Doubles in USTA league: Good, bad, and ugly

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

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Well, he sounds like a Bad Pro. The issue is not level. He just doesn't know how to play doubles, if what you say is accurate.
     
    #51
  2. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Messages:
    468
    Well that makes exactly no sense.

    The more common scenario at 3.5 (and I'm firmly entrenched at 3.5) is the deuce player volleys to the middle and the opposing ad player deftly angles a forehand volley to the forehand side of the deuce player. At 3.5, we often are not skilled at returning to neutral position to take that volley.

    I guess I can see your coaches point. If you fail to split the net team your opposing ad player will have an opportunity to angle a volley past you to your backhand side. But I think that's a much tougher shot for the ad opponent to hit.

    This coach doesn't have a lot of faith in 3.5 players. I'm quite adept at hitting a low, underspin, forehand volley through the middle - it's a shot my coaches teach and encourage. Can't say the same for my backhand volley though...:)

    It really sounds like the issue is with this particular coach. I would probably approach the team captain and apologetically let him/her know that while you enjoy the company of your team mates, you are not comfortable with the pro's approach. Perhaps the captain has doubts too.
     
    #52
  3. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    Since I've joined the team, I've mentioned his name to head pros at other clubs in the area I hit at. The non-verbal cues I pick up on saying his name are pretty obvious.

    As an aside, I played a good 3.5 in singles yesterday and took the match 1 and 1. So the reason I had for playing down after a long break (to get my "ring sense" back) may be working out and I might start looking for a 4.0 or so team next season.

    Finally, I just have to comment on something said in an earlier post about how 4.5s don't need lessons. That's just an utterly brain-dead statement. Even top 10 pros work on their strokes under guidances of their coaches, and work under guidance on court scenarios that are giving them problems. Look at how Gonzales' slice BH improved under Stefanki, or how Federer worked with Higueras to fine-tune his approach to Roland Garros play.
     
    #53
  4. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Washington DC
    you are making absolutely no sense when it comes to who hits what balls at what level in both singles and doubles. All levels use all kinds of shots just with better execution of that type of shot. a 4.5 will have stronger shots all around just like you a 3.5 will have better shots all around than a 3.0 player. As far as being "utterly brain dead" about 4.5's taking lessons, you are dead wrong by comparing a high level rec player (4.5, 5.0) player with pro level players you mentioned. Huge differences between rec players and paid proffesionals. All I was stating was if you are true and honest rusty former 4.5 player all you is to get fit and dust off the rust..no, im not using my mom's computer. i might actaully be old enough to be your mom. :)
     
    #54
  5. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,267
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    find a new team. one that understands the game AND people.
     
    #55
  6. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    [ Reply deleted ]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
    #56
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    It's just been a confusing thread, that's all. First post talked about how OP is much stronger than teammates and OP resists pro's suggestion to come to net more. Some people reply that OP should consider doing things differently.

    Then thread morphs into discussion about how the teaching pro is a moron. Well, OK. That makes more sense (although the advice to come to net is definitely not wrong). I guess the basic deal is you've got an incompetent teaching pro. Either you convince your teammates to take their business elsewhere, or you suffer in silence and do things exactly the way these guys want.

    Or you go find a different team.

    It is frustrating, however, to have a teaching pro telling you stuff that is wrong. Not only do you wind up losing, your teammates absorb the bad advice and then tell you that you are doing it wrong.
     
    #57
  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,130
    Yeah, the pro is an idiot. As I said before, you need a new team.
     
    #58
  9. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    348

    None of this sounds right. In case of doubles, almost always the player in the best position to take the ball should take it. This applies irrespective of the NTRP level. Sometimes at higher level when the two partners have great chemistry and experience of playing together they will break this rule because it gives them strategic advantage on next shot.

    But speaking of your situation, it seems like you are dealing with a bad pro (at least you are convinced that he is bad), then why not just walk away? Personally I want to enjoy my time on the court. If something prevents me from enjoying my tennis, I will not go to court again until I find a solution.

