Doubles Training at Double Speed!
Here's Massimo Costantini (head coach at ICC and former long-time member of the Italian National Team) training Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang in doubles. It's a pretty impressive video, though only a minute and nine seconds long. If you want to see some really advanced doubles footwork training, take a look. Just watching it will tire you out.
I've coached doubles at tournaments many times, and I've given lectures on doubles tactics and footwork. However, I've never had the opportunity to train a really, Really, REALLY high-level doubles team like this, especially on a regular basis. Unless you train for it a lot, this type of footwork is more likely to lead to horrible collisions and agonizing losses than glorious wins. But if you really want to be really good at doubles at a really high level, this is what you really need to learn how to do. Really.
One interesting note - the first time through, I thought Massimo was feeding multiball. The second time through I realized he was rallying with them. He's got great ball control, both on his blocks and short pushes.
A Lot in a Few Words
While coaching two players today one of them suggested crystallizing what they had learned in as few words as possible. It turned out to be a nice exercise. I didn't write it all down, but here are a few they came up with, with my notes in brackets.
- Move to the ball
- Turn shoulders [for forehand]
- Same backswing each time
- Punch the backhand [this was for blocking]
- Wrist on serves
- Low contact [on serves]
- Visualize [this was for serves, though it's useful for all shots]
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