Attitude problem, please help.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by crystal_clear, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I play mixed double games with a group of 8 people regularly. When I team up with an old guy who doesn’t move well, I am just so discouraged and I don’t feel like playing. I always lost the matches when I teamed up with him because I was defeated before the match even started. I don’t mind losing the match if we at least try to get the ball. He is a not bad player at all but he is the weakest link among 4.

    I feel that I have to quit avoiding teaming up with this guy but I enjoy playing in the group. What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Move him towards the singles sideline and back to about the service line.
    That way, he can cover weak overheads and still get to most balls hit to him.
    YOU cover the rest of the court, deep lobs over his head, and take the middle, so you get to cover basically 3/4 of the court. Hit good balls, don't pop any up, be the best of the foursome since you're paired with the worst.
    At least he doesn't try to poach on every ball when the opposition if already going right at him, like my partners do:):)
     
    #2
  3. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Alright, I'd better get ready to cover 3/4 court though it is not easy. He is a serve/volley player and I have to stay baseline all the time to cover more court while I usually stay at the net with other partners. Stay at baseline so I can cover lob over him and if I stay at the net, he can't cover lob over my head. Am I right by staying at baseline?
     
    #3
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Now WHY would you stay back to cover lobs over your partner's head?
    If you're back, you can only groundie it.
    If you're up, you can cheat towards the middle, and if the lob goes over your partner's head, you can actually hit a OVERHEAD, thus putting the point away!
    And most good players cover their own overheads, and lobs over their heads. Just turn sideways and crabwalk back to within 4' of the baseline. If the lob is better than that, you can practice your between the leg shots or just say "nice lob"........
    If you weak partner choose S/V, and gets lobbed successfully, it's no reflection on YOUR tennis abilities. He just blew it, not you.
     
    #4
  5. JimW

    JimW New User

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Messages:
    28
    Two questions come to mind: Does anyone in your group win when partnered with Old Guy? If so, what are they doing that makes them successful?

    As to staying at the baseline, one-up/one-back doubles is tactically unsound. You need to move as a team. My suggestion is to come in whenever possible and don't relinquish the power position at the net unless you're forced to. If the realities of playing with Old Guy preclude holding the net, you might consider playing both-back. Either is better than giving your opponents a big lane to hit between you and your partner.
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    My pet peeve currently..
    Old geezer guy, worst by far of the foursome, constantly poachs even thos almost every ball is hit to him, down the line!
    Now you can imagine. He vacates his spot, they fire one into his recent position....over and over again.
    Now of course, when he guesses right, and actually gets to strike the volley, he softlobs it about 4' inside the service line.:confused::confused: or just tips the ball with the side of his frame !!
    Good stuff, this doubles game!
    Oh yea..... he accuses me of "tanking" on my serve. I lose my serve. He misses 4 volleys, NONE into the opposing court. It's my fault, of course. 3 are high, slow, short overheads. One is a normal groundie to his backhand.
    Gotta just love doubles. :shock:
     
    #6
  7. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Because he always moves up(and doesn't move back) after serving, the opponents can lob either me or him.
    I am short and it is hard for me to cover lob when I am at the net.

    why 4'?

    That's acrobatic.:shock:
     
    #7
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    4'......
    If you are at net, you can cover any lob that lands within 4' of the baseline...not topspin lobs, of course, but that might be 5'.
    Anything better, time to say "nice lob".
    The Nastase backfire is more fun for me to do than between the legs.
     
    #8
  9. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    When I am stuck with a discouraging partner, I just no longer take the match seriously because its only going to anger me when I lose. Instead I take it as an opportunity to mess around and try out new things. That way I at least get something positive out of the match. So when you have a partner that isn't doing their part, I'm convinced there isn't a whole lot you can do to overcome it and play at your best.
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Good attitude...
    I usually try my best, but when geezer guys insists on poaching EVERY shot, and the opponent is already going right at him, maybe it's time to END the set ASAP, and hope for a better one next time:-?:-?
    Of course, it's nice to have the alternative and wherewithal to crush geezer guy next set, when he is the opposition:twisted: to maybe make him consider his general standing within the group he chose to play with....:shock:
    That's my current philosophy, to be employed before I get too old....to blast the socks off everyone who shouldn't be on the court with the other fellas.....
     
    #10
  11. LuxilonTimo

    LuxilonTimo Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    101
    Why not just tell him he needs to stop slacking! You need to speak up and tell him to do better, thats all there is to it.
     
    #11
  12. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I thought lob is always topspin... What is the Nastase backfire ?
     
    #12
  13. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Try new things -- that's a good point.

    How to stay positive when stuck with a discouraging partner -- that is my question.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
    #13
  14. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    You partner is worser than mine. My partner at least didn't blame me.
     
