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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Way to Play with Lefty

Yesterday, we talked about the difficulty of playing with a lefthanded partner in the post Playing with Lefty...or Not. One way to handle it is to stack, meaning players stay on the side of the court that takes advantage of their strengths. Stacking is vary specific strategy that I discussed only once - in my post Stacking. First, I will highlight Sarah Ansboury's discussing stacking called Stacking: When and Why. Then, I will show a Mark Rennson video also conveniently called Stacking.

Stacking: When and Why

I have received a number of questions from readers about stacking. I have also heard it can stress you out.  If you have questions about stacking strategy, this is for you!

Why do we use stacking?

Stacking is used to increase the amount of time a player is playing on one side of the court. I stack in mixed doubles because my doubles partner, Wes, is left-handed and ambidextrous. I play on the left side of the court so we both have our forehands in the middle. It also allows him to be more aggressive on his dominant side.

In women’s doubles, I stack on the left because I favor my forehand in the middle while my women’s partner, Christine, favors her backhand in the middle. We both benefit by playing to our strengths.

Stacking with Left-Handed Players

I have spoken to a lot of left-handed players who say people don’t want to play with them because stacking confuses their partners. Not everyone has to stack, however, it is nice to understand how to do it. This way you can play with anyone in any situation.

It is especially helpful when you are playing with a left-handed player. Most people would prefer not to have two backhands in the middle attempting to hit a third shot drop, as it would be easier having the forehand option.

Your Stacking Strategy May Change

Just because you stack for part of the game, doesn’t mean you have to do it the entire time. You can change your strategy at any time. As long as you are serving and receiving on the correct sides you can really do whatever you want.

You may have noticed that higher level players adopt different strategies at different points in the match. It might be that a player does not want to run from one side of the court to the other. Perhaps, a player would prefer to go down the line against a particular player,  or perhaps they feel they are having more success when their cross-court dinks are directed at a particular player. There are a lot of reasons that someone may want to stack.

Because many find it a worthwhile strategy, I think it is a good idea to be familiar with stacking. I like to be comfortable with whatever style of play is presented, whether it be in recreational play or in a tournament. It just gives me more people to play with.

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