4.0 still full of pushers

Furthermore, most players have much more years left in the tank than they think. I recently helped a player lose 30 lbs. His court coverage & endurance became really good. He was in his late 50’s.

People who claim their bodies are failing them, are often failing their bodies. And deserve no free pass.
Well that is probably true, many folks would rather not spend 90% of their leisure time beating themselves up training hard to play a recreational activity. They'd rather use that leisure time to play that recreational activity. Doubles players probably play more and singles players probably train more. Probably why doubles players seem to have superior racket skills. They're actually playing tennis more often.

Cost-benefit analysis favors doubles because it requires the right amount of fitness, tennis skills and social skills to promote longevity. Lone rangers sport participants have a shorter life expectancy than people that play social sports.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
It's totally normal for younger/new to tennis players with good speed to love singles and hate doubles. I hated dubs for the first decade of playing lol. All the standing around is boring and takes away your natural advantages. Good volleying technique, positioning, accurate return of serve etc all come with years of experience and all are needed for doubles. None of that is really needed until you get to higher levels of singles.

But before you dismiss dubs as 'not real tennis', remember it will help your transition/net game immensely. Which will help you progress in singles. After a while it gets boring out grinding your opponents, playing some dubs will help you learn to end points at the net.
 
Well that is probably true, many folks would rather not spend 90% of their leisure time beating themselves up training hard to play a recreational activity. They'd rather use that leisure time to play that recreational activity. Doubles players probably play more and singles players probably train more. Probably why doubles players seem to have superior racket skills. They're actually playing tennis more often.

Cost-benefit analysis favors doubles because it requires the right amount of fitness, tennis skills and social skills to promote longevity. Lone rangers sport participants have a shorter life expectancy than people that play social sports.
It doesnt require 90% of ones leisure time to reduce inflamation & lower body fat. It simply requires a change in dietary habits. If a player has the time/energy to complain about their sore back or shoulder, they have no excuse for not fixing it.

I dont think doubles players have superior racket skills. I think they use less energy so fatigue doesnt affect their form.

And your claim that out of shape doubles players are going to have higher life expectancy simply because you assume they have a better social life is ridiculous. Too many other ignored variables.
 
It's totally normal for younger/new to tennis players with good speed to love singles and hate doubles. I hated dubs for the first decade of playing lol. All the standing around is boring and takes away your natural advantages. Good volleying technique, positioning, accurate return of serve etc all come with years of experience and all are needed for doubles. None of that is really needed until you get to higher levels of singles.

But before you dismiss dubs as 'not real tennis', remember it will help your transition/net game immensely. Which will help you progress in singles. After a while it gets boring out grinding your opponents, playing some dubs will help you learn to end points at the net.
I get your point. But I’ve been playing ping pong with the same strategy for 30 years and never gotten bored of it .

I love the grind.

With doubles, I just dont get enough reps in for the “practice at my net play” to be efficient use of time. I’d rather do drills if I wanted to work on net play.
 
It doesnt require 90% of ones leisure time to reduce inflamation & lower body fat. It simply requires a change in dietary habits. If a player has the time/energy to complain about their sore back or shoulder, they have no excuse for not fixing it.

I dont think doubles players have superior racket skills. I think they use less energy so fatigue doesnt affect their form.

And your claim that out of shape doubles players are going to have higher life expectancy simply because you assume they have a better social life is ridiculous. Too many other ignored variables.
Just out of curiosity, how old are you?
 
I’d rather do drills if I wanted to work on net play.
Match play isn't a particularly efficient way to work on anything. If you need to improve technique, drilling with someone is so much better, because it lets you control variables to focus on what matters.

I dont think doubles players have superior racket skills. I think they use less energy so fatigue doesnt affect their form.
I don't have any data to back this up, but my experience has been that people who label themselves "doubles players" have noticeably better net play than people who call themselves "singles players". I expect that largely comes down to what they're used to. You can be a good singles player with bad net play, but you can't be a good doubles player without it. Much like you can be a good doubles player with limited mobility (and the right partner), but you won't be good at singles.
 
This debate reminds me of halfcourt vs fullcourt basketball

Guess which version the older players prefer?

Get those same players running full court and watch their shooting % plummet.

We all can shoot good in practice. Get that heart rate up and then let’s decide who the actual better shooter is.
 
