Things to say to doubles partner when they make an error

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Powderwombat, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Powderwombat

    Powderwombat Rookie

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    At the moment I'm just saying bad luck or something...any better things to say to give them a boost?
     
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  2. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    this is how I try to motivate them if they are a little flat. "Next time we play together, can you please show up to play tennis?" or " You got a friend who's free next week? I can teach him how to volley". Or maybe I'll just tap the ball towards the guy as a friendly warning.

    But I actually have not been playing a lot of doubles lately. People have such busy lives these days.
     
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  3. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    It's important to clarify these things out front. Ask them before the match, "How would you prefer I approach you after a missed shot?"
    Options are:
    1) Silent treatment with no look
    2) Silent treatment with angry glare or look of exasperation
    3) Mr. Sunshine aka "Good try, we'll get em next point" +/- high five
    4) Direct beratement aka "what the hell, dude!? My grandmother volleys better than you!"
     
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  4. apriliano

    apriliano Rookie

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    You cannot be serious
     
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  5. Powderwombat

    Powderwombat Rookie

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    Saying "bad luck" when they've launched a ball halfway up the back fence is kinda awkward.

    I wonder what the pros say when they bump hands after getting embarrassed in a point
     
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  6. Traffic

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    If it's a completely bad shot, then I just smile and chuckle. Sort of a "**** happens" and move on.
     
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  7. dsp9753

    dsp9753 Rookie

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    If its a difficult or hard incoming shot - I will just say wow they hit an amazing shot. That was hard to pick up.
    If they miss an easy volley - I will tell them good move, keep going for it! (I don't want my net partner to play tentative)
    if they miss that easy shot into the back fence or similar - I just laugh at them.
     
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  8. BallBag

    BallBag Rookie

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    Depends on the situation, if they are timid at the net and miss a poach I'll say "right play" or "good move". If they are tight or nervous I'll say "keep swinging". Other things might be "good point", "next point" or just touch hands and a nod.
     
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  9. Nashvegas

    Nashvegas Semi-Pro

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    “I can’t even.”

    “WTF?”

    “Don’t look at me.”

    “Please... just go.”

    “Why were you born?”

    I once heard all of these by 1-0, 15-love in the first set.
     
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  10. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    If it's my brother, I turn to him with my hands on my hips, head cocked to one side, and giving him this look.
    [​IMG]

    Anybody else. I say "No problem. No worries. We'll get the next ball."
     
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  11. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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  12. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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    Speaking of idiots... to anyone out there that does the following...please stop.

    If you make some obvious self-imposed un-forced error: a double fault, you miss an easy overhead, you volley a simple sitter into the net, etc. and then you turn to your partner and pat yourself on your own chest and say "My bad." PLEASE STOP DOING THAT! OF COURSE it is your bad. Of course it is! You JUST double fault. How is it ANYONE else's "bad" but yours?

    You let a short lob bounce, you are underneath it and 6 feet from the net, and you mis-hit and slam it into the base of the net. Don't say "My bad." What, you think someone ELSE is going to step up and take responsibility for your miss, so you need to own up verbally? STOP saying "My bad" on obvious unforced errors! Please, for the love of all manatees.
     
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  13. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    So do you prefer my response, which is basically toss my racket into the net while howling to the unfair tennis gods, then falling to my knees in a puddle of despair?
     
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  14. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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    Ok by me, but why blame the tennis gods for your bad technique?
    But botch a bunny and seeing you throw your racquet and crumbling into a tearfall pile of tears - now That's entertainment!
     
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  15. Tennisplyr

    Tennisplyr New User

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    Good try, or opponent made a nice shot. Or too bad. I try to keep it all positive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
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  16. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    After a miss, they generally say nothing. They'll plan for the next point (which really is all that matters).
     
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  17. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    I blame the tennis gods for not providing me with adequate skill and coordination to hit a damn sitter crisply over the net.
     
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  18. jonestim

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    One guy on our team is great. If his partner misses an easy overhead he says "next one is yours." It says that he trusts his partner and that keeps everyone loose and hitting better. When I play with this guy I feel like he elevates my game.

    Compare that to another guy on the team. I was at net and had an easy ball. I placed it well, but didn't get a ton of pace on it so the opponent got it back over the net - and gave us another easy ball. My partner over hits, then scolds me for not putting mine away. Yes I could have put more on it, but it may have ended in my error as well. If he had put less on his we would still be in the point. He was frustrated, I was frustrated. We lost.

    A week later I was playing against him and he scolded his partner that week with the same thing - after the ball came back and then he had an error. At that point I knew he was frustrated and we could really get in his head. We beat him.

