By Alexis Ubiera, Tennis Director, Mountain Crest Tennis Center
If you are poaching on a regular basis, you are using a winning formula for doubles play. The team that takes the net wins. You will put a lot of pressure on your opponents and off your partner’s shoulder.
For example, a good time to poach would be based on your partner’s ability to hit a good, strong serve; a serve into the body or down the tee to takes away angles. Another important point of poaching is based on when to poach. When the score is, 30/0, 40/15, 40/30 or 40/0 love, it is a good time to poach to finish the game or to give your team an advantage.
Communicate with your partner before each point so you are on the same page and have a game plan for the next point. Copy the professionals and talk to each other; signals can be seen by members of your opposing team and used against you. When poaching, make your move before your opponent connects with the ball.
Lastly and the most importantly, be committed to poaching on the point. Do not hesitate. When you do, you create fear within yourself which affects your timing and will most likely keep you from being successful.
See you on the court!