Toxic doubles partner

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
This is where I make a judgment call. I rather that my teammate saves her energy and focuses on the bigger picture or the low-hanging fruit first, which are plenty. For example, pay full attention and make quality ground stroke shots. Cross when it's a very good lob over me (the net person) or when I call for assistance. You know, this is all basic, not the earth shattering skill of quickly crossing and retrieving a very out-wide, fast ball that was initially caused by my mistake. I don't need such skill from my partner. If she did have such skill, I wouldn't be here posting about partners... being distracted net partners. Right?

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I guess it's very hard to debate what's right and wrong over texts without knowing one another's levels. :) You can argue and reference all the ultimate by-the-book doubles tactics but frankly some could be so advanced that it's ..inapplicable cuz rec people don't have the speed nor the skill to carry them out. And all the while there are tons of low hanging fruits that are not picked yet.
Yup, good point. Everything has to be relevant to the skill levels involved. And arguing over such points could leave much bigger ones unresolved like why am I missing so many service returns?
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
This is where I make a judgment call. I rather that my teammate saves her energy and focuses on the bigger picture or the low-hanging fruit first, which are plenty. For example, pay full attention and make quality ground stroke shots. Cross when it's a very good lob over me (the net person) or when I call for assistance. You know, this is all basic, not the earth shattering skill of quickly crossing and retrieving a very out-wide, fast ball that was initially caused by my mistake. I don't need such skill from my partner. If she did have such skill, I wouldn't be here posting about partners... being distracted net partners. Right?

---------------

I guess it's very hard to debate what's right and wrong over texts without knowing one another's levels. :) You can argue and reference all the ultimate by-the-book doubles tactics but frankly some could be so advanced that it's ..inapplicable cuz rec people don't have the speed nor the skill to carry them out. And all the while there are tons of low hanging fruits that are not picked yet.
Well, let's get specific, then.

I spent six years at 4.0 and about seven at 3.5. I play doubles only, and I have done a private doubles clinic for about 12 years that focuses on strategy, positioning, net play, and passing shots.

We are taught the following principles pertinent to this discussion:

1. The instant the net player touches any ball, the baseliner should move up. This move should be as far up as the baseliner can get before the opponent hits -- if you have to split in no-man's land, that's fine. Failing to do this means a sad dink return will be a winner or create an emergency. No standing around at the baseline while your partner does hand-to-hand combat at the net, with a sad shank from the opponent bouncing twice in front of you.

2. As soon as the baseliner sees the net player is poaching, she should go to the opposite service line as soon as she knows a poach is imminent. Sure, she might not be able to reach a wicked volley the opponent sends into the alley. But she will be able to reach a lot of balls, and if she moves her backside she might catch them in time to play them offensively.

Now. Regarding this idea about how one should expend one's supply of energy . . . We're talking about someone moving, what, 15 feet from baseline to service line? Granted, there may be some folks who are so infirm that they cannot do this lest they be placed on a ventilator. I guess that is possible.

But we should be talking about average, healthy rec players. The reason rec players do not cross when their partner poaches is because (1) they don't know they should, or (2) they weren't thinking about it and so got a late start, or (3) they are lazy, or (4) they think if their partner doesn't put the ball away and the opponents dink into the open court the partner should not have poached. I think that is just not right.

I will allow that the expectations might be different at higher or lower levels. But 3.5/4.0 is the sweet spot for rec players where you will find most people. So I don't think what my pro is teaching is way off the mark. I am a believer in this idea of crossing because I know how many balls I reach when I do cross promptly: A lot.

Regarding the video of the pros . . . as you say, level matters. Rec volleys are not nearly so penetrating and accurate as the pros. The video I want to see is any pro doubles player standing in I formation behind her partner after the partner crosses.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Well, let's get specific, then.

I spent six years at 4.0 and about seven at 3.5. I play doubles only, and I have done a private doubles clinic for about 12 years that focuses on strategy, positioning, net play, and passing shots.

We are taught the following principles pertinent to this discussion:

1. The instant the net player touches any ball, the baseliner should move up. This move should be as far up as the baseliner can get before the opponent hits -- if you have to split in no-man's land, that's fine. Failing to do this means a sad dink return will be a winner or create an emergency. No standing around at the baseline while your partner does hand-to-hand combat at the net, with a sad shank from the opponent bouncing twice in front of you.

2. As soon as the baseliner sees the net player is poaching, she should go to the opposite service line as soon as she knows a poach is imminent. Sure, she might not be able to reach a wicked volley the opponent sends into the alley. But she will be able to reach a lot of balls, and if she moves her backside she might catch them in time to play them offensively.

Now. Regarding this idea about how one should expend one's supply of energy . . . We're talking about someone moving, what, 15 feet from baseline to service line? Granted, there may be some folks who are so infirm that they cannot do this lest they be placed on a ventilator. I guess that is possible.

