Doubles in USTA league: Good, bad, and ugly

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by rh310, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Several years ago I was playing a boatload of tennis: 4.5 USTA league, and in club-arranged tennis parties that had several former college players who were active and winning in the NYC 5.0 - 5.5 USTA leagues.

    I was fortunate to be taken a little under the wing by a few of these guys in particular, who taught me how to really play doubles. It was an incredibly exciting and fun game the way they played it.

    Life and a couple of injuries got in the way, and after a long break I've just starting playing again in a 3.5 USTA league, 1st singles / 2nd doubles. Lost my first match, won the rest, and as I'd hoped I'm starting to feel the confidence coming back.

    I'm having trouble with adapting to what I'm being told is doubles at the 3.5 level, though. Instead of "steady player in deuce court / aggressive player in ad court" it's "better BH takes ad court", and instead of the receiver working his way to net if / as possible it's charge the net at all costs. I've politely resisted my teammate's and team coach's suggestions that I change the way I play (basically, as receiver I wait until I there's an approach opportunity before taking a net position, and I keep my feet moving and adjust constantly to where the ball and the three other players are), but it's really starting to get contentious during practice. I've been paired with a 3.0 who is playing up, who in the last practice started screaming at me that I wasn't playing right blah blah blah even though I completely carried his ass in our recent doubles match win in the 3.5 league.

    I worry that if I keep resisting I'm going to get an rep as an "attitude" player, but the club doesn't have a 4.0 or higher team so I guess I'm pretty much stuck where I am until I win my way out and get moved to 4.0.

    The coach has acknowledged that my grasp of doubles is how 5.0+ players play, but has insisted that what he's teaching is appropriate for 3.0 - 3.5 players and, basically, I should shut up and go along with it.
     
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  2. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Interesting.

    Be a team player: play the way the team wants you to play.

    That said, I wouldn't put too much stock in "doubles rules." Play where you'll do the most good. Even so, usually, you'll want the player who can hit a good back-across backhand to play deuce court.

    Interesting also in that I would have thought that 5.0-5.5s would be the ones to follow serve returns to the net and 3.5s would stay back. But, hey, if 3.5s can get to the net and be effective -- great. Two up's the best style.
     
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  3. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Well, that would be me.

    I think the idea is blind net-rushing is a bad idea regardless of level. If the server is following the serve into the net, and he knows the returner is following the return into the net, then the returner is going to be hitting his first volley from his shoelaces all day. That's very low percentage, no matter who you are.

    In modern pro or high-level doubles, from what I've seen, the returner generally is working his way to net from no man's land first near the baseline, then near the service line. He may even line up pretty much behind his partner to pick up deep shots down the line or cross-court. Now maybe this is an adaptation because of the baseline orientation of the current crop of players, but my team wins a lot more points by my second shot being a strong groundstroke from just inside the court then it does by it being a half-volley from the service line. There's infinitely more control over placement, pace, etc. in the first scenario.

    No doubt that two-up is a great position. The question for me is how you make that happen: Charge in like a maniac, or look for / try to create the chance to move up.
     
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  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    First ... If you were playing 4.5 several years ago there is no way you should now be playing 3.5 unless you spent those several years in a coma.

    Secondly ... This is adult tennis and as such, on a team of 20 different players there will be 10 different philosophies about how you should play. The coaches job is not to change your game to conform with others but rather to partner you with someone that compliments you and your style.

    Finally ... no one in their right mind would suggest that you should refrain from being patient and taking a controlled approach to the game. Unbridled aggression is usually just bad and rarely leads to success for any length of time.

    From my brief time in 3.5 and now as I move to the top of 4.0 the biggest difference I have noticed is that better players hit controlled shots with margin until they have an oppening to hit big shots. Quality players do not hit their biggest on every shot nor do they race to the net at the expense of of other strategies that will lead to better oportunities.
     
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  5. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Find a different club and play 4.5 next year.
     
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  6. bodieq

    bodieq Rookie

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    If you were truly a 4.5 level player now playing 3.5....in reality you should be dominating on the doubles court whichever way you feel like playing and I doubt the captain (or any teammate) would say anything to you otherwise. But if you're losing 3.5 matches, and your team feels compelled to "coach/teach" you how to play stylistically.....then I think you need to let go of this misplaced concept about you having some 5.0+ level doubles mentality. Because regardless of whatever grasp of high level doubles you think you have....you apparently don't have the current skill-sets/stroke-mechanics to execute those 5.0 doubles strategies.
     
