Smart "moves" or gamesmanship

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by ten10, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. ten10

    ten10 Rookie

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    This is my third thread about doubles, but the topics are distinct enough, I think to warrant the different threads.

    There has been tons of information on this board about gamesmanship etc. that I can't keep it all straight. Here is what I did in my only USTA doubles match last season (I'm a singles player). Let me know if you think what I did was cheesy or if I should have been doing this all along.

    My partner was having a tough time getting a good angled return off our opponents serve. Opponents net partner was having great success poaching and hitting a winner behind me. Frustrated, I decided to give her a different look, my intention was to make her miss. The minute I heard my partner make contact I moved forward and more to the center of the court, shoulders angled towards the other net person. She missed her next couple of poach attempts and then quit poaching. I think I was just putting myself in a better position to react to the poach--but I also was hoping the movement would make her miss.

    Oh, but my shoes didn't squeak!!
     
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  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    That's called good doubles.
     
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  3. beckham

    beckham Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, that strategy, and it worked, you counteracted their strategy.
     
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  4. tennismike33

    tennismike33 Semi-Pro

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    The GAMESMANSHIP would come into play if you told them that is what you were planning on doing. My thought process on this and what I teach is that the up player mirrors the net player. Cutting off a ball in the middle of the court requires that you play nearer to the middle. If the player poaches you should step up a little and attempt to cut off the volley, or just plant yourself in a spot and prepare to recieve a hard shot right at you, as the theory being you are the target, get low and choke up on the racket and prepare to block the ball back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
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  5. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    How could you mistake what you did as possible gamemanship? You can do whatever you want once the ball is in play as long as you aren't yelling to mess them up.
     
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  6. ten10

    ten10 Rookie

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    Because, when lurking not all that long ago, some "squeaking of shoes", before a serve was being discussed ad nauseum. The issue of "intent" is often raised on this board...not calling lets when balls are seen coming from another court.

    So honestly, my intent was to make this person miss. Not having played much competitive doubles, I wondered how all the people on this board would react to my intention and action. My gut reaction at the time of play, was that I was being smart. I started to second guess that only after reading things on this board.

    There is tons of great information here on this board, but it gets pretty murky sometimes too.
     
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  7. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Movement in doubles is critical to winning points. The movement is key to getting into your opponents head, making them guess, distracting them from their shots, making them second guess themselves, etc. As one poster already stated, it's just good doubles, period.
     
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  8. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    yeah, good job!
     
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  9. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Gamesmanship is borderline cheating. Wasting time and doing other things to distract your opponents between points are forms of gamesmanship. Once the ball is served, anything goes. You just can't yell as your opponent is striking the ball.
     
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  10. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    I wouldnt call it gamesmanship at all, doubles players are going to expect you to move around at the net and generally wont be distracted by it. What you inadvertantly ended up doing though, was making your opponent go for shots that she wasnt comfertable with. Now, if you moved moved into the middle of the court while flailing your arms around and making animal noises that would be gamesmanship.
     
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  11. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I would revise this statement to say that once the server begins his serve, anything goes. That means you can move as the server tosses the ball, before he tosses the ball, as he is bouncing the ball. Of course you cannot wave your arms and yell to distract opposing players, but you certainly can move and change your position.


     
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  12. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    If your poaching opponent is hitting the ball repeatedly into the hole between you and your partner, and you start moving into the hole in anticipation of getting a racquet on the ball and getting it into play, then certainly no one would have a problem with that.

    However, I guess that wasn't your intent. It sounds like you were just trying to mess with their heads. Like when someone has an easy overhead, and you jump right in front of them to make them try to hit around you hoping they'll flub an easy shot.

    I think that could be considered gamesmanship - or at least unsporting. But, your opponent should have just nailed you a couple of times instead of giving up on the shot.
     
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  13. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I've never read this before, but I would think that you can hope for whatever you want, as long as you keep your thoughts to yourself. Who of us hasn't faced a 2nd serve and thought, "Please miss it." It would be gamesmanship to say it, but it's okay to think it. Since he didn't have squeaky shoes or verbalize anything, I think it's okay. BTW, your example of jumping in front of someone who's about to hit an easy overhead...I've never seen anyone try that before, it sounds so desparate I'm thinking it's okay. I think you'd only want to try that on match point!
     
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  14. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Sorry - I didn't see that in the original (or forgot, by the time I'd read all the other posts). I have no problem with this at all.
     
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  15. jbetti

    jbetti New User

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    You may encounter some players who are bothered by you moving before or during the serve. Don't let it bother you. These are typically the same types of players who think EVERYTHING is gamesmanship. I once ran into an opponent who seemed genuinely annoyed that I hit a kick serve, as if service spin is some cheap ploy I used among other "tricks" like poaching and running down balls.
     
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  16. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I would call that suicide... I usually don't try to hit people with my
    overheads and when I do it's at their feet, but if they start doing this on
    a regular basis, them might get tagged.
     
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  17. lefty10s

    lefty10s New User

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    Just really good offensive doubles to move up into the hole. Would be proud if I were your coach. You fixed the problem.
     
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