The Best ( and Simplest) Doubles Advice You Will Ever Get!

September 12, 2017
Best Doubles Advice You Will Get

The Best ( and Simplest ) Doubles Advice You Will Ever Get

If you’re like us, you’ve heard a lot of different theories, techniques and tips about being a great doubles player or team. Many of them are very good and help you to continue your quest to reach the next level, but every once in awhile you get a tip that changes everything you do on the court. It changes where you hit the ball, it changes how aggressively ( or not aggressively) you hit, it changes your mindset and it relaxes you because you realize that everything you need to do to be successful, you are perfectly capable of doing.

Here it is: Keep Hitting Set-ups and the point will end itself. WOW! Take a minute and think about it because it’s amazing in it’s simplicity and effectiveness. Here’s another way to say it; Hit every shot like it’s your next to last shot. Don’t be in a rush to end the point.

Now let us explain what it means; Every situation you find yourself in, there is an appropriate shot to hit to “set up” the point. For instance, if you just served down the middle, the next set up is to volley wide. If the receiver gets out there to get the volley, there will be a hole between the partners. Hit the next ball there. If the partner covers that will leave their side open, etc. The likelihood is that you won’t have to hit that many shots because they may not get one of your shots or they may miss but the idea is that you just keep hitting the right shots over and over and things will work out fine.

There’s no need to force things or be over aggressive. The key is to hit the ball with the proper amount of aggression for the situation you’re in. Higher balls, more aggressive and hit them faster than they came. Low balls, look to neutralize and get the advantage for yourself.

Here’s another way to say it; Keep trying to make your opponents miss! If you hit set-ups you will keep putting your opponents in negative situations where they could easily miss. If they don’t miss and you keep gaining an advantage, you might wind up hitting a winner. The key is, you don’t go for winners. They occur organically.

Here’s the kicker. If you don’t miss and keep hitting set-ups, how are your opponents going to win points? They will have to hit winners or great shots. Do you really think the players you play are capable of hitting enough great shots to beat you? Of course not! They need your help to win and you must refuse to give them that help.

What does this mean as far as our practice and training? Here’s the plan for success in doubles matches:

  1. Every practice you have, every drill you do must include serve and return of serve.
  2. You need to practice early point situations enough times to make the shots and choices automatic.
  3. Your partner needs to know what you’re going to do in every situation ( and vice versa). This comes through repetition of point situations.

At The Previdi System we have a series of drills which will help you to work on your shots in situations. We want you to isolate situations to make your choices and reactions second nature.  Here’s an example of a progression on serve and volley.

  1. Serve and volley drill ( coach or other player feeds mid-court volley).
  2. Serve and volley half court game.
  3. 2 on 1 serving team vs. receiver game.
  4. 2 on 1 receiving team vs. server game.
  5. Server’s partner positioning drill.
  6. Play points. Each server serves four points.
  7. Play a set.

In our clinics and practices we work on these skills every day. We not only work on the physical skills, but most importantly we work on creating the proper mindset and how to impose your will on the other team psychologically first, which is much more important and effective than trying to impose your physical will.

Doubles is a team sport and it’s imperative that you and your partner are working together to be on the same page but once you both understand how to set up points, your play will become much more consistent and much less of a roller coaster ride that depends on making spectacular shots.

The next time you play a match, be mindful of how many times you lose points because of being overanxious to hit a great shot instead of continuing to set up the point. Take note of how many free points you give your opponents because of a lack of a coherent plan which leads to poor indecision and poor decisions. You will realize that your biggest obstacle to your success in doubles matches is your own team, not the people on the other side of the court. The good news is that it is an obstacle you can easily overcome if you follow our plan.