Come on, let's go! Or not.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I was playing social mixed with a singles player guy I didn't know well. This was our conversation as I stepped up to serve.

    Partner: "I think we need to mix it up. Here's the plan. If I'm not going to poach, I will say, 'Come on, come on!' If I'm going to poach, I will say, 'Come on, let's go!' So before you serve listen for me to say 'Let's go!'"

    Cindy: "Um . . . So if you say 'Let's go!', that means you are poaching, so I'll serve and cross behind you."

    Partner: "No. If I say 'Let's go!', that means I'm going to poach, but if I don't think I can reach the ball then I won't poach so you don't have to cross."

    I take up my normal position at the baseline and start bouncing the ball. I hear a chorus of "Come on, come on, come on!!" I look up and see my partner standing on the service line. I serve, returner puts the ball into partner's body, love 15.

    I get ready to serve and I hear chants of "Come on, come on, let's go, come on." Partner is standing on the service line, shaded toward the alley. Wow, how is he going to poach from way over there? Should I stay back or come in? Where should I serve in this bizarre situation? DF. Love 30.

    Next point, I hear a bunch of noise and can't wrap my brain around it. Did he say "Let's go," should I ask him to repeat the chanting? Screw it, I just serve and stand there. He didn't poach, so it must have been a "Come on" and not a "Let's go!" We lost the point, love 40.

    OK, gotta get serious now. I get ready to serve and I hear "Let's go, let's go, come on!" Partner is standing on service line, oy. I serve, he takes off to cross, returner hits into his vacant alley, which I didn't cover. Game to receivers.

    There's gotta be a better way! :)
     
    #1
  2. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Uhhh was this a prank and you fell for it? Was there a hidden camera? Is this a prank on me being the first to respond? How are so many of your ventures on the tennis courts soap operas? Amazing.

    Here' how the pros signal. Read carefully. The net-man holding his hand behind his back either has an open hand (poach) or closed hand (stay). The server looks at the signal, says yes or no. Then serves. Sometimes the pros even discuss what they will do between points by whispering their plan to poach, fake or stay. Very complicated I know. Let me know if I need to repeat it.

    With all the lessons you've paid for no pro has every taught you poaching signals? If your answer is no, I'd sue for my money back.
     
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  3. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Where did you pick this guy up, at the supermarket produce dept?
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, dear. I wasn't clear.

    *I* know how to poach and how to signal. My partner, bless his adorable little heart, had no clue.

    Social matches should be Squabble-Free Zones, so I just did what he wanted.
     
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  5. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Should have said ok, but in addition you would have a system of agreeing with it or not. Instead of "yeah" or "no," you would say "Come on, Vamos!" (in agreement,) or "Come on, you cannot be serious!" (in disagrement)
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Guys who take social mixed dubs seriously bother me..........
     
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  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yeah, I agree with you sureshs.
     
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  8. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Sheesh. You'd think a male singles player would know better than attempt to play mixed.
     
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  9. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Haha awesome... at least he tried. I hate when I get the deer in the headlights look when I am in a mixed social & tell them I am going to poach. I can almost see what they are thinking in their head (Your going to poach me eggs now?) :cry:
     
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  10. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I think you should have told him after the first time you were confused that you don't like that system and either go back to hand signals or even talk it out between points.

    This is not a great idea. On a called poach the net man commits to going and your assignment is to cross. Your read should be on your opponents, not on your own teammate. This is a meaningless call. He has first priority on a 'reachable' return across the middle regardless of the call.
     
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  11. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    I don't even know how to respond. I've been laughing visualizing it all. That singles player is, er, too serious. Mixed is not for keeps particularly when you two just met. Can't figure out why he felt you needed signals. Like you can't see when he is running toward your half of the court and you would not just adjust. :oops: Little did he know you're a good doubles player.
     
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  12. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    You could have simply taught him. It's a 20 second conversation. Really would not have been that hard to have the brief, this is how the pros teach poaching talk, and show him the hand signals. If he said no and still wanted to call audibles, I would simply have said no we can play it straight up no signals.

    Social matches should also be Dumb-Ass Free Zones.
     
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  13. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I had a remotely similar story ... I was playing round robin doubles at the club ... Sets to 4 and then you switch partners with another court.

