OK, All You Squatters. We Need To Have A Talk.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Picture this.

    4.0 ladies doubles. Cindy in the ad court, her partner in the deuce court.

    Cindy is coming to net. Opponents hit a high ball up the middle. Cindy's partner cannot/will not take this ball as a high BH overhead. Partner cries, "Help!" or "Can't!" or "You!"

    And then partner remains at the net in the deuce service box and squats down some.

    Meanwhile, Cindy takes the ball as a high FH approach volley from no man's land, crossing well into the deuce court to do so. As she makes contact, she and her partner are in an I formation.

    I'm sorry, but I am not a fan of all this squatting. If you cannot play a ball such that your partner has to go behind you and hit it, you need to *switch.* If you remain in front of me, half the court is undefended.

    More importantly, you have greatly restricted what I can do with that ball. If you cross over as soon as you request help, I can safely hit a diagonal ball between the two opponents if their ad player stays back, and it might be a winner. Or I can play it straight ahead to the deep player. Or I can attack the middle if they are at net.

    If you squat there in front of me, you take away my options. You also force me to hit and then move sharply back to my original position in the ad court for the next shot. There's a good chance I won't make it back in time.

    And that squat you are doing?

    It's not as low as you think it is.
     
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  2. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Every partner has a certain aggressiveness level. The less aggressive they are (like camping at net), the better your approach shot needs to be if you want to come to net. You said they lobbed while you were coming to net. Why is that? Use that new slice you got, hit it low and deep, then come in.
     
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  3. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Yell 'Got it!' followed immediately by 'Cross!' or 'Switch!'

    Your partner evidently believes in camping out on her side and you're responsible for your side. I can accept that this happens ONCE. When a partner does not switch when I have to chase down their lob, I tend to remind them sarcastically that if they don't move, I will hit them. I realize this is Ladies 4.0, but it shouldn't happen.

    addendum: At the level you play, aren't players responsible for their own lobs? Tell her to position 3-4 feet further back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Communicating to your partner, "switch" is all you should need to say.
    Yes, she blocked out your chances for a sharp short angle volley winner.
     
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  5. amorris525

    amorris525 Rookie

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    I'm confused at how squatting takes away your options. Shouldn't it allow you all options?
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Squatters rarely can squat below 40", and can pop up at any time, since they're too lazy to move, they don't turn around and look at the ball.
    And crushing one at the back of their heads is not a diplomatically sound ploy.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If she squats in front of me in the deuce court, I cannot safely hit crosscourt to opponent's deuce court because I would be hitting behind myself.

    The reason is the side of my court I just vacated is entirely open. If I hit behind myself, it is easy for either opponent to steer the ball into the open court (the court I just vacated), and even the most pathetic shot will win the point. Now, maybe I can hit the ball and scurry back there, but dang. That is asking a lot.

    How come I don't yell "Switch!" or some such?

    OK, so now we have me crossing to field a high approach volley on my way to net. In the meantime, I am also supposed to notice whether she is or is not switching like even beginners understand (she should be switching, so I definitely don't want to yell switch if she is already switching and cause her to switch back in front of me). And of course, by the time I notice she is not switching and is waiting for me to give the command and she needs time to react to it before she can get over there . . . she might not be able to get out of my way in time.

    If you can't play a lob over your head for whatever reason, don't yell help. What is the point of that? Yell switch. And then switch.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    :) It really is distracting.

    Also, we are all over 40 and many of us are over 50. People don't rise from a low squat and re-balance all that quickly. By the time my squatting partner recognizes that I have played the shot and then rises, time has passed.

    I would prefer that a non-switching partner just step over and stand in the doubles alley. Then I could play the approach volley deep to the corner in front of her, and at least one of us would be properly positioned. The squatting achieves very little.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some of us are a few years beyond 60....and don't want to try to cover the whole court in I formation.
     
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  10. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    Can I ask a couple of questions?

    If it's truly a high ball down the middle, then why would your volley motion take you well into the deuce court? If it's not really down the middle and you really do need to go well into the deuce court on your shot, then why isn't the squatter hitting the ball himself/herself?

