Be A GREAT Doubles Partner
Tennis partnerships can be tricky. You can be the best tennis player on the court but not necessarily the best partner on a doubles team. This is because one of the key elements to a successful doubles team is chemistry: the ability to work together and share the workload. You should treat your doubles partner like you would your best friend or spouse: with great care and consideration.
For starters, being a good partner means doing your fair share on the court. That includes both your makes and misses. The best players in the world only win about 48% of their points. You should always lean towards consistency and setting up your partner but understand that you will make errors, as they are part of the game.
The same goes for your partner. He or she will make mistakes so be sure not to place blame on your partner anymore than you blame yourself. Whether you win or lose, you both should get equal share of the glory and blame.
Don’t forget to strategize. The plain truth is that most doubles teams have players with varying experience and skill. Listen to each other and work out the strategy together. When you are busy trying to figure out the weaknesses and the right shots, you have less time for negative self-talk or blaming.
One of the best things you can do for your partner is to stay calm under pressure and to never ever give up the fight. While this may not lead to a win, no player wants to get on court with someone who quits when the chips are down. Players want to know their partner is not panicking and is ready to fight to the end. This is where good communication is incredibly important.
And lastly, don’t focus too much on results. At the end of the day, no club player is making money off their tennis skills nor are they being hailed as one of the greatest tennis players of our time. Be a partner who is supportive, fun and fights hard on the court – the wins and losses will come and go.
We hope by now you’re realizing that the same things that make you a good spouse or friend also make you a good tennis partner. The willingness and desire to do more than your fair share, to share the credit and the blame, and to stay calm under pressure are the keys. Wanting a result too much will make this even more difficult. Enjoy the process and focus on connecting with the other person on your side of the net.