Quantcast
nodot nodot
Turbo Tennis
January 2000 Article

Contact Ron Waite

Latest Turbo Tennis Article

Turbo Tennis Archives:
2003 - 2014
1996 - 2002

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Dominika Cibulkova
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball David Ferrer
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Turbo Tennis
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
IN — COMMUNICADO

Ron Waite Photo
Ron Waite, USPTR

For the past four years, I have had the great pleasure of attending and photographing the ATP World Doubles Championships. The level of doubles play exhibited during this tournament is quite amazing. I never walk away from this tournament without some new insight into this wonderful game…1999’s Championships were no exception.

This past November, the finals featured Sebastien Lareau/Alex O’Brien vs. Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes. Believe me, both of these teams can play great doubles. It should be noted that the Woodies (Mark Woodforde/Todd Woodbridge) were eliminated in the semi-finals…as you can see, the field was quite good! Apart from these three teams, five other teams competed in this unique round robin format.

While photographing the matches (See Ron's 1999 ATP World Doubles Championships photo archive), it became abundantly clear to me that team members were constantly communicating with each other.

Now, I know that I am by no means the first person to suggest that good doubles depends upon effective communication. However, while attending this doubles championship, I began to realize on how many levels these teams communicated. So, this month, I want to share with you the "how and why" of doubles communication.

Communicating When Your Team is Serving

To me, doubles is similar to American football. There are different formations, players in motion and various plays. The player serving is like the quarterback…starting the play in motion. The net player is like a running back or wide receiver…frequently, finishing off the play. Doubles, when played well, is much more a game of strategy, timing and finesse than it is a game of power.

Thus, good doubles depends upon each member of a team being in sync with the other. This is particularly important when serving. Why?

First, if a team never loses its serve, it cannot lose the match. So, a team that is serving cannot afford to be out of sync…which might result in a lost point or game.

Second, doubles is definitely a game of control. When a team is serving, they set the tone for the entire point. This is truer in doubles than in singles because, in doubles, most of the court is well covered. Thus, the serving team by its formations, serve placements, net poaching and court movement must force an opposing team into an error or ineffective positioning. As in all forms of tennis, most teams win by making fewer errors…not by making more winners. The receiving team must react to what the serving team does. In singles, return winners are much more likely than in doubles…even when the return is placed at the feet of the net-rushing, doubles’ server.

If you watch effective teams, they always "huddle" before each point…especially, when they are serving. When serving, a team must have made several decisions before the ball is served.

These are:

  • What formation will we be using…and why? If an "I" of Australian formation is being used, in which direction will the net player move…and why?
  • Where will the server serve the ball (to the receiver’s forehand…backhand…at the receiver’s body) …and why?
  • What kind of serve will it be…flat, slice, kick…and why?
  • Will the net person poach?…on any return or only on the high return?
  • Will the serving team try to hit more balls to one of the two opponents…and why?

Now, if you and your partner make all these decisions before each time your team serves, wouldn’t you feel as though you were in greater control? Of course, you would because in fact you are in greater control.

When I coach the men’s tennis team at Albertus Magnus College, I insist that the teams answer each of these questions before each point. Usually, I have the net person make the decisions for the server. However, the server can reject a particular proposal, if he believes it is too difficult or ill founded.

Most professional teams talk in between each point. They usually have played their opponents before. Thus, they have probably decided a general game plan and backup plan before the match. During the match, arriving at the answers to the above questions is usually a fairly quick process.

For scholastic players and club players, a little more discussion time maybe needed…especially, if they are facing opponents for the first time. In my opinion, the net player has the best perspective on what is happening and what should be done to correct any problems. By making it clear that I want the net player to propose the strategy, I reduce the amount of time needed to arrive at the key decisions. In college competition, a USTA referee will not hesitate to warn and penalize a team for delay. In addition, having the net person make the decisions means that the server is free to concentrate on one thing… properly executing the serve!

Many college and high school teams will use hand signals to arrive at the key decisions. To me, this is not preferable to actually speaking to each other. However, it is better than not communicating at all. The person at the net gives these signals to the server by using hand signals (these are seen by the server but not by the opposing team because the net player’s body blocks the opponents’ view). The server responds with a yes or a no to each signal. If the server declines a signal, the net person gives another, and perhaps another, until the server gives her/him an affirmative response.

With hand signals, there are really only three decisions that can be made:

  • Where should the server put the serve? (forehand, backhand, at the receiver)
  • What kind of serve? (flat, slice, kick)
  • Will the net person poach?