    #14
  15. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    That is exactly how I feel.
     
    #15
  16. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    A lady with powerful serve and big overhead partnered with him and made them successful.
     
    #16
  17. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    He is in his late 50's and he can't move.
     
    #17
  18. hellonewbie

    hellonewbie Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Have low expectations. Hey if you win a point, celebrate! If not, you know who to blame :)

    Really, don't worry about the score, try new things, like being aggressive on returns, serve and volleying, moonball your opponents to death, etc. Use these matches as opportunities to put in play what you practiced or what you want to practice.

    You may think your partner sucks relative to you, but you probably wouldn't want to be partnered with a player better than you who may think the same about you.
     
    #18
  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I thought I answered it. If you look at the match from a different viewpoint, then you will not be negative about it. It might get old after a while to have this approach, but that is why we try so hard off the court to find the right players to play with on the court.
     
    #19
  20. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    You can't tell a player to play better and expect that they have another gear to go to. The guy either lacks mobility or just isn't a good player. All this will do is put pressure on him and he will worry about what his partner thinks every time he hits an error. Or it will cause tension because people don't like being ordered around by their partner. Not a good approach.
     
    #20
  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    OK, should we take a poll here?
    Just how many of us can topspin lob on the backhand side? I'd say less than one out of 10.
    On the foreside, we'd mostly choose to blast it slow up the middle. But most of us have topspin lobs, if we're 3.5 or better...
     
    #21
  22. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    Arizona
    You say there's 8 people, including yourself? That means, of the 7 other players, only 1 is this guy. So 6/7ths of the time you don't have him for your partner. Since you only have him 1/7 of the time as your partner, do like raiden says, and don't worry about winning the set too much. This is how doubles works.
    Of course the opponent will go right at him if he poaches every time. This guy really doesn't get tennis. The reality is, though, that if you say anything most of the time it will backfire. Like if you tell him not to poach, he might poach anyway, get lucky and put it away, then he'll tell you, "And you think poaching doesn't work!". (The fact that a player wins one point proves nothing. But this is what people like to do.)

    So just grin and bear it. If he tries to blame you for the loss, or does anything else calling for retaliation, here's what you can do. When an opponent's lob lands deep, and he calls it "out". Afterward, turn to the opponents and say flaty, "Guys, the ball was in." You'll look honest, and he'll look like a cheat, and your call will have to stand, because when when a doubles team is split on a call, the call goes to the opponents. :twisted:
     
    #22
  23. Bluesparkle

    Bluesparkle New User

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    When you play with your group, do the matches count for anything other than a victory/loss on that particular day? If the matches don't affect your local standing, your USTA ranking, etc., then remember...it is JUST a game. If nothing else, while you are scrambling to get all the balls that your partner can't get to, you are improving your reaction time and getting a great cardio workout in the process.
     
    #23
  24. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Right, no expectations no disappointment.

    forcus on my game -- very good.
    Yap, Improving my own game is the key.
     
    #24
  25. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I do 2HBH topspin lob as it is the only lob I can do. :D I think 2HBH topspin lob is easier than 1HBH, am I right?
     
    #25
  26. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    We play mixed doubles so I have 1/4 chance to play with this guy. 2 other guys usually show up late and I double my chance to 1/2 to play with him. We play 2 hours each time and 1 set with each partner. One set could last for one hour and I was stuck with him for the whole hour, half of the night. That's why sometimes I wish for a speedy lost. :)
     
    #26
  27. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Treat it as a good cardio workout -- very positive attitude. :)
     
    #27
  28. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Right, you might only discuss with your close friend who is willing to listen on the court and you could tell him/her to try something only if he/she has the ability.
     
    #28
  29. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    767
    take a cattle prod to the courts and give him an electric shock to get him moving .

    Seriously tho - see this as a challenge - if you can win anything with the guy thats huge.

    Also praise him and give him confidence, if he thinks you are down on him he will definately play worse(he will be able to tell you are fed up with him otherwise even if you think you are hiding it)- fact

    Talk to him as an equal, make him feel part of the challenge - he will respond
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    I wonder... or am I just venting.....
    I play mostly recreational doubles. Group includes 30 or so 3.0 and up players, with maybe 4 at 4.0 level.
    About 10 of the 3.0's know never to get mixed into any of the 4.0's, unless they're needed.
    About 10 of the 3.5's will play both ways, up or down.
    So that leaves about 6 "hangers", as I call them. Some are bad 3.0's without the brains to know their place. Some are 3.5's who don't think.
    So....
    Should someone who NEVER wins a point against the 4.0' try to get into the 4.0 sets? Like at least 3/4 of the group above can maybe win 10% of the points against the 4.0's. Some waaaaaay less.
    Should there be a sorting out? How about if a 3.0 weak hitting woman always trying to hone in on the 4.0 sets? Should we be nice and group huggee?
    Or should we just blast them off the court, hit them when they're at net, and use our best shots against them?
    I'm NOT social in tennis.
     
