- Hold serve (never I hear you cry!!)
- Get your 1st serve in 70% + as this takes the pressure off your 2nd serve.
- Find a repeatable consistent rhythm approximately 75% of your power available. Your partner needs that serving consistency to poach effectively.
- If serving and volleying, don’t forget to split step on approach. It’ll give you much better balance.
- Serve 80% of your serves to the T. Your partner will thank you for the numerous poaches available as a result.
- Never hurry your first volley. It’s not your job to put it away. Your job is to set up the point for your partner to finish off.
- Be active. Move in a few paces towards the net on your partners 1st serve, you are more likely to be sharper on the interceptions.
- Mirror the ball on the receivers side.
- The height of the return changes your targets. On higher returns above the net aim for receivers partner or the gap in the centre of the court. Low returns should be directed back to the returner.
- Distract the returner with constant movement. Be fearless. Make them hit the shot you want them to play.
- Remember to fake poach.
- Call all ‘out’ balls to help your partner.
- Be consistent not flashy.
- Hit shots in consideration of partners duties.
- Vary your returns. Throw in occasional lobs, aggressive down the line returns or low, hard drives through the middle.
- Be prepared to move in off second serve returns to gain territorial advantage.
- On the whole what you do or don’t do has a huge impact on breaking your opponents serve
- Protect against a poach from the service partner.
- Your first duty is often defence. Keep an eye at all times on the servers partner and if they don’t make a move, assess the following…
Is the server approaching?
2. What is the height of your partners return?
- If the answer to question 1 is no, then question 2 is irrelevant and as a result move forward and look for a poach.
- If the answer to question 1 is yes, then question 2 is very important because the height of the return determines where you should go next. If it’s a high return dig in and defend and expect a volley at you or behind you. If it’s low enough to make the servers volley difficult, Move to the centre next strap and poach the volley.