I had a conversation with a lady who is a teammate and doubles partner today. It went kind of like this. This lady (I'll call her Linda) had arranged a practice foursome, and Linda partnered with Angela. Angela is also someone I partner with frequently, so I know her game also. As Linda is driving home, she called and we talked about many things. One of these things was how Angela had played. Angela has poor volleys. Very poor. The things that are wrong with Angela's volleys are her footwork, grip, weight transfer, wrist position, backswing, shoulder turn . . . you get the idea. Ah well, so Angela has these deficiencies, but heck, we all stink at something when it comes to tennis or we'd be pros, right? What struck me about the conversation was that Linda came right out and told Angela that Angela needed to work on her volleys. That Angela needed to spend her lesson time shoring up her BH volleys etc. This is all true, although it was mighty bold of Linda to come right out and say it. But the weird thing is that Linda can't volley either. Not a lick. Linda's volleys have all the same technical deficiencies as Angela's. Linda spends most of her own practice and lesson time working on her already good serve and her groundstrokes. Yet Linda is lecturing Angela on the importance of working on her volleys. So Linda can see that volleys matter in doubles, that poor volley technique yields poor volleys, that it is very frustrating when your doubles partner is helpless at net. But Linda can't look in the mirror and see herself, even a little bit. I guess I am in something of a philosophical mood today, 'cause I've been thinking about this conversation all night. What is it that causes players to be exquisitely sensitive to the deficiencies in another player's game yet have no idea that they have the very same deficiencies? It's almost like we lack the ability to look at the game of someone else and say, "Ugh. She's doing horribly with that type of shot. Maybe I am just as bad, since I get the same result when I do it." Nope, we can't seem to see farther than "Oh man, she's awful at that shot." How common is this, and what causes it, do you suppose? I mean, we all get pretty regular feedback about our tennis. If you are playing a match and you are losing most of your points because of your BH, this cannot escape your attention. Or can it? Is it possible that players honestly do not know which shots are the ones costing them points? If they do know, then what is it that causes them not to move heaven and earth to improve that aspect of their game? Maybe it is just my idiosyncratic experience with tennis, but it really does seem to me that players are loathe to do the things at which they are least successful. Even though working on that one thing is perhaps the easiest path to success. Is there any truth in all of that?