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  7. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    If I were losing, you'd be right. I'm not losing, though. In the last practice, I was asked by a guy on the other side of the net why I didn't agree with the coach. I replied that maybe that was a good question. So the next six balls that came to me were hit, as groundies, on alternating sides of that guy for clean winners. At will. Then I said, "Maybe that's why I don't agree with him."

    The problem, as has been pointed out above, is the mismatch of strategies. In a 3.5 team I'm a strong enough player to get a win regardless of what my partner does but it's causing problems in practice when I don't do what they expect. During a match, it's hard to complain with 6-1 6-1 our way.

    I kinda look at it like someone just learning how to write their letters. The letter 'A' looks just like so, and it's made just like so. If you've already learned how to make the letter and are writing it in cursive, you're going to whack out some people who panic easily.

    And I completely disagree that people won't try to "correct" you even if you're dominating them. Look up 'social leveling' -- a time-honored technique for normalizing those who are better than you.
     
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  8. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

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    I also agree that you should be dominant at 3.5 if you were remotely holding your own playing 5.0.

    I (solid 4.0) don't usually S&V, but I do eventually try and get to the net. Any tactic like "rushing the net aggressively" will get my opponents peppered with shoestring volleys all day long, or lobs over their partner's heads now and then, especially if they don't have overpowering serves.

    Staying with a strict tactical approach will get you beaten more often than not. Adapting to your opponents' style of play and changing your style according to their tactics will get you victories.
     
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  9. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    There is plenty of bad advice given out at all levels. For instance "steady player in deuce court / aggressive player in ad court" is pretty ridiculous advice that you somehow seem to have bought into.

    I don't think that advice given to 5.0 players should be the same as given to 3.5 players. But unless you are just annihilating 3.5 players I also think you may want to consdier that your game does have room to improve and trying things a different way is perfectly OK and then you can decide on your own what you thing the right balance is.
     
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  10. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    The way I was taught was, the aggressive, creative, shot-maker, player plays the deuce court, and the steady player, the ad court, because, the game is won or lost on the ad side. If you're behind on the score, the ad player should be the higher percentage returner to get you back to deuce.

    Tennis, being a game of percentages, the match is won on your opponent's errors rather out-right winners. Therefore you want your steady, percentage player, on the ad side, to keep the ball going back to your opponents, giving them the opportunity to make an error.

    As to your, predicament, yes you got it right--YOU'RE STUCK! I'm there myself due to injury. It's a lose-lose. You're talents will never be appreciated. Mediocrity, by shear numbers will drag you down to their level.

    There's nothing like breaking your ass to win a practice set with a clueless team-mate, and then watch him abandon you, walking to the other side, to "round-robin", with no thanks or appreciation for the ass-breaking effort you just put in to save his cookies--this is usually the team captain to boot! (just my experience having played on numerous teams--I'm sure there's a hard-working, under-appreciated, self-less team captain out there--no offense to that one). They probably wouldn't be playing, except, they are good administrators and know how to e-mail. And, they selfishly pair themselves with the best player, so they have a chance of winning.

    But, take heart, if you were Roger Federer, they would do the same, telling you how they want you to play. Dump the team and find a partner, and play Senior Age Group Tournaments. I would rather lose a thousand matchs there (and I probably will) rather than win for a clueless, unappreciative club-team, so I can quaff a beer and some California Dip and then be dumped off the team when another club player, with a better wine cellar or good pot, get's lowered from the lofty 4.0's. Or, the club gets a new soccer playing dish-washer, and they stick a racket in his hand and call him macaroni.

    When you get to 4.5 or above, the players are more experienced, usually having played in college or as kids and the opportunities get better--you may be able to network a job as a stock-broker or in the ad business.

    Those guys who figured out age-group tennis, with five year increments, knew what they were doing. Some of the older senior players think five years is too much of an age span and it should only be two. There's a reason Pro-Tour players are old at 28 and retire at 35. Nadal is starting to get old. It's stupid for an old fart to try to compete, head to head, against a kid with young wheels.

    As they say on the internet, just my 2 cents. Soar with the eagles rather than fly with the ducks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
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  11. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Your team is way too serious if you guys are having shouting matches over tactics. Our team is pretty much all over the board when it comes to style. People play whatever is most comfortable to them.

    Perhaps you should just find another partner.
     
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  12. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    Firstly I find it hard to believe that you played 4.5 tennis "several years" ago and are now playing 3.5 tennis unless "several years" means 30 years ago. I would think you would be bored out of your mind playing down 2 levels.

