that anyway?

    What level are you and what level is the partner(s) who frustrate you?
     
  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,966
    How gauche

    http://www.tealaden.com/teaweb/etiquette.htm

    First and foremost never hold your cup with your pinkie finger extended. This is improper and in most social settings is considered rude. Place your index finger into the handle of the cup up to the knuckle while placing your thumb on the top of the handle to secure the cup. The bottom of the handle should then rest on your third finger. The fourth and fifth fingers should curve back towards your wrist.
     
  9. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    979
    Location:
    Iowa
    Now that's funny. I never thought I'd see THAT rulebook quoted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  10. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    I agree with Torres.

    However, maybe it comes down to people just having different personalities and therefore having different comfort levels regarding how they should handle such situations. Admittedly, I still don't understand why it is deemed such a terrible thing to point something out to your partner if it helps you all win the match. I would expect anybody I play with to have enough self-esteem not to fall apart and get in a giant huff if I did so. I also wouldn't fall apart if my own partner approached me the same way.

    But as I said in an earlier post, I grew up playing team sports, and in every team sport I ever played, you were expected to pull your weight if you were part of the team. And if you didn't, you could always count on someone on the team (or more than one) saying something to you. Of course, in team sports there is the option of substituting another player for someone who isn't doing his job. That isn't possible in tennis, and because of it, I think tennis players are especially sensitive to criticism. Play basketball or football where everybody is out to take your position and you get used to lots of things tennis players seem to cringe at the thought of.

    And just as a side note---Cindy suggested that most of the time when a player is making mistakes, he is probably already trying everything he can think of to correct it and therefore doesn't need the criticism. I don't buy that; my experience playing tells me different. Not all tennis players are cerebral---not by a long shot. I have played with and against many good players who are athletic and have physical abilities but are not thinkers on the court AT ALL. When their usual strong suit goes AWOL for some reason during a match, they keep trying it anyway thinking it will somehow just magically reappear. They don't analyze their opponents' game, choosing instead to try to simply beat them by raising their own level of play, not looking for weaknesses to exploit.

    There are lots of players who don't think a lot on the court---LOTS of them. Pointing something out to one who is your partner may be the first time it has crossed his mind, and may be exactly what is needed to give you a chance to win the match. And again, I am NOT saying you should mumble, grumble, and fuss at your partner when he is simply having a bad night, or when he really is playing up to his ability level and that just isn't good enough. I am talking about when your 4.0 partner thinks because he hits his forehand very hard, if he hits it right at the opposing net man, he will win the point outright---and he attempts this time after time after time even though clearly the opposing net man is good enough to handle the pace and you keep losing point after point. A 3.0 player could watch 5 minutes and see what needs to change. I don't have a problem going up to my partner in that circumstance and telling him fairly plainly that he needs to stop hitting every groundstroke at the net man because despite what he may think of his own forehands, the net man is handling them and we are bleeding out as a result. We're a team, and it's wrong for me to be critical, but it's okay for him to be stupid??? LOL.

    As I said, you have to do whatever you are comfortable with. But personally, I won't lose a match just because I'm afraid of what will happen if I offer constructive criticism to my partner. If nothing changed, we were going to lose anyway. If others choose not to, that's cool. To each his own. But if that many players are that sensitive to criticism, that's indicative of problems that go a lot deeper than tennis shots.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    When I am struggling on a shot, especially the return, I will troubleshoot it. I will try standing in, standing back, lobbing, slicing, etc.

    What does not help me is a partner who knows nothing about what is causing me to miss (my partner should be watching the opponents, not watching me hit) and knows little about what I can execute.

    When my partner is missing a huge number of returns (and this happened to me recently), what I do is focus on *my* play. I need to play as clean as a whistle while she figures herself out. I would never go over and start offering suggestions that any thinking partner has either already tried or considered and rejected.

    To me, it is a matter of trust. I trust my partner to do her best to figure out her own stroke production problems, and I expect them to do the same for me.

    On strategy, we can and will confer. Stroke production? No.
     
  12. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    Nope---they are two different things, and I don't know why that is so hard for people to understand. Cathy was just criticizing without offering any alternate game plan or suggestion. Also, I NEVER make critical comments to a partner who is doing all he can but just doesn't have the shot or game required for the moment. I am talking about partners who are too dim or too stubborn to change something that clearly is going to cost you the match---those who could do something else but refuse to for whatever reason.

    I'm all for putting your head together with your partner during a changeover and coming up with a mutually determined plan of attack, or discussing how the two of you are going to respond to whatever your opponents are doing to hurt you. But to say nothing to your partner and just lose as a result when a change might have produced a different result is crazy.

    If you can't find a way to talk to your partner when this stuff happens, or if you simply are too uncomfortable to do so, then you really only have three choices: (1) play only doubles teams much worse than yourself who are incapable of hurting you with anything; (2) leave doubles and play singles only; or (3) get used to losing a lot and dealing with perpetual frustration headaches.

    Properly offered, there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism. If people automatically take offense at that, the problem is theirs, not mine.
     
  13. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,251
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Oops! There I go being incredibly ignorant about tea etiquette and not only that it's worse by suggesting something that is actually offensive. :oops:

    The thought that this must have offended many etiquette savvy tennis players might give me countless sleepless nights. :shock:

    But the damage is done, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
     
  14. samarai

    samarai Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    238
    I once played with a guy who tried to coach me on every missed shot. Had a terrible attitude everytime at changeovers giving constant unsolicited advice. Problem was he was shanking it just as much as I was. After we lost the match, he had the nerve to pull me aside and try to give me coaching advice. Then asked if I would come back next week and be partnered with him. I totally lost it then.
     
  15. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,856
    That's part of the reason I have tried to caution people here about offering advice. There's nothing more irritating than someone who has made as many errors as you offering patronizing tips.

    You want positive energy, not negativity.
     
  16. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,856
    >>But as I said in an earlier post, I grew up playing team sports, and in every team sport I ever played, you were expected to pull your weight if you were part of the team. And if you didn't, you could always count on someone on the team (or more than one) saying something to you. Of course, in team sports there is the option of substituting another player for someone who isn't doing his job. That isn't possible in tennis, and because of it, I think tennis players are especially sensitive to criticism. Play basketball or football where everybody is out to take your position and you get used to lots of things tennis players seem to cringe at the thought of.<<

    You posted this before and I let it slide. Frankly , it's nonsense. I played multiple team sports at high levels, including D1, and what you describe never happens on good teams. Players encourage each other. If someone needs to be criticized, that's what the coach is there for. If you want to turn a team into a dysfunctional mess, have a few self-appointed critics sowing dissension and pitting one teammate against another.
     
  17. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    I once had a partner tell me, "You know, when my serves are going into the net it is usually because I'm pulling my head down too soon." The message was received, I got some serves in, and I thanked him. I thought that was a pretty good way to handle it.
     
  18. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    LOL. If you believe that, you don't know what you're talking about. Quarterbacks are expected to run the show on the field and they typically use their position to point out errors when players aren't doing their job. Point guards do the same on a basketball court.

    But I'm done arguing this point. If you are afraid to say something to a partner who is dragging you down, then don't. Let them hit their sitter lobs to the net man all day and just stand there and take overheads in the face, the groin, the throat. But heaven forbid you say something about their faulty strategy. No, better to just flee to the baseline and take the loss rather than risk offending an overly sensitive partner.

    LOL. This is comical.
     
  19. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,202
    Location:
    Brisvegas
    Never. Just let them they have to be solid, and try to make them play. Put it back on your partner to try and force errors, not hit winners. Most points in tennis are lost, not won.
     

Share This Page