    I would rather play with a positive player and lose than play with someone who gets frustrated and causes both of our levels to drop.
     
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  19. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I tend to say, "Nice Try" if it was a good miss, or a missed poach.
    If it was an error forced by a great shot by the other team (good serve), then I say, "That was not easy to return"
    If it's a UE from a stupid low % attempt, then I keep quiet.
     
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  20. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I've seen one player always scowl at their partner when they make an error.

    I just tell my partner to don't worry about it which often makes it worse.
     
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  21. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Semi-Pro

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    I usually just tell them to pay attention to how I play and for gawd's sake try to emulate ;)
     
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  22. winchestervatennis

    winchestervatennis Professional

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    Today i cursed unforced errors and was simply absolutely disgusted by missed first serves. Then I realized i was playing singles and really let myself have it. I'll never play with myself again. I quit
     
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  23. Simon_the_furry

    Simon_the_furry Hall of Fame

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    I'll usually coach them. If they weren't using their legs enough on the volley, I'll say "Use your legs." and then follow up with a "C'mon, you got this."
    If they double fault I'll say "Don't worry about it, just kick it in. They won't hurt us too bad."
     
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  24. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Hall of Fame

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    Of course, depends on the miss.

    • If they are being out hit I'll just remind them they are playing well and we'll have to step up and get the tough shots.
    • If it is just generally a bad day I usually just let them know it is what it is and to work with things that are going well that day. We have a phrase that I started with my son, and that is simply saying. "what's good?" when someone is struggling on court. That is to help focus and remind a player there ARE good things happening and not to think about and continue to do the things that aren't going well.
    • If they are over hitting I simply mention pulling back and that I know they can hit that with less power or more margin of error to make the other team play a point out.
    Most the guys I play dubs with are on the same page and do the same with me on those kinda days.
     
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  25. RobS

    RobS Rookie

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    I try to set a positive tone before we even start with stuff like stuff like, 'let it rip', 'play your game', 'let's have some fun', etc. The tendency when mistakes are made is to get tight and that just compounds the problem. If my partner misses a shot, I might say something like 'good idea' or 'stay aggressive' even if the shot was not really a good idea. I just say it to keep their confidence up and help move on. If it's a series of mistakes and they're really getting tight, I may jokingly say 'we've got them right where we want them' to take the edge off and give us a mental reset. In general, I don't try to say too much. I think the best thing you can do for you partner is to keep you body language positive and don't show anything negative when mistakes are made.
     
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  26. SavvyStringer

    SavvyStringer Semi-Pro

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    "Next one." I don't coach people while I play unless they ask for it. I've had partners in mixed and combo that ask for suggestions while we play, otherwise I try to do my job on my part of the court.
     
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  27. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    I try to avoid coaching technique during match play. I will only coach strategy and tactics. Putting technique thoughts into someone's head is a sure way to get them to make UE's as their mind swims with tips they need to think about. But absolutely if my partner is feeding his serves to the opponents FH wheelhouse, I'll politely suggest a serve to the BH or down the middle. Or if he's hovering at the junction between the service line and the alley, I'll again gently suggest a more aggressive location at the net.
     
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  28. Ruark

    Ruark Semi-Pro

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    I don't react at all, and neither do most of my partners. EVERYBODY hits UFEs, no point in getting bent out of shape about it. That shot's over, it's history, go on to the next one.

    Now, waaaaaay back when I was a 3.5 league team player, they sometimes put me with this guy that would scream "GOOODDDAAMMMMITTTT!!!!" and throw his racket across the court when I hit a UFE. But he was a good friend of the team captain (they worked together) so they kept him on. I quit.
     
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  29. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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    Just tell yourself "I'm sorry". It'll be ok.
     
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  30. time_fly

    time_fly Professional

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    "It's really gusty today!" (Works especially well indoors)
     
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  31. Guts

    Guts New User

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    EXACTLY LOL
     
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  32. OnTheLine

    OnTheLine Hall of Fame

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    One of my favorite partners says .. no worries, easy breezy tennis ... somehow this calms me down, especially if I just hit a really hard flat shot in the net.
     
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  33. Overheadsmash

    Overheadsmash Professional

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    When I was learning to play doubles, on har tru, my partner had been playing for 60 years. Very accomplished player. Best advice ever:

    Just play steady.
     
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  34. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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    For the comic nerds...

    [​IMG]
     
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  35. IA-SteveB

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    I usually say "You're alright." I picked that up from a friend I played baseball with. It just reminds people to shake it off and have a short memory.
     
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  36. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Thing not to say to your partner—I was playing for the first time in ages. I was out of shape, out of practice but I was doing a favor for my friend to fill in as a fourth. Naturally I wasn’t very good. So one of the other guys who I knew was my partner. I missed a few shots and he yells at me “Don’t you know you’re supposed to keep the ball in the court!!”