    In any case it appears the doubles is not much fun with this team so why not play singles? You can play any style you like when it is just you on the court.
     
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  13. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    my bad i did not read all the posts but if you know how to play doubles play your game. you will not have to play with the 3.5ers for long and you are working on your upper level skills.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This doesn't make sense to me.

    First, I agree that a few things you have said ("aggressive player in ad court, better BH takes ad court") don't really sound like correct doubles advice. If someone has a bad BH, you don't want that player with the (1) BH in the middle, (2) needing to go inside out, (3) against the FH volley of the net player. I think weak BHs should hide on the ad court when possible.

    Second, if you are 4.0-ish doubles skills, then you should be able to successfully execute staying back or net crashing. If your team wants you to net crash, then why not? I mean, I'm a 3.5. If I were playing against 3.0s (or 2.5s), I could net crash on every point and still win.

    Is it possible that you have pretty good groundstrokes but your approach volleys aren't so hot, so that you get nailed coming in quickly in a point? Just wondering.
     
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  15. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    I have heard this before and its better advice than "Steady player in deuce and aggressive player in ad". But none of these rules are universal. The most common doubles advice "The first team to take the net wins the most points", is true only when every thing else is equal.

    Having done some homework, having worked on some patterns and signals, definitely helps. It gives you confidence to go into the match and also gives you some advantage until your opponents figure out your game plan. But ultimately doubles is a team work and there is no set "winning strategy". The game is played by 4 players, so you have to account for how each one them is playing on that particular day, plus other factors like wind, sun, and court surface. Sometimes you have to also factor in gamesmanship by your opponents.

    To the OP:

    I have captained a 3.0 team which made it to the nationals. As a Captain I always tried to pair up guys with complementary skills and attitude. And that worked out well. I have also seen people screaming at their partners and constantly teaching them how to play. But almost always that resulted in poor performance.

    I think you are in wrong company. Find a different team before you loose the interest. I exclusively play doubles at 3.5 and 4.0. My experience is complete opposite of yours. Its fun and you meet lot of interesting people.

    Other day me and my partner played against two seniors with somewhat restricted movements. As a team they were at least 50 years "older" than us. We lost 7-6, 6-7, 2-6 after a 3 hour battle. And after the match the older of the two opponents asked me to hit with him some more. That was quite an experience.

    This is what USTA league tennis is supposed to be. There are all kinds of teams there. If you don't like your current team, just leave.

    Good Luck,
    -Josh
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
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  16. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    It's been a little more than 10 years since I've played competitively (in leagues or club ladders) and when I started doing it again I had serious "ring rust" and nerves problem. You know, typical king of the court during the warm up who loses 2 and 3. I figured I was playing around 3.5 once the score-keeping started, so...I figured the natural thing to do I was play 3.5. :oops:

    I'll have a chat with the captain after I see how practice this weekend goes.
     
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  17. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Haha, that's awesome. I love when other players try to teach their partners.

    I'm an odd doubles player. Prefer to play back unless the situation warrants (sitter and other attackable situations, even on serve). Also, uncomfortable at the net.

    I tell all my partners this. People who insist that I play traditional doubles are incredibly frustrating. When paired up with these players, I sabotage them and don't let them win. Of course, I do this while smiling and being friendly, so I never have the issue of being the 'guy with the attitude'. My better partners are good net players who let me play my game and take advantage of it.
     
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  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I'm with you, players play best when they are comfortable and relaxed and then the game is also the most fun too.

    On the other hand, I've seen opponents do amazingly well when you get them really, really mad. Sometimes I have to **** 'em off to get any practice. In a real match, it's best not to make 'em mad and wake 'em up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
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  19. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I'm on board with this. My strengths are from the baseline, and I do much better when I can approach net on my terms - not mindlessly crashing net.
     
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  20. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I wrote poorly. I wasn't saying "better BH takes ad court" as the superior way to decide; it's the way the coach says you select which side of the court is yours at the 3.5- levels. Rather than some idea as to whether one side plays more or less aggressively based on some play-to-the-score strategy.

    You may have forgotten there are two people on the court. If I abandon my back-ish position to rush the net regardless of ball and player position, I've got a 3.0-playing-up on my side of the net who's going to get a passing shot or lob thrown at him.

    All players and doubles teams, regardless of level, are capable of figuring out which members of the other team can cover their position / the court better / worse than the other.

    Canadian doubles, maybe. Otherwise you're only part of the story on your side of the net.

    Lots of things are possible, your suggestions among them.
     
