Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JackB1, Jun 11, 2013.
Umm...wouldn't you already know that your serve is sucking? Or are you so completely unaware of your own performance? If my partner's serve were in the crapper, I would assume that he was well aware of it, was simply temporarily unable to do better for whatever reason, and working to get it back on track. This kind of dip can happen to anybody.
Execution of strokes I would never presume to comment upon negatively.
Now, tactical things, yes, I would point out, but you still have to be diplomatic. If my partner is turning into an orange cone for target practice by constantly camping in no-man's land, you bet I'm going to speak up and tell him to get his *** in to net or back to the baseline. But diplomatically.
I'm not going to get into a slanging match with you. I'll just say that when I play doubles, mixed or mens, I try to lead by example. I lift my partner. I assume they are good enough to know if they've missed a shot and don't need my commentary. I want to devote my focus to the one thing I can control, my own game.
Cindy and Atomic,
You two honestly make me want to rush out and join a mixed league. If only I were in Atlanta.
Breakpoint is a real man
If you're the one constructing all the points, creating all the opportunities and he's missing all the simple put aways, ie he's as bad as you suggest, then you need to get rid of him and get a new partner. It's as simple as that. I'm very much from the school of thought that doesn't want to spend 3 hours running about in 100f heat and blazing sun with some idiot partner ruining all my hard work.
As for the 2nd point, I think it depends what level you're playing at. At higher levels, sure, patterns of play and tactics become very important. But if this guy is dumping everything into the next, or missing put away volleys, or you feel under pressure in rallies, that doesn't sound like a very high level. All the basics need to be done as a starting point otherwise tactics and plays can fall by the wayside very quickly.
Alarm bells went off in my head when I read that. Why do you need 'help' holding serve? Holding your serve is basic requirement. Your partner shouldn't really have to do more than the basics and simply not give away silly points for you to hold serve. Anything more than that is just a bonus.
Really? What like Gersty?
It really depends on how you serve. If all you do is get the ball in play and allow your returner to tee off or play a forcing shot, there's not much that your partner will be able to do because you've just started a pattern that's given your opponents the advantage or allows them to avoid the net player. How and where do you serve exactly, and what's the play than you usually adopt from your serve? I'm not wishing to interrogate you but I'm genuinely curious about the play that you have in mind here given your comments.
Come on, nobody stands in the alley. If they do, you need to dump that partner or tell them where they're going wrong. Not that you like doing that of course since it would amount to 'criticism'.....
Come on down!
Which brings us back full circle to the original point: that men aren't always the superior players in mixed doubles.
In this case, I could not choose whether to play with this particular partner because I was assigned to him by the captain. We have a league called ALTA in Atlanta that allows people of somewhat varying ability levels to play together on the same team. I am the strongest woman on our team. Most of the guys on the team are relatively not as good as I am. Some of them, like this partner in question, are a lot weaker. So here we have a real-world situation where a strong woman has to play with a weaker guy and try to make the situation work.
I would go so far as to say that the average woman partner I play with is a much smarter player than the average man I partner. I guess guys tend to rely on brawn. When you don't have as much brawn, you have to rely on your brain, and this shows in women's dubs.
Simple fix - If you are a strong 4.0 player play 9.0 level mixed you can get a 5.0 lady on the other side of the net. A good 5.0 lady will probably have you thinking a bit different.
Possibly. But there are a million different combinations of dubs pairings.
I've seen women who have non-existent backhands, awful serves, and look like they've had their feet stapled into the ground ie they can't/won't move, with male partners who compensate massively for the points that they give away.
I've seen some outstanding female juniors just smoke the ball with 'steady eddy' type male partners or crafty old guy (several of the 16/17 year old girls at my club play alot of ITFs for instance).
I've seen other female players who play terrifically smart tennis with intelligent shot selection, high % play, keeping everything deep, reasonably good movement, and who give hardly anything away in UEs. Great type of player to have in mixed dubs for a male player. The points just keep on racking up with nothing in the debit column.
I've seen terrifically strong male players, terrifically strong female players, terrible male players, terrible female players and everything in between
At the end of the day, I always say this. Count your net total points for each set for yourself individually (net points as in points won less points lost). Assuming that you have fairly evenly matched opponents, if you're not individually at least 20 points per set in the black, you need to take a hard look at your own game.
Torres, on my statement that I expect my mixed partner to help me hold:
Now we're getting to the heart of the matter.
I need help holding *because we are a team.*
I expect a net player, male or female, to hit winners and finish points at net. That is the reason they are at the net.
When I am at net, I feel that I did not do my job if I didn't finish two points out of the four that we need to win that game. If a game goes by and I didn't touch the ball while at net, I see this as a lapse on my part even if we still won that game because it means I was too passive.
I know that some doubles players believe very strongly that they are responsible for their own service game, and their partner is responsible for his service game. You can tell because when they lose they say things like, "Well, I held *my* service games."
