The “Rules” of the Warm-up

We have all faced them … the singles or doubles opponents who violate the (mostly) unwritten “Rules of the Warm-up”! Here are some violations I have come up against…

The Sunny-sider: The opponent(s) who immediately takes the sunny side to warm up; so you will not face it until it really counts. Solution: Flip for serve/side before taking the court.

The Time Hogger: The player who takes all the time he wants to REALLY practice his volleys or overheads; and leaves little time for you. Solution: In practice matches, just extend the warm-up period to be sure you have taken all the strokes you need. In a tournament match, with a fixed warm-up time of ten minutes, impose your will and not let them consume all the time for themselves.

The Power Blaster: He takes all his practice volleys; and then you come to the net to take yours and he blasts all his groundstrokes so hard you can barely get your racquet up in time. Solution: Say something like, “Please slow them up, so I can practice my volleys.”

The Long Lobber: The opponent who gives you lobs that are too short, too long, or way too high. Solution: Stay there until they give you want you want/need to warm up; and say something if they don’t.

The Serve Returner: The guy who returns your practice serves, before he is done taking all of his serves. Solution: This is one “rule” I think they should change! I think players should be able to practice their service returns.

And your warm-up violators?

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5 thoughts on “The “Rules” of the Warm-up

  1. Makes you appreciate the pros who understand that the warm-up is just that and not a pre-competition.

    bob – exactly! george

  2. Agree with all the above. Here’s one from a league match last year last year. After everyone warmed up and took their practice serves, our opponents said they wanted to start from our side of the court, and that it was there choice. They hadn’t chosen their side yet and as we had won the toss (prior to any warmup) and chosen to serve, it was now their choice of side. I was so dumb-founded (and a little cocky I must admit), that I went along with it and ended up serving with the sun in my eyes and no warmups from that side. We proceeded to lose a close match to some guys we should have never lost to and never will again.
    Now I would argue with them that they in fact made their choice of side when they warmed up from that side, and no switching was allowed after the warmup. Would everyone agree with that reasoning?

    Mike – i would agree with your “assumptive reasoning” — they went to that side, therefore they chose that side; but as you now know, always good to confirm with words. george.

  3. George,Good piece! Never even thought of the sunny side thing.
    Do not agree with you on the return of serve issue, as I believe the relatively short period for service warm-up is just for that: not for some guy whacking back each of your serves to get used to them!
    Just my preference, but will say that the players who do whack them back tend to be the least experienced, etc. (No offense!)
    Happy New Year! Phil

    Phil – i agree with the short warmup period; but why is the very-important return of serve the ONLY shot you are not allowed to warm up? george

  4. i aIways run to the sunny side in warm ups. it’s more for me than my opponent. if he gets there first, then i ask to spin for serve, etc. is this gamesmanship?

    Joe – Close. george

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