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  21. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    My daughter and I were just discussing who plays on which side best. And we both agree that the better player should play on the ad court. When I say better to me it means that they can do a variety of shots with their FH and have a steady BH. I think most players can return serves fairly well on the deuce court...so :-? But then again I play more singles.
     
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  22. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

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    your what I call the "red flag player" too many.. " are you kidding me's?" like the guy who asked you if you were in a coma. Get real..anyone who says they completely "carry" their partners ass in a match is a joke. If you at any time remotely stepped on courts in the past with 4.5 /5.0 players then on a rusty time off from tennis you should be back in the 4.5 arena, real 4.5/5.0s dont want anyrthing to do with 3.5 players unless they are their coaches, 3.5 guys cant begin to play dubs with 4.5's, you were assigned with a 3.0 partner for a reason and may need a reality check.
    as for who plays add and deuce side, backhands /forhands etc, etc etc...4.5'/5.0 dont have weak backhands etc...all this is a wash and makes no sense to good lefties who play with weak righties..
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    To OP:

    I don't agree with your analysis.

    Two up is the strongest formation, right? If your partner is at net (because you served or received), then I don't think you must stay back because you have a weak partner. What you (if you are truly the stronger player) should do is hit returns and serves and groundstrokes that are so awesome in their awesomeness that they cannot pick on your partner. As for your partner getting lobbed, obviously you can't close as much as you might like.

    I dunno. It just sounds weird to me that you are being scolded for not coming to net. You should be coming to net, and players at the higher levels seem to do this. I just wonder if what is really happening is that you are hanging back for no good reason and your pro is trying to get you to stop doing that.

    I have to admit to a personal bias, though. I don't like playing with partners who never, ever come in. So if I were in a clinic and the pro was telling my partner to come in and she wouldn't do it *even in practice*, then I would be very frustrated with her.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I can see that.

    Still, I think the best thing is to have the weaker player play whichever side they like best.

    If the players are pretty even in skill, then I think it is important to put the strongest shots in the middle. Stronger overhead in the middle. Stronger volley in the middle. That sort of thing.

    In mixed, I usually play deuce because my BH volley is often stronger than my partner's but his overhead is stronger than mine.

    In ladies, I often play ad because my overhead is stronger and having my FH volley in the middle helps me with my approach volley and half volley.

    I don't know that anyone has ever come up with a good rule for this, I guess . . . .
     
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  25. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I think that people overthing the ad/deuce thing. All that matters is which formation gives your team the best results when returning serve. Doesn't matter about consistent/inconsistent. Some people hit inside out well and some do not. Set up however it makes your teams returns of serve the best. Its just math- if you are winning more points then you are going to have the ad in your favor far more often and it won't matter who is the more consistent player.

    We have a girl on the women's team who thinks she knows better than the coach because she knows the right way to play and isn't willing to adjust her game even though she is losinig at a level far below where she considers it to be. No one can talk to her about whats going on even though its obvious to everyone who watches. (She thinks she can just bang from the baseline to beat people but its not working) If your results are standout then you can play however you want. But if you aren't dominating and everyone is trying to mention things that you aren't doing well them maybe its time to listen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
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  26. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Maybe you're right. Myself, I'd hesitate to draw so many conclusions based on what's been written, because any written description is far from sufficient for conveying the entire experience. You'd have to be there in order to do that.

    Myself, I find it's best to give the writer the benefit of the doubt of their description of events rather than imagine I've got some deep insight into the situation they describe when no such insight is possible.

    But hey, you got to bust somebody's chops, eh? Good for you.
     
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  27. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

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    This is what you need to expand upon here so that people have a better idea what you are talking about. Give some examples that illustrate the differences.

    I've been watching Wimbledon doubles, and certainly not everyone prescribes to the "taking the net" philosophy. At higher levels, some teams are successful with different approaches. But as you admit yourself, you are not one of those higher level players and therefore you cannot pull off those higher level playing styles on your own.

    I'm sure that's frustrating and I sincerely sympathize with you. But I must point out that like your team mates, you too are guilty of not wanting to change anything in your game. That will undoubtedly earn you the very reputation you seek to avoid.
     
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  28. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    I'd love to team up with you for a match of mixed doubles, Cindy. Just to see how long you could last before screaming at me.
     
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  29. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Tell your story of how you learned to really play doubles to your doubles partner and then rest of the team.

    They will learn. They will tell their children and their children will
    tell their children.

    "Papi... how did you learn to play real doubles? Well, son..."
     