    After all, if you have to cross that far over to hit a volley, then you're in a worse position than if the squatter just hit it himself/herself. I've had mixed partners leave shots that were right there for them to hit (often too far away for me to even reach), and I've had to tell them that any high backhand volley they can hit from on top of the net is far better than any forehand volley I can hit at full stretch from behind the service line.

    A lob, on the other hand, I can understand. In that case, the squatter really does need to switch.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    High FH on a ball that is in the middle = no problem. There's no need for me to cross and no need for her to squat.

    If she feels the need to squat, this is because *she knows I am behind her playing the ball.*

    Unfortunately, there are players who lack confidence in their BH volley. They leave balls they really should take, as you say. There's nothing to be done for this, as you cannot tell someone to hit shots they don't know how to hit. I can get a decent play on these balls if I have to -- if they are that high they usually aren't traveling fast -- but the squatting makes this more difficult.

    All I'm saying is if you have time to say help and then squat, you have time to switch or move into your alley.
     
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  12. lilac8bd

    lilac8bd New User

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    Hope you communicated your concerns with your partner....she might read all this and be offended.
     
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  13. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    I agree that the squatter should be switching if you're in a situation where you really have to take the shot yourself (like lobs). But to me the biggest problem here is that the squatter isn't taking that ball and trying to hit an aggressive volley.

    The first step is to get leavers to stop leaving the ball and start going for the volley. You can't learn to hit high backhand volleys without actually going out and trying to hit high backhand volleys. The longer you leave those balls for your partner, the longer you'll be the player who can't hit that shot.

    With partners like that, at the beginning of the match I tell them to feel free to go for anything they can reach. Then, as the match goes on, I keep pushing that message. When they put the ball away, I compliment them or say "thanks." If they miss one, I tell them they made the right decision and to keep going for those shots. If they leave one, I tell them to feel free to go for the kill because they're in a better position than me.

    Once they get comfortable being aggressive at net, knowing their partner won't get angry if they make a mistake, that fixes half the problem right there. After that, it's just a matter of trial and error to learn how to hit solid volleys.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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  14. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    There is no need to even worry about offending. This is basics 101, you are doing a disservice to your partner if you don't bring this up and get it corrected.
     
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  15. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    I always tell my players to take the shot, only way they will learn, especially moving in doubles. I would prefer they miss being aggressive rather than being passive
     
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  16. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    For me it's automatic to be diagonally positioned if the ball sailed over my head. What I tell my doubles partner is that the person in front drives so whatever side you are on, the other person will cover the opposite since they can see the person in front (badminton habit but I'm sure it translates to tennis as well).

    Also if your partner plays statue... well either change partners or change shot selection to give you time to move (or for you to cover their mistakes and re-set). :\
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Becky? Becky, is that you?
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Meh.

    I don't expect to partner with this person for matches, so I don't feel much obligation to educate her or help her practice this shot, etc. Nor do I feel she would appreciate the lecture.

    I mostly feel this topic should be discussed because I see so so many people squatting rather than switching. They probably think this is a good idea and they clearly have no idea how they are making life difficult for their partners.
     
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  19. Adles

    Adles Rookie

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    I found myself in the I-formation without thinking about it last night. Without thinking about it, I uncorked a forehand that flew past my partner's ear to the net player on the other team, who never saw it coming. Clean winner!

    If I tried it again, I would definitely hit my partner on the back of the head...
     
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  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    There is something missing from this story. Firstly, if the shot is truly a high ball up the middle, as stated, most netmen (especially in this example) are making the correct call in not hitting a BH overhead at the net since the other option is likely a swinging FH volley by Cindy from the midcourt.

