Doubles Strategy discussion b/w points?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by hunterx, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. hunterx

    hunterx New User

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    I'm a 3.5 and my partner 2.5 in a Flex 3.5 dbls league. What kind of discussions do you have with your teammate between points, either serving or not? We got smoked the first match...as my partner focused too much on why he was missing shots and not as much on the next point. This time around I made a point to ignore his commentary and change the topic to the next point and as a team we played much better.

    Do you basically talk about where you are going to serve, and then they come back and tell you how they will react to it? Are you making plans for dinner or talking about a new craft beer you tried?

    As of right now, when I am serving I am telling him forehand or backhand side. I expect him to tell me if he will poach or not. That's pretty much it. Oh and before I get critiqued about the poaching comment, I mean he comes ALL the way across and gives up his side of the court so after I serve I am basically switching sides with him. I'm sure there's a name for that strategy but I don't know it.
     
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  2. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I talk a little with my regular partner in doubles, and occasionally play with other guys who talk a fair bit. For me, I actually prefer keeping the conversation to a minimum. I agree with a few words here and there as needed to clarify what you are planning to do next or where you are going to serve the ball, etc, but too much talking, I feel, distracts from staying focused on the match itself. I will say that the more you play with a regular partner you feel comfortable with, the less talk is needed. You begin to develop a feel for where each other will go in this or that situation without having to plan it. But that takes a while playing together to develop. My advice is to keep the partner-to-partner exchanges short and to the point during the match and save the lengthier conversations for practice sessions or when you are discussing strategy off the court. Tennis is better played when it is more instinctual than rehearsed, IMHO.
     
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  3. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    I try to keep it simple in regards to chitchat between points... Usually just point out a weakness on the other team or something we could have done to have won the last point (or a compliment or confirmation on what we did right on the last point).

    My 3 hand signs:

    1 finger down - Light Poach: going to come across but may come back to take a down the line return.

    2 fingers split: Hard Poach: switching no matter what happens.

    3 Fist: Nothing (but make sure to call my partners name & turn around so that our opponents think something is going to happen... You have to so this when you actually do have a planned play too of course ;-)

    Have gone further with some partners but also had mass confusion unless we play often.

    Biggest lesson learned, be positive no matter what.... Tough to do when getting smoked lol.
     
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  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    We talk little, but honestly with each other about strategy but never execution.

    For example, in our last match he told me that if I returned the ball deep he was going to jump the servers reply. I hit a return that bounced inside the server's box ... he jumped, I did not react .... lost point.

    In my conversation to him I said, "dude, that was not deep ... I was not expecting you to go". He agreed, we moved on.

    When serving we have 3 basic commands .... either through signal or verbal

    Fist ... I am staying, likely faking but placement is up to you

    Open ... I am poaching hard, serve the T

    Middle finger ... serve the body, I will stay closer to the middle looking to react on any ball dangling in the middle
     
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  5. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    maybe if i notice where the opponents are serving us i will mention it or if we should be hitting it to one of our opponents over another. i generally think its bad advice if you start telling people to lay off there groundies because they are hitting too many out. i think one time i told my partner hey how about you make a return (obvious i tried to say it nicer) and i regretted saying that, because i mean the guy has been playing tennis for 25 years he knows his returning better than me.


    i will give some positioning advice but that is mainly because some of these guys i play with have some horrendous positioning.

    not really on topic but i see it happen a lot at 3.5 where someone will hit a lob right over their head and they wont event think about trying to track it and hit an overhead because i guess in their mind the other guy hitting it is the more +ev play.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmm. It varies a lot depending on the partner (I play ladies 4.0).

    What we *don't* talk about much is serve placement. Most returners at 4.0 can return well off of both wings, so targeting the BH isn't usually a free point. We will talk about avoiding a weapon, of course.

    But many things are kind of obvious. If partner is planning a poach, serve up the middle. Duh.

    What we discuss more is whether server is coming in, what return the returner is planning and whether she is coming in, whether we need an adjustment because we are losing and what it should be.

    What we never discuss (or never should discuss) is why someone is missing a shot. No coaching allowed. Only if a partner specifically asks my input will I say anything, and even then I usually don't know why they are missing. At most, I will suggest they try a different position or target.
     
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  7. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    We don't talk much about the match. It is mostly encouragement making sure our minds are still on the endgame. We do point out weaknesses but there really never seems to be much more to say in terms of match strategy. In essence, it's just encouragement to make sure we both know that our efforts are mutually appreciated.
     
