Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Real "I" Formation

Doubles, the NTTC Way

When you serve down the center in doubles, the return [tends] to come back down the center.  The importance of this is that when it comes back down the center, your partner in doubles might have a chance to intercept and put the ball away.

Remember, few weekend players will attempt to poach going to their backhand to volley, more often than not, they will usually poach, depending on the receiver, on their forehand side.

When serving down the middle, trying standing at the center service mark to serve, but be sure to come up wide. Not many players can angle the ball well enough to your forehand to hurt you with their backhand, unless they attempt a drop shot, which your partner should be on the alert for.  In that case, he takes the shallow ball, and you come up and take his position at the net.

Women should hit down the line, and aim it low at the net on their first return of serve, but always alert your partner of your intentions.

Need a surprise when you’re behind? Try using the “I” Formation.  Use the real “I” Formation, invented by the National Tennis Teachers College in 1976.  The net man, or woman, must straddle the Center Service Line, and the serve must serve from the Center Service Line mark, and down the “T.,” but over their partner's head.

The net person gives the direction in which he will be going, and the server goes in the opposite direction.  By serving down the “T,” the server prevents any really wide angle shots which would defeat the Formation.
Cheating to one side changes the dynamics, and gives away the surprise, and makes it harder for the net man to poach.
Another way of defeating the formation is to lob down the middle, since both players would be moving away from the middle.

c Daniel young, 2016

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