I don't have any data to back this up, but my experience has been that people who label themselves "doubles players" have noticeably better net play than people who call themselves "singles players". I expect that largely comes down to what they're used to. You can be a good singles player with bad net play, but you can't be a good doubles player without it. Much like you can be a good doubles player with limited mobility (and the right partner), but you won't be good at singles.
My doubles experience results in almost zero net play.
Guys are good enough to hit 100% of balls cross court away from poaching.
Servers are just bad enough to not generate weak serve returns.

I hit way more volleys in singles than in doubles.
 
I get your point. But I’ve been playing ping pong with the same strategy for 30 years and never gotten bored of it .

I love the grind.

With doubles, I just dont get enough reps in for the “practice at my net play” to be efficient use of time. I’d rather do drills if I wanted to work on net play.
I love the grind too. Perhaps that is why some think of me as a pusher, because I don't get bored of standing around the baseline and trading groundstrokes for very long rallies.
To me, that's much more fun than hitting a couple groundstrokes before an unforced error occurs.
 
It made me laugh though, and that's good for your health. So in a roundabout way it's improved my life expectancy...
Keep in mind, I think he lives in Europe. He might not fully realize just how unhealthy the average Anerican is compared to the average European. We must really take into consideration the culture gap here, it’s a important variable in this debate.

Playing social Euro basketball is so much different than American. The culture & dynamics are very different. I can only assume tennis has similar inherent differences.
 
My doubles experience results in almost zero net play.
I expect this is an atypical experience. I play combo leagues, and I'm still able to poach maybe once a game when my lower-level partner is serving to the higher-level returner. Even if not that, most doubles points in my matches end once one team takes control at the net. Either through a putaway or forcing an error from the opponents.
It seems a particularly delicate balance of players with weaker serves and no interest in closing to the net would be required for your situation.

Playing social Euro basketball is so much different than American.
I can't speak to Euro ball. I do like to play some full court ball, as an out of shape guy. We've got a wide age/talent group, and it's the real exercise I get... when I'm not injuring myself. I honestly can't imagine playing half court basketball. It might as well be a game of horse.
 
I expect this is an atypical experience. I play combo leagues, and I'm still able to poach maybe once a game when my lower-level partner is serving to the higher-level returner. Even if not that, most doubles points in my matches end once one team takes control at the net. Either through a putaway or forcing an error from the opponents.
It seems a particularly delicate balance of players with weaker serves and no interest in closing to the net would be required for your situation.


I can't speak to Euro ball. I do like to play some full court ball, as an out of shape guy. We've got a wide age/talent group, and it's the real exercise I get... when I'm not injuring myself. I honestly can't imagine playing half court basketball. It might as well be a game of horse.
The Euro ball I played was interesting.

VERY fundamental. And LOTS of passing. Much more of a “grind” & patience than typical American basketball.

There was little to no fast breaks. Everything was slowed way down into a halfcourt style game. Very methodical. It took me a while to adjust because I was a lot younger back then but it was valuable experience as I learned how to play proper “old man” ball.

They were smart. Much smarter than your average American who has never had formal basketball coaching. Once I realized the terms I adjusted and loved it (I have decades of formal basketball training).

American fans of bball watch on TV and only see the athleticism. Euros watch and see the strategy. It becomes very evident in the way each respective culture emulates what they see from TV.

The Euros are better pure basketball players. Everything was balanced.
 
The best players aren't really concerned with labels, a win is a win is a win. The only thing that matters is the win. It drives me crazy that I can't get my opponents to play in the exact style that helps me win with little or no effort in every single match. What the bleep is wrong with them. Ugggghhhhhhh!!!!
 
It doesnt require 90% of ones leisure time to reduce inflamation & lower body fat. It simply requires a change in dietary habits. If a player has the time/energy to complain about their sore back or shoulder, they have no excuse for not fixing it.

I dont think doubles players have superior racket skills. I think they use less energy so fatigue doesnt affect their form.

