Insight for the doubles players

If there are any doubles readers out there interested in how to win more points, this post is for you.

I’ve been conducting an empirical experiment of the worlds best doubles players. The experiment involves tracking the areas of the court which rallies are won in. Or in other words, the areas of the court in which rallies are ended. For example, if someone hits a crosscourt nick on the forehand side, I’ll mark down FRONT LEFT, if the left waller rolls out a nick, I’ll mark down FRONT RIGHT.

Why is this useful information? Because of the Pareto Principle. If you don’t know what the Pareto Principle is, it is the natural observation of things unequally distributed. For example, 20% of Major League Baseball players win 80% of the games. The statistics are not always a solid 80/20, but they teeter around those numbers. I set out to track the areas where points were won in doubles because the little Pareto man in my head told me that it’s probably not evenly distributed.

This is exactly what I found. I’ve tracked about 10 games so far and counting. What I’ve recorded is that 75-80% of points won are done so in the front of the court, mainly with straight drops and crosscourt nicks, with some 2/3 wall boasts and reverse boasts. Only about 10% of points won are done so in the back of the court via hard crosses, phili’s, skid boasts, down the middle, etc. The other 10% are errors or strokes.

Now, if you know that the vast majority of points are won in the front area of the court, now you know what to work on. It’s important to note that you should not take this as an invitation to only hit to the front of the court. That will simply get you destroyed. The point is to improve the quality of the shots when you are hitting to the front of the court. You still have to play smart.

What does this mean for me in my 25K this weekend? It means that yes, I’ve been working on my short game, and yes, I’m taking every opportunity I can get to go short. No more bing bam boom wacking the ball around to the back of the court hoping for an error, it’s time to take matters into my own hands and slot some nicks eh bud!

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Hustle it up!

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