What to do post-match

I played doubles in a local tennis tournament and I feel like I played badly. I won the first match but lost the second one, with different partners.

What should I do, think about what I could have done better, think about how to get better, or just try to get over it?

This is the first match I've played in over a year but I expected a lot more from myself.
 

HuusHould

Professional
It's always useful to jot down a few notes. Try to nail down recurring themes as to what was giving you trouble. (As well as what worked well) Ask yourself if you need to change your primary tactic in the situation in question, if so what other options could you experiment with? Or do you need to hone the tactic you were using and execute better, this may or may not involve tweaking your technique. Was your mindset/attitude helping or hindering or neither?
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I'd go slightly less ambitious, first match in a year. Think of something that caused you to lose more than 5 points, if there is anything you can remember. Then, try to work on that mentally or in drills, ball machine, next match etc. Just one thing, you've been gone for a year.
 
I think what let me down the most was my serve in the second match. We were down 0-2 and it was my turn to serve. I felt like I needed to produce something but these players were good and it had no effect. I could have tried to keep hitting topspin serves to make sure the ball got into play but instead I went for angles.

I also struggled with volleys. I got passed in the alleys, hit directly at me, lobbed, pretty much everything. Not sure how to improve. In doubles, things move so fast. I was just watching a video on Youtube of college doubles and it's just ridiculous how fast the game-play is. We were not moving that fast, but it felt that way. Not much time to prepare for anything, especially at close range. Maybe I need a stronger base to handle balls hit hard at me.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
Really, it all depends on what you want out of the game.

If you just want to have some fun, run around, get some excercise, get together with friends-
then, win or lose you have achieved your goal.

If you want to improve a bit and have that competitive edge, then losing is a good thing. It shows uou your weak points.
Make a mental note of what you need to work on and then really work on that thing- don't just go uot and "hit balls".
If your lobs are short, your timing is off on the poach, your serve could use variety- whatever- work on those things.

If you feel you are floundering and unsure how to improve, find a good coach and tell him/her what you want to improve.
Possibly, go together with your doubles partner and split the cost.

If you have played better in the past and you know you can do better- you may just need some time to
get into the swing of things- meanwhile work on strategies with your partners so both of you know what to do in different situations.
 

HuusHould

Professional
If your lobs are short, your timing is off on the poach, your serve could use variety- whatever- work on those things.
These are 3 of what I would say the 4 most important things to work on for doubles are. The other one being return of serve.

In doubles, things move so fast. I was just watching a video on Youtube of college doubles and it's just ridiculous how fast the game-play is. We were not moving that fast, but it felt that way. Not much time to prepare for anything, especially at close range. Maybe I need a stronger base to handle balls hit hard at me.
This is why it's important to hone your poaching, so it's your opponents that are getting rushed at least as much as you are.
Poaching both when your partner hits a good serve, ditto for their return. I work on it against the wall. Include overrunning the poach when they hit x court and volleying away their attempts to pass you dtl as well as overheads (standard & bh). Hit to all targets on the court (short and deep). This will ensure you have the shots when you get to the poach. But as far as picking up the cues as to when to poach and timing your movement to the ball, this has to be done with a live ball drill or match play. That's a tougher one to train and some people seem to have an innate feel for this and others (myself included) have to work on it more to gain proficiency.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I played doubles in a local tennis tournament and I feel like I played badly. I won the first match but lost the second one, with different partners.

What should I do, think about what I could have done better, think about how to get better, or just try to get over it?

This is the first match I've played in over a year but I expected a lot more from myself.
Give yourself some grace. While you should expect yourself to complete as well as possible, that never means perfections and often even means appreciating that your applied your skills as best as you could but lost. So you can be disappointed that maybe your game wasn't as sharp as it has been, but you should also take away the good things you did and simply know you have areas you need to tighten up. Better to build yourself up than tear yourself down.

You'll soon get a better feel for the game again.
 
D

Deleted member 776614

Guest
Pick one or two things you think you can improve on, reflect on a couple things you did well, then treat yourself to a hamburger.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
I think what let me down the most was my serve in the second match. We were down 0-2 and it was my turn to serve. I felt like I needed to produce something but these players were good and it had no effect. I could have tried to keep hitting topspin serves to make sure the ball got into play but instead I went for angles.

I also struggled with volleys. I got passed in the alleys, hit directly at me, lobbed, pretty much everything. Not sure how to improve. In doubles, things move so fast. I was just watching a video on Youtube of college doubles and it's just ridiculous how fast the game-play is. We were not moving that fast, but it felt that way. Not much time to prepare for anything, especially at close range. Maybe I need a stronger base to handle balls hit hard at me.

Thanks for the feedback.
In both singles and doubles it's not really about being able to react to every ball coming your way with genius wrist flicks passes, dainty drop volleys, and explosive inside-out forehand winners, but actually the unglamorous repetition of just cordoning off as much of the high percentage parts of your side of the court by physically parking your ass in it and goading your opponent to do more with their percentage play or attempt to thread the needle by smashing a ball into the high risk areas and past your defences.

If they're smashing balls past you in the alleys and into your body, then there really isn't much you can do other than find ways to get used to the higher pace. Another possibility is that you're standing near the net flat-footed watching the point almost as a bystander, and your opponents, picking up on it, simply redirected the ball at / past you to win the point.

In terms of practice, I tend to practise reaction volleys by having my hitting partner hit groundstrokes while I hit volleys back at him, and steadily increasing the pace over the course of 5-10 mins. These exchanges would be a competitive yet cooperative "rally" in the sense that the first few shots in the point would be hit back to one another but we'd slowly try to increase pace and intensity and then try to win the "point". In my case I typically practise volleys from the service line because I find volleying from that position tougher and more productive than practising whilst being positioned very aggressively close to the net. In doubles when my partner is serving I'm basically only 1 to 1.5 m away from the net, and during return games I'd position myself on the service line.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
I think what let me down the most was my serve in the second match. We were down 0-2 and it was my turn to serve. I felt like I needed to produce something but these players were good and it had no effect. I could have tried to keep hitting topspin serves to make sure the ball got into play but instead I went for angles.

I also struggled with volleys. I got passed in the alleys, hit directly at me, lobbed, pretty much everything. Not sure how to improve. In doubles, things move so fast. I was just watching a video on Youtube of college doubles and it's just ridiculous how fast the game-play is. We were not moving that fast, but it felt that way. Not much time to prepare for anything, especially at close range. Maybe I need a stronger base to handle balls hit hard at me.

Thanks for the feedback.
And volleys against balls struck hard isn't so much a swing as it is a block. Just put the racquet there and use the orientation of the face to guide it where you want it to be. Block it deep and you are using their pace against them. If you're aiming for a little drop volley then just a very quick knifing motion without any backswing at all instead of a normal slice.
 

eah123

Semi-Pro
For most people 3.0 and above, I think stroke production is not the main issue for doubles - it is correct positioning/movement and shot selection.
I recommend reading Dynamite Doubles by Helle Sparre as the best doubles instruction book.
 
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