Brent & Mai Abel's WebTennisGear --- Comp Instructional Course With Your Order!

DOUBLES: The Problem With The 'Setter' & The 'Hitter'

There's an interesting article in this morning's 8/8/2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal titled "The Mets Have Killed The Win".
And of course ... it got me thinking about tennis --- specifically doubles ;-)
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is hardly allowing any runs this year.  His current ERA is a stingy 1.85.
But his teammates - the offense - just absolutely pathetic.  They're not scoring runs for this guy.  
DeGrom's current win-loss record is 5-7.  With that 1.85 ERA, he should be something like 17-2. 
How does this tie in to doubles?  
The article made me think of doubles partners and how often we think we need to have one partner as the 'setter' AND the other partner as the big 'hitter'.
You know, one guy to set the table like deGrom has done all season and then the other guy to produce the runs --- put-aways.
One guy is supposed to be steady and one guy is supposed to do the damage.
If you're the so called setter and yet your guy isn't cleaning up your 'setting', you're probably a tad frustrated.
Conversely, if you're known at the club as the 'put-away' guy, and your partner isn't setting you up, you're probably a tad frustrated too ...
Unlike the Mets asking deGrom to be both of those guys --- the setter (low ERA pitcher) AND the put-away guy (go 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs) ... 
In doubles you gotta be BOTH.
You don't have to be an All-Star at both, but you can't just specialize in just one area.  
When you serve and when you return your job is to set up your partner.  
Right?  You don't have to be hitting aces all day long to be the setter.  Mix up your serves, keep that returner off balance, and you'll be setting the table for your partner.
And if you're the server's partner ... your job is not to also be setting.  You can't just place volleys or overheads back into play when your partner is setting you up.
So, you get where I'm going with this ...
Double requires you to be both deGrom and the batting lineup depending on whether you're serving & returning serve OR the partner starting up at net.
From time to time I play doubles with a guy at my club.  And he refuses to go after clear put-away opportunities when I set him up, and instead, simply 'keeps the ball in play'.
It drives me slightly batty ;-)
Look, I get it.  Everyone's got a different threshold for risking an unforced error.
But to me, if we lose a point, it shouldn't be because we had an opportunity to be the hitter, but instead we go soft, they get the ball back, and we eventually lose the point.
Ergggghhhh ...
Man.  If we lose the point, I'd rather go for it with that opportunity and miss ... hard.
If you're the 'hitter' and you're missing lots of 1st serves because you're going for aces AND you're trying to hit outright winners when you're returning serve ... stop!
You're not the designated hitter in those situations.
Be the setter for that moment.  
And if you're starting the point at net and your partner is setting you up AND you're getting lots of juicy opportunities ... come on, do some damage ;-)
If I've set up my partner and they give that sitter a good ride AND miss, I'm always getting to that partner right away and saying 'no sweat, good swing. Next time'.  
I don't ever want my partner worried about missing, because you know what, we all do from time to time ...
So dude, you gotta be both deGrom and the hitters ;-))
What's on your mind?
Come on now ... get out THERE wherever you are and help someone else have a great day ;-)
Brent

P.S. - if your topspin serve isn't 'setting up' your partner in doubles, then you're turning that returner from a setter into a hitter 

I've got a complimentary topspin serve mini course that will show you how to get power and spin for control so that you can get that high bounce that will set up your doubles partner.

And once you're making your partners you look like a million bucks out there ... yeah, your cell phone is going to be ringing off the hook 

Here's where you can get comp access to my topspin serve mini course -http://WebTennis.com