- Know your role…..You may think you know way more about doubles than your partner but your partner might not feel the same way. Get good at gauging how you will communicate with your partner. Some partners want you to take the lead, some want to be the leader, and some it’s pretty much a 50/50 partnership. Figure out which scenario applies to you.
- Don’t offer technical tips to your partner during the match unless they ask for it (even then be careful, it’s hard to focus on technique during a match.) Encourage your partner to focus on shot selection and a target instead.
- Connect quickly after each point. Connect with your partner around the service line for a quick five and/or game plan for the next point. You will see this all the time if you watch pro doubles.
- Make a high percentage of first serves. It’s super frustrating to have your partner double fault 3 times a game while you stand helplessly at the net. Put a bit less on the serve and make a few more in. The returner already has the pressure of getting the ball past the net player.
- Communicate: call the ball if you feel like it’s yours. If you feel like the ball is going out make sure to call bounce so you partner knows to let it bounce. (Careful calling the ball out while the ball is in the air: Opponents can get a little bit miffed about that.)
- Dance with you brought….If you get paired with a partner that plays a different game than your preferred partner. Stop worrying about it. Take pride in your ability to work with what you have. Focus on what is within your control.
- Be patient. We all miss easy shots there is nothing worse than blowing a sitter volley and looking back only to see the disappointment in your partners face. In my experience the best thing to do is have a quick connection with your partner and focus on the next point.
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