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Competition Level Doubles Play
 
Watch most recreational doubles play and it’s not difficult to get a pretty good sense for which team is playing chess and which team is playing checkers. Below are descriptions of three elements you’ll see present with the more successful partnerships.  Presence, Precision, Patience.
  • Court Presence refers to the confidence a team projects during a match. It’s all about sync'd up court position and readiness, paddle preparation, player communication, and smooth transitions between offense and defense. Teams with a strong court presence are continuously looking for opportunities to dictate the flow and pace of a point.
  • Precision is about making conscious decisions about shot placement and having the ability to execute that decision reliably.  I recently played a recreational game with a partner who told me “I never think about what I’m doing; I just do it.” Interesting, but hardly helpful to your partner who would like some sense of where to be and how to get ready to support a shot. Precision takes discipline, and lots of practice.
  • Patience is all about situational awareness. It's built around the ability to stay in the moment, take a deep breath, then take the shot you can make versus the shot you wish you could make. Rallies rely on patience. If you aren't making it to the third shot before you crush a ball into the net or fly it into the next zip code you might still have some work to do. Go slow to go fast.
Is this a lot for doubles partners to manage? Absolutely. Just keep in mind....you will play like you practice....but you have to practice.