All too often players react too quickly or too slowly to what is happening on the court; and they change their strategy prematurely or not soon enough.
Brent Able, online tennis guru, years back advocated having the doubles net man, when your team is serving, stand halfway between the normal position and the “I formation” in the middle of the court. He called it “the hybrid I” and I have been effectively using it ever since learning it.
“Watch Down The Line!”
My regular doubles partners are comfortable with it (as long as I crouch down low enough for their wide serve to clear my head); but when teamed with a new partner, they are unsure.
And the first time I get beaten on a down the line return, the new partners frequently ask me to “move over and cover the line.” I argue that it was only once and not to worry till it happens three or four times (and we keep the benefit of my aggressive position at the net).
I believe you should not react to any one or two shots (lobs over your heads, wide serves, drop shots, etc.) until your opponents prove they can do it regularly.
The flip side is also true… Too many players sometimes react too late in the match (or never) to a tactic that is beating them.
One time I came off a tournament singles match having lost to a solid lefty (Don Keenan) who served me off the court on the ad side. I then talked with one of my favorite mentors, Hank Irvine who asked me the critical question… “And, what did you DO about it?”
The point being: you should continually be aware of what is happening on the court and ADAPT your tactics to any PATTERN OF PLAY that is beating you.
When do you change what you are doing on the court?
If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com
My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.