When Different Partners Make The Same Mistake

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I played with one of my non-crossing partners again recently. This time I kept mental track of what was happening with the poaching.

I didn't get many poach opportunities. Partner's serve is weak; partner's groundstrokes are strong; opponents were so weak they often missed outright. Opponents also threw up high balls that I couldn't reach, so it was hard to get into points.

However, there were two points that stuck out in my mind. On both, I was in the deuce court. The opponent's shot had a lot of angle but was slow, so I thought I could catch up to it. I crossed and made contact near the singles sideline. I would call it a lucky poach rather than a good one -- I was stretched out and didn't have a lot of real estate to work with, so I lob-volleyed the ball over the net player in front of me into the deep corner behind her. I stopped and did not cross back over to the ad court, of course. Baseline opponent couldn't reach it, so lucky winner both times.

After all of that activity, I turned around and both times my partner had not taken one step to cross behind me.

It is hopeless. I guess some partners just react to the ball once it is struck and do not think about positioning in response to what their partner has done.
Wait a minute: you moved from the middle of your service box, past the center line, and all of the way to the outside of the other service box? Singles court is 27' wide so you ran about 2/3 of that or 18'? And your partner still didn't move??

Maybe she wasn't watching you at all but only the ball. Or is she a "you stay on your side and I'll stay on mine" type of player?

So if you had kept going past the doubles alley and into the adjoining court, your partner still would have stayed in her original position?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I too would be too dumbfounded that you crossed all the way to the singles sideline to poach a ball to move. Clearly if you had to travel that far I'd be in a much better position to hit a quality shot than you were.
I'd love to have a partner that could cover that much ground AND win the point. Makes the returner miss more worrying about the potential poach.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Wait a minute: you moved from the middle of your service box, past the center line, and all of the way to the outside of the other service box? Singles court is 27' wide so you ran about 2/3 of that or 18'? And your partner still didn't move??

Maybe she wasn't watching you at all but only the ball. Or is she a "you stay on your side and I'll stay on mine" type of player?

So if you had kept going past the doubles alley and into the adjoining court, your partner still would have stayed in her original position?
Yes. I honestly think she was waiting for me to call a switch.

But the real question is this: How did Cindysphinx cover all that distance in the time it took the ball to go from the baseline to the net?

Spin classes, baby. My legs are like tree trunks!
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
You'd only be in a better position if you weren't glued to the baseline.

Some partners Will Not Come To Net No Matter What And Will Backpedal If They Accidentally Find Themselves There.
I played with one partner who, as I moved forward after serving, would move backward in tandem. It's as if he were observing Newton's 4th law that states that the sum of the distances from both partners to the net must remain constant.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I have had many different partners this season (ladies doubles). I am noticing a pattern: My partners do not cross behind me when I poach.

I like to be active at net and poach often (with "poach" defined as needing to move to get a middle ball, not just dealing with a ball sent to you). One of two things seems to be happening.

Either I hit my poach and put the ball away. In this case, my ball is a winner and I do not know where my partner was and whether it had occurred to her to cross behind me.

Or I cross to hit my poach, the receivers return it to the court I vacated, and the ball bounces twice because my partner has not crossed.

I am running out of ideas for how to deal with this. I used to start matches with new partners by telling them that when I poach I will keep going. This made no difference, so I have stopped making that speech. Now I wait for the first time it happens, then I say, "Oh, I'm sorry! When I poach, I'll keep going and won't cross back, so you can cross behind me." No improvement.

Is this just a common problem in doubles and I have to accept that some people do not understand that they should cross immediately when their partner is poaching? Has anyone figured out a solution to this?
that is cause they don't understand the fundamentals of doubles. and they play all the time with Partners that NEVER poach. so they ONLY know one thing and one formation. One Up and One Back, and hitting Crosscourt til somebody misses which is usually in 1 or 2 shots..............Highly frustrating to watch. and these people are not Dummies either. and have been playing doubles for more than 10 years............. I am like doesn't these people Learn as the years go on. There are just as many important Doubles strategy as Singles strategy......
 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
You probably won't have any luck breaking them in, doubleswise. Go for poach winners and end their confusion.

And, don't run past your net opponent if they have a chance of hitting it back. Stop/split right in front of her.
 

badmice2

Semi-Pro
if i had a partner that expects me to clean up after his sloppy mistake, I guarantee you send a serve to his backside myself, let alone asking for a new partner.

If you're poaching for the sake of "creating offense" - justified or not, but cannot put your opponent in a defensive position, you should just quit doing it altogether. You're not doing yourself any favor, as you pointed out, you're out of position to do anything constructive and looking to your partner to bail you out. You also put yourself and your partner in a terrible position for the 3rd/4th/5th ball (if the rally gets that far).

And dont say that's the only game you have and the only way for you to play. you're batting 1000% playing with partners where your poaching game worked against you, maybe your partners are not the problem...just saying.
 

Max G.

Legend
That is terrible doubles advice. Of course you should poach a lot. Sometimes it'll be a winner but sometimes it won't, and a good doubles partner should absolutely try to cover after a mediocre poach.

If you're 100% successful on your poaches, you're probably not being aggressive enough.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Of course you should poach a lot.
I would amend that to "Of course you should poach or fake poach a lot. Avoid being stationary."

If you're 100% successful on your poaches, you're probably not being aggressive enough.
+1. I think the same way about my 2nd serve: if I never DF, it means I'm not serving aggressively enough and I'm leaving points on the table.
 

Court Karma

Rookie
Seems like a drilling/coaching issue. The switching concept has been nearly beaten into me and my team mates since 3.0.

Should be automatic.
 
You need to get some higher IQ partners, it should be obvious to anyone on a tennis court, that when their partner is on their side lunging for a poach, that they should move towards the open court to cover the gap--place a tennis partner wanted ad in the MENSA newsletter.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I have had many different partners this season (ladies doubles). I am noticing a pattern: My partners do not cross behind me when I poach.

I like to be active at net and poach often (with "poach" defined as needing to move to get a middle ball, not just dealing with a ball sent to you). One of two things seems to be happening.

Either I hit my poach and put the ball away. In this case, my ball is a winner and I do not know where my partner was and whether it had occurred to her to cross behind me.

Or I cross to hit my poach, the receivers return it to the court I vacated, and the ball bounces twice because my partner has not crossed.

I am running out of ideas for how to deal with this. I used to start matches with new partners by telling them that when I poach I will keep going. This made no difference, so I have stopped making that speech. Now I wait for the first time it happens, then I say, "Oh, I'm sorry! When I poach, I'll keep going and won't cross back, so you can cross behind me." No improvement.

Is this just a common problem in doubles and I have to accept that some people do not understand that they should cross immediately when their partner is poaching? Has anyone figured out a solution to this?
hehe, i have had partners at 4.5 that don't cross when i poach and make contact (you know, "i'm a singles player" types).
other common mistakes...
not coming to net when you have a chance (presuming your ground game is not good enough to overwhelm 2 competent volleyers at net)
not moving on my serve
trying to constantly blast the net man, when he's been diligently guarding the alley
 
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