Tips from Tennis Professional Joao Pinho on how to improve your doubles game through communication.
When you or your partner is serving, make sure to use hand signals or talk in between points about the plan for the next point. Failing to do so can facilitate the returner’s job since they “know” the net player is not doing a pre-planned poach. The returner’s job is to simply get the ball cross court or away from the net player.
Commonly used signals:
- Palm of hand open = Poach
- Hand closed/fist = Stay
- Flashing hand (opening and closing hand a few times) = Fake poach
Signals should be used for both first and second serve and the server needs to verbally acknowledge that they saw the signal. The more advanced players should also include the direction of the serve in addition to the action of the net player (poach, stay or fake).
When poaching, the server should, most of the time, try to serve to the “T or Body” in order to reduce the returner’s angle and increasing the chances that the net player will poach successfully.
About the Author:
Joao ‘Jay’ Pinho is Manager of Tennis Operation and High Performance Tennis Coach at the Nassau Tennis Club in Skillman, NJ. For more information on the High Performance Academy visit, www.NextLevelTennis.Net