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  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    TRUE ! .....
     
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  31. WBF

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    Nope.

    When I play with people I don't know very well (occasional USTA matches, subbing in a club, etc.), I occasionally get scolded for my style, despite my prior indication of my play, and despite the effectiveness of my game.

    It all depends on the player and the team. Some can effectively play back, apart from very attackable situations.

    Agreed that people should work on all aspects of their game, but we're discussing someone who is playing in a USTA league, not in a clinic.
     
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  32. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    club and league tennis is a completely different game than what the bryan brothers play.

    club players can lob and moonball every stroke and win matches. club players can dink and hit junk shots and win matches. club players can serve like they are making pancakes and win matches. and club players can sit back at the baseline and not volley a single ball and win matches.
     
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I could probably last a very long time, Pushy. Probably longer than you could resist the impulse to scream at me for missing *another* service return.

    Most of the 3.5 guys I play with would rather die than transition to net. One has really good hands when he starts there, though. They play however they are most comfortable playing, and so do I. It's all good.

    Now, if we are in a coached team practice and the coach wants them to move up and they still won't do it . . . that would be annoying. How are we going to grow as a team if folks don't get out of their comfort zones, even in practice?
     
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  34. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I agree! Except that, in my case, it's not that I won't do it at all -- it's that I won't do it without seeing an approach opportunity. In singles, I'm definitey an all court player. I'm not afraid of approaching the net when the opportunity presents itself. I could probably be more aggressive about this, though, so that's food for thought.

    I agree too about the comfort zones. That's why I've hit at least weekly with one-on-one teaching coaches for the past couple of years, and in as many 4.0+ drill sessions and workshops as I can cram into my schedule -- and, now that school's out, I hit once a week with a 5.0 from a local college who kicks my ass. Two 90 min team practices (one all-team, the other doubles teams) on the weekends...the last thing I'm about is staying in a comfort zone.

    But I'm also not about taking just any old advice, though, just 'cause the person giving it calls himself a coach. I consider what's being said first. As has been pointed out, there's a lot of bad advice given out even by the best-intended people.

    My current teaching coach I've been hitting with for about nine months. He was a coach for the Russian tennis team (back when Russia was the USSR) and is the teaching coach for many of the local top juniors and college players. I'm one of the very few "adult" students he works with, because I want to be better and I put the work in. Very contemporary technique, and covers all strokes and court situations.

    In the interest of keeping the peace, however, I'm probably going to cave and just do what I'm told in practice: follow any shot to the net. Nothing pisses the sheep off like going against the groupthink; nothing pisses off an authoritarian like someone who questions authority. Now I tried it for a while last weekend and got tired of hitting volleys from my shoelaces, particularly since I had a 90 minute private lesson still in front of me later that same morning, but WTF. If I show up, I should fully engage.

    And, incidently, for that poster who suggested I should do a reality check based on my being paired with a 3.0 for doubles, the reality check is this: The team captain put the team together that he thought would win in 2nd dubs (it was the first win of the season for my partner, BTW, out of six previous tries with different partners). The captain is trying to produce a winning team. Period.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^I disagree that you should wait for a good ball to approach on. You serve, you come to net. You return, you come to net. You don't react, you act.

    That should be the default setting in a practice match/clinic/teaching pro situation. I mean, you already know how to approach off of the right ball. Now you have to learn how to force the action.

    I say this because at 4.0 I am learning that many games or matches are essentially a race to the net. Pity the player who gets pinned at the baseline against two good volleyers at net.
     
    #35
  36. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Find a 4.0 or 4.5 team that is there for enjoyment and friendship. Have a lot of fun playing. Have some beers after the match and relax. I've been on (and captained) many teams like this.
     
    #36
  37. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Disagree all you like. Do what works for you. Others will do what works for them, because their experience is different than yours. When it stops working for them, THEN they'll have a reason to change what they're doing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
    #37
  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    But . . . that's the whole problem.

    You may find yourself in a match in which your normal approach "stops working." It happens to everyone.

    The question is this: What then?

    If you have refused in practice to work on coming into net on the first ball (rather than waiting for the right ball), then you have no Plan B. Even if you know you need to change it up in the match, you will have no confidence in Plan B because you haven't practiced it.

    Forgive my aggressive stance on this, but it just makes me crazy. I have players on my team who just will not push the envelope in practice. They seem not to be able to stand losing a point or looking foolish, even in practice. So when things go south for us in a match, we wind up having a conference between points like this:

    "OK, let's line up Australian and give that a try. No? Um, OK. Let's follow our returns to net, then. No? Um, how about a lob return? No? OK, I'll serve up the middle and you poach the crosscourt ball. No? OK, let's just keep losing then."

