” Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread. ” — Alexander Pope
Do I or don’t I? Should I or shouldn’t I? I guess it’s time. It feels right, I’m going for it! Or, no, I’m not going to the net, I might get lobbed, my volley isn’t good enough, my approach shot is awful. Is that you trying to decide if going to the net is the right move for you?
Most recreational tennis players have a gray, fuzzy notion of what tactics to use when they transition to the net. Responses like, “I’ll go to the net if I hit a great groundstroke or, I’ll go if I see my opponent in trouble, or, when I feel that it is the right time, or I’ll just know”, indicate a lack of a clear, solid tactics for high percentage doubles transitions. Your tactics must be sound; anyone can go to the net, but can you control the net once you get there? With fundamentally sound tactics you can make the odds in your favor when you approach the net.
There is a wealth of information on how to approach the net but, there is also a dearth of information on who these tactics apply to – going to the net for a 2.5-3.0, 3.5-4.0, 4.5-5.0 require strategic adjustments. Other factors to consider when you plan your trip to the net are, age(going to the net for a thirty-something is different than for a sixty-something), volley skills, mobility, anticipation, and a tolerance for a certain level of risk.
As a tennis doubles strategy, why go to the net?
It is much easier to finish a point while at the net. You connect with your partner. Angles and power plays at the feet of opponents are there for you. And really, it’s just fun!
Well, I’ve got some good stuff to help you make the right decisions when you are looking for the opportunities to approach the net.
The Seven Shades of Green for Transitional Doubles:
- The Short Ball
- Taking the Floater as a Volley (moonball)
- The Lob
- The Free Trip
- Serve and Volley
- The Red Habanero groundstroke
- The Sneak Attack
I’ve listed the 7 transitional doubles tactics according to the ease with which you can achieve an effective level of competency. For example, the short ball being of the easiest to use for all levels and ages to the serve and volley which is one of the more challenging tactics to implement, especially for the 2.5 to 4.0 level player.
In future posts and videos, I will elaborate more on which transitional tactics specific levels should be learning, practicing, and using while playing doubles.