Many times club and recreational players – even advanced high school doubles players – are not quite sure where to aim their shots in doubles, and end up trying very low percentage shots that have little chance, if any, of success. They turn a fairly routine shot, like a put-away volley, into a difficult one.
When you are already at the net in doubles, the phrase “Down the Middle Solves the Riddle” gives you the idea of where you should hit your volley or overhead. Hit the ball between your opponents. That is the hole on the court, where nobody is, and where winners can be hit. It will also create confusion for your opponents. You surely don’t want to hit your volley back to the person in the backcourt; and cutesy sharp angles are destined to fail.
If you are in the backcourt and both of your opponents are at net, you can, of course, try to lob over them; or you can hit a groundstroke down the middle – right between them. Those are your best options, so don’t try to be a hero and hit your fabulous shot down the alley – the one that worked three weeks ago. It is also destined to fail.
Hitting down the middle is used by the pros all the time – maybe that’s why they are pros!!