The Team:

* The key to minimizing confusion is to be in good position as a team BEFORE your opponents hit a shot. After each shot your team hits, each partner should adjust court positioning accordingly.

* Call any ball that is lobbed by your opponents early, before the ball has crossed the net.

* Remember it is better to make a "wrong" call too early than a "right" call too late when deciding whose shot is whose.

* On any drive hit by your opponents, the player closer to the net (and ball) sees it earlier and has first choice. If he feels he can make an effective play on it, it is his. He must make his decision early and be decisive.

* The partner who is farther from the net (even if it is only a few feet) can see and react to his "closer" partner's move. The reverse is not true.

* Also, if there is a question as to whose shot it might be in a quick or fast exchange of shots, the player who hit the previous shot is often more prepared to make the play on the next shot.

* The bottom line is that both partners agree in theory on how to cover the court together as a team. If you have to fight your opponents and each other, victories will be scarce.

* On any given day it is unlikely that both members of any doubles team are going to be playing their best tennis. Adjust your game plan a bit for the realities of the day. Cover for each other.

Don't Get Caught:

Don't get caught being carried away with your own brilliance. If you hit a few brilliant, low-percentage shots to win some points, don't start believing they'll work all the time.

Don't get caught protecting against a shot or situation that isn't going to happen. For instance, don't guard your alley if the ball has little chance of actually being hit there.

Don't get caught getting ahead of an opponent by using a certain strategy and then altering your strategy and playing "not to lose." If you've got a plan and it's working, then stick with it.

Don't get caught letting down in your brilliant comeback bid. The goal is not to come back and tie. The goal is to come back and win. If you are down five games to two, remember to take each game one at a time but plan to win five games in a row ... not just three.

Don't get caught taking any lead for granted. Close out any game-set-match or you may become a victim of "pressure reversal syndrome." If you're ahead 5-1 in a set, the pressure is on your opponent not to lose. With each game your opponent wins, the amount of pressure shifts more to you and builds.

Don't get caught being unkind, ungracious, or unsportsmanlike after any match: win, lose, or draw.

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Greater Vallejo Tennis Association
426 Mills Drive
Benicia, CA 94510