Tennis Tuesday - The Art of Doubles

This post isn't just about tennis...it's about life AND tennis.

It seems in the world of tennis, there are people who prefer singles and those who prefer doubles. I've always loved both, but lately I seem to be leaning towards singles.

Why? Well, it seems that finding the right partner is like finding the right husband or friend. In order for it to work, there are so many variables.

Personally, I like to talk to my doubles partner. I like to work strategy and I'm open to suggestions. (As long as they are constructive.)

Some people hate this style. They don't want to talk, or they see talking strategy as criticism. Some people like to blame their partner when they lose. Nothing turns me off more than hearing one doubles player publicly bash their partner when they lose. I think it's really bad form. Even if your partner DID royally screw up, you're a team, you win as a team and lose as a team. Which makes singles so much simpler. It's all on you. If you play well you can pat yourself on the back, if you screw up, you didn't let a partner down.

There are a few people who I absolutely love playing doubles with. We have complimentary styles, and we like each other, so we feel comfortable talking, or communicating to each other during and between points. (Which occasionally means shouting out "Let it bounce!" or "MINE!!") We can laugh together if we screw up and we don't blame each other if someone is having an off day.

In tennis, as in life, chemistry means so much.

My favorite book on the subject of doubles is "The Art of Doubles" by Pat Blaskower. This is my doubles bible, it covers everything you need to improve your game, including, choosing the right partner, proper court position and achieving mental toughness.

Here's a line from the book that applies not just to tennis, but to any close relationship..."Picking the right person to share your tennis life is no small matter....Your own version of 'the dream team' should take into consideration not only your strengths and weaknesses as a player, but your ability to compliment a potential partner's expertise."

Who knew tennis could be so deep!???


Mrs. K said...

can I just tell you a short story? today I got paired up with a div 5 player- i am top of 6. she had a FIT because we got slotted to play the #1 spot against div 2 players. in short, she was a bitch- we won the first set and she then apologized to me for her attitude and said how proud of me she was- i told her no need to be proud of me because she was not my mother, got my drink and went back to the court- she felt bad and i wasn't insulted but wtf with the attitude. in the end she said i'm playing well under my league, blah blah...kiss me where the sun doesn't shine lady- her sportsmanship is shameful

P said...

I'll try to make this short, too: When I was a kid/teenager playing tennis, the stress was unbelievable. I had "one of those" dads who officials did not allow to come to my matches. I eventually quit playing as a kid because of my dad. But, anyway, in adult-hood, I only play singles for the very reason that I want to answer to myself and only myself. I want to cheer for myself or get mad at myself, and then just leave it at that. I don't want to deal with drama or the blame game or trying to work with someone else. It's just not worth it to me after all the years of torture that I endured over "game play."

The Mrs. said...

That is so funny! I had no idea it was that complicated!!!

Wifey said...

I have to check that book out. My husband will love it. I have yet to play singles competitively, but want to do it, too.

Lane Boyz Mom said...

I WISH I could choose my partner, but my tennis coach does our line ups and well, I call myself the team whore, I'm partnered with EVERYONE just about, and well, I would much rather choose a partner for life;)

Far From Perfect said...

I loved loved loved my partner,played together for 13 years. When she moved we exchanged letters to each other on things we remembered on playing together.We bawled for hours. We weren't big talkers when we played. When my partner served I would walk back and make a comment like "I hate these two" or "let's make this fast,I need a beer" sometimes we talked just to mess with them-tennis is a MENTAL game. My partner never let me down-she carried my sorry butt for years.

Jaina said...

I like the life lesson. Very appropriate.

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