Here’s a quick guide to the art of doubles play:
- Manage the ‘real estate’ by understanding the 80% Rule. 80% of shots are in a 2-metre circle around the centre serve box! Given a choice to defend always move to protect the centre of the court. You might not make the shot even so you’ll have a play most times!
- Doubles is a Team Sport because one player gets to stand in a winning position without hitting a ball! The server’s, and the receiver’s job is to get the ball to their partner at the net.
- Be a ‘Threat” by your court presence. Impose yourself when you’re at the net to intimidate the opposition. For example Hugo (big guy dominating the net) or Carl (fast guy moving around on the net) can cause opponents to make more errors!
- 80% First Serves. Take a little off your first serve to start the point. Statswise, you’re more likely to win the point, you have more time to reach your volley position AND your partner has a greater chance of hitting a winning volley — a threefer! Besides your opposition is much more apprehensive about returning the first serve.
- Volley Ready Position: The proper ‘ready position’ is to make sure your elbows are in front of your body. Too often players stand too upright with their elbows tucked in behind their body — the result is they are slow to react because they have to move their body out of the way to hit the ball. Elbows in front increases your range of motion and speed to the volley.
- Move Your Eyes on the Volley: It takes too much time to move your head, and you can’t recover quickly enough for the next shot.
Great to see a slow and steady improvement in our players in our Ladies Clinics practising these tips.
The Tennis Whisperer