IN DOUBLES IT PAYS TO HAVE PATIENCE – FOR TWO SHOTS!

By Su

Many players try to win the point with their first or second shot. Have a little bit more patience and give yourself a plan for the first two shots, don’t try to kill either of those balls!

If you are the server of course your first shot will be the serve, your second shot will either be a volley, chip or a groundstroke. You should have a definite plan for your second shot, this is where most doubles breaks down and the play becomes random. Be disciplined and strive for rhythm during the set and with your second shot. Let most of the points start the same with the goal of you moving in after you hit crosscourt.
You have two valid targets on the second shot. You should either aim for the deep crosscourt corner or for the cross court side-T (Side-T is where the service line meets the singles sideline). With either of these targets your goal is to keep it away from the receiver’s partner. As soon as your ball goes past the net person it is a great idea to move forwards to the net if you are not already moving in. Remember, in doubles your goal is to GTTN – Get.To.The.Net!
If you are the receiver you basically have the exact same two targets. You should aim crosscourt so that you take the server’s partner out of the point and move forwards if you can. Before the serve comes to you it is a good idea to already have your target in mind.
The key point though is to mentally put the leash on and try and not make an error for the first two shots you hit. Hit the serve and make the 2nd shot crosscourt, or hit the return and make your second shot crosscourt. If you can make these two shots and move in, you will have many opportunities at the net to put away the third shot. Also, many times you won’t even have to hit the third ball as your opponents will have made a mistake by then.
Be patient, have a plan, make the first two shots. The key is realizing they don’t have to be great shots they just have to be in.

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