And your claim that out of shape doubles players are going to have higher life expectancy simply because you assume they have a better social life is ridiculous. Too many other ignored variables.
Most doubles players are in shape relative to their normative peers. The belief that superhuman amounts of exercise actually add a lot to longevity is a myth. You only need moderate amount of activity to make the biggest gains in longevity. Anyways amongst seniors, tennis and badminton play were associated with the longest gains in longevity and jogging was not associated with any gains. Swimming and cycling were associated with more modest gains in longevity. Most of those tennis players were doubles players because thats what 90% of senior tennis players play. The theory is either its the nature of the exercise being intermittent intensity or the social aspects that clearly set racket sports above other forms of exercise. Given there are many studies also showing more social seniors live longer, I'd vote that the social nature of doubles tennis is a big factor.

Some people also enjoy their food and wine and so a significant change in dietary habits could be more adverse to life enjoyment than spending hours jogging. Life is about those moments that bring you joy.

And I've yet to see a real solid doubles only player that doesn't have great racket skills. I've met several solid singles only players that have a serve and FH only. Of course most of the really good players I come across have a healthy respect for both forms of tennis and play in both singles and doubles tournaments. It seems much more frequent in the 3.0-4.0 world where there is this divide between singles and doubles hatred. Most 4.5 players and above enjoy all forms of tennis and appreciate what each has to offer.
 
I dont think doubles players have superior racket skills. I think they use less energy so fatigue doesnt affect their form.
And I've yet to see a real solid doubles only player that doesn't have great racket skills.
I agree with the musketeer on this one. Given the same level - that's a huge given - good doubles players *tend* to have better racquet skills than good singles players. Mainly, they just volley and return a lot better. You can't be a decent doubles player without volleying well but you can be a decent singles player. And the net game is much harder to learn than the baseline game - the ball is coming at you faster, it doesn't bounce, and your margin for error is less (and in doubles you've got two opponents to deal with). You can get away with funky technique from the baseline, but that's much harder to do at the net. Doubles is just a completely different game. Personally, I much prefer singles... but I enjoy playing doubles because it forces me to do different things; things that ultimately benefit me in singles.
 
I hit way more volleys in singles than in doubles.
This is my experience also. Of course, most of my doubles play is MxD. Since I'm a big, imposing guy at the net, and my wife has a modest serve and ground strokes from the base line, I just don't get many opportunities.

On the other hand, I am prone to going to the net in singles, AND I'm the only person on my side of the court, so I get my full share of volleys, half-volleys, and OH opportunities. Points are also longer in singles which tends to give rise to more volley opportunities. I also see plenty of drop shots in singles.

I don't get nearly enough volley opportunities in most doubles matches for any meaningful practice. If I am intentional about going to the net in singles, I do. A good approach shot or serve will yield a volley opportunity most of the time. But even more consistent practice requires drills.
 
This is my experience also. Of course, most of my doubles play is MxD. Since I'm a big, imposing guy at the net, and my wife has a modest serve and ground strokes from the base line, I just don't get many opportunities.

On the other hand, I am prone to going to the net in singles, AND I'm the only person on my side of the court, so I get my full share of volleys, half-volleys, and OH opportunities. Points are also longer in singles which tends to give rise to more volley opportunities. I also see plenty of drop shots in singles.

I don't get nearly enough volley opportunities in most doubles matches for any meaningful practice. If I am intentional about going to the net in singles, I do. A good approach shot or serve will yield a volley opportunity most of the time. But even more consistent practice requires drills.
How about I phrase it as "I'm at the net a lot more in doubles than singles": 3/4 of the time when the point starts, I'm either already at the net or coming in. The only time I'm not is when I'm receiving [and I could still C&C]. This means my opportunities for hitting volleys is much higher. Whether I actually get to hit the volley depends on where my opponents are targeting. The better the volleyer I am relative to my partner, the fewer chances I should get if they are smart.
 
I get a lot of volley opportunities in mixed because I know the opponents will target my partner. That makes for a lot of easy poaches when you know where they want to go.

If they want to use my partners serve to come at me with a big FH, I say bring it on. It can only make me a better player and volleyer.
 
If you get more opportunities to volley in singles than in doubles, then you are doing it wrong.
It depends: if they are playing moonball doubles, the net person won't get much of a chance to volley whereas if someone plays S&V in singles, he'll get a chance to volley hopefully at least 4 times per service game.

But I agree with your general concept.
 
If you get fewer opportunities to volley in singles than in doubles , then you are doing it wrong.
Explain that one; I don't understand.

First of all, since no one in the known universe Ss&Vs anymore, when would someone in singles have an opportunity to volley except on the occasional short ball?

And, for however little there is of S&V, there's less of C&C on the return.

