you play enough paddle you know that you and your partner
need to “gel” to play great together. When I watch
tournament level or club level players, I sometimes wonder
if people are getting the most out of their partners. I know
from experience that having a good supportive partner makes
me play better. I need to know that the communication door
is wide open and no matter what, we will fight the battle
together. Here are some awesome tips how to get the most out
of your partner and how to learn to support each other and
after every point-Even if it is only a high five or a look,
make sure this happens. So many times when one player loses
a point they go into silent mode. This is the worst thing
that can happen for a team because it shuts down any form
positive comments after points. Whether you win or lose
the point it is important to say positive comments to your
partner—“I like the way we played that point”,
“awesome effort”—these are the types of
things a partner wants to hear.
discussing game plans, use a positive tone. Many times it
is not what you say but how you say it. Tones are everything.
Make sure you are upbeat. If you feel your partner is making
some game plan mistakes, don’t attack them. Instead
communicate and make sure you start your sentence with “we”.
“We should hit softer into the wire” instead
of “I hate when you hit hard into the wire”.
pump up phrases-These really help get the most out of your
partner. When your partner is down for a couple of points
say some pump up phrases to get them back and confident.
“Just keep believing in your shot”, “Trust
it”, “Good swing”. Then when they hit
a good shot after making some mistakes say things like “That’s
it”, “Awesome job”, “So tough”.
Make sure you use a strong voice when saying these phrases.
Your partner will appreciate it and in no time their confidence
will be back.
small talks on changeovers—Make sure if things are
not going well for your partner that you are supportive
on changeovers. Talk about what you need to do, not what
has already happened. Talk about what you need to do as
a team, not what your partner needs to do. Talk about strategy,
not errors. Talk about playing longer points, not about
tend to react emotionally and don’t realize it (ie.
eye roll, head shake, shoulder slump) when a partner misses
a shot. Obviously this isn’t going to help the cause.
Keep your body language as positive as your verbal language.
stay away from making any harsh statements—If you
have ever played sub-par paddle (I know you have) then you
know it feels horrible and you feel like you are letting
your partner down. When we say harsh comments like “Come
on man, not so hard”, “That’s a bad shot”,
“Just get it in”, “Do you always have
to hit that shot”, it makes matters worse. It is your
job as a partner to turn it around for your partner. Take
responsibility and be a supportive team player.
suggestions will help you be a supportive partner and at the
same time get the most out of your partner. Remember you win
paddle as a team not as an individual. If you can get your
partner to play well then most of the time you will be on
the winning team.