Thinking of hitting the court with your lover this Valentine’s Day? It’s a perfect date! Here are some mixed doubles tips so you can enjoy your time on court even more with your Valentine, and play even better tennis!
1. Etiquette, etiquette, etiquette
Remember that you are not playing singles, and you are not playing normal doubles. It’s always best to read the situation and adapt to not come off as a sexist jerk. Men typically hit the ball harder, but in many instances, the woman can just as easily be the stronger player on a mixed doubles team. If they are not, and you are a male who is a good player, it is NEVER the right idea to blast every ball at the female on the other team. If you are the stronger player on your team, don’t try and take over every point. Let the point develop. Always serve according to the level of the opposing returner. Winning is fun, but doing it the wrong way will only make everyone unhappy that they are out on the court with you. You can still have a great time in a mixed doubles match even if you aren’t playing 100%. If all four players are the same level, then go ahead and play your game, otherwise, adapt, and everyone will have more fun.
2. Don’t rewrite the book
Just because you are playing mixed doubles doesn’t mean that everything you know about doubles goes out the window! Typically, unless you are playing in a tournament, the game is the same, just a little more playful. Do everything you would do in a normal doubles match. Focus on making first serves, play most balls cross court, and utilize angles to open up the court for your next shot.
3. Keep it PG
If you are playing with your lover and he or she hits a great winner at the end of a fabulous point– try your hardest to direct that passion and excitement into a world-class high-five, not a makeout session on the court. As much as you may want to scoop your partner up in a steamy embrace mid-match… there are very few things that will irritate your opponents more. Save that for after the match! <3
4. Evaluate what is working and what isn’t
Each mixed doubles match will be a little bit different. If it is strictly a hit-and-giggle with little focus on competition, then don’t worry about it. However, if the match is competitive and the game plan isn’t working, then don’t be afraid to change it up. Hit to the weaker player more often if you are losing, or try lobbing the shorter player when you find yourself in trouble in a point. Doubles is all about adaptation, and mixed is no different.
5. Have fun, and be supportive!
This is the most important tip of all! Remember, you are out there to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Sure, winning is fun, but it will never be more important than your relationship. Congratulate your partner after each good shot, and help pick them up and encourage them after a sloppy one. If you are sending positive vibes back and forth, you will have more fun, and play better tennis!