Finding That Perfect Match

Tennis may be a game, but playing as part of a pairing is much more than just turning up to the courts and hitting a few balls. A doubles partnership is a relationship. Like all other relationships in the world, be is business, romance, or sporting based, it takes hard work and dedication to make it work.

When starting to play tennis, finding a doubles partner is pretty easy. There is always somebody looking for a game. However, if you take your tennis half-way seriously, even as a fun-in-the-weekends kind of player, you will soon learn that there is more to picking your partner than just grabbing whoever is available.

Trust me, I know this from painful experience. I have had my fair share of doubles partners through my years of playing tennis. I chopped and changed a lot, after getting my heart broken, shall we say. I had a great partner, but after two years of playing regularly together, everything fell apart. It was not meant to be, and after trying to keep it going for a few months, we both knew that we had to call it quits.

Now, I am happily playing with a partner that is a far better compliment to my game, as I am to his, than either of us would ever have thought.

What is it that makes us work so well together? There are several things, different aspects of our game and lifestyles that make us a perfect match.

Doubles Tennis Match

Opposites Really Do Attract

It may be an old saying, but when it comes to playing tennis, it can be very true. When looking for a partner to play doubles with, it is not a carbon copy of yourself that you need, but rather a mirror image. I am a big guy, and I have a pretty fast serve, for an amateur. My playing partner is a smaller, faster than I am. Together, we make a great team, because we have all aspects of the service game covered.

Being tall, my footwork is probably one of the weaker areas of my game, while my partner is like a ninja on the court. They can run and turn on a sixpence. It is the perfect complement, because while they are doing the fancy stuff, I am ready for a big base line return. Speed and power, power and speed. When you combine two opposites, then you get the best results.

 Doubles Tennis Team

Play to Each Other’s Weaknesses

Now, this is not to be taken literally, but think about it. We all have strong points. We all have weak areas in our game. Finding that perfect playing partner is about having someone who is stronger in your weaker areas, and vice-versa. Not only does it make you a strong, all round team, but you will find your own weak points improving. Confidence is a funny thing like that. The more you play with a good, well suited partner, the more your own game will improve as an indirect result of your teamwork.

 Tennis Players with Trophy

You Must be on the Same Page

While it is good to be different when it comes to your size, strengths and even your style of play, there is one aspect where the two of you must be on the same page. Communication.

On the tennis court, communication is key. It is the number one thing that a good doubles team needs, and it is probably the one aspect that needs the most work.

On the court, you will find two very different kinds of players. Those that like to talk, and those that play a quiet game. Communicating where necessary, when necessary and in their own way. To be paired with somebody who does not communicate the same way you do, can be off putting. It can break both of your concentration and go to the detriment of the team.

 Tennis Player with Racket

A Relationship Takes Time

While you might well go through several tennis partners during your playing days, one thing is almost guaranteed. Barring a stroke of pure luck, you will need to give the partnership time to develop. Nothing good happens without work. To be effective in doubles competition, you and your partner need to know each other, to learn how to read each other. Let’s face it, we all have bad days, or days when we don’t feel our best. A good partner will read this and help pull you up. They will help motivate you and get you raring to go.

This can be tough, especially for amateur or ‘fun’ players, because there are lots of external factors that can influence your ability to play. There may be multiple partners you team with depending on when and where you are playing. That is fine. That can happen. The same principles apply, and you need to work just as hard to make it work.

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