In my experience of working with doubles teams at every level, from recreational to league to high school to college, the same problem always presents itself. When I watch these teams play, they look like two ships passing in the night.
Most doubles partners tend to move in parallel lines between points. Or, as I often call it, “parallel lives.”
It’s the classic look of two players playing singles on the doubles court:
• No eye contact
• No communication
• No connection
Partners ignore each other and resemble two robots moving from side to side or up and back to their next position.
Correcting this is a bigger conversation. You can get all the details in our free report, The X-Factor: The Number One Secret to Playing Doubles Like the Pros. Download here.
In the meantime, there is something you can do to continue on your quest for continuous 1% improvement. The next time you go out to play doubles, make it conscious point to turn toward your doubles partner after every point.
Turning toward your partner is easy, probably a habit already, when things are going well. When your team wins the point, you instinctively turn and look at our partner. That’s not what I’m worried about. What happens when you lost the point or are losing the match?
More specifically, what happens when your partner loses the point? Misses an “easy” shot? Double faults (again)? My guess? You turn away from them after the point ends. I see it time, at every level of play.
Has this happened to you? How did it make you feel? Probably not too good. Most players already feel bad when they miss or are not playing well. Looking over at your partner in that moment and seeing their back side sucks. It adds insult to injury.
All players perform better when their Emotional Tank is full. The small gesture of turning toward your doubles partner, no matter what, after every point can improve your game and make you a great partner!