When Your Doubles Partner is in a Dip
Everybody has “clunkers” – days where your shots are not there or you are making bad shot decisions. It happens to all of us at some point of another. It is good to remember that when playing with a partner who dips. While it can be frustrating, it is important to focus on how you can help get through the match with positivity.
Our motto at GlamSlam is: Treat your partner the way you would want to be treated in a similar situation — because you surely will be there sooner than later.
Here are some things to remember:
You’re a Team
In doubles, it takes two to tango… at least succesfully. You win together; you lose together. That’s the nature of team play.
Hold Down the Fort
Do your best to “hold down the fort” while hoping for a turnaround in your partner. Do what you can to relieve pressure without trying to do TOO much. We see club players do this all the time: They take over the court and try to play singles. That’s not a good plan. Instead, think strategically about where your partner needs help. Offer her advice only if she will respond to it well. Otherwise, figure out what you can do to make the match better. For example, if she’s having a hard time with her volley: Suggest she stay back at the baseline. Or if her backhand is not strong, try to cover that part of the court. Of course, you need to tell her so she knows to switch properly.
Always, always encourage your partner to work it out. Do what you can to lift her spirits. Make her laugh or take her mind off of it with a little bit of idle chatter.
It also helps to let her know you believe in her. OK, so you may not. But it doesn’t help anyone to tell them you don’t. Be positive!
No Blame Game
Most importantly, do not belittle them or insult them. Do not blame them for the team’s loss if it happens. Do not point out their mistakes. Just encourage them and continue to maintain communications.
That’s all you can really do. But oftentimes, if your partner can feel your positivity and belief, she will pull through for you as best she can at the moment. The most important attribute you want in a partner is someone who won’t give up – so don’t give up on her!