Am I Wrong About Switching?

I wind up saying a lot of things I feel I shouldn't have to say because -- and I don't know why -- folks just don't react to things.

Take coming in, for example. I now have a habit of saying quietly, "I'm in" when I transition to net. Should this be necessary? Shouldn't my partner feel the ground shake, hear my snorting and panting? Nope. A lob will go unplayed and my partner, who is used to years of one-up-one-back, will say, "Oh. I thought you were back there and would get that."

Another one I say often is, "Come back with me!" That's for situations where a lob is going over my partner and I am going to be challenged to reach it and hit a decent shot, and my partner stays tight to the net.

Anyway, it does help to say things like switch. At least when the ball goes unplayed as we are in an I-formation on the other side of the court, my partner will at least know her mistake without my having to, you know, rub her nose in it.
I think you’d enjoy tennis more if you found some partners who think about this stuff as much as you do.
 

blakesq

Professional
If you are at the net, and your partners is at the baseline, then you don’t need to yell switch. Just switch, your partner will see you and automatically switch after she hits the ball.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I'd love to meet you!

College visits are wonderful opportunities to bond. In a way, it is one of the last times you get to spend huge amounts of one-on-one time with your kid before they launch.
My daughter is so ready to launch! In her perfect world she does her visits totally solo, so she would appreciate it if mom left her side for a few hours for some tennis :) Her DC school list is Georgetown, American and GW the school closest to us that she is considering is UChicago.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
LOL on some men .... why exactly are you running back from the net to chase down this lob that I am getting? Why are we suddenly in a Dot formation? And when I called the OH at the T, why are you fading back to stand next to me from the deuce court? Did you want to hold hands or something or did you think your high backhand OH was going to help? Sheesh.

You and I may have the chance to play together in your time zone in the coming months .... 3 of the colleges daughter is applying to are in the DC area ... may be out for a visit depending on how things go. As long as we are on the same side of the net, I bet we will be just fine ... few words needed :)
Ah women... Why do you run behind me on a lob that I'm about to overhead, yell "mine", and then complain that I left the other side wide open when I proceeded to hit the overhead rather than yield it to you. I recognize that at 5'1" and with no willingness to take a couple of steps back you wouldn't have reached that lob, but it is in my wheelhouse. :)
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Ah women... Why do you run behind me on a lob that I'm about to overhead, yell "mine", and then complain that I left the other side wide open when I proceeded to hit the overhead rather than yield it to you. I recognize that at 5'1" and with no willingness to take a couple of steps back you wouldn't have reached that lob, but it is in my wheelhouse. :)
And trust me, if I ever were to do that (which I wouldn't) you can fire me as your partner then and there.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Why do we run behind you men as you're about to hit an overhead?

Because we have been conditioned to do this by "The Fake."

The Fake is a move you'll see when a lob goes up to the partner. She points at the ball and shuffles backward about one foot. She then decides she couldn't possibly take another step backward and loses her courage, haunted by the scalding memory of hundreds of botched overheads over the years. She then darts to the other side as though running from a live grenade. By then, the poor partner who was reading her body language/mind has no chance of running the ball down and is in all kinds of trouble if she does make the distance.

It can be hard to remember that most guys (or experienced women) won't throw A Fake so there is no need to take off behind them. But if you say, "Got it," you can startle your female partner into remembering that you're not faking.
 

Max G.

Legend
Hm, so I've been thinking about this...

First, in the extremes, it's obvious. If net player is on the deuce side and baseline player is on ad, if the lob goes up and is going to land in the deuce corner, you want to switch, obviously, since the baseline person is gonna be way to the right so the net player should cover the left side. If the lob goes up and it's going to land in the ad corner, then you obviously don't want to switch, because the baseline person has to be on the ad side to hit it and you don't want both players on the same side for no reason.

Somewhere in the middle there's a cutoff point - if the lob is left of there you stay, and to the right you switch.

First question is where that cutoff is. To me, it depends on the following factors:
1) How far the baseline person has to run to get it. The more they have to move to the right to get the lob, the easier it is for them to keep moving right instead of recovering, and thus switch.
2) How much better or worse the person is on the deuce side vs ad side. Sometimes in rec tennis there's a big difference.