But we should be talking about average, healthy rec players. The reason rec players do not cross when their partner poaches is because (1) they don't know they should, or (2) they weren't thinking about it and so got a late start, or (3) they are lazy, or (4) they think if their partner doesn't put the ball away and the opponents dink into the open court the partner should not have poached. I think that is just not right.

I will allow that the expectations might be different at higher or lower levels. But 3.5/4.0 is the sweet spot for rec players where you will find most people. So I don't think what my pro is teaching is way off the mark. I am a believer in this idea of crossing because I know how many balls I reach when I do cross promptly: A lot.

Regarding the video of the pros . . . as you say, level matters. Rec volleys are not nearly so penetrating and accurate as the pros. The video I want to see is any pro doubles player standing in I formation behind her partner after the partner crosses.
Everything I've learned about doubles agrees with what your pros teach. I've had very few partners stay stationary because they were conserving energy. Maybe a few that had very slow reaction times and simply didn't react to the fact that I had poached. If I'm the BLer, I'm moving as soon as I see my net partner poaching.

And as I wrote before, I much prefer a small chance of reaching the ball than zero. And this pays dividends: if the other team knows I'm going to try for everything, it might lead them to hit a more aggressive shot than called for and make an error. Good things happen to those who hustle.
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Even I was in the wrong playing doubles. Most of the time I get frustrated when they never hit a ball to me because they chose my weakest player who can’t hit the ball in division 2. There were only two divisions due to the lack of players.

I hate it when they do that to me for not giving me the ball so it was no fun. So i’ve decided to chase the ball bu trying to intercept the passing ball at the net.

Also, a player in my team, always stand on the middle of the T. So we missed the passing ball easily. Even he served at the centre of the baseline forcing me to the far side of the net.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Also, a player in my team, always stand on the middle of the T. So we missed the passing ball easily.
I'm not sure if I'm visualizing this: a doubles partner stands where the longitudinal line from the center of the net meets the lateral service line? And he's standing there when? During a rally?

Or do you mean he's standing in the alley where the tramline meets the SL and he's too far from the middle to have an impact?

Even he served at the centre of the baseline forcing me to the far side of the net.
Why not crouch/duck instead? That allows you to maintain your horizontal position and not move too far towards the alley. Or does he lack control and you're worried about getting hit with the serve? Or maybe he doesn't like someone crouching because it throws off his serve worrying about hitting you [I've had partners tell me not to do I formation for just that reason].

Also, did you explain why standing further away from the center is advantageous? Point him to YouTube videos of any high-level server in doubles [as long as they're not playing I formation].
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
I'm not sure if I'm visualizing this: a doubles partner stands where the longitudinal line from the center of the net meets the lateral service line? And he's standing there when? During a rally?

Or do you mean he's standing in the alley where the tramline meets the SL and he's too far from the middle to have an impact?



Why not crouch/duck instead? That allows you to maintain your horizontal position and not move too far towards the alley. Or does he lack control and you're worried about getting hit with the serve? Or maybe he doesn't like someone crouching because it throws off his serve worrying about hitting you [I've had partners tell me not to do I formation for just that reason].

Also, did you explain why standing further away from the center is advantageous? Point him to YouTube videos of any high-level server in doubles [as long as they're not playing I formation].
Sorry I didn’t explain more clearly. Yeah during the rally.

Also he served not that good, that’s why he always serve at the centre of the baseline. I had to watch him while he’s serving and one time I ducked away before I knew he served it to me! Even I’m far away from the centre of the net (near the sideline).
 

Sakkijarvi

Semi-Pro
All communication does not have to be verbal. If yappy man gets too yappy, when he is at the net, serve one into his azz. Not for mixed dubs, of course.

Then quip, like, "what do you suggest?"
 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
Well, let's get specific, then.

I spent six years at 4.0 and about seven at 3.5. I play doubles only, and I have done a private doubles clinic for about 12 years that focuses on strategy, positioning, net play, and passing shots.

We are taught the following principles pertinent to this discussion:

1. The instant the net player touches any ball, the baseliner should move up. This move should be as far up as the baseliner can get before the opponent hits -- if you have to split in no-man's land, that's fine. Failing to do this means a sad dink return will be a winner or create an emergency. No standing around at the baseline while your partner does hand-to-hand combat at the net, with a sad shank from the opponent bouncing twice in front of you.
Allow me to drill this down a little further: As soon as you see that your net partner is going to hit the next shot, move up.
 

jz000

Rookie
I cussed one out the other day. 'F you p of sh, no etiquette, take the fun out of tennis.'
Still finished the set, since 2 other guys still wanna play.
 
I cussed one out the other day. 'F you p of sh, no etiquette, take the fun out of tennis.'
Still finished the set, since 2 other guys still wanna play.
Thanks for resurrecting this thread! I think I played with this buzzkill today too--this guy was a slob from beginning to end, not bringing any balls EVER--(seven years now and counting--"They're in the trunk.") --to his exit leaving the gate wide open.

What were your experiences with him?
 

onehandbh

Legend
Life is too short to play with people like that.

