Originally Posted by The Meat
The only time you should ever talk with your doubles partner is switching sides on lobs, calling a ball that you will get, telling him where you're going to serve, and possibly to calm him down "Come on, we've got this." or "Brush it off, it's just a tiny mistake."
He really shouldn't be coaching you during a match.
I could not disagree with you more.
Sometimes I need reminding from my partner to move my feet, attack the second serve, or keep my head down. Sometimes my partner needs some insight from me (e.g., 'give him a heavy kicker to the backhand' or 'if you get a second serve, take it up the line to keep him honest').
In fact, when doubles partners use signals, it is the net
guy that will indicate whether they are poaching, and where they want the serve to go. Obviously the server can call them off, but the net guy that initiates it.
IMO, the #1 priority of a doubles player is to make his/her partner comfortable. Whether that means constantly coaching, cracking jokes to lighten the mood, being intense, or just shutting the hell up, all depends on the partner. You need to understand what your partner needs, and it's different for everyone.