Now that the dust has settled on ratings, I'm mulling what I want to do differently for next year. I had an interesting experience over the weekend that perhaps provides a clue. I was playing social doubles with 3.5/4.0 teammates. One lady in particular is notorious for making UEs. Can sometimes DF 3 times per service game in league matches. Lots of missed returns, especially if the serve has no pace. Misses sitters and overheads. Let's not even get into the sorts of ghastly UEs I can make. Several times this year, we have handed over matches on a silver platter. She and I partnered for this social match, and I decided to suggest something before we started. I said, "Let's have a contract. We cannot miss more than one return of serve per service game. If I miss the first return from the deuce court, for example, then neither of us can miss again." She agreed. And we proceeded to play the most solid match we have played all year. For most service games, we got all of our returns in play (even hitting a bad shot to the net person counts as "in play" because you still have a chance to win the point). Now I find myself wondering if maybe I should play that way all the time. Rather than seek an advantage off of the serve, just hit a conservative return and Start The Point Already. And on service games, perhaps allow each partner one DF for the entire match. How well would this work at the 3.5/4.0 level, do you think? It might be necessary to adjust and be more aggressive if the net player was active and good, but usually they are not.