I like to think of it differently. There is no "my" service game and "your" service game. We need to hold *our* service games. And if we won all the games when I served but lost all the games when you served, this frequently means I didn't do enough to help you.
Players who are weaker from the baseline in their serve or groundstrokes may be more vulnerable to suffering a service break. The answer isn't to stand at net believing your only responsibility is to "do the basics" and not give away points.
The answer is to focus up and work harder and do everything in your power to make it easier to win the game when your partner is serving.
Sorry to be so strident, but potted plant partners are frustrating because they actually believe they are playing good tennis when they totally aren't.
Cindy -- who isn't in Atlanta but would team up with AtomicForehand and Retrospin if she were
Sorry, I missed this bit.
Oh, yes. At 8.0 mixed and 4.0 ladies, people do stand with one foot in the alley, fixed and waiting for the ball to come right to them, which I call alley camping.
It is very common among people who are inexperienced in playing doubles or who lack confidence in their volley.
And no, I do not tell them to move to the middle or educate them in how to position. If someone is alley camping, they are doing it for a reason (meaning they know their limitations as a doubles player and this is how they compensate).
I do not react by criticizing them, especially during a match.
One of my combo players (3.5) told me last year that she no longer wished to have a certain teammate as her partner (4.0). What happened was that the 4.0 kept telling the 3.5 to move closer to the center of the service box when the 4.0 was serving. The 3.5 said the 4.0 was very frustrated and fixated on this one issue, and they lost the match. The 3.5 felt the 4.0 was blaming her for the loss.
Well, I played several matches with the 3.5, and sure enough, she alley camps in the deuce court. This is because she doesn't like to hit BH volleys and having people take their FH DTL to her BH. So there I was, covering 85% of the court by myself while my partner guarded a narrow strip of alley.
I did not correct her positioning. She is who she is, and if this is how she wants to position then I will not be able to get her to change and I will just have to work with it. I do think it is an impediment to our ever becoming an effective partnership, but there is nothing to be done for that.
This is not an accurate statement concerning higher level doubles. The better the team you are playing, the more help the server needs from the netplayer to hold consistently. It is the rare situation that a server will have a serve sufficient to get enough service winners and weak returns to not need the help of the second person. The net player by moving (even faking or moving a little) closes down the options for returners to hit good returns. By being active at the net the net player makes the returner think and doesn't allow the returner to just block back the ball in safety.
I find that when I let my partner know that he's letting the team down, he'll try harder to shape up so as not to continue letting the team down.
Sometimes no. Sometimes you don't realize you're serving to the wrong spot in the box against a particular returner or a particular team or you're not getting enough kick on your serve to trouble your opponents.
When I tell my partner - "You're not serving very well today." - I'm telling him that I know he can serve way better than this so he should focus more on his serve and get it back together. It works more often than not.
Like I said - Man up or go home! :wink:
Then that's not a problem with execution, it's tactics/strategy. Telling a person that their serve sucks today sounds like criticism of the execution of the stroke, which is completely counterproductive. Asking them to serve more to the backhand is entirely OK.
Not everyone has a weak backhand. Also, how is your progress on the extreme drop shot?
I don't think you're too strident. But I do wonder whether you're expecting too much. How much your net player contributes depends on how you're serving and how much pressure you can put on the play.
Have a look at the TW clip above. Siobhan's a reasonably good player but that serve at 4:25 was asking for trouble, creates a pattern of play that gives her opponent inside/out advantage (twice), which even Mr ATP can't compensate for. If you watch Gersty's movement just before the opponent hits inside in, he's actually trying to help out Siobhan as the server by trying to anticipate an inside out but they're already at a disadvantage because of the pattern created by the serve. If you're not serving effectively, there's only so much your net player partner can do.
Obviously we may have different scenarios or people in mind, but as I said to Atomic, if your partner is as bad as you suggest, why on earth are you playing with them (again and again)?
Then its your loss and her loss as well. She never improves and ruins your game as well.
If I was in your position, I would have booted that whiney, unwilling to improve, unwilling to listen, over sensitive 3.5 off the team ages ago. You don't play dubs standing in the alley and she's ruining it for her partner as well. Dead weight that drags down the team is no good for the team. Not much "us" going on there is there?
Of course there is. She needs an attitude change and big kick up the ***. She won't get that with your approach. I wouldn't be afraid to dish out some tough love. Then again, preserving social relationships tends to me more important to women generally. But that doesn't help player development, or the unfortunate person that has to endure her 'new rules of tennis tactics' or your team get better results
There was a woman player who joined my club 3 years ago. Pretty uneven game. Now she is a very effective doubles player. Her strokes are night and day compared to what she was like 3 years ago. Rock solid now off both wings, lovely 2HB drive and she's also developed a great understanding of the geometry of the doubles court with her ball placement. What did she do? She showed commitment to improving, listened, learned, remained open minded, and practised extensively. Terrific attitude and a really pleasant 'fun' character off court as well.
