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Mixed doubles footwork and strategies

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blahness View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09/09/2019 at 9:19am
Gonna start training doubles with my partner, was wondering how to move and what sort of strategies to use?

I'm a serve + 3rd ball + FH kind of person and she's really balanced and fast close table, doesn't make much mistakes (a bit like Liu Shiwen stylistically)...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 9:41am
Doubles is super fun, but the footwork and tactics are different vs singles.  The footwork issues are two-fold.  First, you and your partner need to stay out of each other's way.  Second, you need to get in a position to play the ball.  If you can't do both, it is really tough!

Tactics can get pretty tricky, but, the most basic rule - and why many singles players are initially "not great" doubles partners - is "Don't automatically hit the ball away from the player who hit the ball to you."  Many singles players do this without thinking, and, all too often the opponent who is actually receiving their shot is now in perfect position.  If in doubt, hit back at player who hit to you.  Or hit on the side of them away from their partner - if possible.  

When playing with a close to the table player, it is usually best if you (or one of you if you both play close) can take a step or so back to avoid congestion.  Also note - the player away from the table needs to make sure to keep their shot quality high!  An away-from-the-table partner with a propensity for hitting lots of "fluffy" shots is not fun at all for a close player.

Maybe the linked article can help.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decin_Nebo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 11:51am
I don't know much about algebra (or table-tennis) but if your female partner is married to someone else, good TT etiquette mandates that  you don't forget to kiss her on the lips & slap her behind everytime she hits a winner. This will drive her husband nuts. 

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decin_Nebo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 11:58am
Seriously, most players don't realize that playing singles is sort of like playing mixed doubles with your far worse partner of opposite sex,  because for most (non-professional) players, the backhand & forehand are very different in style & consistency & you are constantly trying cover up for your weaker partner ( or backhand or forehand whichever is weaker) & it is a constant battle. The moral of the story is that you want to make your partner get better (just as you want to train your weakside biatch play better) 

Edited by Decin_Nebo - 09/09/2019 at 12:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 6:36pm
There is a big difference in effective tactics between high level doubles and average club level doubles.  At the high levels it is generally assumed that your partner will be using good footwork and will be in an optimal location regardless of where you play your shot.  In that case the hitting player can focus on playing the ball in such a way that is most difficult for the opponent.  At club level players footwork is weaker and often they are out of position for their next shot.  In that case it is more effective to play shots that make it easier for your partner than it is to play the shot that is difficult for the opponent.

My rules for club level doubles
1.  If you see an opening to hit an outright winner take it even if it violates any of the following rules.
2. If an opponent has an exceptionally strong wing play away from that wing even if it violates any of the following rules.  If an opponent has an exceptionally weak wing play to that wing even if it violates any of the following rules.
3.  If you can not hit an outright winner, hit the ball to the opposite side of the table from where your partner is standing.  This minimizes the distance he needs to move to get set up at the center of angle of returns.
4. If you are really off balance or out of position just do whatever is easiest to land you shot on the table.  In singles you sometimes benefit by going for the "wild winner" since you know any return by your opponent would be a winner.  However, in doubles you partner is often in a good position to counter attack even if your weaker return is attacked.
5. Follow the 80/20 rule.  Break the other rules about 20% of the time so that your opponents will not be able to know what you are going to do.

Note: I am a terrible doubles player so use my advice at your own risk.

Mark - Who uses all that extra time between shots in doubles to do more things wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 6:43pm
Yup. Mark is a crappy doubles player. Verified. Listen to him at ur own risk.

I was undefeated in club play the one match I played with Mark on my squad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 7:32pm
Originally posted by Decin_Nebo Decin_Nebo wrote:

I don't know much about algebra (or table-tennis) but if your female partner is married to someone else, good TT etiquette mandates that  you don't forget to kiss her on the lips & slap her behind everytime she hits a winner. This will drive her husband nuts. 

 

Lol wtf is this? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 7:48pm
I think the agreement we had was I'll be covering from mid distance and she will just dart in and out from close table... She has fast footwork and good strokes with no significant weaknesses except sometimes struggling with huge spin strokes. 

But the problem is after my serve or receive I'll be close table, how do I retreat behind her after my stroke? I was thinking maybe I move diagonally to the left and she moves in diagonally from the right, that sounds about right?

The other question is serve and receive, for receive I'm thinking of trying to chiquita or sideswipe everything since she doesn't like the underspin game...and of course if possible use a FH loop to just end the point straight away if it's long.... I have no idea what I should be serving, I think on one hand I could try for a direct point by serving long deceptive serves with huge spin as per usual to force the rally (she's very good at topspin rally and block), I suspect she won't like the weird heavy sidespin that results from someone receiving my short serve. But if the long serve gets attacked viciously then we're in trouble lol....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 8:09pm
Questions before answering
1.  Are you both right handed, left handed, or mixed and which is which?
2.  Do you serve with Fh or Bh and same question for her?

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2019 at 8:11pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Questions before answering
1.  Are you both right handed, left handed, or mixed and which is which?
2.  Do you serve with Fh or Bh and same question for her?

Mark

We are both right handed. I serve FH all the time (pendulum and hook serves), she serves exclusively FH tomahawk.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/10/2019 at 3:46am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Questions before answering
1.  Are you both right handed, left handed, or mixed and which is which?
2.  Do you serve with Fh or Bh and same question for her?

Mark

We are both right handed. I serve FH all the time (pendulum and hook serves), she serves exclusively FH tomahawk.

So you should be serving standing near the center of table and turned so you are facing to the right.  After serving step with your right foot as far back from the table as is comfortable and almost in line with your left foot.  This leaves you facing to the table right and the line from left heel to right heel almost perpendicular to the table.  Then move your left foot back just slightly past your right foot ending with both feet pretty close together.  Now move your right foot to the right and slightly back so that you end up in a normal ready position stance.  You should end up just to the right of table center and far enough back for your partner to move and play their shot in front of you.  From this position you can choose to step back up a little closer to table, remain at that depth, or even hop back a little farther all after your partner hits.  With each of the three options above you can also move a little left or right to adjust for where your partner hit the ball.

After hitting you can use similar motion to retreat.  If you are pulled wide you have to move back first (to make room for your partner) and then move sideways more to table middle.   In effect you are moving in and out and she is moving left and right.  Since she has so much distance to cover you have to take care with your placements not to give the opponent the wide angle away from her since there is little chance she could get to even a slow ball hit there.

With her serving with a Fh tomahawk and wanting to stay close to table you have some issues.  I would suggest a rather non-standard approach.  I would set up much like you were a left handed player with her serving from table center and you just slightly back and off to her right.  After serving she could move directly left outside of table edge and you could move in and just right of table center.  After hitting you could move straight back creating room for her to move back toward table center.  Note that you need to play your shot to opponents Bh side of table in order to prevent giving them an easy angled winner since your partner is starting from your Bh side of table.

Mark
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