Good Communication With Your Partner Is Key
One of the most essential things you need to remember when playing doubles is the importance of communication. After all, moving from singles to doubles tennis changes the dynamic from you being on your own and you being on a team. Once you move from independence to interdependence, it changes the whole scope of the game.
In order to play your best game and create your best team, these are a few of the essentials of good communication to remember.
1. Be encouraging. It seems to be a simple thing, but a little encouragement can go a long way. When you’re playing as a team, it’s important to ensure that your teammate is on his or her best game. For them to be able to poach as they should and make the shots they need to make to win the game, they’ve got to be able to believe they can. That’s where it becomes your job to be cheerleader and coach in order to pump up their esteem to the point where they think they’re bulletproof. This involves praising them when they do something good and knowing each others’ responsibilities and 4 positions on the court.
2. Have a plan. There are a number of ways for you and your teammate to set up on the courts. Whether you both play up, both play back, or play one up and one back, you’re going to want to know what part of the court you’re covering before the ball is served. Find out what you’re most comfortable with, what will play to your strengths, and how you will best communicate with one another. Don’t be afraid to shake things up from rally to rally to keep the opposing team off guard, but it’s very important that you both know what you’re doing and what’s expected of you.
3. Call the plays. In doubles, it is essential that you and your teammate are able to coordinate and let one another know what you’re doing. Calling the plays while both serving and receiving gets you and your teammate on the same page, helps you all to understand your role in the play, what you can expect from your opponents, and how to react to it. Do be careful about talking when the ball is heading toward your opponents, as they can call a “verbal hindrance” on you. However, as the ball is moving to your side of the court, if you’re not talking, you could end up balking.
Essentially, adding a partner into the mix makes for an all new game. Hopefully, you’re playing with someone who communicates as good as you do, and if not, hopefully, you teach them to do it better.