    Trust me. If you learn to come to net in doubles you will always be glad you have that arrow in your quiver.
     
    #38
  39. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I am not them. You seem to be putting me in their place, and arguing with them via me.

    Forgive me, but I'm not going to respond to you about this topic any more.
     
    #39
  40. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    ^^^Have to side with RH on this one. He's played 4.5 and apparently flirted with 5.0 before; therefore, he's an accomplished player who knows his game. Don't know why he's wasting time at 3.5, but that's his choice.

    Deal is, most 3.0 and 3.5 players NEED practice and drilling to do certain things that 4.5s and above can do instinctively. Players at that level have skills we 3.0s and 3.5s may never have. If they need to change their game in the middle of a match, believe me, they can do it.

    RH, why not jump back in at 4.0? Your partners and teammates there would probably appreciate and accept your game more there than at the 3.5 level.
     
    #40
  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Um, OK. Your choice.

    I think you were crystal clear in your opening post when you said this:

    Which is exactly what my ever-so-frustrating teammates say as they politely resist the pro's suggestions that they change the way they play.
     
    #41
  42. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Let me also be crystal clear about this: Nothing you've quoted there means I can't do it, or that I'm resisting getting out of my comfort zone, or any of the other blah blah blah problems you're having with your teammates.

    Do your teammates have 4.0+ USTA league experience, and are they playing down after a long break from playing matches in order to get their ring sense back? No? Then what they're doing does not apply to me. (Leaving aside for a moment the thought that playing down might have been a stupid way for me to get used to being in the ring again.)

    Besides, I also said this:

    But you've ignored that so that you can continue to argue with your teammates through me.

    I get it. They **** you off. You wish they'd behave differently.

    But please!!! leave me out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
    #42
  43. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

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    mmm.. rh310..you are a 4.0/4.5 wanna bee..you are really a 3.0/3.5 in reality..your dead giveway..you should not need lessons at 4.5., get out and just hit!.you should be happy you can win with someoone who has not won yet, glad you get all the credit.."another red flag"..btw..how is your fitness..? this is the key for all this social tennis anyway...
     
    #43
  44. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Does your mom know you're using her computer ?
     
    #44
  45. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

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    Wow, lots of MEOW type messages going back and forth here...:shock:

    I still would like to hear how the tennis you played at higher levels differed from what you are being asked to do now. Naturally, I would expect higher level players to have more skills. But I thought they were executing similar strategies but with a greater variety of shots and with more consistency.

    How do the strategies differ between the two levels?
     
    #45
  46. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Well I'm with you in that I wouldn't expect the strategies to be different, but here's an example of what the coach has said:

    A ball was in the middle, and when I took the shot on my FH because I was closest to the ball (and passed both net players down the middle) the coach stopped play and said it should be a BH shot. I politely asked him if he could explain why, and his explanation was that a 3.5 isn't going to be able to pass anyone at the net, and so their shot will be volleyed and pass them on their BH side. He said 3.5s aren't good enough to hit the FH and then defend their BH. He said he wanted his 3.5 team to play the BH on balls in the middle, and said "person closest hits the ball" or any other approach should be reserved for 4.5+ levels.

    On practice Saturday, the same coach corrected the team captain for making microadjustment steps before he hit his shot, saying that he should take large steps to the ball then set up and stay still. To my eye, the team captain was demonstrating excellent footwork, and was hitting consistent shots when doing it his way. So judge for yourself whether this coach is onto something or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
    #46
  47. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    mebbe the coach knows how to teach the "lower" level players to get the best results?
     
    #47
  48. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I was simply asked to provide an example of how the coach was organizing shot selection strategy by NTRP team number.

    Like any self-consistent strategy, there are situations it is well-suited for.
     
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, that doesn't even make sense.

    Were you in the ad court when you played your FH to drive up the middle (and are you right handed)? Or were you instead in the deuce court and ran around your BH to drive the FH?

    Viewing this incident most favorably to the coach, maybe he was saying that you should have driven the ball with your BH if you were in the deuce court. Running around the FH in that situation would leave the entire deuce court exposed. I'd still say that advice is incorrect, but at least I could picture what he is trying to say.

    Is English this guy's first language? Could it be a huge communication problem?
     
    #49
  50. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Of course. And the other player was a rightie too.

    And yes, English is his first language.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
    #50

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