Second question is who calls the switch. Obviously, net person has to call whether they're gonna take the overhead or not. But who decides what side's better for the baseline person to go to, and when is that decision made?

I don't have a good answer for this. It seems that the call should be made by the baseline person, as they have a better view of where exactly the ball is landing, whereas the net person might not be able to tell if it's gonna go two feet left of center or two feet right of center hash. On the other hand, Cindy's right that requiring *two* calls for one shot is a little weird.

I'm gonna chalk this one up to one of the reasons getting experienced as a team, together, matters. So you can stop having to *call* these things and know what your partner prefers.

(Note - for me, on the baseline, the situation is *not* symmetric between deuce side and ad side. If I'm on the ad side, a lob down the center is either a baseline overhead or a forehand for me. I feel good about both those shots, and would likely hit them big and then recover to the ad side (and/or come in). Rarely a good reason to switch. On the other hand, on the deuce side, I *really* don't want to take that as a backhand! I'd have to either lob it back, or go for a big backhand off of a high ball, or take a few big steps back and hit a backhand after it drops, or hit a defensive chip... none of those good. So if I have time, I'd much rather run around that and take it as a forehand, and then I'd definitely want to switch.)
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Hm, so I've been thinking about this...

First, in the extremes, it's obvious. If net player is on the deuce side and baseline player is on ad, if the lob goes up and is going to land in the deuce corner, you want to switch, obviously, since the baseline person is gonna be way to the right so the net player should cover the left side. If the lob goes up and it's going to land in the ad corner, then you obviously don't want to switch, because the baseline person has to be on the ad side to hit it and you don't want both players on the same side for no reason.

Somewhere in the middle there's a cutoff point - if the lob is left of there you stay, and to the right you switch.

First question is where that cutoff is. To me, it depends on the following factors:
1) How far the baseline person has to run to get it. The more they have to move to the right to get the lob, the easier it is for them to keep moving right instead of recovering, and thus switch.
2) How much better or worse the person is on the deuce side vs ad side. Sometimes in rec tennis there's a big difference.

Second question is who calls the switch. Obviously, net person has to call whether they're gonna take the overhead or not. But who decides what side's better for the baseline person to go to, and when is that decision made?

I don't have a good answer for this. It seems that the call should be made by the baseline person, as they have a better view of where exactly the ball is landing, whereas the net person might not be able to tell if it's gonna go two feet left of center or two feet right of center hash. On the other hand, Cindy's right that requiring *two* calls for one shot is a little weird.

I'm gonna chalk this one up to one of the reasons getting experienced as a team, together, matters. So you can stop having to *call* these things and know what your partner prefers.

(Note - for me, on the baseline, the situation is *not* symmetric between deuce side and ad side. If I'm on the ad side, a lob down the center is either a baseline overhead or a forehand for me. I feel good about both those shots, and would likely hit them big and then recover to the ad side (and/or come in). Rarely a good reason to switch. On the other hand, on the deuce side, I *really* don't want to take that as a backhand! I'd have to either lob it back, or go for a big backhand off of a high ball, or take a few big steps back and hit a backhand after it drops, or hit a defensive chip... none of those good. So if I have time, I'd much rather run around that and take it as a forehand, and then I'd definitely want to switch.)
Ha! See, Max says I'm right!
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
OK, to clarify . . .

Lob goes up. Net player decides she will not play that ball. She can say "You" or "Help," but she cannot say "Switch" and then just switch?

So *both* players have to yell something out for every ball that goes over the net player's head? Or are you guys saying there is a different rule for middle lobs? And if so, who is deciding what is middle enough to be a middle lob?

Sorry, I've never heard that, and it seems needlessly complicated. I also wonder how well it would work outside of well-honed doubles partnerships. I say that because some people are *very* slow to switch. I cannot imagine how many balls would go unplayed if I just yelled "You!" and stood there, waiting to see if the partner would tell me what to do next.
It's not that complicated. You can say switch and start to switch, but if your partner says "no, stay", then go back because she wants you on your original side and she's about to hit the next shot.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Once you reach a certain level, there is no such thing as yelling ‘switch.’

I don’t think I’ve called out switch since high school tennis 30 years ago.