    Anywho, this odd little guy is going to be my partner. When he comes up to me and we have the following discussion:

    Him: High my name is Bob, but everyone calls me ninja
    Me: My name is Dizzl, and I will not be calling you ninja, Bob
    HIm: Um, Ok but if you want me to poach just say "lets go ninja" and I will know you want me to be sneaky up there.
    Me: I guess you will not be poaching then, Bob.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    AHAHAH!! Maybe we should all adopt poaching nicknames. I think I will tell my next partner that if she wants me to poach, she is to toss the ball and yell, "Who'sYourDaddy!"
     
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  15. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Or you could tell him next time you really prefer smoke signals but forgot your kindling and matches. Ha Ha

    I do enjoy your stories Cindy. Some how I think you may have enough material for a book.
     
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  16. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    lol... that was funny... love the last line.

    When I play with new partners, I don't even talk about signals... I just say that IF they are gonna poach- then do it. Go ahead and be aggressive if you want and go for it and when I see you cross the center line then know I am switching behind you. Just don't fake me out and cross the center, then run back to your original spot, cuz I'll probably be right behind you. Seems to work pretty well for simple matches with new partners.

    For tourneys or league if I play dubs, as server I usually communicate with my partner when I am gonna serve wide on the deuce side with my first serve, since it can take the returner 1 or 2 steps outside the line and their best return is down the line behind my partner... so my partner needs to play wider than norm.

    As an aside, I never call people I really don't know by their nickname... if I've known then a long time by a nickname or was part of the group that gave them the nickname... ok... otherwise, I ain't calling you "Budman", "Cheese", "Shark" or any other idiotic name you've probably given yourself. How does the line go... "Hi, my name is Mike, but my friends call me Bob. You can call me Mike."
     
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  17. aurelius

    aurelius New User

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    Your name is Dizzl? Fo' schnizzle? That must be a nickname, which means just call the odd little guy ninja. At least that's an actual word/name.
     
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  18. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Funny stories. Wouldn't a clever opposing team figure out your verbals at some point? They can't see hand signals.
     
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  19. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I did not use the name DIzzl ... I just dont want to tell you what my name is.
     
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  20. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    One time I had a partner that wanted me to use a word that started with W every time I was going to serve out wide.

    So I would have to say randomly say things like "whats the score", "Where is the third ball", and "Wisconsin football sux".
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder if that is the reason the opponent went DTL on break point.

    A savvy opponent would pick up on verbal signals in about -- oh, I don't know -- two points.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Or perhaps more appropriately, "What the [bleep]?"

    Boy, I am shocked to hear that there is even one additional person walking the planet who thought verbal signals were a good idea.
     
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  23. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    That's why I don't use signals at all for poaching. Poaching effectively imo depends on the server being able to serve the ball into the center of the court near the T and there are too many servers at 3.5 and 4.0 who can't do that. Heck, most of the benefit I see of poaching and fake poaching is generating UEs and weak returns by putting doubt into the mind of the returner about where exactly the poacher will be.
     
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  24. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Dear Cindy,

    Your partner is an idiot.

    You should use hand signals for porches:
    1 finger = going on 1st serve
    2 fingers = going on 2nd serve
    3 fingers = going on both 1st and 2nd serve
    Fist (0 fingers) = staying home

    Whenever there is a CALLED POACH, the net man must cover all the way and you must switch. There is no such thing as I'm poaching but you stay behind me in case I don't get it. They MUST get it and you MUST switch.

    There is a big diffence from playing off the serve, where they wait to see where you are serving and then go if possilbe and a planned poach.

    Either tell you partner how it works or get a new partner.
     
    #24
  25. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    What you are describing is not a called poach. It is just playing off the serve. The net man should always shift with the serve and look to be aggessive but a CALLED POACH rquires the net man to cover the CC return and requires the server to switch cover the DTL return.

    Playing aggressively off the serve AND a CALLED POACH are both great strategies but they are 2 vary different things. When playing off the serve, the net man is ultimately responsible for the DTL return and he is responsible for the CC return on a called poach.
     
