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Team talk pivotal to tennis doubles success

By Kathy Woods, Ron Woods

Eight tips for communicating on the court

A successful doubles team knows that good communication is important to working together effectively, instilling confidence, and making matches fun. In Playing Tennis After 50, Kathy and Ron Woods offer tips for maintaining open lines of communication during doubles matches.

  • Before every point, make sure both of you know the correct score, whether you are the serving team or the receiving team.
  • During the point, help your partner let balls go by calling "out" when you are sure the ball will land outside the court.
  • During the point, call "yours" if you want your partner to take an overhead smash or cover a lob that is over your head.
  • During the point, if both of you are at the baseline defending, call "mine" or "yours" on any shot down the middle.
  • During the point, if you play a defensive lob, warn your partner to move back to defend.
  • After the point, applaud good shots and high-five great shots. If your partner misses a shot, encourage him to hang in there and get the next one. Simply saying "bad luck" is often a terrific reassurance.
  • When you change ends of the court, briefly suggest changes in tactics you think might work and agree as a team what your plan of attack will be.
  • At the end of a match, thank your partner for playing and compliment her on her effort and any outstanding plays she made no matter which team won.

This is adapted from Playing Tennis After 50.


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