    #30
  31. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    Arizona
    You could do this. Don't go on the court until someone else has taken him for a partner. Act like you're stretching. Then look at your racquets, play with the grips. Just waste time until some other sucker walks on to his side of the court. (They'll probably be partners.) Then it's your chance to go out there and join someone else.
     
    #31
  32. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    LOL~ I will try to be the last one to show up... Could be team up with him though....Then I just play my shots keeping my attitude as positive as possible.
     
    #32
  33. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Haha...I was the last one to show up and I teamed up with other movable guys. I had a lot of fun and won two set.
     
    #33
  34. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,994
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    its better to take the initiative, go on first and hit opposite him. :) ..
    if you wait, the other 'suckers' may walk onto the side opposite him, leaving you with him as your partner :)

    Actually, I prefer to play with the 'old geezer'. This way I can poach all I want and play doubles like I am playing singles against 2 guys.
     
    #34
  35. DennisK

    DennisK Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    County Durham. England.
    Instead of getting downhearted about being lumbered with a bad partner, instead see it as a challenge or opportunity.

    You should go into the match with the mindset knowing that you are the stronger player. Therefore, you are going to have to concentrate more on your own game and play out of your skin to carry your partner. This will put your mind into a state where you are thinking "I know I'm the better player here and I'm going to show it. Regardless if I win or lose, I'm going to play well and enjoy my shots!"

    At my club, there is quite a wide range of skill levels and age groups so I adopt this attitude when I need to. I find that I concentrate on my own game much more and play better as a result. I chase down every ball that my partner can't and slog my guts out. If I still lose, then at least I can say that it wasn't down to my lack of effort.

    At the end of the day, you can only compensate so much for a pap doubles partner.
     
    #35
  36. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Messages:
    767
    Keeping a positive vibe going is one of the keys to succesful (or at least enjoyable) doubles.

    Keepi it upbeat...watch the pros...even when they're getting schmeared, they work hard to keep the vibe going.

    Once the team fractures into two, it's game over right there.
     
    #36
  37. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Well said~ Thank you~
     
    #37
  38. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Thank you~
     
    #38
  39. DennisK

    DennisK Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    County Durham. England.
    I agree 100%. There is nothing you can do worse than beating on your own partner. All it does is get them down even more. At best they'll lose any confidence they may have had, make them tighten up and play even worse. At worst, constant criticism and moaning will just make them hate playing the game and lead to them giving it up altogether. Which isn't fair.

    One of the worst feelings in tennis is knowing that you're letting your partner down. So don't compound it by beating up on them. If they make mistakes, then just laugh it off, or say that they had the right idea and that they were unlucky that time. Or that it was a more difficult shot to make than it looked. If all else fails, start cracking jokes about how badly you're losing! It will lighten the mood and relax you a bit.

    Another thing that weaker players tend to do, is say sorry to their stronger partner all of the time. I just tell them "hey, no worries!" and move onto the next point. If i then play well in the next point, only for my partner to fluff it up, then you just gotta say "ah well, at least i did my part well - moral victory".

    Another good attitude to have, knowing that you're up against it, is to think that you have nothing to lose and the pressure is on the stronger pair to win. Talk to your partner before the match and say "ok, this will be a tough match, but lets have a good go at them anyway - come on, lets get em!" :D
     
    #39
  40. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,390
    Location:
    U.S
    i play fun doubles sometimes and i just dont really care if my team looses as long as i know i played well and did good and left an impression on other ppl then im happy. Just try to think of it as a positive thing and do your best and encourage the old man. Its not a serious game your playing right? Make it fun and enjoy it and the guy is only human dont hate him so much :p
     
    #40
  41. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,792
    Location:
    Big Canoe, GA
    It sucks being stuck with the weakest link. All you can do is suck it up and make the best of it. Play to have fun, and don't worry about winning or losing. You've got to admire the guy for still playing - he probably know's he's the weakest and yet he's still out there (hopefully) trying to do his best. One day - if you live long enough - it might be YOU that's out there trying to keep up with the younger generation. How would you like them to treat you?
     
    #41
  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Amen, brother. There are plenty of older players who are great doubles players when set up correctly. Most doubles teams have a setter and a spiker. A lot of young guns are spikers. Broaden your horizons and work on forcing weak returns for your partner to put away. True, you may be getting fewer balls than average if you are the better player, but you can use this foreknowledge to your team's advntage. Position the other guy so it would be a tactical error to hit to him, make the other team pay for picking on your partner.
     
    #42

Share This Page