Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
She's ahead of me (closer to net) only if I didn't move with her. Which is part of the question.
If she moves forward from the baseline to approach (or hit a ball on which she should approach but might not approach), am I supposed to "stay with her" or get ahead of her? That was the dilemma. Don't even get me started on what I do if she hits and backpedals . . .
Spot's answer makes sense. Which is why the drill is confusing. If the opponents are two back (after all, we were receiving the feed with all four players at baseline), then . . . I guess maybe it's just a crummy drill.
Maybe we need a thread for that: Crummy Drills Pros Should Stop Making Us Do.
Most doubles drills have situations were you are two back. I dont totally understand that myself but it works good for approach shot drills at least. Moving forward and identifying a short ball and getting to net (especially if you are not the one hitting the ball), while still being able to cover the whole court effectively is not easy, and actually because of this particular drill it's really improved my approach game, even in singles.
My response is this:
1) If the pro is feeding your partner an approach shot, they should hit the approach shot and continue in toward the net.
If your partner hits the approach shot and stands there in no-man's land, then your pro should tell them not to. (because that's not an effective way of getting it down)
If your partner hits the approach shot and backs up back to the baseline, then your pro should really let her have it, because the whole point of feeding someone an approach shot is to work on approaching the net, not to run all the way up, hit a shot and run backwards.
(even if they want to do that during a match, it's dumb to do that in a drill where you are supposed to be working on your game)
2) If it's accepted that your partner is doing what they are supposed to do (hit the ball, and continue forward), then you should move up with them.
You probally can stay slightly a bit behind them if you want to be able to back them up (that's called staggering), but even then that should take you well into the service box.