With the National Doubles Championships just around the corner, I thought it would be apropos to cover some doubles “Service Game Strategy.” Before you decide on what serve to hit, you want to know your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as your own, and take advantage of serving to your opponents’ weaknesses.
Pay close attention to what style players you are playing—a lefty/righty team or two righties or two lefties—because that will help determine what serves you will use. Keep in mind that certain serves work better against a particular player or team. Having a precise service game strategy is extremely important for doubles because the serve sets the tone of the match.
Once you know the following information, you and your partner can come up with a service game strategy:
- Lefty/righty team: Serve to the middle, forcing both players to use their backhands. This is a weakness, and there might be a little confusion between the players. Try a half lob down the middle, half-lob nick to the middle, drive-wrap to the middle, or drive-jam to the middle.
- Two righties or two lefties: Use the Z serves because they are very effective. Start out with high-lob Z serves to see if they cut them off, then start bringing them down to three-quarters, then one-half, then a hard Z, concentrating on which you have the most success with. Try hard half-lobs right along the wall, drive serves, drive z’s, drive wraps, and drive jams. The height, speed, and angle of the ball will play a huge role in your opponents’ comfort level.
Use the “Playing Doubles” chapter in my book, Championship Racquetball to understand doubles service game strategy in detail. This will lead to putting more pressure on the doubles team you are playing (Chapter 11: page 267 & 272).
I use the Art of Doubles Service Game Strategy with my Championship Team, Rocky, Paola, Jason, Jordan, Wayne and Mitchell, as they all play or have played doubles at one point or another. I encourage each and every one of them to use solid Doubles Service Game Strategy” to play at their highest levels of doubles play.
Here are some of the BEST doubles teams and have won numerous Amateur & Pro National and World Championship Titles using the above information on Doubles Service Game Strategy:
Jason Mannino/Sudsy Monchik, Jason Mannino/Cliff Swain,
Jason Mannino/Kane Waselenchik
Rocky Carson/Jack Huzcek, Rocky Carson/Jose Rojas, Rocky Carson/Alvaro Beltran
Paola Longoria/Samantha Salas, Paola Longoria/Veronica Sotomayer, Paola Longoria/Alexandrea Herrera
Jordan Cooperrider/Ericka Manilla, Wayne Antone/Kevin Vasquez, Mitchell Turner/Julian Singh
ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola, to the amateurs, know just how important it is to learn “The Art of Doubles Service Game Strategy. It starts with understanding the serves to take in given situations. Their doubles records speak for themselves…Rocky is the 2014 National Doubles Champion and Paola is the 2014 & 2015 National Doubles Champion for their respective countries. They have BOTH competed at numerous IRF World Championships and Pan American Championships.
In the next issue, I will continue to build your Championship Racquetball Game one level at a time so you too can be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of becoming, by giving you the tools to make it a reality. Rocky ‘s and all my athletes “Championship Racquetball Games” stem from their focus on ALL 3 sides of the triangle working together so they can develop into top competitors. Without a shadow of a doubt, they KNOW just how important it is to do the work. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.
For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s and our book, Championship Racquetball) ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coach #2 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 4X and present World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coach #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player / 6X and present US Open Champion & 4X World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coach Jr. World & National Champion, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone & Mitchell Turner; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.