Getting to the net is a very important thing for any doubles team. However, traditional doubles tennis is played with one player on the baseline and one at net. Volleying in doubles is very different from volleying in singles. Here are a couple tennis tips that will help you be a successful doubles volleyer.

 Poaching: Being aggressive at the net when your teammate is serving can give your team a lot of easy points. Putting away soft returns off the serve is a big advantage for a team, especially if your partner has a big serve. When your partner is serving, you want to be close to the net, about a quarter of the way to the service line. You also want to protect your alley. If you have poached a couple times, your opponent may try to take advantage of your overzealous volleying. (Tip to server: if you serve up the middle it makes it much harder for your opponent to hit around your teammate at net.) If you do see your opponent hitting a weak return, step quickly and go for the volley. Your aim when poaching should be right at the feet of the opponent at net. Most of the time he will not be able to get it. However, if he does he is going to have to pop it up, giving you or your teammate more than enough time to recover and hit another shot.

Defending the Poach: This takes a lot of footwork, placement, and practice. When your partner is returning, you should be at the back of the service box, favoring the T in the middle. Standing further back, will give you more time to react to a volley. Also many times the net player will volley to the open court between you and your teammate. By favoring the middle you are taking away this angle and forcing your opponent to hit a very tricky volley to get by you. If the net player does not volley and the player at the baseline is getting ready to hit a ground stroke you should move back towards the alley to take away that angle.

Poaching is one of the most successful tools in doubles tennis. It is an easy way to put your team on the attack and win a lot of points without having to make any spectacular shots. It is used by many veteran doubles players, so make sure that you are amply prepared to defend it.

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