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  8. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    My usual doubles partners and I typically discuss our basic strategy for the match after warmup. We revisit our strategy after a few games (or sooner if we see something that wasn't apparent during warmup). Occasionally we talk about what we are going to do on specific points if it is something significantly different than our basic strategy, but at our level (3.5 men's) serves, returns, etc often don't go as planned anyway. Between most points our communication is generally limited to supportive comments.

    I have found that it's generally best to let the server decide where he wants to serve unless he continually serves to an opponent's strength. In that case I will suggest that he try something different. If my partner or I try to direct the other's play too much it often leads to negative results. In some matches we don't need to talk all that much if what we are doing is working. We generally know what the other is going to do based on past experience.
     
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  9. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    At this level, talking about stuff like which side to serve or poach is pointless as many of us lack the skills to pull it off. Use the time between the points to regroup, encourage your partner and stick to simple strategy like isolating the weak partner.
     
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  10. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Generally, I would discuss any hot girls we saw near the court.

    Don't overthink it.
     
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  11. hunterx

    hunterx New User

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    This is great to know...I always wanted to incorporate some signals, just wasn't sure how to apply them. I think I am going to do this...I believe I had it backwards in my head. The server can probably better determine their play based on what their partner is doing...so if my partner tells me via signals they are poaching I know where to serve, etc etc. Thanks!



    Playing with my 2.5 partner this was such a key in our last match. We didn't finish, got rained out...but we took them to 4-5 with deuce before we postponed it. I refused to listen or talk about the last error and why we messed it up if it was technique. I just talked over him about what to do next point with the serve or return. After the first game he understood I wasn't going to hear any of it, and he played fantastic. Probably the best I have seen him play. It's such a mental game, the last thing you need to think about is getting your grip right on the next shot because it was horrible the point before....although you may not see a shot like that for a few games.
     
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  12. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I'm impressed you apparently found a 2.5 who has directional control of his serve and is even willing to entertain the idea of poaching. Sounds like he won't be a 2.5 long.
     
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  13. hunterx

    hunterx New User

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    lol...it's one of those "A" for effort, "F" for execution deals with him :p He knows what he has to do, but is just inconsistent doing it. He may try to serve T but it ends up long, right or alley...he may go for poach but his grip is horrible and the ball flies out of bounds. I do think he belongs up with the 3.0 guys, hopefully we can take a few wins in this 3.5 flex and he will be able to move up.
     
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  14. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    Toy know what they say get a partner that is better than you are.
    I have played matches where i was the better player and ones i was not, enjoyed the ones i was not the better player more. Haha
     
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  15. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Those are the kind of partners I like. If the effort is there the execution will be there in time. :) At 3.5, I still have execution things to work out myself. haha
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
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  16. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    Based on your OP, your question was "Do you basically talk about where you are going to serve, and then they come back and tell you how they will react to it? Are you making plans for dinner or talking about a new craft beer you tried?"

    If we are playing a competetive match, we keep our conversations focused on the match. Usually, we talk about how we are going to approach the match. In the middle of points, the net player is usually the one who signals where to serve and whether he will poach, stay or fake. Of course, if the server doesn't agree, they will have a short talk to agree on what to do for the next point.

    All this is based on our ability to control our serves to hit the type of serve and the placement that we decide on. It sounds simplistic but if you or your partner are having trouble with control, I would suggest talking about other strategies or tactics that don't rely on control.
     
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  17. hunterx

    hunterx New User

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    This guy does not hit a hard serve at all...he may as well tap it in the air. He did not target his serve to the backhand deuce guy at all and it was killing him. The returner was able to simply flick his wrist to drop a top spin at a violent angle which made it hard for my partner to get even if he charged after the serve (he's not the most nimble cat). The obvious plan here was for him to go toward the backhand--or the T--but he couldn't aim it.

    I guess next time he is having a hard time serving to the T I am going play australian style to take away that quick top spin angle.
     
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  18. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    With all the guys I've played and won with. The conversation is very little on a good day.:) We pretty much serve and volley everything. We play what I call controlled aggression.
    We don't do a lot of poaching unless the returners are returning really really well to a point where we can't volley. Me and this one guy have played about 16 matches at 4.0 now..various tourneys and a couple of usta matches. We've lost one match. We have played some 3 setters and the one we lost was a match tie breaker.
    If I were you all, I'd start simple and serve and volley and don't over complicate it. If you are losing matches really bad and not ever breaking...then maybe you need to try switching sides. If you are getting broke a lot I'd figure out why...is the net man not putting balls away...or are you getting your partner's jewels knocked off with short serves? Simple things like this need to be addressed before I'd worry about a lot of other stuff.


     
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