    -Josh
     
    #59
  10. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    Read the first posts again. The pro's suggestion was not to come to net "more" it was to come to net regardless of the shot that was hit.

    I watched the Ladies Doubles final yesterday. I didn't see anyone rushing the net regardless of what shot was hit.

    It's bad advice.

    On your regarding this thread as confusing, there is some hope that your confusion can be eliminated if you recognize that "incompetent pro giving bad advice" is THE SINGLE consistent theme.

    The only point of my mentioning my background was to show that I can credibly distinguish good advice from bad advice. This wasn't as completely effective as I'd hoped, but the Internet wouldn't be the Internet without a few flamers and readers with poor comprehension.

    Well, my G*d -- I thought you and I would never get here.

    I'm going to win regardless. Now that I've got a few matches under my belt, the opponents just aren't very strong. It's just a matter of how much noise I have to put up with from the team and its coach until the season is over.

    I'll just grin and bear it. I'm not out to change anybody else.

    (BTW, I just now "got" your .sig. That's extremely funny.)
     
    #60
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    No, it's not bad advice.

    Should you come to net "regardless of what shot was hit?" Well, the first question you have to answer is "Hit by whom?"

    If you decide to S&V, you come in based on the quality of your own shot (presumably your awesome first serve). You don't wait to see what the opponent will do with your serve. If you do, you will never S&V.

    The same thing holds with shots other than serves. What you do depends on what you did. So if I hit a great shot, I don't wait to see what shot the opponent hits -- I come in (or back up) based on what shot my partner and I hit.

    Once you get that principle down, a lot of doubles strategy becomes clear. You decide whether you are on offense or defense based on what you just did. So in your clinic, it is possible that your ignorant teaching pro thought you were missing opporunities to come in because you were deciding whether to come in solely based on your opponent's ball (say, a short ball) rather than what you did (you or your partner hit a great lob and should follow it in).

    Anyway, it's an interesting subject.

    Thanks. Someday I hope to be able to drop that sig line. Not yet, though!!! :)
     
    #61
  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,738
    OK, many pages ago, I think, I too thought the pro was wrong. But, if I can try to make a defense for him. So, let's say he's trying to train a bunch of 3.5's, who have been taught, wrongly, to play one up/one back. He's trying to break them of this vile habit, by drilling them, in an over-compensating way, to suicidally charge the net. He is trying to overcome their prior conditioning to stay back.

    The time to make mistakes is in practice. You as a 4.5 understand that a blind charge of the net will result in a lob from your opponents. Therefore, you hang back, knowing that your partner will be lobbed by the opposition and it will be your job to save your partner's cookies by covering the lob, that should be his to cover.

    But, the coach is trying to break old habits and create new ones. The team that controls the net wins--all else being equal--which at 3.5 nothing will be equal. The coach isn't concerned about his charges being lobbed yet, he just wants to get this band of mis-fits not to fear the net.

    You, as a 4.5, understand that you must work yourself into the net by chipping and using approach shots. If you charge the net with abandon, you will run through your volley and miss it. Even the pros aren't fast enough get on top of the net following their serve. They must stop near the service line and get set (split step).

    Just trying to find a rational for the coach's methodology.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
    #62
  13. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    Yeah, it's an interesting subject. I have to draw the line there. It's easy to type a great game of tennis on The Internets, but only it's what happens on the court, in the living moment, that really determines what you know / don't know, and can do or not do.