    Secondly, why she is ending up in the I formation from a ball hit up the middle (that is where either partner has a play on the ball), is totally unclear to me. Cindy should be standing very close to the T while her partner is in second volley position in the deuce service box. This is not an unreasonable position, since Cindy just needs to slide a step to her left and she/they will be in optimal position from an insideout forhand swinging volley the opponent's ad court.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some of you can stop on a dime and recover back to your side.
    Some of us, after reaching wide for a high forehand volley, WIDE, our bodies develop this new idea....INERTIA, geez, and we keep drifting in the direction we once were moving ..... :shock::shock:
    Since netperson is doing nothing but ducking, why not reposition netperson to cover where you just left?
    NEW CONCEPT !!!
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What is missing is that my partner should have taken this ball as a high BH volley or a FH overhead or volley. As you say, if the ball was actually headed toward me for a FH swinging volley, I would have no need to wind up behind my partner. Which tells you this ball should have been handled by the deuce court player.

    If the net player lays off a ball she really should take -- and let's face it, this happens -- then she needs to be alert to get out of the way.

    No, I had to go behind her to play the ball. She is middle of service box, I am in no man's land behind her.
     
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  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    These answers are reasonable... for a ball struck to your partner, thus if you take it, you are ending up well beyond the midline. Perhaps your original description of the shot being "up the middle" (neither to your partner, nor to you) is not accurate.

    If the shot is in fact midway between you two, the answer to who should take it lies in the relative strengths of your two shots: BH overhead vs FH swinging volley and the location on the other side from where the ball originated, so if the ball was struck from the ad alley it is your shot (all other issues being equal).

    BTW if the ball is actually struck to her, props to you for even getting your racquet on it as that is quite a distance to cover.
     
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  24. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Without knowing the level of expertise someone has in double matches: Isn't something like this primarily a sign of simply not really having a good strategy / game plan?
    I hardly ever play doubles, and if I do, it will be with different partners, so I will need to discuss with them how we want to play.
    I wouldn't just assume that my partner has a good (the same) game plan as I do, and I wouldn't even assume that he has a good grasp of doubles strategy at all. I've seen some people who are good at singles but completely fail to get the idea of how to successfully play doubles.
    But like I said, that's based on not knowing anything about the skills and experience of the involved actor(s).
     
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  25. NTexas

    NTexas New User

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    When the game speeds up sometimes you dont have any other choice but to squat, i find myself doing it alot because i dont want my partner to only have one shot. If i get down he has the whole court to choose from.
     
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  26. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Just drill her with an overhead and then say "oh, sorry, maybe you shouldn't squat there". That's the correct passive aggressive way to handle the situation.
     
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  27. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    You being in back are the only one (on your team) that can see MORE of the court and setup, therefore it's your job to be calling switch etc. Just the way i see it though...

    I'm not saying your partner couldn't do so as well, but IMO she said "yours", you go get it while calling "switch" as you are in control and have best visual perspective.

    Obviously the longer a team plays together reduces the communications needed etc.

    edit: also i didn't read the whole thread so if there are more revelations than i could be wrong, but my general rule still applies (at least for me and my partners).

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
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  28. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Just how many times did you come into net after your serve or your return? Because it seems to me that your opponents either threw that up as a weak defense or as an offense.

    You always talk about "coming to net" like it's your bread and butter move, but do you understand that you come to net as an offensive add-on move to an already aggressive offensive return or serve? If not, you're just setting yourself up for what just happened in your OP.
     
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  29. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Where were the opponents at? Would her switching to the other side cut off an open risky shot from you? In a situation like this, you do one of two things... go for the risky shot and nail the return into a very tight but open area of the court (if you miss, you miss) or you throw up the defensive deep lob into one of the back corners of the court and buy yourself and your partner time to regroup and reposition yourselves. If your first aggressive shot misses, just remember that a weak shot from you probably lost you the point anyway because the dreaded I formation you were in probably lost you the point anyway from the sounds of the OP. Better to play a risky shot and have a slight chance of a winner or chance of a forced error from the opponent than to play the weak return and give the opponents a winner anyway.
     
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  30. VaththalKuzhambu

    VaththalKuzhambu Rookie

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    I squat often, but mainly to distract my opponents. The underlying assumption is that my partner can hit the ball deep into the opponent's court so that I can poach the return.
     
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  31. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Just say "switch." Even though you think it's obvious, what's wrong with verbally communicating? Unless you and your partner know one another's games and patterns extremely well, "obvious" assumptions and a lack of communication lead to bad positioning and missed balls. That's Doubles 102.
     
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