You must be a real inspiration to your partners, with all your advice and manliness.
The "serve to the backhand" was just an example of what someone might say, not an absolute.
Have not had a chance to practice the OMG dropper!
As I already answered you, I was paired with him repeatedly by our captain. Sometimes we have to play with partners we wouldn't prefer. Pay attention, you great big hunk of tennis manhood.
Whatever it takes to get your team to play at its full potential. Sometimes you just have to light a fire under your partner's butt to wake him up!
Do you think Lendl is "nice" to Murray when he coaches him? But look at the results. :shock:
I do not consider it my job or my calling to fix the deficiencies of other doubles players.
If someone is alley camping by the time they reach 4.0 level, they have more serious problems than I can address because they do not understand doubles.
Players will not do what they feel they cannot do. When I was 3.0/3.5, I frequently played with people who could not take a mid court ball out of the air. Or could not come to net. Or who stood flat footed. Or did not follow their good lobs to net. Or did not cross if I poached. Or stood in the middle so we were in I formation.
I did not try to fix these players. I just found partners who played the game the way I think it should be played.
And you know my 4.0 teammate who was so frustrated that her partner alley camped?
Despite her requests, instructions, complaints and pleas, she didn't fix this lady either.
Yeah, I see and hear a lot of folks use the "serve to the backhand" strategy.. :roll:
About the extreme drop shot, 'sucks for you'.
Well said. The partner at the net needs to keep the pressure on and pose a constant threat to the other team. If someone loses his/her serve, it's both players' fault.
I think we should have a game as a dubs pair. Would be a good opportunity to see what's going on here and see what parts of your game need fixing ;-)
So now you're Ivan Lendl?
Actually, I agree with that point, but Lendl is the coach, not a doubles partner. Like I said on the other thread, if I'm playing with Bob Bryan, and he's talking, I'm paying attention. Some random 3.5 or 4.0 I'm carrying, not so much.
Gasoline, meet fire.
It doesn't matter if you're the coach or the partner or the coach who's your partner, you want to remind him that he's a better player than this. Sometimes people forget that.
Look here, you man. I am the boss on court 99% of the time. (OK, pretty much always.)
However, I might take "coaching" from you if you were the significantly and demonstrably superior player, and also not an @ssh0le. :-*
Thanks for the chuckle.
Feisty one we are!
Reminds me of that 4.5 woman I played with the other week, who got more and more angry when she kept on trying to hammer forehands through me when I was the net, and I kept on putting them away or sending right back at her. It's good to have some volley drills in the middle of a match. The more I laughed as I did it, the more obsessed she got trying to hit through me and the more and more points she lost.... :mrgreen:
We're going to make a great team. I like a bit of spikiness.
Let's just hope that your emotions don't get the better of your judgment when we're on court. ;-)
Let's just hope you can keep your testosterone in check and think with your gray matter.
You need to think James Bond, not these Hulk Hogans you normally play with...
Now you're talking, baby.
Get it on.
Me and Atomic -v- Cindy and say Retrospin (particularly given his comments in the other thread).
This should be a walk in the park (unless Atomic self destructs).
Sorry Retrospin, but I choose Breakpoint as my partner.
I play better when my partner is being abusive -- I mean, inspiring.
Whatever, but I suggest removing all sharp objects from the court area.
Pah. I have a cool, clear-thinking tennis head. It's your excess testosterone that poses the biggest threat of implosion.
All right, where does this dream match take place?
You lot are going to have to chip in for my airfare and hotel depending on wherever it is you intend to book the court....
Cindy, Torres here thinks he's worth importing. :twisted:
You can't put a price on the opportunity to play with someone who doesn't stand in the doubles alley, doesn't send put away volleys into the back fence, and the other weird things that you and Cindy say supposedly go on in your doubles leagues.
Even though I suspect you're both exaggerating (as women tend to do), I'm won't even ask for an appearance fee, purely out of morbid curiosity to see these supposed antics, and set you lot straight about how the game should be played....
If Torres looks like this, I will pay his airfare all by myself:
Cindysphinx!! Tut, tut, tut...you closet cradle snatcher you.... :shock:
I have a feeling he might look more like this, Cin:
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just don't get your hopes up.
^ 240lbs, belly hanging out, and frying pan grip...?
I do have a shirt like that though...
If he weighs 240 he must be around five feet tall!
That would be awesome. I would join a league set up in this fashion with absolutely no regard as to the sex of the player. I play casually with a bunch of guys and for a while we had a good female player who we treated just like one of us. It was fun. I can't stand USTA mixed for so many reasons. I only played it once and we won our division, but never again. I like your style AF, are you anywhere near Roswell?
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