How To Take Your Doubles Game To Another Level!

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
Sorry but.

There is something that I have to get off my chest first.

The way doubles are being played at all levels in the game is BAD for the game.

With two players up at the net and the other two players back playing singles against each other... no.... that is not doubles my friend!!

I mean.

"It's not the way doubles was meant to be played at a competitive level on ANY level".

Wouldn't you agree with that?

Before you answer that, think about this.

The pure essence of doubles is having all 4 players end up at the net at some point and the point is played out in rapid volley exchanging up there.

Right now.

Most doubles matches are VERY boring to watch!!

Fans want to see guys or girls serving and volleying or chipping and charging into the net joining their partner there, the way the greats did it.

That's how doubles should be played.

Now.

That I got my rant out of the way.

Here are some tips that can help you take your doubles game to a whole new level in 2 months or less.

1) Develop a solid second serve.

Please write this down.

During any tennis competition.

You are only as good as your second serve is, so spend more time in practice on it!!

(Get the reps in and make every one of them count towards developing a solid first and second serve by adjusting after each one of them).

2) Work on your return game.

The two most important shots in tennis are the serve and the return of serve.

They are also the two shots that most players don't really work on in practice.

Go figure that one out!!

3) You must develop a solid net game.

In practice.

Use the reps to develop a solid net game and then stay on top of your net game by perfecting it daily through repetitions.

First, get the form down with shadow swings and creative mental picturing before you do the reps.

Then, start in on the reps and get out of your own way once you imprint the form on your subconscious mind.

4) Work on your movement in practice.

You need to work on your transitioning game.

Work on being able to transition from the backcourt, to the mid-court and then to the front-court area with balance and smooth movement.

To do this, you must work on it in practice.

And here is a great tip to try out.

Start to always come in on all short balls and then play out the point(even if only in your own mind).

Make it a habit to force yourself to come in ALL the time.

This will then transfer automatically to your double matchplay.

5) Become a better shot maker.

The other key thing about playing doubles is that... (You must become a good, and then great shotmaker).

Think about it.

The best double players were and are all great shot makers.

Look at the way Mac and Peas played doubles?

What made them great at doubles?

They were both great shotmakers.

Becoming a great shot maker is all about getting in the reps daily, then working on your shots in LIVE play.

(Then all you have to do is relax and learn how to execute those shots under pressure and in real time).

Okay.

With those 5 tips.

You can take your whole doubles game...

To another level in less than 2 months.

But for that to happen.

It does take you doing 2 things daily.

Giving effort and persistence!!
 
Last edited:

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
With two players up at the net and the other two players back playing singles against each other... no.... that is not doubles my friend!!

Most doubles matches are VERY boring to watch!!

Fans want to see guys or girls serving and volleying or chipping and charging into the net joining their partner there, the way the greats did it.

That's how doubles should be played.

I actually agree; I much prefer that 3 or maybe 4 people are at net.

However, our opinion on how it should be played is irrelevant to how it is played.

My theory goes like this: S&V in singles has died out at the pro level because of racquet/string technology and increased physicality. It survives [for the most part] in Men's doubles because of the huge serves [there are exceptions: Nadal would serve and stay back but then again, he's Nadal; also, do I really want to S&V against the Sock FH?].

Women do not have the 130mph serves and their returns tend to be better than their serves. So in doubles it tends to be 1 up/1 back with the net women angling to poach at the right moment.

Some might call this a sexist comment...and it is: I definitely am distinguishing between two groups solely on the basis of gender. However, I'm not saying that all women have better returns than serves or that no women can hit powerful serves. There are definitely big servers in the women's game and I could see a S&V tactic as being successful. If they don't do it, it's probably because they're more comfortable on the BL.

It's not boring because I can appreciate how much pressure there is on the BLer to not allow a poach and how much the net woman is angling to poach. But yes, I'd prefer S&V and C&C to BB [baseline bashing].

Here are some tips that can help you take your doubles game to a whole new level in 2 months or less.

1) Develop a solid second serve.
2) Work on your return game.
3) You must develop a solid net game.
4) Work on your movement in practice.
5) Become a better shot maker.


The same things could be applied to singles [although some might argue with #3].

Here are some things which I think are important:
- Great communication between partners: not just during a point ["mine"; "yours"; "help"; "there's no way in heck I'm going to get that!"] but between ["they don't like low balls so I'm going to volley short and make them try to hit up"]
- Support your partner unconditionally. One or both of you might need help at some point in the match; encourage your partner. Leave the negativity out
- Understanding court geometry [most serves should be body [to jam the returner], T [to cut down the potential return angle], or at their weaker side
- Control the middle: give the returners the alleys and try to shrink the court
- Learn to lob; it's not just for defense
- Go DTL occasionally, just to show the net man you can
- Always think the next ball is yours

"They don't necessarily hit big winners but they find an uncomfortable place to put the ball." - Colin Fleming, on the Bryan Brothers.
 
Top