Really this advice is best for the social or club player, situations arrive especially in doubles when a rush of blood comes to the head and you go for a very tricky winner when you should be playing percentage.
In doubles this is even more catastrophic as it is a great way of really bugging your partner. Not only have you lost the point with a risky play, but you have succeeded in alienating your partner and perhaps given him the green light to also play rashly.
For most average players to hit an awesome and aggressive winner down the line needs just as much good luck as technique. The first thing needed is the opportunity and an open court, so when an opponent leaves the gap open it fills you with confidence and gives you a target.
All this is well and good, but if the ball you are facing cannot be controlled for the type of shot you want to exploit your opponent with, no matter how much you want to play the shot, you will fail.
Consider Carefully The Big Points
Weigh up the big points / opportunities carefully before committing yourself and your partner. A good ploy when you are serving is for your partner to poach and also to fake the poach/cross. Being positive does not necessarily mean being rash, do not let your opposition bully you to be indecisive.
But consider what your options are when the “Big Points” come around. If you play percentage and a better opportunity arises the very next shot, which is the smarter play?
If you can play percentage tennis under pressure and stay in the game, this is a sure fire way of improving. Do not just count the amount of winners you hit in a match as a measure of how well you played, it is far better to reduce your errors and count them instead. Playing percentage and a little smarter and is quite often the way forward.
Hypothetically, you may be very proud with yourself at hitting three ace serves in a particular set, but also during the very same set you smashed six double faults into the net, then which is better? Players always tend to remember their good shots (even if only a handful of them) rather than the huge amount of errors/where they’re coming from.
The answer would be to reduce the six faults and stay in the game to win a potential six points rather than just three. Most professionals do not play like this, they see an opportunity and generally go for it. However, the pro’s have more to their game to recover if they fail. Also they keep their cool if they make mistakes. Often amateurs have not mastered that skill of drawing a line under a bad shot or losing a point.
You must remember also that in doubles, your attitude directly affects that of your playing partner. It is easy to drag your partner down into the same mindset that you have and before you know it the match is lost.