Focus on Doubles?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by WoodIndoors, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    I would appreciate your opinions on this one...

    One of my players, age 11, has good hand eye coordination, potential to become a great server, very fluid service motion already and is willing to practise serve for hours, mentally strong and focused at practise and practise matches (no tournaments yet), likes to practise hard also offcourt, has good anticipation skills, understand the game naturally and, likes to volley. BUT never hasn't got the fastest legs and no matterwhat propably will not.

    Watching AO and I'm pretty sure he's never gonna reach the level those guys are retrieving.

    So just let things unfold naturally or...What about selling him an idea to become a top doubles player?

    Is it realistic to think that with only moderate movement (well he can move alright but I'm comparing him the very top his age now) he still would have a good chance to compete at the very top on doubles?
     
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  2. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    At 11 it may be a little early to tell. Help him become the best singles player he can be. If he has attributes in his singles game that translate well to doubles (serves, returns, net game) certainly help him exploit them. Don't start to tell him at this age he's destined for doubles, he can be a doubles specialist, etc. Make sure he gets partners he meshes well with and encourage his double play. Use his doubles success for confidence building in his singles.
     
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  3. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    Teach him to run. He is 11, plenty of time to learn, unless you mean he is really lazy and has low muscle tone.
     
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  4. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    Serve and volley, chip and charge.

    That should flow nicely into doubles if he wants to play it.
     
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  5. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    Yes, make him run "suicide", run sprints, run 400M, miles, run and run and run...:cry: Make hit balls from corner to corner for 100 balls..:cry:. Make him hit a deep ball, then run down a drop shot...:cry: Also teaching him anticipation...:)

    He will need good speed to play doubles as well, unless he will only play against 2.5 players or super seniors.
     
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  6. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Naturally. I don't think you should try to sell him anything.
     
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  7. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    The question on selling the 11 yr. old on becoming a top doubles player was disturbing. I hope this coach does not go down that road with this little kid. Just help him be the best singles player he can become. Along the way leverage those attributes that make his doubles shine become the solid foundation for his singles game.
     
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  8. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Can't specialize at age 11. Develop every aspect of his game, including the volleys. 2 keys to doubles- positioning and shot making. I am a big advocate of doubles- but can't get my troops to buy in. I hate when they say "it's only doubles".
     
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  9. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Usta

    very little USTA tournaments for doubles
     
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  10. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I am not sure how much doubles you have been watching lately. I would not call it "chip and charge".
     
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  11. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    We have been ending long practices lately with doubles. The kids are starting to like that more than anything. Last time we subbed in some orange balls and they had a blast. Nothing makes doubles more fun than using the orange balls and letting them volley like the Bryans!
     
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  12. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    I was saying he should work on those things in singles, mainly because the kid isn't fast. He needs to get to the net, not focus on playing doubles.

    As he gets older, those skills (getting to the net), will help him in doubles.
     
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  13. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Thank you all for your input!

    Some great suggestions. (Orange balls out of closet already for example)

    My challenge is basically that I see he has more natural talent, killer instinct, to dominate at the net in doubles (than run from side to side 5 hrs in singles) no matter what agility practises and miracle workouts - but how can I keep that up, encourage him on that, when there's no way to dominate at the net against his (good) practise partners - against whom he can compete alright from the baseline. Unless I make the court 2/3 or something, and who wants that? of course by drilling but in competive play?

    So basically I see the future so that he can and propably will become a very good singles player (but THAT good, no pro potential unless future proves me wrong) while in doubles he might have a shot if he decides. And If I'm innovative enough.

    How to really maximise that?

    By the way, I'm just curious, what you guys think is more difficult, atp top 10 in doubles vs top 100 in singles? (Of course it's a matter of talent but in general)
     
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  14. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    We have not met a coach who develops a personalized strategy just for a unique player. You know your student better than everybody on this board and you may be absolutely right that your player would become a doubles specialist. That being said, I think you still want to convince this kid and his parents that he needs to improve his footwork, his fitness including endurance; he needs to develop a mentality and confidence that he is capable of running down any ball and he is able to out run his opponent; and he needs to become a better singles player.

    College coaches, especially, D3 programs, would love to recruit players who are good in doubles. Even in D1, the double's point often determines the out come of a dual match. However, it's singles' results that are used for TRN ranking. Your student needs to have good results in singles in order to be ranked and ranked high enough to get coaches' attention.
     
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  15. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Wood: Have him play a lot of one on one doubles. It's a great game and he will learn all the doubles shots.
     
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  16. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Great advise, thanks!
     
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  17. WoodIndoors

    WoodIndoors New User

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    Well, no need to do that :)

    Also he is determined allright, loves to practise...ladder, jump rope, yoga, all kinds of movement drills with and without ball

    and I'm really not planning to shoot down his dreams as a singles player (what they might eventually be), who knows what might happen if he continues practising like this. Maybe his innate talent is more of that 'fast developing sort' over born fast and he'll surprise me.

    But some of those players I see, unbelievable court coverage at this age, without real physical practise - yet...
     
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  18. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    Maybe your kid could do rather well as a serve/volleyer, chip/charge... less grinding and running; and surely growing his doubles game:)
     
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