Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
I think signaled/planned poaches are awesome. Honestly, I think it works better at the 3.5/4.0 level than opportunistic poaching.
Many players are afraid of being burned DTL if they poach or are not confident in being able to reach the Xcourt ball. So they go the whole match parked and never poaching.
Signaling frees the net player from worries about the DTL shot. It lets the net player take off a little earlier in moving toward the center if she wants. And it takes away that moment of indecision about whether she should or shouldn't take this or that ball.
Not to mention how it gets into the returner's head and they start wondering more what the net player is doing rather than what they should be doing.
So signaling has its place, IME. If done correctly, anyway.
I'm not arguing that planning poaching with signals isn't effective, it just hasn't been effective for me whereas situational poaching (and a lot of fake poaching) has been very effective. The reasons it hasn't worked well with me are that I can't get cooperative partners who can or will:
* consistently serve down the T or at least to the body when a poach is signalled
* cover behind me effectively
* endeavor to get their first serve in a high percentage of the time
Planned poaching with signals I'm sure would be very effective with the right partner, I'm just still looking for him.