    But let me drop this whole line of writing before 'lefty flames me for being a wanna be Jedi in addition to a wanna be tennis player. :shock:
     
    #63
  14. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Washington DC
    i love players who think coming to the net is not necessary to win, the average rec player will loose not coming to the net..remember you only need to win 51% of the shots to actually win the match, so you miss some at the net, odds are baseliners cannot beat a good net player. AND watching pro tennis , yes helps the overall persepeetive of the game, BUT you are a rec player and you need to get to the net, all costs in my book,,im a 3.5 net player with a 22 and 2 record. dont forget also one up and one back is the absolute worst position for dubs formation, you have to get out of it as soon as possible..id rather have 2 back..also my favorite partnter is one who thinks like me, get to the net! not a baseliner..too much open court for the opponents! ...sorry rh310 if you were offended by my opinions so your response needed to be deleted, I thought tennis players were of the same thinking,,guess not..
     
    #64
  15. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    I deleted my own comments, Lefty. It was a long meandering reply and it just goes against my learned nature to craft epics on an Internet forum.

    Ultimately, there was no offense taken. You're entitled to your opinions, and you're entitled to express them.

    Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
    #65
  16. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Washington DC
    thanks and good luck figuring it all out! in the end, just getting out and keeping the fun in it always produces a good outcome, and heck as much as id like to be as good as the circuit players, i enjoy competing and moving up the rec USTA system of play...going to state championships and hopes for sectionals and on to Nationals!
    best regards righty..
     
    #66
  17. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    Unless you are getting paid to play tennis on this team, I would not let some *un-qualified* 3.5 player(s) tell you how to play the game. I don't care if you prefer to stand next to the fence to hit your serves, its the game that you bring to the table and if they don't like it then its too bad.
     
    #67
  18. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    407
    I'm just curiuos, how would you draw up a point from the returners position. You say you work your way up. By lobbing? Topspin groundies? Are you looking for a short ball to drive hard and follow in?

    IOW, if you're trying to get to the net, how do you draw out the opportunity from the team at the net?
     
    #68
  19. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    I too am a bit mistified at just what you need to approach the net. Playing against people of my own ability I've seen very few shots that I couldn't and didn't come in on but I'll admit I'm aggressive and if they pass me they pass me but I bet they can't do it 4 times a game. Now if you are truly a level or so above the opposition you should be able to stand pretty close to the service line and saunter into the net following your powerful return.

    As for who takes what I'm of the opinion that better player trumps weaker player and when things are equal forehand trumps backhand. But then I still like to play one up one back and take em all.
     
    #69
  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    In my opinion, it varies based on . . . . everything.

    The only way to find out for sure is to try.
     
    #70
  21. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    738
    in my 3.5 leagues i've won matches not coming to net at all or just a few times. i've also seen teams where both guys are constantly up at net together. sometimes they are good volleyers and have good overheads so this strategy works for them. othertimes one or both of em are terrible at net or can't cover lobs so this strategy doesn't work and i just pound groundies at the weak volleyer or lob them.

    lotsa different ways to skin a cat.
     
    #71
  22. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,738
    Good advice Ken, although if you have too powerful a serve, you may not give yourself enough time to saunter to the service line. Better to just spin it in with good placement.

    As for who hits the second volley, all things being equal-- which they seldom are, accept for pros--the player who hit the first volley, should hit the next, because he is in rhythm.
     
    #72
  23. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    23,292
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    cindy,,,that new custom Orthotic is Awsome. Playing pain free 90% of the time. but when i take off that orthotic inserted shoe,,it starts to hurt again...:(
     
    #73
  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Yeah, they are awesome. I'm glad you're getting some relief.
     
    #74
  25. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    23,292
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    problem i have is i can't wear it all the time. i have a tennis shoes with it inside so when i am at home i dont' wear it and that is when it HURTs still.
     
    #75
  26. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    Somewhere in NY
    This.

    Rushing the net regardless of your skill, team dynamics and the current situation is not an appropriate strategy at any level of the game.

    I rarely make it up to net. Yet I somehow squeeze out wins against players at or above my level, and can win with a lower level players (that complement my game) against teams that should beat us on paper.
     
    #76
  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    In 3.5 ladies, I scold myself if I don't come to net on every single service return. Few opponents have a strong enough serve to bother me, so what am I doing hanging around at the baseline? This is especially so given that I often play ad court, so my return went to the server's BH. Let's see if she can pass my partner's FH DTL, or put a dipper at my feet, or come up with a wicked crosscourt angle with her BH.

