My cell phone has about 32 tennis partners in it. If I know you from tennis I'll add you to my address book this way "T Andy" or "T Jeff" for instance. Then I can easily scroll through the tennis partners and see who I am in the mood for.
In your opinion, what makes the perfect tennis partner?
Replies to This Discussion
Oh Hail, Mr Mayor.
It is so easy to let a few bad shots get you down. I have been trying to play every shot individually, so I don;t focus on the errors. Recognizing the mistake and letting it go seems to work for me. Problem with being negative is it takes the focus and enjoyment out of the game and is self defeating and tennis is fun!!! Happy hitting this week.
A Doubles Partner must not take the match seriously, Just has to have ok hands at net. They don't need a Big serve. they must tell Dirty & Crude Foul jokes everytime we lose a point. They Must not cheat but are willing to cheat if the other team are jerks. they must like to do trick shots and torture our opponents with making low percentage winning shots all the time. LOBs that are at least 4 to 5 stories high are only allowed. Partner must also be able to do drop shots and angles.
Hitting partner has to be someone who can match your level and hit consistent shots and rally. Ive warmed up with some people who think its great to slam a winner off a feed!
Doubles partner.....someone who is really confident and adept at the net. I get so many week returns from my serve I just want someone to put it away.
Hmm. The phrasing of the question makes me think "doubles". Most of the replies seem aimed at a practice partner.
Doubles Partner: Someone who shares your overall philosophy about how to play the game. Things like, "Do you play together ... or one UP one BACK?" "Do you like to serve Wide a lot ... or Jam and T a lot?" "How do you like to handle switches?" "Who takes high balls down the middle." I know from experience, if you put two players on the same team with differing mindsets ... it will not be pretty.
The Bryan brothers, as good as they are, do not play conventional doubles. They don't play doubles by the "system" I've learned and taught for years. Leander Paes does. I'd choose Paes over either Bryan because Bob or Mike would frustrate me.
As a coach, finding players who partner well with each other is probably the most challenging part of my job. (In Colorado we play 7-point matches: 3 Singles, 4 Doubles and no crossing over. The Singles players may not also play Dubs in the same match.) Since those four Dubs points are so important we coaches are always tweaking our teams to find the right combos.
Righty & Lefty
Power player & Steady player
Steady player & Quick player
Power & Quick
Quick & Quick
Power & Power is probably the last good combo (and my "last resort" combo)
(Steady & Steady is not generally a good combo.)
I originally intended it to be practice partner. But the doubles partner question is just as interesting.
Great points about the doubles partners needing to see eye to eye. It is good to play with someone enough so that you each understand your respective strengths and weaknesses. I have a new dubs partner and he is about 20 years younger than I am. It took him a few matches to realize that I am faster than him (at running down lobs, etc.) Now he knows those are usually mine. We also had to sort out the frequency of poaches and in what situations. I poach a lot and at first, he was not switching fast enough. Now, he is more ready for it.
My idea of an ideal hitting / practice partner is someone who loves game-based drills as much (or more) than I do. I don't believe I sharpen my skills playing practice matches all the time. I believe I get better through drilling. (And we hit about four times as many balls doing drills as we would playing sets in the same time period. A great workout!)
Some of my favorite drills:
The Baseline Game: Play only the back court. Drop feed and hit two consecutive deep balls to start the point which you play out in ONLY the back court. Play to 15, win by 2.
Alley Accuracy: Play only in the alley to see how many balls you two can keep IN the alley. FH/FH BH/BH FH/BH (One drill which was a LOT easier in the days of the woodies!)
Pound the Corner: (Originally called the "Injured Man Drill." I changed the name because I don't like the implication.) Player "A" may hit balls anywhere on the court he wishes, but may NOT hit winners. Player "B" must hit the same baseline corner every time. Play to 10, win by 2. (B will be pooped by then!)
Volleys & Passing Shots: Play on one-half the Singles court. Volleyer must hit two balls in-a-row in the back court to start the point. Baseliner may hit through or past the Volleyer, but NO LOBS. Play to 10, win by 2. (I love to hate this drill...!)
2-Point Tennis: Play a regular set ... with some twists. Double faults and unforced errors in the net, deep or wide cost you double. (If you net at 15-15, the score is then 15-40.) Yes, this will cost you some games. (If you sail a ball wide at Deuce, you just lost the game.)