These are women...it's pretty common with them. So you have to put yourself in their shoes. Also, I think she plays 3.5...even more common. I just think at some point they need to learn to crack some overheads and play like a sagging defense where the net player doesn't stand right on top of the net. If you do those two things...even if you miss a few overheads...the ones you crank out at their net player will discourage it. That and stop lobbing back...hit the ball short in the court...most people that love to lob don't know how to hit them from short in the court which means they will either go out or be hanging for an overhead. :)
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
These are women...it's pretty common with them. So you have to put yourself in their shoes. Also, I think she plays 3.5...even more common. I just think at some point they need to learn to crack some overheads and play like a sagging defense where the net player doesn't stand right on top of the net. If you do those two things...even if you miss a few overheads...the ones you crank out at their net player will discourage it. That and stop lobbing back...hit the ball short in the court...most people that love to lob don't know how to hit them from short in the court which means they will either go out or be hanging for an overhead. :)
Preach!
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
It's not that complicated. You can say switch and start to switch, but if your partner says "no, stay", then go back because she wants you on your original side and she's about to hit the next shot.
JRB,

Let me ask you this though. Don't you think that shouldn't be happening for 7 and 8 balls per point? Shouldn't something change at some point...especially if you are only winning half of the points or less? Just seems for a long 3 hour match when it could be cut in half...even at the 3.5 level by hitting the ball short and forcing pop ups or lobs flying out.
 

tennytive

Professional
Cindy: Asks "Was I wrong about switching?"

Also Cindy: Proceeds to explain why she wasn't wrong about switching, after everyone tells her she was wrong about switching.
Actually, in her very first sentence she tells us all she "needs" to be told she's wrong. No good deed goes unpunished.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
JRB,

Let me ask you this though. Don't you think that shouldn't be happening for 7 and 8 balls per point? Shouldn't something change at some point...especially if you are only winning half of the points or less? Just seems for a long 3 hour match when it could be cut in half...even at the 3.5 level by hitting the ball short and forcing pop ups or lobs flying out.
I'm not sure what you are asking. I didn't say anything about 7 or 8 balls, just that if you're at net and a lob goes over your head that your partner is retrieving, and you initiate a switch but your partner calls it off, you should go back because your partner is about to hit the ball and knows how the team should be aligned. That's all.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
She had better do it promptly. Letting your partner get to the other side and then telling them to run back while you're lining up your shot is a little late.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
JRB,

Let me ask you this though. Don't you think that shouldn't be happening for 7 and 8 balls per point? Shouldn't something change at some point...especially if you are only winning half of the points or less? Just seems for a long 3 hour match when it could be cut in half...even at the 3.5 level by hitting the ball short and forcing pop ups or lobs flying out.
I get what you're saying. At low levels, there can be these long lob wars where neither deep player does anything but lob until someone misses.

Yes, it is infinitely better to take these balls out of the air and learn to hit overheads, and/or learn to hit short so lobbing is more difficult. I spent *years* losing at 3.0/3.5 in this style of play. It makes tears come to my eyes when I see my 3.5 teammates still doing this.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I get what you're saying. At low levels, there can be these long lob wars where neither deep player does anything but lob until someone misses.

Yes, it is infinitely better to take these balls out of the air and learn to hit overheads, and/or learn to hit short so lobbing is more difficult. I spent *years* losing at 3.0/3.5 in this style of play. It makes tears come to my eyes when I see my 3.5 teammates still doing this.
If lobbing is effective why shouldn't they do it? Have noticed it especially effective against pairs who like to crash the net a.s.a.p. I will lob them all day long.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I'm not sure what you are asking. I didn't say anything about 7 or 8 balls, just that if you're at net and a lob goes over your head that your partner is retrieving, and you initiate a switch but your partner calls it off, you should go back because your partner is about to hit the ball and knows how the team should be aligned. That's all.
Okay...I agree with that(partner going back).
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
If lobbing is effective why shouldn't they do it? Have noticed it especially effective against pairs who like to crash the net a.s.a.p. I will lob them all day long.
Hold on now...I agree with lobbing. I'm probably one of few that use it at 4.0 and 4.5(have to be a little more careful at 4.5 though lol). I though live by the "I can do it but you aren't motto). Which means I'm going to lob you but it's going to be a purposeful lob...not just lob for the hell of it or because you lobbed it. Too many times especially in women's tennis...they lob each other to death and with no purpose. I do it to get an advantage. However...if I see that's what you want to do, then I'm going to drop the balls short more likely on the side where the person is back and force them in. You'd be surprise of how many men can't even handle a short ball(but keep it low to keep your partner from getting his jewels knocked off).lol
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
If lobbing is effective why shouldn't they do it? Have noticed it especially effective against pairs who like to crash the net a.s.a.p. I will lob them all day long.
Sorry, I wasn't clear.

