Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by heninfan99, Nov 8, 2012.
Doubles Players: If you play well but still lose the match do you...?
you need an option for: "blame your partner".
Haha. If I lose and play well, I'm never unhappy with losing. Problem is, I usually beat myself, so it's rare that I'm happy with losing .
I do hit with a 5.0 that has consecutively beaten me 20 sets in a row. I had set points last time I played him though! :shock:
I've never been unhappy with losing to him. I just expect it. I usually play my best tennis against him too.
I remember playing some great tennis against him and him beating me 6-0, or 6-1. Still walked away smiling.
In doubles it's a little harder. If I play well, but my partner doesn't and we get beat, it's kind of a stuck in the middle feeling for me. If this is the case and it's a close match, it's not as bad as losing badly.
I've recently come to the realization that playing well in doubles includes getting/helping your partner play well.
So I have been working a lot on what I can do to make my partner play better. Either shoring them up when they start to wobble, or snapping them out of it when they go into a slide.
Saying "I would've held serve if my partner didn't miss those two overheads." somehow isn't very reassuring to me.
Best post in the thread. Because everyone learns singles first and doubles later, tennis is an individual sport in our minds and the concept of "teamwork" comes late to the party. The idea that a quarterback would feel good after a loss thinking: "well, I hit those receivers in the numbers and they dropped the ball, oh well, not my problem..." sounds weird, but doubles players say it all of the time.
I can take some satisfaction in my game if I played well, yet still be "unhappy" if we lose.
I put "unhappy" in quotes because its not like I'm devestated or enraged if we lost.
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "oh well" and 10 being a raving lunatic... I'd say losing doubles in rec play, I'm a 2-3 and its even that much because usually there is plenty of friendly trash talking ongoing.
In losing league or tourneys I'm probably a 5, unless the people that beat us were jerks or hooking... then I'd be around a 6-7.
Losing in an organized social mixed match, probably a 1. I play hard, have fun, it doesn't matter win or lose... not that I don't try, but if one of the opponents is over-matched then I'm not using all my best shots/serves... so it doesn't matter to me the outcome. It's like playing a young niece or nephew in checkers... yeah, I see the triple jump move... but do I really need to do that? Nahhh.
edit: however, there is a degree of frustration if you can set up your partner for a put-away, and they blow the shot repeatedly... that's not so much fun if it happens a lot.
Yup, I say it all the time.
I get my best results in doubles when I go into the match to play my very best, period. That takes a lot of the pressure off for me.
If I go in focused on "winning," then I am a hostage to how well my partner is playing. Then I will notice my partner's missed shots. Then I will start trying to do too much to compensate for her poor play.
But if I just focus on doing what I can do as well as I can do it, the stars align and we will likely win. And if we don't win . . . well, I will accept the consolation prize of knowing I did as much as I could.
I need to learn your approach, because Losses still make me feel quite bad, even if I played well.
Actually it isn't "as much as" you could. In my experience the process of teamwork in doubles is twofold, neither of which is "compensating for... poor play", which I agree is a recipe for disaster.
First is the Mental Game aspect, that is behaving in a way that a poorly playing partner will play as well as they can that day, or in other words not to make them play at their worst, which is the common response to the common behavior of doubles players to poor partner play.
Second is making strategic decisions to change play (like you should be doing in singles when losing) to compensate for the realities of how the match is going, ie playing 2 back on first serve returns, only playing S&V on first serves etc.
I think the extent to which one partner can "help" the other partner who is struggling is overblown. (For sake of simplicity, I'll call the struggling partner the Bad Partner and will call the other one the Good Partner.)
Yes, of course if the Good Partner has an idea about strategy she should share it. Like, last night. I was the Bad Partner in a mixed match. We could not hold my serve because I was making too many groundstroke errors. My Good Partner said nothing about my constant barrage of errors. He just kept playng.
When I was serving for the first set, I asked my Good Partner what we could do for me to hold. He suggested playing Aussie against the woman, and it worked.
Most Good Partners don't have suggestions about strategy, IME. No, they have suggestions about stroke mechanics. They make requests the Bad Partner cannot execute ("You need to S&V!"). Or they say things that actually make matters worse ("Just get your serve in!" or "We really need this game.").
If you and I are partners and you are stinking it up, I am not going to say anything to you about it, most likely. If you DF, I will hand you two balls, that's it. If you keep hitting the net, I won't tell you to hit the ball over the net. If I see something *we* can do (e.g. Aussie), I will suggest it.
Beyond that, I figure my partner knows how to play tennis and is making her own internal adjustments to play better. For instance, if I hit two DFs in a row, some partners will come back and make suggestions, like "Can you server to her BH?" That is *so* not helpful. Now I need to do my own internal diagnostics to fix the problem, and I also have a new responsibility to place the serve too. If I hit two DFs in a row, my plan is to hit whatever serve is most high-percentage for me, and it might not be the serve my partner has declared I should try.
Too easy, it's doubles you have a partner and it's NEVER the other side's fault!
Nothing, obviously I'm a tennis zombie. :razz:
I didn't like either of the first 2 options so I went with zombie too.
Really there's not enough information here. If I played well but was just against a couple of players who are simply a level or 2 above me in tennis ability, then I won't feel bad at all, and Lprobably won't spend much time thinking about it afterwards.
If I played reasonably well but we lost a tight one, I'll still probably analyze it in my head to try and figure out what I could have tried differently that might have worked. Sure, I hit mostly good shots, but were they shots that were playing into the other team's strengths? Could I/we have worked my/our way into net more (or less) often? From the baseline, should I have tried more off-pace spin shots instead of giving them the same, consistent, flat, medium paced rally shot? I do tend to get analytical after close losses, although I wouldn't call it bummed.
A couple of things:
I agree with your first bolded statement, though as a caveat I would add (thus my original advice) that the ability for the Good partner to make the Bad partner play worse cannot be overblown, it is so common that it is almost the rule.
Your experience in your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs is an excellent example of my point #2. Thanks for that.
Your second bolded statement is a great avoidance of the errors both of us cite are so common, though we all know there are personality types, perhaps not yours nor mine, that will be bouyed up with either a "don't worry about it" or a "it was a good miss" type of thing.
Actually I do think there are "good misses", and I will encourage my partner when he makes a good miss. For example, I believe in being very aggressive on return of serves, at least for the first several return games. Reasoning: I expect that my partner and I will hold our serves. I also expect that our opponents will hold their serves if we return conservatively. So, it is worth taking more risks with the ROS - often, all we need is one break to take the set. If my partner is going for his returns, but not making them, I don't want him to feel bad about it and try dial it down, so I will encourage him to keep going for it. Obviously, if after several return games he is still not making any returns, then it's time to try something else
Plenty of good misses, in singles and doubles.
Give confidence, that you're on the right track.
Grooves your strokes.
Causes concern on the other side of the net.
Better to hit solid and miss by a little than go all conservative and hand the initiative to the opponent's.
Missing a poll option...what if I and my partner play well and we lose?
That I don't mind at all. I'll take a hard fought loss and learn from it. Or if I play out of my mind an my partner is average, no biggee.
You can't win em all. But you can learn from them all.
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