    #25
  26. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Doubles - serve down the middle unless you have a really good out wide serve. Serving down the middle minimizes the angles someone can shoot for, so unless they're really good with nailing low % returns down the line from the middle position of the service landing, you're almost always assured of a cross-court return or a popup over your partner.

    Bottom line is this, if the guy isn't going to poach when he says he's going to call for a poach, then it's no different then him waiting to see what the return is and reacting to it, just like you should be serving and watching his reaction to judge what you should be doing in case you need to switch.

    That said, it sounds to me like you're not to the playing level where you like having the net partner call your serves as what you wrote shows that it puts too much pressure on you and you can't serve in the right spots or you double-fault. No problem, just be sure to tell your partners that want to play that game that you cannot because you're not confident on serve placement. Until you get to the point where your serve can reliably force errors on both your first and second serves from same level ranked opponents, you have no business letting your net partner call the shots because what that says is that your serve is weak enough that he/she will get eaten up alive trying to attack the return of serve. Until your serve becomes a weapon, work more on starting the point out and then playing it out instead of trying to start and finish it by attacking the return of serve. You cannot attack the return of serve if the serve is no good because the return will usually be a punishing one.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think signaled/planned poaches are awesome. Honestly, I think it works better at the 3.5/4.0 level than opportunistic poaching.

    Many players are afraid of being burned DTL if they poach or are not confident in being able to reach the Xcourt ball. So they go the whole match parked and never poaching.

    Signaling frees the net player from worries about the DTL shot. It lets the net player take off a little earlier in moving toward the center if she wants. And it takes away that moment of indecision about whether she should or shouldn't take this or that ball.

    Not to mention how it gets into the returner's head and they start wondering more what the net player is doing rather than what they should be doing.

    So signaling has its place, IME. If done correctly, anyway.
     
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  28. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    No there are poaches and there are called poaches. I agree that what I'm doing is not a called poach but it absolutely a poach. Poaching can be done on any point in doubles, not just the serve.

    Here's a write up that explains my understanding of poaching and actually names the two types: situational and planned.
    http://www.webtennis24.com/free-stuff/poaching-free.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  29. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I never seen that ... we signal every serve attempt so there is no need to let someone know what I plan to do should he miss his first serve.

    Our signals ...

    Open hand, I am going, so serve it down the T
    Closed fist, I am staying ... feel free to go wide, but usually from the body out to the T

    And my personal favorite

    Middle finger ... serve into the body and if there is a weak return I am going to be aggressive.
     
    #29
  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    We don't signal serve location. If the signal is go, the server knows that T is best. If the signal is stay, server can do what she wants.
     
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  31. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I'm not arguing that planning poaching with signals isn't effective, it just hasn't been effective for me whereas situational poaching (and a lot of fake poaching) has been very effective. The reasons it hasn't worked well with me are that I can't get cooperative partners who can or will:
    * consistently serve down the T or at least to the body when a poach is signalled
    * cover behind me effectively
    * endeavor to get their first serve in a high percentage of the time

    Planned poaching with signals I'm sure would be very effective with the right partner, I'm just still looking for him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
    #31
  32. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    I love this one! LOL - I am rolling on the floor just imagining one of my older 4.0 ladies yelling who's your daddy as they serve!
     
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  33. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    Maybe it's just me but when I play social doubles and my partner starts talking about signals I just politely remind them to chill.
     
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  34. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Same signal if you wanna dump your partner afterwards. :twisted:
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't mind if the server misses her spot. It means I will have to take off earlier.

    What I notice about partners who aren't used to signals is they don't cross, the ball goes DTL for a winner, then they complain that I left too soon.

    Nope. I left at the exact right moment to cover the cross court. You failed to cross.

    But you are right. You need the right partner for it to work.
     
    #35
  36. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Just to put this disaster into perspective: what age was this guy?
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oldish. Maybe 55.
     
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  38. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    I agree with both of these. I would like to find a partner that would be willing and able to use signals. But I really only find it necessary for competitive play instead of in social tennis situations.
     
    #38
  39. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Old, yet not ancient. Sounds like a "hobbiest", who over-thinks these sorts of things, who knows? Maybe it worked for him back in yesteryear, but in the interim he has lost enough memory such that he can't even remember what you guys agreed to.
     
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