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-   -   Carrot, stick or mum's the word? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=426573)

Maui19 06-03-2012 05:37 PM

Carrot, stick or mum's the word?
 
I play doubles with a lot of different people. When things aren't going well for me/us, different partners handle it in different ways. Some partners admonish me to play harder/smarter/better, others are supportive and encouraging, perhaps suggesting that we relax or something along these lines, while still other partners say nothing (or chat about other things).

Personally, the supportive people work best with me. The admonishers get listened to the first time, but if they keep it up I ask/tell them to stop. The quiet folks are fine too, because I'm already working my arse off trying to figure out how to win more points.

Which type of partner works best for you?

SwankPeRFection 06-03-2012 06:14 PM

I couldn't vote because all three sometimes apply for me. It really depends on what frame of mind I'm in. I think when my team is losing I'm negative or quiet and when we're winning we support each other and compliment each other's shots. Alternatively, there are specific partners that I mesh really well with and those are the ones that have a really good net game and put away all the weak returns on my service games and ones that have a very fluid play style and close to mine. When things mesh well, we're both in the zone and luck is on our side with amazing shotmaking. It's an amazing feeling seeing and knowing that every point will end perfectly. When things are in the dumps, I usually get super quiet.

Cindysphinx 06-03-2012 07:07 PM

I find what works best is to say what I plan to do or have noticed, and just hope my partner takes the hint.

Say my partner won't take the net and is getting trapped in the back corner. I will wait for my turn to receive, then I will say, "boy, they are going to kill us if I stay back. I am coming in on my return." then when I do it and it works, I say, "Yup, that's the secret. We can win points if we come in."

If my partner still stays back . . . I guess we are going to lose.

spot 06-04-2012 03:38 AM

For me the tact I like to take is to talk about what we are going to differently on the next point rather than talking about the mistakes that were made on the last point. To me it sounds far better to say "Ok... on this next point lets focus on trying to make that guy beat us with his backhand" rather than "Stop hitting to that guys Forehand!". Though at some point if the "looking forward" approach isn't sticking then the direct line does have to be made.

Alchemy-Z 06-04-2012 04:50 AM

For whatever reason I am typically the more vocal partner and I always go the supportive route.

"Alright lets get this next point"

always complimenting their shots

even on a miss "good effort"

If they are serving bad I say "Relax just get us in play and we will take care of it in the rally"

and I often point out the other teams weakness to my partners and comment how they can't handle the pressure from some of my team mates shots... and anything else to help build confidence thru the match.

.

iantrevor 06-04-2012 10:04 AM

I went with stick because I'm pretty inexperienced in doubles so if I need to change something, I want my partner to tell me. Of course, I'd never turn down an encouraging word too.

beernutz 06-04-2012 10:27 AM

I'm the vocal one for sure. Not many things annoy me more than a partner who won't communicate both during and between points. My most regular partner knows me well enough to tell me to calm down if I get too jacked up. We are so far unbeaten in six matches and I credit a lot of that success to how well we communicate.

r2473 06-04-2012 10:43 AM

Chest bump

LuckyR 06-05-2012 07:22 AM

I start with the obvious: things are going poorly.

Move to what I think is the problem and ask what their opinion is of what the problem is.

Based on that part of the discussion, I propose a solution.

Of course, I never say the problem is: "you are missing a ton of volleys" or somesuch. If he is missing a ton of volleys, I'll say something like: "I am not hitting good enough groundstrokes and they are teeing off on them towards you." This may or may not be true, but I am not interested in truth, I am interested in winning the match and if throwing myself under the bus will do it, I am fine with that.

Cindysphinx 06-05-2012 09:26 AM

I had one of these carrot/stick things today.

Opponents were having a field day with my partner, a singles player who hates the net and stays back. They would serve to her and then run to the service line. This left her trying to hit passing shots from deep in the court. It also allowed the net player to poach at will. Not good.

My partner was receiving from behind the baseline. Personally, my first adjustment when this happens to me is to move as close to the service line as I dare.

