The Stack, The Switch
Some games are decided by the narrowest of margins. When the difference between winning and losing is so slight, it makes sense for teams to set themselves up for every possible advantage. One way to gain an advantage is by stacking: serving or returning serve with both players on the same side of the court. Stacking allows each player to play on their preferred side even when serving or returning on the opposite side. The advantages are obvious. However, there are some disadvantages as well. The key disadvantage is that your team becomes much more predictable. Your opponents will be able to pick apart your movement patterns on the return or third shot.
How do you get the benefits of stacking without the disadvantages?
Start in Standard Positioning - Begin with each player in their normal position before switching as the point unfolds.
Switch It Up - Teams can even choose to remain in the standard positioning during a rally. This is an excellent way to keep your opponents on their toes, especially when they are trying to pick on one player. It’s important to communicate with your teammate about what you will do on each rally. During serve, you can talk to your teammate. During return, the net player can give hand signals to the returner. The returner should give a verbal indication of agreement or change.
Switch Smoothly - Timing is important on the switch. Switch too soon and the element of surprise is lost. Switch too late and you risk being out of position on the return. Time the switch as close to your opponent’s impact as possible. This way your opponent will be focused on the shot and will not be able to see where you are.
Switching is important to make your team the best it can be. Learn to do this well for an added edge.