Have you ever noticed how much some doubles teams communicate during matches? Some teams seem to talk to each other after every single point. Why are they constantly talking and exactly are they talking about? In this episode, I'll tell you why you should be communicating with your doubles partner and I'll give you my top suggestions for what you should be talking about with your doubles partner out on court. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the media player above or by listening in with your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe in iTunes by clicking on this link: tennisfixation.com/itunes.
The Importance of Communicating in Doubles
Some people talk a lot with their partners during doubles matches. And some people don't. But by and large, the teams that talk and communicate the most are the teams that are the most successful. Just look at the Bryan Brothers. The one thing that they seem to do better than virtually any other doubles team out there is communicate. These two don’t let a point go by that they don’t have some sort of word, acknowledgment, fist bump or look pass between them. And they do this even though they are twins and are constantly on court together, playing and practicing!
So how well are you communicating with your doubles partner? And what can you do to improve your communication with your doubles partner without coming off as too chatty or bossy? Here's my list of things you should be communicating about with your partner in every doubles match you play:
How to Communicate with Your Doubles Partners
- Before the warm-up even begins, talk to your partner about your respective strengths and weaknesses. Come up with an initial game plan with which you are both comfortable.
- During and after the warm-up, discuss what strengths and weaknesses you see in your opponents and use that knowledge to fine tune your initial game plan.
- Communicate throughout each game, not necessarily after each point.
- Be positive and upbeat even when things go wrong. Especially when things go wrong. A well-timed “good try” or “keep it up” can do much to improve your team’s on-court mood.
- Don’t be vague when making suggestions to your partner. Be sure that your partner understands why you are suggesting a particular strategy or a change in their play and your play as a team.
- Listen to your partner’s suggestions and be open to changing your own game for the good of the team.
- Don’t get defensive or frustrated during your match! A bad attitude is a waste of energy and never results in winning tennis.
- When it’s all over, whether your team wins or loses, leave the match and your partner on a high note.
If it feels like putting all of these tips into action would result in you talking to your partner constantly throughout the match, then good! That’s exactly what you should be doing. Communicating constantly and effectively is how you build a successful doubles team.
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