    I'm going to start coming in more in mixed -- all the time against the woman, and whenever I have the courage against the man.
     
    #77
  28. slick

    slick Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Something isn't right.

    OP says he was playing at a 5.0 level but now has to play 3.5(!) because he is rusty.

    Yet...in another post in this thread he says he has been hitting in a private session with a teaching pro "at least" once a week plus additional drill clinics for the last 2 years?!?! Just when is that rust supposed to come off????

    I don't think you were ever even close to a 4.5 level.
     
    #78
  29. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    Well, let's think this through for a second, eh slick?

    Two possibilities that I see:

    1) Either I'm some sort of pathetic case of a person who wants to foist off story about myself as a person slumming in a 3.5 league, who additionally is completely incompetent in creating a self-consistent narrative; or,

    2) You're not a very strong and or careful reader.

    Now, I can prove [2]. Can you prove [1] ?
     
    #79
  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,738
    Oh, I have a premonition this is going to get good real fast, is there a smiley for popcorn? Maybe we can get this to 10+ pages.

    The OP did mention injuries, so we don't know if they are still a factor. I usually find it takes me two weeks of steady playing to get the rust off. It's mainly the vision that is the key, the eyes have muscles too.
     
    #80
  31. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    I believe the OP mentioned "ring rust" not stroke rust. As in, playing matches for the first time in many years, and having problems with nerves and choking.

    See
    The self-rate at 3.5 was intended to let the OP work through his ring rust, not stroke problems per se.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
    #81
  32. slick

    slick Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Again, what??? You mean to tell us that your strokes are at a 4.5 level but in a match you choke your way down from a 4.5 to a 3.5 level???

    Come on. Nobody is buying that.

    Really, if a 3.5 team had a true sandbagging 4.5 or even 4.0 playing on a 3.5 team they would be loving it, NOT fighting him or "teaching" him.

    Methinks you are not accurately perceiving reality.
     
    #82
  33. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    <Shrug> I'm not trying to sell it. It wasn't the strokes that degraded, it was the results I was getting. No idea at all how to construct a point, extreme nervousness, etc.

    The fighting happened in exactly one team practice. It was settled then.

    If you think a coach doesn't want to correct a strong player, you're so very wrong:

    One, there is no consensus whatsoever on stroke mechanics. So a well-intended coach will suggest a "correction" when a stroke isn't done the way he/she likes.

    Two, a coach that can have a strong player accept his guidance can and does then take credit for the strength of that player. I've actually had a coach say to me, "Now I can put my name on your serve," after I changed the way I held the ball at the start of the toss at his suggestion. (Not that the serve itself was any better, mind you.)

    Of course, maybe I'm just lying about all this because I'm such a nothing in real life that I need to create an online superman.

    That's entirely possible. But then, I have actually played at 4.5 USTA back in the very late 90s (unless you think I'm lying about that, which is your right to do).

    What's it to you, either way?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
    #83
  34. slick

    slick Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Its nothing to me, I just find your posts very odd. When I first started reading this thread I thought it odd that a former 4.5 would be playing 3.5 but figured, OK, maybe he hadn't played in years and just picked up a racquet again. But then you posted that you had been hitting weekly with teaching pros and drill sessions for 2 years. That's a long time. And yet still playing 3.5. Doesn't compute.

    All your posts have an odd quality, very defensive.

    A 4.5 player has well developed strokes and usually has a lot of playing experience. Even if they take years off their game comes back very quickly far above a 3.5 level.
     
    #84
  35. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,738
    #85
  36. rh310

    rh310 Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    NY USA
    A couple of shots of Jack makes you feel like a new man. Only problem is, the first thing the new man wants is a couple shots of Jack.

    (With apologies to George Carlin, RIP)

    Et tu, Brute? ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
    #86

Share This Page