Rather than tell my partner she needed to move up, I said something like, "Boy, she is really charging the net. I'm going to receive closer to the net. That will freeze her."

My partner did not understand, so I explained about how the server has to stop when the return is struck and how the poacher has less time if the returner stands closer.

My partner decided to try it. Sure enough, the server stopped S&V.

Just making observations about what is happening works wonders. Ordering people around does not.

user92626 06-05-2012 10:50 AM

Although I know it's often useless, I still tend to prefer the "admonisher" approach.

I mean, I go being supportive and encouraging if I see my partners being tensed. However, if I know they could do better but continue to play stupid shots, I tend to remark slightly. I speak up somewhat when I see a better, easier strategy/approach to win. I feel like sometimes partners are too low confident, too wrapped up in whatever that they fail to see/feel easier approaches. How would being quiet in those situations help?

texacali 06-06-2012 08:06 AM

I'm new to doubles and appreciate when my teammate lets me know in a "collegial" way another way or calms me down when I get tempermental.

tennis tom 06-06-2012 08:23 AM

Partner's need more support after they miss a shot. I'll tell 'em, "That was close, you'll make it next time, keep trying it until you it"--keeps 'em from tightening up.

Also, if you're playing with a really good player or a pro, although they don't require it, they like to hear some kind words on occasion maybe after they've made an amazing shot so they don't feel taken for granted or used--an occasional look of awe is good too.

CaldwellYSR 06-06-2012 08:38 AM

I tend to give alot of "great shot"s and "way to go"s but if they're struggling I tend to keep to myself unless I see something constructive I can offer (which doesn't happen often after only 3 months playing and a few weeks experience in doubles ;) )

Mike Y 06-06-2012 12:10 PM

This is one of the reasons why I don't like doubles as much as singles, I have to be a freaking psychologist on the court. Some people don't like to take direction, some people need little cheer-ups, some people get thrown off by tactics by the other team, and some people get all mopey after missing a shot, or all of the above. Are you that mentally fragile that you need little pick-me-ups during play?

With that in mind, I try to keep everything simple with regard to communication to my partner. I try not to get mad at my partner, and give general encouragement ("Nice shot!"). When it comes to strategy, I'll say some general things, like this person is aggressive at the net, lob over him, or this person doesn't like slice, or this person's backhand sucks, or hit all balls at this person. But I won't say "Lob your service return", or "slice to his backhand", because my partner may not have those shots. Can't get blood from a turnip. My partner just has to hit the best shots that he can.

anubis 06-06-2012 12:22 PM

I just try to stay positive as much as I can when I'm losing due to an incompetent partner. I neither criticize nor give advice. I don't feel it's my place to give advice on the court, most of the players have been playing a lot longer than I have. Also, some of the players on my team really don't care how well they do, they are just out there to have a good time. Therefore, they don't really care what I have to say.

I just focus on my game. Perhaps if I join a more competitive team, my views will change. I guess it depends on the company you're in.

Rjtennis 06-06-2012 04:36 PM

I dont think there is really every a reason to get negative with a partner. You can give suggestions, just do it in a positive way!

The Bawss 06-07-2012 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LuckyR (Post 6598411)
I start with the obvious: things are going poorly.

Move to what I think is the problem and ask what their opinion is of what the problem is.

Based on that part of the discussion, I propose a solution.

Of course, I never say the problem is: "you are missing a ton of volleys" or somesuch. If he is missing a ton of volleys, I'll say something like: "I am not hitting good enough groundstrokes and they are teeing off on them towards you." This may or may not be true, but I am not interested in truth, I am interested in winning the match and if throwing myself under the bus will do it, I am fine with that.

I used to do that, until some started saying things like: Yeah well, maybe you could man up and not hand them easy sitters.

LuckyR 06-07-2012 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bawss (Post 6606067)
I used to do that, until some started saying things like: Yeah well, maybe you could man up and not hand them easy sitters.

Well, if you agree that the problem truly is you hitting pathetic groundies, why would you even converse with your partner? I agree, man up.


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