In doubles, you are in position to volley 3/4 of the time [100% if you S&V, which hasn't died from doubles yet].
 
It depends: if they are playing moonball doubles, the net person won't get much of a chance to volley whereas if someone plays S&V in singles, he'll get a chance to volley hopefully at least 4 times per service game.

But I agree with your general concept.
I suppose. But then I’m likely getting overhead opportunities. Either way I’m getting more practice taking balls out of the air in doubles than singles.
 
Lol That’s just comical. Doubles you’re at the net literally every single point.
Yea, and the ball is always on the extreme side of the net court.
Courts are extra wide in dubs, remember?
Dubs is just a lot of standing around looking busy.

At 3.0, serve returners have less control, so lots of poaching.

Anyone at 3.5 can basically ALWAYS hit it CC, away from net man.
4.0 are dink servers, so that's even worse. Serve returner can place it anywhere.
Add the fact that 3.5 partner have no idea how to play doubles, so they yell at you if you get passed DTL. So, no more poaching, even if you can get one.
So, almost no net action at 3.5 and 4.0

Maybe at 4.5, with big serves, you get weaker serve returns, like at 3.0
and start to get some net action poaching possibility

So, when you state "doubles means tons of volleys"
you need to state your level.
 
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Yea, and the ball is always on the extreme side of the net court.
Courts are extra wide in dubs, remember?
Dubs is just a lot of standing around looking busy.

At 3.0, serve returners have less control, so lots of poaching.

Anyone at 3.5 can basically ALWAYS hit it CC, away from net man.
4.0 are dink servers, so that's even worse. Serve returner can place it anywhere.
Add the fact that 3.5 partner have no idea how to play doubles, so they yell at you if you get passed DTL. So, no more poaching, even if you can get one.
So, almost no net action at 3.5 and 4.0

Maybe at 4.5, with big serves, you get weaker serve returns, like at 3.0
and start to get some net action poaching possibility

So, when you state "doubles means tons of volleys"
you need to state your level.
If you are standing around looking busy, then you are not doing it right. A good netman will move around and look for opportunities to volley.
 
That’s just so incorrect. If 3.5 and 4.0 level is just all pushers then you’re able to poach easier since that ball is coming in so slow right???????? If it’s just all dink serves then you’re hitting a hard cross court return and coming up to the net after it.
I am mainly talking about being on the serving team.
3.5 is good enough to hit all balls CC b/c the serves are not overpowering.
4.0 has even weaker serving than 3.5 and better ROS. So, even more CC returns.
Yes, you can approach the net as the returner, but only if your a doubles player,
since singles players have the opposite muscle memory. (Hit ball. Crash net. = Lose in singles)
I refuse to play doubles unless I am injured or sick, so I have no dog in this fight.
Just relating my personal experience. I hit way more volleys in singles. YMMV.
 
Only if you are playing doubles with 4 singles players lol.
4 experienced doubles players will get plenty of net play.

Nothing gets me licking my chops like having my opponents admit to being “singles players”.
i think playing double is extremely beneficial for the so-called "single players". If you are one of those and you are uncomfortable at the net, you will be stuck at the baseline, can't finish point early.
Half a year ago, i was a "single player". I started playing more double and now i am beating the dub players in my usta team. I have become a more complete player thanks to playing double.
 
I am mainly talking about being on the serving team.
3.5 is good enough to hit all balls CC b/c the serves are not overpowering.
4.0 has even weaker serving than 3.5 and better ROS. So, even more CC returns.
Yes, you can approach the net as the returner, but only if your a doubles player,
since singles players have the opposite muscle memory. (Hit ball. Crash net. = Lose in singles)
I refuse to play doubles unless I am injured or sick, so I have no dog in this fight.
Just relating my personal experience. I hit way more volleys in singles. YMMV.
The fact you believe 3.5’s have a better serve than 4.0’s is pure nonsense.

You’re also not hugging the middle enough if your opponent is going cross court with ease. Give them different looks.
 
i think playing double is extremely beneficial for the so-called "single players". If you are one of those and you are uncomfortable at the net, you will be stuck at the baseline, can't finish point early.
Half a year ago, i was a "single player". I started playing more double and now i am beating the dub players in my usta team. I have become a more complete player thanks to playing double.
Absolutely, it makes you have to be more precise with your strategy and shot making.
 
