As a workhorse I see the court with zones and targets much like a road map.
The targets I like to use as a workhorse are certain areas of the court that open up possibilities for me and my partner to finally hit the winner at the middle T or a sharp angled put away shot.
This diagram shows the 3 triangles that the deuce court workhorse has available. They are two cross court and one lob straight ahead over the net person. So all 3 triangles are meant to avoid the opponent’s terminator. Try returning serve to these targets and know which is your favorite one and work on getting all 3 triangles as part of your repertoire. As long as the workhorse hits cross court they maintain the work horse role and thus defend the same 3 triangles from opponent (2 cross court and 1 lob over partner.) This is a lot of territory and you need to learn to defend this part of the court. (If this is not possible for you, find a way to become the terminator so your part of the court to defend is smaller). How do I do that, coach, you may ask? By hitting the triangle straight ahead with a lob over opponent’s terminator, you are automatically making your partner the workhorse and you are the new terminator.
So in short, when you change direction of the ball you also automatically change the role and responsibility of you and your partner. Knowing and remembering this little gem of information will make a huge difference in your game in the next few weeks as you continue to practice and study the Dynamite Doubles system.
Your partner, the new work horse, now defends the 3 triangles (2 cross court and 1 deep down the line, the lob in other words) and you only defend the alley and the low middle ball.
Terminator hits straight to deepest player, their work horse, when no winner is possible, and cross court sharp angle when terminating and hitting between the opponents, hitting at a right angle through the opponents and bisecting the plane between opponents. There are many ways to explain the same thing. See diagram from last week. I hope you still have that handy.
So the workhorse’s safe builder shot is cross court to the deepest player and the winner is STRAIGHT AT the opponents’ terminator ahead of them while their partner’s, the terminator’s, safe shot is STRAIGHT back to the deepest player and the winner is cross court sharp angle, and it better not come back or it leaves the team in an awful position to defend.
Try to imagine what happens when terminator hits cross-court and it is gettable for the opponents terminator. All of a sudden the whole court looks open and your team needs to quickly adjust and get in to new coverage, find new homes as the roles just switched.
When players don’t change direction of the ball, the roles and responsibilities stay the same. When you change direction of the ball, roles and responsibilities change as well. I encourage you to practice both, so you see the consequences of changing direction of the ball as well as when you don’t.