One of my matches on vacation (set up by the local super awesome club) placed me with one of those. A comment after every single shot. (why are you taking the ball on the rise? you should have poached that, you need to guard the alley, you need to come in faster, you need to stay back)

Whole time, telling myself: no worries, you will never play with or see her again. But, dang did it ever effect how I played.
On the next service return, tell her, “you need to duck when I am returning serve.” (After you tag her in the back)

On second thought, don’t tag her.Hit a soft shot that gently bumps her in the back.
 
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jz000

Rookie
Thanks for resurrecting this thread! I think I played with this buzzkill today too--this guy was a slob from beginning to end, not bringing any balls EVER--(seven years now and counting--"They're in the trunk.") --to his exit leaving the gate wide open.

What were your experiences with him?
I let it slide if the guy's better than me. Or if the balls they bring suck ass, and I wanna practice with that type of a player.
I try to have decent balls, and at least a new can with me. "decent balls" for players beneath me, "new can" for good players lol jk (sorta).
Not worth hurting myself over some dead balls.

Can't sleep, cuz not enough tennis, too much energy stored XD, so I'm back thinking about this.
This will be the 3rd guy with no etiquette, 3rd guy I won't step onto the court with. No worries, still 99 others, and much better players at that.
And yeah, most of these no etiquettes are 4.0 and below :) Thank god.

Anyway:
We were playing on wet ground, so just have fun, right? rrrright? haha

Nope.

This guy likes to yap at everything: "WOW", "NICE ONE", "HOW COME YOU DIDN'T FINISH THAT", "IM SORRY", "OMGWTFBBQROFLCOPTER", etc
Which is okay, but then it was directed at me, which was not ok. I didn't say anything for a while, but couldn't hold it in forever. Walk off the court? Well 2 guys on the other side were dying to play.
So, time for some verbal thrashing >=0

When I'd miss, he'd be like "come on man" or "smash that overhead harder" or "That should've been such an easy smash!" - no man there's no easy smash in tennis. Especially on wet ground, who the hell cares.
Then he proceeds to shank his own smashes, whilst lookin like a statue every time the ball goes a bit too high above him. Trying his hardest - wrist and everything, no technique or movement - hahaha.
When he gets one, he'd be like, "See! this is how you smash!" - yeah again, I just hit one earlier you dumb F. No 2 smashes are the same - depending on incoming angle, height, pace, etc. Spin smash, slice, flat. How would he know. Sigh.

At first I criticized him, eye for an eye, but then stopped cuz I don't want that to be a habit. Then proceeded to cuss him out.
"Who the F blames their partner?!" I barked at him. He shuts up for a few points.

Then the yappin starts creeping in slowly until it was fully blown again:
"NO, LET THAT ONE GO" - a ball that was clearly sailing out.
... Yeah I know you dumb F!
This would've been ok to say if he hadn't blamed me earlier.
 
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Yah jz2000, my partner was not the same guy you played with, but just as big a dick :

Never brings balls--won't reply when queried as to why not, just a blank stare--7 years and counting--I conjecture it's because 50 years ago he was a decent junior player and now thinks he's too good to have to supply balls.

After the warmup always goes to the loo for 10 minutes while others are standing around ready to play.

After returning from loo, sits down on bench to slather on his whiteface sunblock--while others are standing in wait.

Takes the first set to sober up and start playing decently.

Foot faults by a FULL step!, on his every serve, and he's a net rusher so it makes a difference.

Takes his partners shots but misses consistently.

Takes a random brake mid-match to make a cell call for lunch reservations.

Seldom picks up balls, but if he does only when he needs to take a breather in the corner.

On exiting court leaves gate wide open.

He does move fairly well--aided by his big foot fault--but can't finish the point after stealing his partner's shots.

His one saving grace is that he is a non-talker--too pickled to waste energy on chatter.
 
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Today's report from the front lines : asked to play--I'll play with anybody--partner assigned to me missed 98 out of 100 shots, I could only grimace to myself, offer encouragement or stay silent. He did open balls so that's a plus in his favor. Never picked up balls behind himself that were there because he missed them. Kept berating himself--"How could I miss such an easy shot!"--(it could be because you don't possess a single tennis stroke after playing for decades.) Why is 3.5 banter the same old worn out tennis cliches?--It's like a bad movie you've seen a hundred times. When they huddle to strategize u know one partner will tell the other "Stay back he's gonna' lob."
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Today's report from the front lines : asked to play--I'll play with anybody--partner assigned to me missed 98 out of 100 shots, I could only grimace to myself, offer encouragement or stay silent. He did open balls so that's a plus in his favor. Never picked up balls behind himself that were there because he missed them. Kept berating himself--"How could I miss such an easy shot!"--(it could be because you don't possess a single tennis stroke after playing for decades.) Why is 3.5 banter the same old worn out tennis cliches?--It's like a bad movie you've seen a hundred times. When they huddle to strategize u know one partner will tell the other "Stay back he's gonna' lob."
I hope you complimented him on the 2 he made! Maybe hired a marching band? And a skywriter?
 
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