I have two ladies with whom I practice fairly often. One is fine. I am having problems with the other one. I need to figure out whether I should just throw in the towel. Our session just now was typical. She struggles with her BH; I struggle with my FH. We decided to work on BHs first. To hit to her BH, I stood in the middle of the baseline and hit the ball to her BH. I would run to the next ball, wherever it landed, and hit it again deep to her BH. When she missed a shot, one of us fed another ball and we continued. I did not give her tips or advice or pointers, and I tried to get medium-paced balls to her BH as consistently as I could. Then she wanted to hit some BHs DTL. I stood in my FH court and tried to hit balls DTL so she could hit her BH DTL. So far, so good. Then it was time to work on my FH. I told her to hit to my FH, as I wanted to work on doing good footwork to get around the ball and set up properly and do a good shoulder turn. She stood way over in her FH corner and spanked balls hard crosscourt. Some I could reach and attempt to play; some I just let go. This didn't seem to be working, so I asked her to stand in the middle of the baseline and rally FHs up the middle with me instead, hoping that this would get me more balls I could actually hit. I told her I wanted to try to do the footwork to get out of my own way and hit a high-quality FH straight back to her. She said, "I don't think I can hit down the middle. I mean, I would never do that in a match; I hit to the corners. Both of us standing in the middle hitting to each other is unrealistic." I replied, "Well, when you play doubles, you'll need to know how to drive the ball up the middle, so maybe you can work on that?" Privately, I was getting irritated by this point because I figure you should be able to hit a groundstroke from any point on the court to any point on the court. I thought it was bizarre to say you don't hit balls down the middle in singles as pros hit down the middle all the time. I think what we have is a basic philosophical difference about practice. She thinks that practice should mimic match play, and if you would go for a winner in a match, you should go for a winner against your practice partner. If you hit *to* someone, you are training your brain to do only that and you won't be able to hit away from opponents in matches. I tend to think that once you have good technique (developed through controlled practice), you can put the ball wherever you want and can hit away from your opponent if you want. The other issue I don't know how to deal with is the question of unsolicited advice. I dealt with the frequent pointers and tips by nodding and ignoring them, but I do have to say I found the cumulative effect of this annoying. Some of the stuff she says is just wrong, yet I don't want to spend time arguing. For those of you with practice partners, to what extent do you coach each other in a hitting session? What's normal, do you think?