The fact you believe 3.5’s have a better serve than 4.0’s is pure nonsense.
.
In my experience, 3.5s tend to overhit like bashers. Lots of double faults. Trying to hit winners. No defense, all offense. Great way to lose tons of points.
In my experience, 4.0s are careful to not make any errors. Dink server means not one DF in an entire match. Not giving away a single unforced error. Great way to win tons of points.

3.5s serve way harder than dinky 4.0s
I've seen frying pan 4.0 serves that even 3.0 has outgrown

But Pushing wins
 
In my experience, 3.5s tend to overhit like bashers. Lots of double faults. Trying to hit winners. No defense, all offense. Great way to lose tons of points.
In my experience, 4.0s are careful to not make any errors. Dink server means not one DF in an entire match. Not giving away a single unforced error. Great way to win tons of points.

3.5s serve way harder than dinky 4.0s
I've seen frying pan 4.0 serves that even 3.0 has outgrown

But Pushing wins
I think saying that 4.0's dink their serves in is a vast generalization. Playing at the 4.0 level, I have seen so many different styles of game plans, including players who try to his the serve as hard as they can, some who emphasize spin on the serve, and some who just dink it in.
So, I think you are overgeneralizing here.
 
I also notice way more aces at 3.0 and 3.5 than at 4.0
By 4.5, the aces return.

A 3.5 would rather DF than to dink.
A 4.0 would rather dink than DF.
Hence, their respective ratings.
 
In my experience, 3.5s tend to overhit like bashers. Lots of double faults. Trying to hit winners. No defense, all offense. Great way to lose tons of points.
In my experience, 4.0s are careful to not make any errors. Dink server means not one DF in an entire match. Not giving away a single unforced error. Great way to win tons of points.

3.5s serve way harder than dinky 4.0s
I've seen frying pan 4.0 serves that even 3.0 has outgrown
In my experience, the bolded generalization is about 98% wrong.
 
I found the following very interesting. Which style of player are you? I'm definitely the 2nd.

Taken from the book "Inner Game of Tennis", pg. 63-64:

After they have played tennis for a year or so, most people fall into a particular pattern of play from which they seldom depart. Some adopt a defensive style; they spare no effort to retrieve every ball, lob often, hit deep into the opponent's court, and seldom hit the ball hard or go for a winner. The defensive player waits for his opponent to make an error and wears him down by degrees with endless patience. Some Italian clay-court players are the prototype for this style.


The opposite of this is the offensive style adopted by some great and would-be great American players. In its extreme form the ball is hit for a winner every time. Every serve is designed to be an ace, every return of serve a clean passing shot, while volleys and overheads are all aimed to land within one or two inches of the lines. A third common pattern is what might be called the "formal" style of play. Players in this category don't care so much where their ball goes as long as they look good stroking it. They would rather be seen using flawless form than winning the match. In contrast, there is the competitive style of the player who will do anything to win. He runs hard and hits hard or soft, depending on what seems to bother his opponent most, and uses gamesmanship to the hilt.

One final style worth mentioning is that of the detached Buddhist. He plays with perfect serenity, aware of everything but attached to nothing; that is, even though he makes great effort, he seems unconcerned with the results of his actions. Always alert, he shows no tension even on match point.
 
I’d like to be the detached Buddhist but I’m sure I’m far closer to just being a tweener between one and two. I’m a moderate who sees the world in shades of grey. I defend when necessary and attack when the opportunity arises.
 
I also notice way more aces at 3.0 and 3.5 than at 4.0
By 4.5, the aces return.

A 3.5 would rather DF than to dink.
A 4.0 would rather dink than DF.
Hence, their respective ratings.
Personally, I haven't ever played competitively at the 3.5 level (only started playing USTA when I was above the 3.5 level), but from what I've seen against 4.0 players, I have not witnessed this trend. Personally, I have found that my serving is more "dink-like" than anyone else I can think of at the 4.0 level. But, your experience may be different than mine.
 
Personally, I haven't ever played competitively at the 3.5 level (only started playing USTA when I was above the 3.5 level), but from what I've seen against 4.0 players, I have not witnessed this trend. Personally, I have found that my serving is more "dink-like" than anyone else I can think of at the 4.0 level. But, your experience may be different than mine.
That guy has never played 4.0 usta
 
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