Let´s fix your mistakes in doubles!
Lately I started to prefer doubles over singles play, I love the different tactics that you can play and to work together with your partner towards the victory. Doubles is great fun!
Especially on a higher level, doubles play is totally different from singles. Look at the top doubles players in the world, most of them don´t do good in singles at all. while on the other side, real singles players don´t tend to do as good in singles as in doubles. It´s almost like a different sport if you see the rankings of the singles and doubles players.
The same seems to be true among amateur players. I have seen many doubles matches, from amateurs and professional tennis and therefor seen which mistakes are made the most.
Knowing what these mistakes are, and how you can avoid them, will be very useful for improving your doubles game. Let´s dive into them!
Most comon mistakes in doubles
- No communication in between points
Communication is key in doubles! If you don´t speak together about what both of you are planning to do, you´re already behind 0-15.
If you are the serving team you should always communicate together before starting the point. Discuss where the server will serve the ball, and let the net player take his position accordingly to the plan.
When you know the serve direction you will be extra prepared for what might be coming.
For example: When your partner serves the ball out wide, it´s highly likely that your opponent will go for his chance and tries to pass you down the line. No worries! Because you discussed before the point about how you want to play, you are prepared for this 🙂
- Not knowing who is going to hit the ball coming in the middle
Maybe it surprises you, but also doubles mistake number 2 has to do with communication.
I have seen this so many times in mostly amateur matches, whenever the ball comes in the middle, none of the two players knows who should hit the ball.
This make can be easily taken away if you get on the court with your partner more often. Try to play some practice matches and make clear who is going to hit the balls that come in the middle, with the following situations.
- When both of you are at the baseline.
- When both of you are at the net.
- When one player is at the net and the other player at the baseline.
- Staying at the service line instead of at the net
Many times amateur players are scared to play at the net and because of that are taking a few steps back to end up at the service line. Some players fear getting lobbed while others are just scared for the opponent to hit them.
Playing from the service line as the net player will really hurt your game. It takes away the ability to hit winning volleys from close to the net, making you much less functional as a partner.
If you decide to play from the service line, you really get yourself in trouble. I always felt so lucky when my opponent went to stay at the service line, back in the junior days. I was playing every ball lower over the net, to the feet of my opponent. It couldn´t get any easier 🙂
- Trying to hit winners from all over the court
Are you and your partner the famous doubles team that tries to hit winners from all over the court? If yes, the chance is very high that your win % is not very high :).
Doubles is all about consistancy, play with as less errors as possible!
In doubles, try to keep the ball close to the baseline to push your opponent back. By pushing your opponent back you will give your partner at the net more chance to come in action to finish the point at the net.
The other way how you want to win many points is by forcing your opponents to make the mistake. There is not really one way to do this, but consistancy will help you big time achieving this.
- Trying to hit an ace all the time
Doubles is not singles! In doubles you want to hit as little second serves as possible.
Even if you are a really good server, try to hit your serves at 80% of your power and add some spin if you are able. If you will serve with 100% of your power with every first serve, chances are very big that you will hit many second serves.
When you play against an expert couple, hitting with a low first serve % will kill your game. Because of the many second serves you will play, you will start the point most of the time defensive. While when you´re serving you have the advantage to start the point aggresively. Don´t ruin it!
I hope this article will help you and your doubles partner to win more matches. Make sure to send or show this article to your partner and start to play together as a rock solid team!