What to Do in the Warm-Up in Doubles
The purpose of the warm-up is to allow all 4 players to warm their bodies in
preparation for the actual match. The purpose of the warm-up is not to
practice. If you need practice, come early and hit before the warm-up.
- Spin the racket first-decide server, side, etc.
- Start with all 4 players on the baseline. Imagine cutting the court in
half from baseline to baseline.
- Do your groundstrokes first, hitting with your opponent on your half of the
court while your partner and their opponent keep a ball in play on the other
half of the court.
- Next, one of the opposing players comes to the net for a few volleys and
overheads, until all 4 players have hit volleys and overheads. If you are not
good at feeding lobs to your opponent so they can hit overheads, practice.
You should be able to do this.
- Now, all 4 players take their practice serves (all practice serves must be
taken before the 1st game is played - continuous play rule). There is no
practicing of the return of serve. Just serve, then catch your opponents
serve and serve it back.
- In general, you should always hit the ball to your opponent in the warm-up.
Use the match to hit it away from your opponent.
What Not to Do in the Warm-Up in Doubles:
- Do not warm-up with one ball for all 4 players. Keep 2 balls in play.
- Do not put the ball away. Keep it in play. Do not hit angle shots. This
just delays the match and defeats the purpose of the warm-up. Try not to
spray the ball all over the place.
- Do not hit the ball as hard as you can or as hard as you may in the match.
This is senseless. Many players start competing in the warm-up. This is not
necessary and rude. Your inability to control the warm-up may also interrupt
matches on adjacent courts.
- Do not tell someone you lost the match because you received a "terrible
warm-up". You can warm your body up by doing some mild jogging, walking fast
or calisthenics. You can even do these things off the actual court.
- Do not play "first ball in" when serving.
- Do not expect to hit every ball on one bounce in the warm-up. You will be
most prone to injury early. Save the chases for the match.
Personally, I use the warm-up to calm down and relax before the match starts.
I find that by watching the ball very closely, I get in a better mental state
for the match. If you try these tips you will find other players appreciating