    Normally I just say to my partner “Don’t worry about it.”
     
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  37. acintya

    acintya Hall of Fame

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    haha this reminds me of my brother and me. so much fire between us. :D
     
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  38. tennisisgood

    tennisisgood New User

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    oops I left the same comment twice. How to delete?
     
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  39. tennisisgood

    tennisisgood New User

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    I hope that the “my bad” trend ends soon.
     
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  40. Simon_the_furry

    Simon_the_furry Hall of Fame

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    That's fair. I think, on the other hand, that missing and not knowing why you're missing is one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. So if my partner isn't split-stepping and consequentially is shanking volleys, I'll tell them what I see.
     
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  41. WhiteOut

    WhiteOut Rookie

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    I say WHEEEEEE! as the ball sails to the next township. BUT it depends on where we are in the match...when this happens to either me or my partner, it's usually a UE due to pressing because we're behind or been missing stuff all night...so by the time one of these is launched, we're usually in 'screw it, let's just finish and go drink' mode anyway...
     
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  42. WhiteOut

    WhiteOut Rookie

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    I really like this -- thank you! I used to play/coach soccer for many years before I got into tennis. This was part of our halftime discussion to make adjustments, the point being, I wanted the player to *tell me* instead of me just doing more explaining...it shows me the player is engaged and now we have something we can build upon. If they're going to beat us, it won't be by taking away *that*!

    Another variation is I'll ask "what are you seeing"? I've used that in changeovers, but I like 'what's good' bc it keeps the focus on at least one positive thing.
     
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  43. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    When an obvious strategical error causes us to lose a point I'll frequently ask my partner, "What did we do wrong?" Usually it's bad positioning or ignoring the "Deep to deep" rule. Just trying to make sure my partner was aware of the situation. Similarly if we win a point because we were strategically sound, I'll ask them "why did we win that point?" Usually it's because we got to the net in proper alignment and executed the right shots. Again I want to have a chance to encourage my partner for good heads up play.

    So much of doubles is just knowing where you are supposed to be and what your job is from that position. If both partners are on the same page then it works beautifully. If one guy decides to be the baseline freelancer, it all falls apart quickly.

    My key rules of doubles:
    1) Serve down the middle
    2) Net man mirrors the ball from the mid service box
    3) Crosscourt player transitions to the service line at first opportunity and holds that spot, aligned with the ball and the net strap
    4) Volleys and half volleys are hit deep to deep or short to short, never deep to short and only rarely short to deep
    5) Crosscourt player is responsible for lobs
    6) When in doubt hit down the middle

    If you just do these things you will beat 1 up 1 back doubles teams most of the time. Especially as you get more facile at overheads, half volleys and low volleys. But these rules only work if both partners understand and follow them. If one player is in his spot and the other decides to freelance, you open the court back up. So I never get upset at my partner over execution errors. That's largely down to ability. But I do get upset when partners ignore strategical plans made in advance to head off into "I'm going to play my game and you cover for me" mode.
     
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  44. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    Your rules are good, but just so there is no confusion: your "what did we do wrong" is nothing like ChaezAZ's "what's good."
     
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  45. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    Agree. But I also bring up the “what did we do right?” I think learning from mistakes is as important as looking positively for good things.

    The secret is ignoring execution errors as brow beating someone for screwing up their overhead doesn’t solve anything.
     
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  46. Simon_the_furry

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    Man, I am glad we don't play doubles. The "What did we do wrong?/Why did we win that point?" would annoy the crap out of me.
    Glad it works for you, though! :p
     
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  47. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    Well certainly I only do it a) if I know you well and you are interested in improving teamwork and b) if there has been a clear pattern of poor positioning. I’m not going to say something every point. Might say something twice a match. And if it’s clear you have no interest that day in critically analyzing your play, I’ll shut up pretty quick. I’m only interested in working on issues with other like minded people.

    If I was playing doubles with you for the first time I’d likely say absolutely nothing other than “good shot” or “right idea”.

    There is a big difference between your partners you are going into tournaments with and your social doubles partners. Tourney doubles really needs two people on the same page.
     
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  48. Simon_the_furry

    Simon_the_furry Hall of Fame

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    Me personally, I always like critical analysis. Sometimes I can see what I did (e.g. Taking an overly aggressive net position and leaving too much of the alley open, cheating too early and getting wrong-footed, et cetera), sometimes I can't really tell exactly what I did wrong. I like to just apologize for my mistake and get on with it. I can get in my own head pretty often, though, so I need a little encouragement from my partner occasionally.
     
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