Here is a fun doubles drill that really explains the DD system and you will get a better feel for it after practicing it for a few weeks.
2 players are in Offense zone and 2 players in Defense Zone. Know your Homes. (Remember asking yourself: “Where is the ball?” This is how you know what role you have and where your Home is).
Workhorse in defense zone starts the ball with a defensive (gettable) lob over the middle or cross court. Work horse in offense takes the ball if it is really high and deep and terminator takes it if it is short and lower. Offense team plays NO BOUNCE if possible and Defense team lets everything bounce.
The offense team is staggered with terminator slightly ahead of workhorse and this way they are covering all types of shots that defense team may come up with (lobs, short dippers, and passing shots). The defense team also is staggered although not as pronounced and workhorse takes the deep middle shots and sharp angled cross court shots while terminator takes short middle balls and all straight alley shots. The team is dividing up the court and sharing responsibilities so as close to 100% of the court is covered when opponents hit the ball.
Play the point out after the beginning lob from defense, using wisely the variety of lobs, dippers/dinks and drives from defense and overheads, volleys and some half volleys from offense. Don’t lose your ground, meaning keep your offense as much as possible and keep your defense as much as possible. Don’t be eager to come to net in other words from defense and don’t be eager to go to the defense on the baseline if you are the offense team.If you get pushed back to transition for an overhead, immediately get back up in to offense with your partner who should still be there.
Also, if you are moving forward for a short ball when you are the defense team, go up to transition to hit it and try to recover back to defense zone with your partner. You can try to hit a winner from transition by hitting a hard passing shot Right AT the terminator in front of you and then wait and see what happens. Your partner will still be in defense and will do the same should they get a short ball or they might have to lob the shot that comes back to them and then you come back to defense again and support them and continue the point. Hitting winners is not important for this drill, but rather placing the ball and moving to the next right spot is. Defending the court is what you are after. Learn and get familiar with your court coverage.
Look at the diagrams and imagine the part that is yours. Facing the person who is hitting helps divide the court in a diagonal way and easier to cover for each other. Study this and visualize yourself being terminator as well as workhorse and see how the roles change as the direction of the ball changes.
Patience is being established and defense is playing against offense who are together with no major gap between the 2 partners. It should be harder and harder to find any holes/gaps and when this happens you are getting the idea of Dynamite Doubles and starting to build on the frustration that this type of court coverage causes. There are no holes and you will make opponents hit low % shots trying to beat you which is always fun to experience. It makes your life easier and opponents’ harder. This strategy is definitely part of the great game of tennis.
Play games starting with this formation, with whoever wins 10 points first wins the game. Have patience, because there is no apparent winning shot to begin with. You have to wait for the point to develop. Then switch places and roles so the team in offense goes to defense and the team in defense goes to offense. Be as familiar playing in the offense zone as the defense zone, so both strategies become your strength. There will be days when playing from defense zone is the only chance to win and also when playing from the offense zone is your only chance to win. Typically though, a match will have a little of both. At times, I serve with both me and my partner back in defense (just to give a different look and buy some time to get in to the point) and at other times I stay back in defense while my partner is returning serve, so we don’t have the huge gap between us and thus make it harder for our opponents to get us out of position or finding that darn gap that always seems to be the problem to defend against.
So try it and get back to me with your progress playing Dynamite Doubles.
Good Luck. Dynamite Doubles Rocks.