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  1. #1
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    Default doubles strategy w/weaker partner

    guys,
    i'm sure everyone had chanced on this scenario in playing doubles. what is your strategy or tactic if you are partnered up with someone who is much weaker than you, in every area of the game. do you try to play more of a mixed doubles strategy (let the weaker player handle the front while you control 3/4 of the court on the back)?

    i am interested to learn how everyone deals with this scenario. thx for your input.

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    For me yesterday....playing a competitive game, but not super competitive, I just let the weaker one do whatever they want and I cover everything cause I can do that. You can also have the person weaker play front, but if it's just for fun and stuff, you should let them play however they want. Competitively, use the mixed formation so you have teh strongest partner attacking.

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    Default the fun doesn't last too long

    when the weaker partner starts to miss the returns to the opponents' smashes or the drop shots hitting the net ... right?
    and that the opponents keep hitting to the weaker player almost 99% of the time. what can one do? hog up the shots and tell the guy to go hide in the front?

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    If your partner is much much weaker, then you can not have too much expectations in competitive level of playing. Just try to have fun and give the partner some chances to improve.

    If you really want to win, the mix position is the only choice, under the assumption that your partner is capable of defense and help you to setup. Otherwise, it might be even worse

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    well most importantly, avoid lifting too much because your partner will end up getting smashed and the fun will not be there. the next thing to do is see who's the weaker opponent, attempt to get your partner to work with you do pick on that target to get some points.

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    Here are my strategies under such circumstances:

    1. when you receive a short serve, NEVER use a net return or any kind of return that puts yourself close to the net, because a weak partner may not react to any rear court return (drive or lift) fast enough and ends up with a weak reply + you are stuck at the net. ALWAYS return a serve to mid court and be prepared to receive a front or back return yourself.

    2. If you are at the edge of a corner at either side, DO NOT do a full smash unless you are sure it will produce a winner(usually go for a half smash, so you can recover faster), otherwise DO NOT expect a weak partner to intercept any drive return for you... they usually just stand there in front of the net wondering what is going on.

    3. Expect the weak partner to do way too much lifting and clearing... that tends to be what I have seen in most weaker players(Level C or below). Do not expect them to hit any winner at any time, even net kills, be ready for your opponents' possible returns.

    4. Try to win quick points on your own serve. At equally competitive level, I usually do low serves most of the time, with the occasion flick serve... But when I play with a weaker player, I may take a chance on a drive serve, because I don't expect my weak partner to produce any spectular shot later. (If they can return the attack of the serve from the opponent, most likely it will only be a clear or a lift, in which case, they are both bad shots anyways)

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