How to Be a Good Doubles Partner
Are you the kind of player that gets asked to play doubles on a regular basis? Some people are asked to play more often than others, and the reason isn’t always that they are better players. Many players have on-court and off-court skills that make them more appealing to play with. Here are a few ways to make yourself a more alluring doubles partner.
Be Flexible: You don’t want to be the player that only plays one side. We often hear players say they only play ad side, or only play deuce side, but that limits the possibilities of who you can play with. When you talk about which side to play, ask your partner what side they prefer. If it doesn’t work the first set you can always switch the second set.
Don’t Coach: Listen, you are not a certified tennis coach. Even if you repeat exactly what a pro says, they don’t want to hear it from you. Don’t tell your partner what they are doing wrong or give them advice. Just encourage them, because tennis is for fun.
Play Smart: Know when to come in, when to stay back, and when to poach. If you have a timid partner, chances are you will need to be more aggressive and try to put balls away. If you have a really aggressive partner, it might be best for you to play it safe. Opposite playing styles tend to be good doubles partners, so just because someone plays differently than you doesn’t mean you can’t play together.
Make a Friend: The best doubles partners are friends. If you can’t stand your partner, chances are you will be losing lots of matches (and hating tennis). Try to engage in other activities outside of tennis with your partner. This can be good team-building and help you get to know them better.
You can’t win in doubles without a partner. Try to be flexible about which side you play and how you play, because you want your partner to perform at their best. Always stay positive with your partner, and do little things like say good shot and high-five them. When you make your tennis partner your friend, you’ll find yourself winning a ton more matches.