Love and tennis with mixed doubles coach
Oil and water. Fire and ice. Holy matrimony and mixed doubles.
You’ve stood by each other through thick and thin, sickness and health, but blow that baseline backhand and watch those wedding vows really get put to the test.
Geoff O’Conner has been coaching mixed doubles for years and he’s seen it all when it comes to husband-and-wife teams. Currently running the Bellevue Club’s extremely popular Mixed Doubles Night every Friday, Geoff took the time to share some important marriage-saving tips for playing tennis with your spouse.
1. Don’t coach.
“I’ve seen people stop play to tell their spouses exactly what they’re doing wrong. Telling your partner what they could have done after the shot goes in one ear and out the other, leaving a sting behind. This can make your partner bristle and then you have an ugly situation on the court. The best thing to do is to only offer support for each other.”
The Sixth Annual MXD Tennis Championships start on Friday, July 23. Sign up to compete or simply come out and watch.
Don’t miss the fun party and benefit auction on Saturday, July 24, at 6 p.m. All proceeds go to First Place School.
For more information or to register, visit www.MXDChampionships.com.
2. Give your partner space.
“If someone blows a shot, give him or her the time to be angry. You’re allowed 15 seconds between points. Instead of trying to reprimand or calm them down, give them a little space and they will come around.”
3. Lead by example.
“If one player is way stronger than the other, he or she needs to lead by example. Instead of worrying about your partner, you need to play to their ability level and the weaker partner will see what you do well.”
4. Keep the ball in play.
“If you’re the weaker player on a mixed doubles team, your number one job is to keep the ball in play. I give a speech and I probably give it too often, but the reality is when you come to the Club to play tennis the thing you’re looking forward to is the sensation of a nice long rally.
“The longer the point, the more fun it is. Yet when we get here, everybody is in a frantic hurry to finish the point. And so we defeat our purpose. A good analogy would be looking forward to trying a special bottle of wine, inviting your friends over, and then drinking it fast as you can.”
5. Good vibrations.
“Try and play a whole match without saying anything to each other unless it’s positive. “
6. Have fun.
“If you decide to come out to Mixed Doubles Night, plan on having a good casual time and don’t worry about results. There are two levels, 3.4 and below at 6 p.m., and 3.5 and above at 7:30 p.m. You don’t need to show up with a partner, especially in the later advanced session because most of the players don’t play with their spouses. Be sure to call ahead or register online. “
For additional Tennis information, please visit the Classes & Events page.