The idea is that players who are learning to hit more effective volleys tend to be a spectator when playing doubles.
Instead of anticipating opportunities and putting pressure on opponents by poaching and moving at the net, they remain stationary in a protective circle of personal space! Only if a ball is hit within this circle of reach will many players then hit the volley. How does one become a proactive doubles player? The answer is simple. Move! I can’t get into all the issues of the right time to move and the right time to protect in this article. However, I can offer you this suggestion. Go out and move in your next ten doubles matches! Don’t hesitate. Move often and with purpose. That is, move in when the ball is headed past your opponent’s net man and look for times to move across the net to poach on your opponent’s crosscourt shot. Obviously, the idea is not to poach every shot. However, learn to read your opponent’s tendencies and look for opportunities to poach. So, what will happen when you start moving at the net?: You will • Discover what shots you can hit • Discover what shots you can’t get • Learn how to move and anticipate poachable volleys • Learn where to hit volleys you get to • Cause your opponents to think about you • Cause your opponents to feel they have to hit a better shot • Cause your opponents to change their shot selection Now, understand that through this process you will make mistakes. This is why I said to plan on creating these movements for the next ten doubles matches. Losing a few points and making some errors in ten matches is a small price to pay for learning to become a better doubles player for a lifetime. Try it and see if you don’t agree.