Communicating DURING THE MATCH

A successful doubles team is usually one that communicates well. An earlier posting talked about laying out a specific match strategy before taking the court; and here we look at communicating during the match.

As much as possible, I believe you should limit your conversation during play to “match strategy” and NOT a critique of your partner’s tennis strokes. During a match is not the time to try to improve how they hit a forehand or a volley.

You should continually review what your scouting report on the opposition was and what your game plan was to deal with their strengths and weaknesses. Are the things you planned on doing working? If not, is it because you are not executing well … or, are they doing something you had not expected?

For example, if their serves are stronger than you had anticipated, maybe you should receive serve “two back” on the baseline to get into the point better. Or if they are lobbing you a lot, take actions to take that away from them.

Basically, if you are losing, quickly ask yourselves the critical two questions: “What is happening here? And, what can we do about it?”

And try to never get mad or visibly upset with your partner if he misses a shot. We are all human and that will happen. What you want to continue to talk about during that match is what you are doing that is successful and what is not … and continue doing the first and change the second.

5 thoughts on “Communicating DURING THE MATCH

  1. my partner is briIIiant at communicating. he has a partner with many personaIities that aII appear sometime during a difficuIt match. spike uses that ivy Ieague education to motivate, correct, encourage, teach, etc,etc. the guys a genius. im a Iucky man.

  2. George,
    Good stuff. I’ll use it for some of my lessons…or maybe you could run a clinic at Wilderness!!
    Spike

    Spike – i would be happy to! george

  3. George –
    Agree with your points except that I would add cheer leading for your partner for his great shots and provide encouragement and support if he is struggling (not just ‘refrain from criticizing your partner if he misses’.) Dag

    Dag – great addition! thanks. george

  4. Good point Dag. I’m big on compliments and encouragement for my partner.

    Although I have played with a doubles partner that once said to me “stop fu….. Around I’m here to win” that one really made me smile. Marc

    marc – that wasn’t me, was it?? george

  5. If your partner flubs a shot (as we all do) you cannot even shrug your shoulders or he/she will sense it and will be thinking more about not making errors than playing to win after that. Take a tip from the Bryan brothers who constantly encourage each other after a good or bad shot.

    Bob- “flub a shot”? Have i ever done that? oh, i guess so. thanks for the good advice. george

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