Every week The Ultimate Tennis Programs will feature a "Tip of the Week" written by Harold Mollin. These tips are already read worldwide on a daily basis with both tennis professionals and club players in over 60 countries "swearing" by his advice.
Harold's advice is for those who play tennis now for fun, right on through for tennis professionals, both men and women, who want to break into the top 100 players in the world, and need guidance on both technique and strategies clearly explained.
Not only is Harold a top ITF Veteran's Champion with over 150 tournament wins in Asia, but prior to settling in Asia, he was the Publisher of Men's and Women's fitness magazines in the United Kingdom under the titles of Men's Fitness, Shape, and Jump.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that when you poach it is to win just “that point”……..it’s to win more points in the future due to the missed returns that are sure to come even if you don’t ever go again! In Doubles, I try to poach early in the match so that my opponents will be looking up from that point forward when they are returning! When I am partnering a “much weaker player” I really make sure to “go” in the 1st game my partner serves………….then, I don’t have to go at all since my opponents try to go “behind me”, even when I never move again! A number of “ill informed partners” think I am trying to take their ball (sometimes this is hard to explain but you must try), as opposed to understanding I am “steering future shots” to me at the net when I don’t move at all!
WHEN YOU POACH – COMMIT – KEEP GOING – AND JUST WATCH THE BALL!
DO IT RIGHT!! While I am a big fan of “serving and volleying” and I generally move forward every time I serve when playing doubles, I do find there are times when it’s best to “serve and stay back”. I will stay back when my opponent’s returns are at my feet on every return, or when I am missing my 1st volleys, and the net man is regularly cutting off the volleys I do make. Remember the following if you do stay back after you hit your serve: 1. Get back behind the baseline once you have completed your service motion. 2. Once you get back behind the baseline, make sure to be leaning forward, with your weight on your toes ready to move for the return. 3. Hit your next shot firmly, picking where you are going early, with your weight moving forward as you strike the ball.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO BE READY FOR THE RETURN SINCE YOU ONLY HAVE TO COVER ½ THE COURT!