Double faulting: never an issue in singles, now one in doubles

dman72

Hall of Fame
I just started playing doubles regularly the last year. Before that strictly a singles player.

I average 1-2 double faults in a singles match...rec league, USTA, casual...and that's with hitting a better than average second amongst people I play with.

Playing doubles, my double faults have skyrocketed. Obviously it's mental..having someone else standing there, knowing that this is now a team..but it's weird to get the yips on something you never did before.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
It is due to:
1. Mental factor: afraid of letting your partner down
2. Mental factor: now 3 other people can laugh at you compared to 1
3. Spatial dynamics: Presence of more players reduces your field of view. Even though you have enough clearance, you still feel boxed in.
4. Opposing net man antics like rocking disturb you
5. Anger at poor performance of your partner in previous points leave you internally seething with rage
6. You serve only 1 every 4 games as opposed to every 2 in singles and this leave you cold.
7. Your serve biomechanics was always poor and so it breaks down under the slightest of stresses
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
But yeah, something mental, like a shrunk court with more folks around and less (mental) room for error.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Good doubles servers tend keep their 1st and 2nds pretty close in form, speed and spin for added consistency.

Goal is to serve to set up your net guy for a good first volley, not so much a service winner.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 
It is due to:
1. Mental factor: afraid of letting your partner down
2. Mental factor: now 3 other people can laugh at you compared to 1
3. Spatial dynamics: Presence of more players reduces your field of view. Even though you have enough clearance, you still feel boxed in.
4. Opposing net man antics like rocking disturb you
5. Anger at poor performance of your partner in previous points leave you internally seething with rage
6. You serve only 1 every 4 games as opposed to every 2 in singles and this leave you cold.
7. Your serve biomechanics was always poor and so it breaks down under the slightest of stresses
Agreed.
 

dct693

Semi-Pro
Where are the double-faults going? Into the net? Long? Wide? Hitting your partner in the back? (which I've done!!!!)
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
It is due to:
1. Mental factor: afraid of letting your partner down
2. Mental factor: now 3 other people can laugh at you compared to 1
3. Spatial dynamics: Presence of more players reduces your field of view. Even though you have enough clearance, you still feel boxed in.
4. Opposing net man antics like rocking disturb you
5. Anger at poor performance of your partner in previous points leave you internally seething with rage
6. You serve only 1 every 4 games as opposed to every 2 in singles and this leave you cold.
7. Your serve biomechanics was always poor and so it breaks down under the slightest of stresses
+1.
@sureshs, why can't all your posts be like this? (ie. actually meaningfully contribute to a conversation, vs. asking ridiculous question about feeling uncomfortable watching bikini clad pro volley ball players in front of your kids).
 

dct693

Semi-Pro
Where are the double-faults going? Into the net? Long? Wide? Hitting your partner in the back? (which I've done!!!!)
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
The doubles server first goal is: Get your first serve in.

Take whatever pace you think you need off the ball and get it in. You have a partner to help you win the point. Use him. Serves down the T even at reduced pace will often bring back a weak middle reply that can be put away by your partner.

Too many times servers think they need to do the work to hold serve. You don’t need aces and service winners in doubles. You just need a weak reply.

So when you play doubles, put away the howitzer and start serving second serves to the T and to the BH. Once you can do that reliably, you can bring out Mr. Boomstick.

Last night I played a set against two big hitters with an older long time club member. We dismantled them 6-2 despite their cannons. Blocked back returns, took the net and angled volleys low and away. Totally finessed our way to an easy win that had them dumbstruck. It was nice to play with someone that knew doubles positioning and we formed a wall they couldn’t penetrate.

So just move away from singles mentality and think of doubles as a different sport to conquer. Getting a higher percentage of first serves in is key. And if your first serves are going in, you can’t DF.
 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
Because of the different serving positions of singles and doubles, the problem is usually due to set-up alignments and reference points ... which, if not observed, leads to fluctuations in preparation, point of contact and stroke path/form. Here's a little solution ... originally aimed at deuce/ad-court differences ... but also addresses the same issue in singles and doubles:

http://www.mountainghosttennis.com/tennisservestances.pdf

MG
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Because of the different serving positions of singles and doubles, the problem is usually due to set-up alignments and reference points ... which, if not observed, leads to fluctuations in preparation, point of contact and stroke path/form. Here's a little solution ... originally aimed at deuce/ad-court differences ... but also addresses the same issue in singles and doubles:

http://www.mountainghosttennis.com/tennisservestances.pdf

MG
Good to see you and Topspin share this...
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
The doubles server first goal is: Get your first serve in.

Take whatever pace you think you need off the ball and get it in. You have a partner to help you win the point. Use him. Serves down the T even at reduced pace will often bring back a weak middle reply that can be put away by your partner.

Too many times servers think they need to do the work to hold serve. You don’t need aces and service winners in doubles. You just need a weak reply.

