There are three styles of doubles players:
1. “THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”
2. “THOSE WHO WATCH WHAT HAPPENS”
3. “THOSE WHO WONDER WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED”
It is with the third group that I want to spend a few moments. Here are some of the characteristics of the ‘WONDERER:”
• Not known for their tactical or strategic doubles knowledge
• Do not realize that hitting the ball well without appropriate shot selection limits their doubles prowess
• No idea that tennis is “athletic chess” and more so in doubles
When was the last time you heard this statement? “I can’t think and play at the same time. I just hit the ball,” or “we are better than they are yet we keep losing to them.” The Wonderers are those who don’t readily recognize superior doubles skills and strategies across the net and readily blame losing on windy conditions, a bad day, the quesadillas for lunch, bad strings…you get the idea.
The 3rd category of the doubles universe display their naiveté with 10 of the most prevalent and misguided statements about the doubles game, of which I will name the top 4:
1. “The player whose forehand is in the middle always takes the center ball.”
2. “When my partner is serving and the lob goes over my head, I switch but remain at the net. I never back off the net.”
3. “I never poach because I’ll just get in my partner’s way or I might not put the ball away and get our team in trouble. Better to let the ball go by and let my partner take it.”
4. “It doesn’t make sense to go to the net because when I do, I get lobbed every time. No way.”
ADD 6 more
In future posts, I’ll reveal more doubles misperceptions and how the mindset displayed in the above 4 can lead to lots of trouble on the court.
Now, let’s focus on a few of the elements common to accomplished doubles teams (THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN):
1. Proper court position – as a team, they tend to be in the right part of the court for every facet of the point.
2. Intelligent shot selection – they understand high percentage tennis and consistently apply it.
3. Communication (verbal and physical) – together, they are on the same page and can resolve strategic challenges because they have common goals, concepts, and vocabulary.
4. Great anticipation – one of the many intangibles that good doubles teams possess – they can forecast, plan, and execute with a high level of success
THE GOOD NEWS:
All of you can develop the skills and mindset of the doubles players “WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.” And, if you’re already in the first category, well, there is always room for upgrades.
It is to this end that I have devoted myself to make iclicktennis.com the tennis website to go to to help you grow, evolve, and transform your game and mindset. Change is that constant in our lives which nudges us to keep on learning and adapting. Let’s do it.