Partners-Keys to a Perfect Match
Finding a compatible tennis partner is not always the easiest proposition. I have some tips that will help.
One, I am certain that winning teams also have a winning friendship. It is extremely important that partners truly like and respect each other. On the pro tour pairs are formed depending on many factors, the primary one being the schedules of the players. At your local club you don’t have that issue, so make sure the two of you are buddies. The friendship off the court will lead to a stronger partnership and desire to win as a team on the court.
Two, try to be fairly even in ability. One might be stronger than the other in certain areas, but in general try not to play with someone who is much better or worse than you. The NTRP system make this much easier since to play in tournaments or on teams you have to be close in ratings. If the difference in ability is too great it will only lead to the lesser player feeling badly after losses, that’s no fun or fair to the player. Remember, you win and lose as a team!
Three, if you have different strong points all the better. Let’s say you return well from the deuce side and your partner is strong on the ad return, perfect. It is also fine if one partner can bang winners while the other is “steady eddy”. On the mental side having two partners who will remain calm in the heat of the battle is great, having one is a must. Someone has to take charge in the on court conferences and relax the other. You get the idea; differences that match well for the team are great. By the way, in general, the better volley and overhead should play the ad court, ( if right handed ) keeping those stronger shots in the middle.
Lastly, discuss some possible on court issues that may cause problems. I’ve never seen anything break up a partnership faster than over ruling partner’s calls. Let’s be honest, no one wants to cheat, but calls can be missed, discuss with each other that in the interest of fair play if your “out” call is over ruled by your partner do not take it personally, a mistake was made and corrected. Another is what I call the “continual down” factor. An occasional “I’m sorry” is fine, but not after every lost point. I don’t need my partner to say sorry; I know he did not make an error on purpose. Talk about staying positive and keeping each other pumped after every point, won or lost. There will be other things to be discussed, find a partner who wants to be on the same page and work them out ahead of time..
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Good Luck-Have Fun!!