So when you play doubles, put away the howitzer and start serving second serves to the T and to the BH. Once you can do that reliably, you can bring out Mr. Boomstick.

Last night I played a set against two big hitters with an older long time club member. We dismantled them 6-2 despite their cannons. Blocked back returns, took the net and angled volleys low and away. Totally finessed our way to an easy win that had them dumbstruck. It was nice to play with someone that knew doubles positioning and we formed a wall they couldn’t penetrate.

So just move away from singles mentality and think of doubles as a different sport to conquer. Getting a higher percentage of first serves in is key. And if your first serves are going in, you can’t DF.

Good post. On successful doubles nights I've been putting the flat first away and using a hard slice or kick for a first. It's still struck harder and flatter than my normal second serve, but my 1st percentage goes from 50-60% to 70-80%, so the double faults don't have as much an opportunity to appear. And, of course, with a net guy and hard spin serves it's easily as effective as the flat first even without aces or service winners. Actually I've found a hard topspin/kick whatever you want to call it where I serve wide to the ad court and it bounces towards the curtain is my most effective serve, because for some reason everyone is trying to hit it down the line and netting it or shanking badly wide.
 

Kevo

Legend
Net mostly.
Get a kicker. Best doubles serve ever. If you can kick to forehand, body, and backhand you will win a lot of doubles games and you will rarely hit a fault. You just need to have a partner who can pay attention to what he getting in reply at the net, and then call those serves like a good catcher. It will be simple to hold serve unless you're playing some really high level competition.
 

dct693

Semi-Pro
Net mostly.
What type of second serve do you hit? Slice/top/kick/slow version of 1st serve?

Typically when I hit into the net, it's because I'm too anxious and drop my head while serving.

Get a kicker. Best doubles serve ever. It will be simple to hold serve unless you're playing some really high level competition.
But make sure it's a GOOD kick serve. A bad kick serve doesn't kick, doesn't bounce high, and is fairly predictable, but at least it should help you avoid double faults.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
What type of second serve do you hit? Slice/top/kick/slow version of 1st serve?

Typically when I hit into the net, it's because I'm too anxious and drop my head while serving.

But make sure it's a GOOD kick serve. A bad kick serve doesn't kick, doesn't bounce high, and is fairly predictable, but at least it should help you avoid double faults.
Even a bad kick serve is better than a toned down flat serve. Nothing worse than a slow flat serve.
Of course a bad kick serve over time can become a good kick serve. Everyone needs to start somewhere. It's not like people just magically have a good kick serve.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
What type of second serve do you hit? Slice/top/kick/slow version of 1st serve?

Typically when I hit into the net, it's because I'm too anxious and drop my head while serving.
Topspin deuce court to righty
Kick (dirty diaper finish) to righty ad court.

Reverse those to a lefty.

Degrades to a weak tap after many misses.

I've been told by guys on my USTA team almost every serve I miss is due to head coming down...similar to my groundstrokes, where almost every miss is due to my head coming up. Funny how that works.
 

esgee48

Legend
I have the same issue serving out wide to the backhand on the Ad side. I can hit my spot if my partner is not crowding the net. If he backs off into the middle of the service box instead of standing 3 feet from the net, there would be more room for my serve to go out wide. When someone is that close to the net and positioned incorrectly, you end up hitting serves near the middle cuz you would hit your partner if you went wide. I finally told him to back off the net until the ball goes by him; then move in a step. You may be experiencing the same issue.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
are you standing out wider to serve in Dubs?
Only slightly more than in singles to the same handed player. Serving wide on either side isn't that weird to me because I serve wide to a lefty I play regularly on the deuce court, and wide to righties on the ad regularly (aforementioned twist/kick serve to the backhand), and it really doesn't effect me in singles, I can adjust easily match to match.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Only slightly more than in singles to the same handed player. Serving wide on either side isn't that weird to me because I serve wide to a lefty I play regularly on the deuce court, and wide to righties on the ad regularly (aforementioned twist/kick serve to the backhand), and it really doesn't effect me in singles, I can adjust easily match to match.
Imo, standing out wide to serve is more about coverage and path to the net than about the ability to serve out wider...

I was thinking that if you stood out wide, then the longer path of the ball over the net could have been your prob......I sometimes serve too long in singles due to being used to playing more dubs and used to the longer path of the doubles serve.
 

dct693

Semi-Pro
Topspin deuce court to righty
Kick (dirty diaper finish) to righty ad court.

Reverse those to a lefty.

Degrades to a weak tap after many misses.

I've been told by guys on my USTA team almost every serve I miss is due to head coming down...similar to my groundstrokes, where almost every miss is due to my head coming up. Funny how that works.
This is very common IME. When I get anxious I do the same. My advice is to obviously keep your head up longer. Pay attention to whether you can actually see the ball hit the net. If you can, you've dropped your head too soon. In practice, try keeping your head up longer than normal, just to try getting comfortable with it. Don't worry - you'll still have time to see your serve land beautifully in the box and kick up!
 
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