I have seen many variations on the signals used for these three decisions. I like the following:

First Signal

  • a thumb sticking out from a closed fist means: serve to the forehand (right-handed player)
  • a little finger sticking out from a closed fist means: serve to the backhand (right handed player)
  • a completely closed fist means: serve at the opponents body

Second Signal

  • 1 finger sticking out from a closed fist means: hit a flat serve.
  • 2 fingers mean: hit a slice serve

  • 3 fingers mean: hit a kick serve

Third Signal

  • a closed fist means: the net person will not poach

  • an open hand means that the net person will poach

Remember: each of these signals is separated from the next by the server’s affirmative response

Communicating When Your Team is Receiving

Although being "in sync" is usually seen as being critical when receiving, many teams do not plan or communicate when they are receiving. To me this is a major mistake.

When receiving, the team must make the following decisions:

  • What kind of return will the receiver make?…at the server’s feet, at the net person, down the line, or lobbed over the net person’s head.
  • Where will the net person attempt to put her/his volleys?…at the server, at the net person or in between the two opponents.

If a receiving team makes these decisions before each point, their chances of having effective court positioning, once the ball is in play, greatly increase.

For example, if the returner intends on using the lobbed return, the receiving team’s net person should move to that side of the court on which the lob lands. The player who hit the lobbed return would automatically move to cover the opposite side of the court. Now, the receiving team is in the best position to handle any reply.

Preplanning is essential in doubles…whether serving or receiving!!!

Communicating between Games

During game changeovers, teams should take the time to discuss in detail overall strategy and any specific changes that need to be made. A great thing about doubles is that each team has two minds working. In doubles, two heads are always better than one. With two players, there are two perspectives…and two possible sources for solutions.

Good doubles teams never waste this valuable time. They know that between them, they can usually discover what is working and what needs to be done.

Communicating for Morale

One of the things that makes singles play so daunting is that each player is out there on his/her own! In doubles, each player can help the other when it comes to morale.

It is almost impossible not to get a bit negative at some time during a match…such as when we are making mistakes… employing ineffective strategies…or when we are simply getting crushed by our opponents. Maintaining a positive attitude is a must in tennis. You have to be able to weather the tough times to win.

All of us could benefit from the suggestions put forth by my colleague, John Murray, in his column, Mental Equipment. However, in doubles, we can each be our partner’s sports psychologist and source of strength.

Good doubles players encourage their partners!!! This kind of positive camaraderie that doubles can promote is, in my opinion, one of the great things about the game. That’s why it is imperative that each player monitor her/his partner’s mood and work hard to keep it positive. To me, it’s like having the crowd behind you. Your partner encourages you and, sooner or later, your confidence and mood elevate. I can think of no more important factor in the game of doubles than positive encouragement between partners! In my coaching career, I have seen many inferior teams win when they are constantly expressing positiveness.

So, the next time you play doubles, pay particular attention to communicating with your partner. I am certain that if you do, you will both become tennis overdogs!

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Turbo Tennis Archives:
1996 - 2002 | 2003 - 2014


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Ron Waite, all rights reserved. Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Ron by using this form.

Ron Waite is a certified USPTR tennis instructor who took up the game of tennis at the age of 39. Frustrated with conventional tennis methods of instruction and the confusing data available on how to learn the game, Ron has sought to sift fact from fiction. In his seven years of tennis, Ron has received USTA sectional ranking four years, has successfully coached several NCAA Division III men's and women's tennis teams to post season competition, and has competed in USTA National singles tournaments. Ron has trained at a number of tennis academies and with many of the game's leading instructors.

In addition to his full-time work as a professor at Albertus Magnus College, Ron photographs ATP tour events for a variety of organizations and publications. The name of his column, TurboTennis, stems from his methods to decrease the amount of time it takes to learn and master the game of tennis.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Tickets 11/7-11/14
 
Davis Cup Finals: France vs Switzerland Tennis Tickets 11/21
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic Tickets 11/22-11/23
 
2015 BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells 3/11-3/22
 
2015 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/23-4/5
 
2015 US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
December 15, 2014 Between The Lines: Player of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Racket-Back Myth by Tom Veneziano.
 
November 2014 Tennis Anyone: Coil by John Mills.
 
November 2014 Turbo Tennis: Double Your Pleasure by Ron Waite.
 
November 11, 2014 Between The Lines: Woman of the Year 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
October 2014 Wild Cards: Roger Rolls Through 300; Serena Wins First Championship In Cincinnati by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: Five Powerful Tennis Concepts by Tom Veneziano.
 
October 2014 Tennis Anyone: Why Can I Not Poach? by John Mills.
 
October 2014 Turbo Tennis: Momentum Revisited by Ron Waite.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 13 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 14 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 15 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 16 Finals W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 11 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 10 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 9 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 8 Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 13 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 14 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 15 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 16 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 21 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 22 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 23 Tickets Miami Woman's Singles Final Men's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 24 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Final Women's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy