Over the next few weeks, our tennis tips will focus on doubles. Check back each week for tips to help take your doubles game to the next level.
Tennis is meant to be fun, and if you ask me, a great doubles match has the potential to be a lot more fun than a singles match. However, for many people, doubles can be frustrating for many reasons. It takes more than being a good singles player to be a successful doubles player. Your chance at being a good doubles player and having fun matches starts before you even step on the court. It starts when you select your doubles partner. Here are some tips on how to pick and get along with your doubles partner. Maybe you already have a doubles partner, but keep reading, because maybe they aren’t right for you.
Pick Someone You Get Along With
This one seems like a no-brainer, but often, people will pick a doubles partner based on their singles prowess, regardless of how you think they would mesh with you on the court. Is there a guy or gal in your tennis circle who is a great player, but a showboat or selfish player? Avoid this person at all costs. Doubles is much more about how you play together rather than your individual abilities. If you think there is any chance that you may not be comfortable playing with someone, then they probably aren’t a great fit for you. You would be surprised at how much more successful you can be with a player who you enjoy being on the court with as opposed to someone you think will hit more highlight-reel shots.
Make Sure You are Comparable Levels
You don’t want to approach someone who is significantly better than you to be your doubles partner. First of all, they may not want to play with you, but more importantly, if you are paired with someone well above your level, it is also very possible that you will constantly feel like you are the weak link. Nothing can kill your confidence faster than feeling like you are letting your partner down, and before you know it, you will be praying every ball goes to your partner. The match is as good as over when that happens. Similarly, you don’t want to pick someone much weaker than you, as they could feel the same way you would if you picked a stronger partner, and you certainly don’t want to be on the court resenting your partner for their errors. Do yourself a favor and pick someone around your level, and you will both have a better time.
Stop Saying “Sorry”
You’re going to miss shots, and guess what? So is your partner. Don’t waste your time and breath apologizing after each error. Instead, start thinking about the next point. You will enjoy your time on the court more, and be more successful because of it.
High-Five… A Lot
Nothing quite screams positivity like a good-ol’-fashioned high five. Take pro doubles for example: after nearly every point, whether won or lost, you will see doubles partners high-five. It is a perfect reset after a poor point, and a momentum builder after a good one. It keeps you connected with your partner, reinforces that you have each others back, and keeps the mood light on court. Mad at your partner? High five and get over it. Did you just hit a huge winner on break point? Maybe that’s worth a jumping high-five, or even a chest bump. It may seem silly, but there’s a reason you see it after nearly every point in a high-level doubles match. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
This one is easy, but it is also easy to forget. You play doubles to have a good time, so don’t let your mood go south on the court. Staying relaxed and happy is key to playing great doubles, so try to keep it fun. If you have followed the first four tips, then this should be easy for you. It’s hard to have a bad time on the court if you are playing with someone you are comfortable with, and you are high-fiving after every point.
Take these tips to the court, and keep them in mind when you are selecting your next doubles partner. You will be amazed at how much fun you can have on the court, and your results will improve because of it. Do you have any thoughts on this? Do you have any suggestions for other tennis tips? Let us know in the comments section.