If you’re looking for a way to level up your doubles game, without long hours and weeks of practice, then this is for you.
The Tennis Tribe is a place for recreational, and competitive USTA doubles players to discover easy tricks and tips to win more matches. These strategies are so simple and effective, you can implement them into your match tomorrow!
My name is Will and I started The Tennis Tribe to help people (and myself) get better at doubles. Here’s a little bit about my tennis experience and background.
I live in Austin Texas and am constantly trying to improve my doubles game. I’m fascinated by the strategy of doubles and think most players don’t take the time to think about what they’re doing on the court. That’s where I try to help 🙂
We’ve added a new team member! Chase Bartlett is now a contributor to our blog and gear review articles.
Chase is the men’s tennis captain at St. Edward’s University, an NCAA DII institution. He has played competitive Texas tennis from an early age. Ranked in college as high as #11 nationally for both singles and doubles, he is the first and only player from St. Edward’s to win a regional championship in singles.
Chase also has several years of coaching experience at the Austin Tennis Academy, where he competed as a junior tennis player. While in juniors, his highest wins were against #7 in the nation B18 and in an ITF against a player ranked 150 in the world.
When I started playing 4.5 USTA tournaments, I noticed that every single team did the same thing. People were scared to get passed up the line, and as a result, almost no one ever poached or attacked at the net in doubles matches.
I knew since I didn’t have 20 hours a week to practice, I’d have to play smarter than most people to win matches. So I started playing differently than everyone else. While playing a match in Austin, Texas, I told my partner to hit all kick serves out to the backhand. I started poaching and faking on every point.
I found that we won about 2 out of 3 points doing this. Yes, I did get beat up the line, but for every one of those, the opponent would miss two. We kept doing this and won the match, literally giving our opponents a down the line backhand on over half of our service points.
Since then I’ve had dozens of people tell me they “hate playing me” because of how I play at the net. Some people have told me I’m crazy, but I actually think it’s a completely reasonable way to play. Although it may not look this way, every single move I make at the net is very calculated based on my knowledge of my opponent and tennis in general.
In the story above, I knew a down the line backhand is a much more difficult than a crosscourt groundstroke, so I poached a lot on the ad side to make them hit a lower percentage shot. I decided to create the Tennis Tribe as a way to share my strategies with others and connect doubles players with each other to share their own ideas.
Since 99% of tennis players play the exact same way, being different creates an effective competitive advantage. A combination of tilting the odds in your favor and manipulating your opponent into what you want them to do will transform you and your partner into “the team no one wants to play.” I’ve used these tactics to win dozens of matches against players more skilled and talented, and you can too.
Many doubles lessons that people teach aren’t effective anymore. Tips like “don’t hit at the net player” or “cover the alley” are used by so many doubles teams, that everyone knows exactly what to expect.
That’s why The Tennis Tribe teaches you to do the opposite. You’ll start thinking about and playing tennis differently from everyone else. When your opponents see you poaching and faking every single shot they’ll start missing returns and get frustrated. The key to making this work is being aware of your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and forcing them to hit low-percentage shots that make them uncomfortable so they beat themselves.