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Be a Good Doubles Partner!
John Mills, USPTA
After years of teaching tennis, I decided to teach my students to play doubles like they were my partner. This is my wish list:
- Keep the ball low!
- Force your opponent to hit up on the ball
- Serve more often to the center of the court
- Take away your opponents' ability to use angles
- Do not use a lob as your primary shot
- Poach only if you think you can win the point
- When poaching, hit the ball away from the player that just hit the ball to you
- Say "Mine" as soon as you can when receiving an overhead, that way your partner will not be out of position when you hit the shot
- Hit as many balls as you can low down the middle, forcing your opponents to fight each other for the ball and hit up
- If you cannot hit the ball, move to a defensive position to help out your partner if he or she hits a weak shot
- If the ball goes over your head, move over and back to help your partner if he or she gets a weak shot
- When receiving a lob from the baseline, take it in the air and come forward to gain the offensive
- When volleying, move forward, good things will happen when you move forward
- Power is not as important as placement and control
- Minimize your talking, make communication count
- Do not gloat until after the match is over, never in front of your opponents
- Be on time, when you show up late you are inconveniencing three other people
- Be a good sport and practice good etiquette
Good luck on the courts!
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John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.