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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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bad in doubles

anyone else experience this?
I'm a LOT better in singles than doubles. I get nervous when i play doubles and shots that in singles i can do fine, i screw up in doubles. I have no confidence whatsoever. Please, any general advice as to how to get better at doubles would be nice. I'm not amazing in singles, but if i could get my doubles skill around the same as my singles skill, i would be really happy. thank you.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 01:16 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

That's actually very common. It use to happen to me but now it doesn't because I have learned doubles is fun but don't worry just know one thing!! "Racket head always stays up when your at the net." If you know that then you will be fine.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: bad in doubles

thanks. it's simple advice, but it did help.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 01:19 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

1) Have a good partner! - preferably someone with experience at net, who can put away those easy volleys.

2) Serve and volley - to be a great doubles player you need to perfect your serve volley technique. I'd also recommend using the wide serve at least 70% of the time to put pressure on the returner and set up some easy put aways (coupled with 1).

3) Try to dominate the net - at club-level doubles the team which can get command of the net more often usually wins. Not sure, but this probably goes for the pros as well. Your approach shot doesn't have to be as precise as in singles as you have the extra net coverage, but still try to keep it low and deep to force a high passing shot.

4) Work on your lobs - a shot you can live without in singles but you're dead in the water if you can't hit a good lob in doubles. Practice your top-spin lobs and defensive lobs - you'll need both!

That's about all I can think of for the time being. As the above poster says, try to have fun. Doubles is much more a social thing than singles, and you can have a great laugh if you don't take it too seriously. If you want to keep improving, just play lots of doubles. This may of course mean sacrificing some of the time you devote to singles, but you'll reap the benefits when you find you have a much more well-rounded singles game (due to the skills you've learnt from doubles).#

Hope this helps
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 04:52 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

enjoy it. find yourself a partner who you get on with and can have a laugh on court with, that way you'll be more relaxed and think less about cocking up your shots. and like with everything else, the more you play it the better you'll get
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:57 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

Also a good idea would to watch the Brain brothers, they're the best

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 08:09 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Stephens View Post
Also a good idea would to watch the Brain brothers, they're the best
who are the Brain brothers?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 12:07 AM
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Re: bad in doubles

Quote:
Originally Posted by TidusZidane View Post
1) Have a good partner! - preferably someone with experience at net, who can put away those easy volleys.

2) Serve and volley - to be a great doubles player you need to perfect your serve volley technique. I'd also recommend using the wide serve at least 70% of the time to put pressure on the returner and set up some easy put aways (coupled with 1).

3) Try to dominate the net - at club-level doubles the team which can get command of the net more often usually wins. Not sure, but this probably goes for the pros as well. Your approach shot doesn't have to be as precise as in singles as you have the extra net coverage, but still try to keep it low and deep to force a high passing shot.

4) Work on your lobs - a shot you can live without in singles but you're dead in the water if you can't hit a good lob in doubles. Practice your top-spin lobs and defensive lobs - you'll need both!

That's about all I can think of for the time being. As the above poster says, try to have fun. Doubles is much more a social thing than singles, and you can have a great laugh if you don't take it too seriously. If you want to keep improving, just play lots of doubles. This may of course mean sacrificing some of the time you devote to singles, but you'll reap the benefits when you find you have a much more well-rounded singles game (due to the skills you've learnt from doubles).#

Hope this helps
Great tips. I agree with them all. Especially the lob part - my main flaw in doubles.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 04:47 AM
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Re: bad in doubles

Well normally, I see the situation quite the opposite: people play doubles a lot more relaxed than in singles, generally because they have a friend with them and they don't feel the pressure that if they mess up that it is entirely their fault. I feel this way especially; plus, my doubles partner and I talk a lot of trash (jokingly, not seriously of course) and jokes to each other in order to keep out spirits high which has helped us a lot.

To improve on doubles you have to remeber key things! In my opinion, it is a lot easier to win points in doubles since points are quick and there isn't much movement going around unlike in singles.

1. NEVER EVER hit the ball NEAR the player at the net unless you REALLY want to lose a point. And don't think that sending it just plainly cross court is going to work either. You have to make sure to hit a solid cross court shot that the opponent at the net cannot reach effectively.
2. Learn to lob effectively and know when to do it. Lobbing is a VERY useful tactic in doubles, especially if you play people who like to come in. If you can master a solid topspin lob, you essentially can win a free point any time you want.
3. ALWAYS make sure you have enough space to cover the down-the-line passing shot whenever you play at net. Countless times I have seen players who leave their down-the-line side open too wide in order to try to attack a cross court shot. Leave that cross court shot for your teammate! Only go for it if it is a certain shot you can make.
4. Practice overheads A LOT. So many players do not practice their overheads thinking that it is virtually a free serve and then they end up screwing it up in matches. I think the two main reasons why they screw it up is because of footwork and because of overpowering the ball. First of all, players do not react to overheads quick enough and then end up trying to hit the ball almost behind their head! You have to make sure the ball is always front of you to make sure you get a clean shot. And then second of all, players try to hit that Andy Roddick-ish overhead which goes 10000 MPH. They end up concentrating on how hard they want to hit the ball instead of watching contact with the racket which is the most important thing in the overhead. You don't need to hit an overhead hard to get a winner; you just need to place it correctly.
7. Place the ball tactically correct *my doubles partner is horrible with this* AKA shot selection. You have an overhead setup right in front of you, and one of your opponents is just right on the other side of the net playing up. You can either hit it at the guy or angle it out wide. Obviously angling the shot is more difficult but many people, for no reason at all, go for it. Why? I don't know. Maybe they don't want to seem mean by hitting the ball straight at the guy. Who cares? It's a tennis ball, not a golf ball. As long as you don't hit them in the groin, nothing bad is going to happen. Always think before you make your shot. Maybe you may want to suddenly pull a dropshot off when your opponents are scrambling back to the backcourt to anticipate an overhead or maybe you might throw a random lob when all four of you are in a volley rally. You don't have to be good at singles player to be a doubles winner, you just have to be smart.
8. Last but not least, communication can help you and your doubles partner minimize giving away free points. Even when it seems like you don't need to bother saying anything at all, just by saying "yours" or "mine" on every return can improve you and your partner's alertness and reaction time. And of course you must remember to call out other things such as "switch" during points.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 07:05 PM
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Re: bad in doubles

You've gotten some really good tips here.

Only one that has me a bit is serving out wide. I generally keep my serves up the T because I feel it's harder to return "down the line" and tends to set up my partner at the net with an easy/easier put-away.

Can't emphasize enough the need to both utilize and defend against the lob. And practice, practice, practice those overheads. You'll get a lot of them, certainly a lot more of them than in singles.

On the mental side, find the partner that "fits" -- one who won't jump on you for missing a shot and provide encouragement when needed...and a kick in the butt...when needed. I've also found it easier to partner with someone who has a style in contrast to mine. I'm quite aggressive at net...and find great comfort in a partner with a nice baseline game. Seems to work both ways since she says she is willing (and able) to hit groundstrokes all day...to set me up at the net. I'm still working on her to come in more...and she's trying to get me to hang back on occasion. It's a happy partnership.

Good luck and have fun with it. Don't take it...or yourself too seriously...and you'll do fine. And remember: be good and have fun...and if you can't be good...have FUN.

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