Of course people should lob if it works.

I meant that I have stood on the sidelines watching my teammates losing against lob queens and been frustrated and disappointed that my teammates were unable to do anything but lob back.

Cindy -- definitely not to proud to lob
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Man in this one thread Cindy has put more thought into doubles than I have ever put into it, and I won a few tournaments back in the day. I like partners that are as dumb as I am.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
In my experience in the 3.5-4.0 ranks is that most situations where a lob would be effective are generally the same situations where a dipping passing shot would be effective. So I'll hit a dipping passing shot.

I pretty much only lob when I'm retreating to take a lob on the run or I'm stretched out and totally on defense. Then I'll try to just get the ball back high and deep and reset the point. Never been a fan of the vertical game as effective as it is. I've steadily worked on my overhead game so my opponents don't find it effective either.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
In my experience in the 3.5-4.0 ranks is that most situations where a lob would be effective are generally the same situations where a dipping passing shot would be effective. So I'll hit a dipping passing shot.

I pretty much only lob when I'm retreating to take a lob on the run or I'm stretched out and totally on defense. Then I'll try to just get the ball back high and deep and reset the point. Never been a fan of the vertical game as effective as it is. I've steadily worked on my overhead game so my opponents don't find it effective either.
Speaking only for myself, as a 3.5, I can say that my lobs are much more reliable than a dipping passing shot.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Speaking only for myself, as a 3.5, I can say that my lobs are much more reliable than a dipping passing shot.
I'm totally opposite, which probably makes me a 3.5 outlier. I will always hit a dipper down the middle in preference of a lob and if I have the time to set up, it will win the point or get an easy putaway volley 8/10 times. I have great trust in my FH. My lob at best will reset the point and at worst will give them an easy putaway.

Maybe it's my own stupid narcissism but I always want the point to be on my racquet so I'm always trying to force the bad shot rather than just passively let them happen with neutral shots.
 
That's a great weapon to have at 3.5. I don't see many people at 4.0 who can hit a good dipper except at the upper tier of the level. I don't know any 3.5's who can hit that shot.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
That's a great weapon to have at 3.5. I don't see many people at 4.0 who can hit a good dipper except at the upper tier of the level. I don't know any 3.5's who can hit that shot.
I'm probably the outlier. In my group of guys, I'm probably the guy that hits it most reliably. It's like a lot of shots. If you always work on it, you'll eventually get it down. I think I hit 3 of them this morning in my men's group and 4 other DTL FH's that they left for long that dived down near the baseline for winners. The FH was on today including one Nadal-like, on the run, around the net post into the doubles alley special. Blind Squirrel Mode at its finest.

But my lob game is pretty shaky because I trust my FH so much.

I think the other factor is that I play doubles on Clay a lot and you get more balls in your strike zone at moderate pace on Clay. So you can really put some topspin on them.
 
Why do we run behind you men as you're about to hit an overhead?

Because we have been conditioned to do this by "The Fake."

The Fake is a move you'll see when a lob goes up to the partner. She points at the ball and shuffles backward about one foot. She then decides she couldn't possibly take another step backward and loses her courage, haunted by the scalding memory of hundreds of botched overheads over the years. She then darts to the other side as though running from a live grenade. By then, the poor partner who was reading her body language/mind has no chance of running the ball down and is in all kinds of trouble if she does make the distance.

It can be hard to remember that most guys (or experienced women) won't throw A Fake so there is no need to take off behind them. But if you say, "Got it," you can startle your female partner into remembering that you're not faking.
You mean like at 0:43?

 
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