The Psychology Of Singles And Doubles In Tennis

The Psychology Of Singles And Doubles In Tennis



THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SINGLES AND DOUBLES IN TENNIS .​
Singles, the greatest strain in​ tennis, is​ the game for two players .​
It is​ in​ this phase of​ the game that the personal equation reaches its crest of​ importance .​
This is​ the game of​ individual effort, mental and physical .​
A hard 5-set singles match is​ the greatest strain on the body and nervous system of​ any form of​ sport .​
Singles is​ a​ game of​ daring, dash, speed of​ foot and stroke .​
It is​ a​ game of​ chance far more than doubles .​
Since you have no partner dependent upon you, you can afford to​ risk error for the possibility of​ speedy victory .​
Much of​ what I​ wrote under match play is​ more for singles than doubles, yet let me call your attention to​ certain peculiarities of​ singles from the standpoint of​ the spectator .​
A gallery enjoys personalities far more than styles .​
Singles brings two people into close and active relations that show the idiosyncrasies of​ each player far more acutely than doubles .​
The spectator is​ in​ the position of​ a​ man watching an​ insect under a​ microscope .​
He can analyse the inner workings .​
The freedom of​ restraint felt on a​ single court is​ in​ marked contrast to​ the need for team work in​ doubles .​
Go out for your shot in​ singles whenever there is​ a​ reasonable chance of​ getting it .​
Hit harder at​ all times in​ singles than in​ doubles, for you have more chance of​ scoring and can take more risk .​
Singles is​ a​ game of​ the imagination, doubles a​ science of​ exact angles .​
Doubles is​ four-handed tennis .​
Enough of​ this primary reader definition .​
It is​ just as​ vital to​ play to​ your partner in​ tennis as​ in​ bridge .​
Every time you make a​ stroke you must do it​ with a​ definite plan to​ avoid putting your partner in​ trouble .​
The keynote of​ doubles success is​ team work; not individual brilliancy .​
There is​ a​ certain type of​ team work dependent wholly upon individual brilliancy .​
Where both players are in​ the same class, a​ team is​ as​ strong as​ its weakest player at​ any given time, for here it​ is​ even team work with an​ equal division of​ the court that should be the method of​ play .​
In the case of​ one strong player and one weaker player, the team is​ as​ good as​ the strong player can make it​ by protecting and defending the weaker .​
This pair should develop its team work on the individual brilliancy of​ the stronger man .​
The first essential of​ doubles play is​ to​ PUT the ball in​ play .​
a​ double fault is​ bad in​ singles, but it​ is​ inexcusable in​ doubles .​
The return of​ service should be certain .​
After that it​ should be low and to​ the server coming in .​
Do not strive for clean aces in​ doubles until you have the opening .​
Remember that to​ pass two men is​ a​ difficult task .​
Always attack in​ doubles .​
The net is​ the only place in​ the court to​ play the doubles game, and you should always strive to​ attain the net position .​
I​ believe in​ always trying for the kill when you see a​ real opening .​
Poach (go for a​ shot which is​ not really on your side of​ the court) whenever you see a​ chance to​ score .​
Never poach unless you go for the kill .​
It is​ a​ win or​ nothing shot since it​ opens your whole court .​
If you are missing badly do not poach, as​ it​ is​ very disconcerting to​ your partner .​
The question of​ covering a​ doubles court should not be a​ serious one .​
With all men striving to​ attain the net all the time every shot should be built up with that idea .​
Volley and smash whenever possible, and only retreat when absolutely necessary .​
When the ball goes toward the side-line the net player on that side goes in​ close and toward the line .​
His partner falls slightly back and to​ the centre of​ the court, thus covering the shot between the men .​
If the next return goes to​ the other side, the two men reverse positions .​
The theory of​ court covering is​ two sides of​ a​ triangle, with the angle in​ the centre and the two sides running to​ the side-lines and in​ the direction of​ the net .​
Each man should cover overhead balls over his own head, and hit them in​ the air whenever possible, since to​ allow them to​ drop gives the net to​ the other team .​
The only time for the partner to​ protect the overhead is​ when the net man poaches, is​ outguessed, and the ball tossed over his head .​
Then the server covers and strives for a​ kill at​ once .​
Always be ready to​ protect your partner, but do not take shots over his head unless he calls for you to, or​ you see a​ certain kill .​
Then say Mine, step in​ and hit decisively .​
The matter of​ overhead balls, crossing under them, and such incidentals of​ team work are matters of​ personal opinion, and should be arranged by each team according to​ their joint views .​
I​ only offer general rules that can be modified to​ meet the wishes of​ the individuals .​
Use the lob as​ a​ defence, and to​ give time to​ extricate yourself and your partner from a​ bad position .​
The value of​ service in​ doubles cannot be too strongly emphasized since it​ gives the net to​ the server .​
Service should always be held .​
To lose service is​ an​ unpardonable sin in​ first-class doubles .​
All shots in​ doubles should be low or​ very high .​
Do not hit shoulder-high as​ it​ is​ too easy to​ kill .​
Volley down and hard if​ possible .​
Every shot you make should be made with a​ definite idea of​ opening the court .​
Hit down the centre to​ disrupt the team work of​ the opposing team; but hit to​ the side-lines for your aces .​
Pick one man, preferably the weaker of​ your opponents, and centre your attack on him and keep it​ there .​
Pound him unmercifully, and in​ time he should crack under the attack .​
It is​ very foolish to​ alternate attack, since it​ simply puts both men on their game and tires neither .​
If your partner starts badly play safely and surely until he rounds to​ form .​
Never show annoyance with your partner .​
Do not scold him .​
He is​ doing the best he can, and fighting with him does no good .​
Encourage him at​ all times and don't worry .​
a​ team that is​ fighting among themselves has little time left to​ play tennis, and after all tennis is​ the main object of​ doubles .​
Offer suggestions to​ your partner at​ any time during a​ match; but do not insist on his following them, and do not get peevish if​ he doesn't .​
He simply does not agree with you, and he may be right .​
Who knows?
Every doubles team should have a​ leader to​ direct its play; but that leader must always be willing to​ drop leadership for any given point when his partner has the superior position .​
It is​ policy of​ attack not type of​ stroke that the leader should determine .​
Pick a​ partner and stick to​ him .​
He should be a​ man you like and want to​ play with, and he should want to​ play with you .​
This will do away with much friction .​
His style should not be too nearly your own, since you double the faults without greatly increasing the virtues .​




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