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Cindysphinx
02-01-2007, 07:56 AM
I'm captain of a 6.5 ladies team, although most of us are just 3.0.

In December, we were recruiting new players. I hit with everyone we were thinking of asking to join us.

There was one player that I took sight unseen, though. She had a long record in TennisLink, and one of my better players (let's call her "Meg") used to be on a team she captained. I wrote to Meg and asked whether this prospect was a good player. Meg replied that the prospect was "good, definitely not on the low end of 3.0, closer to the middle."

Well, it was cold outside, Christmas was coming, indoor courts are tough to come by. So I invited this new prospect without hitting with her first.

Now that I've seen her, I have to say I'm underwhelmed. She might well be the weakest player on the team.

Now I gotta figure out how to play this new weak player 5 times in the season. I could just pair her with Meg. This is what my co-captain thinks we should do ("Hey, she recommended her, she can play with her.") But that would hurt the team because Meg is one of my best 3.0s. If I saddle her with a partner she doesn't like, Meg could just leave the team.

I could just put her on court three with the weakest of the remaining players (let's call her Karen), but what did Karen do to deserve that?

I also have to figure out what to do for next season. I hate to hurt anyone's feelings, but . . . how have any of you or your captains dealt with a situation where one player is clearly weaker than the others?

I think we will soon get to the point where no one wants their TennisLink rating dragged down by their partner. The results for winter combo don't count, but the scores for the spring season in April most certainly do.

Any ideas? Shoot, some of you warned me never to take a player without seeing them first, but did I listen?

gsquicksilver
02-01-2007, 08:08 AM
give her some extra practice sessions, hit with her more and encourage her. maybe she'll come around when the time is needed.

tennismike33
02-01-2007, 09:01 AM
Possibly she was nervous the first time she hit with your group. There are a number of factors that could contribute to someone not putting their best foot forward. Give her a chance, put her against a medium player in your group and see what happens.

Jack the Hack
02-01-2007, 09:18 AM
I agree with the other posters... if this gal has a long history in TennisLink with a winning record at your level, then she can probably bring the goods when it counts. Maybe she was just having a bad day when you saw her play. Besides, unless her attitude sucks and you don't want her around, you have the responsibility to play her in at least the minimum amount of matches to be eligible for playoff participation. You never know when an injury or other emergency might take your 1st string players out, and you might need her for a fill in for a big match. If she gets the impression that you don't value her as a teammate, then she might not be as motivated in a situation like that.

Dr. Van Nostrand
02-01-2007, 09:36 AM
Evaluate whether this player is someone who is working on their game to get better, i.e. taking lessons or attending clinics regularly or is someone who is probably as good as they are going to get. She may be able to improve her skills as your season progresses. If your hitting session with her is a true indication of what you are going to get then I like your co-captain's suggestion about pairing her with the person that recommended her.

spot
02-01-2007, 09:46 AM
You need to state the goals of the team up front to everyone. If the goal is to win the division then the better players will be in the lineup more often and she will be content to sit on the bench if she isn't as good. If the goals are just to improve then put her in the lineup the same as everyone else and stop worrying that she might not be as good as you expected.

Jack the Hack
02-01-2007, 09:59 AM
You need to state the goals of the team up front to everyone. If the goal is to win the division then the better players will be in the lineup more often and she will be content to sit on the bench if she isn't as good. If the goals are just to improve then put her in the lineup the same as everyone else and stop worrying that she might not be as good as you expected.

I totally agree with this. If your goals for league are just social, don't worry about winning or losing and play the players wherever they want. However, if your goal is to go to sectionals, then you need to make sure that everyone knows that the best players are going to get the priority in playing time.

Last season, our team had a goal of going to sectionals. Our captain made it perfectly clear that he was going to play the best players and the lower level folks would have to be content playing the minimum amount of matches. However, I might stress that we did make sure that everyone was eligible for the playoffs (which was a minimum of two matches before sectionals.) As it turned out, one of our players got disqualified in the local playoffs, so we needed someone to fill in on short notice... which they gladly did. Also, when we won the local area playoffs and went to sectionals, our team captain made sure that everyone on the team got a prize and a t-shirt, regardless of whether they played in the local or sectional playoff tournaments. If the person is on your team, make sure they share in the collective spoils. (Another team from my area won the National Championship for their level... but they didn't bring back or give t-shirts or trophies for any of the "bench" players, which I thought was a really lame move... and it caused some hurt feelings.)

Cindysphinx
02-01-2007, 11:42 AM
Darn. It's our second match and already we have problems.

I put the weak player with Karen for last night's match. Not only did they lose badly (not a surprise because our opponents were very tough), but Karen is unhappy with the way the weak player positions for doubles. When the weak player is serving, she insists that her partner be no closer to the net than the service line. Having her partner at the net disturbs her concentration. So the net player must start back at the service line and is to move forward when she hears the ball being struck.

Karen found this constraint bewildering and doesn't want to play with the weak player on account of it.

Ugh. When I partnered once with the weak player in practice, she had that same constraint. I found it exhausting and I think it made it tough for me to think about all the other things I'm supposed to watch at the net (bounce of the ball, opponent's racquet and position) while I'm also scooting from the service line to the net.

tennis-n-sc
02-01-2007, 03:47 PM
All the more reason I'm glad to be a guy. ;)

Topaz
02-01-2007, 03:48 PM
Sounds like you may need to encourage her to get into some clinics or lessons. I'm surprised that someone who doesn't know position (or like it) has such a good record on Tennislink. Who partnered her then?

equinox
02-01-2007, 04:54 PM
Sacrifice her at #1. She'll get destroyed and quit the team. Happy smiles allround. :D

CrocodileRock
02-01-2007, 07:50 PM
Cindy, if your team is serious about advancing as far as you can, then each player's personal welfare has to be secondary to the team's welfare. If you're not serious about advancing, then the question is irrelevant.

Like Jack's team, our team is not a democracy, meaning we do not have equal ability, and will not have equal court time, at least while we are in contention. After we have been mathematically eliminated, or have done the eliminating, we try to equalize things a little, but not until then. I am one of those weaker players myself, so that gives me a little credibility when I ask someone else to stay on the sidelines a little more often. Equinox is right, in that when you play her with another weakling at #1 as a sacrifice, they will get smoked, but that will leave your better players to go after #2 & #3. If the two weak links play separately, they will probably get picked on, and cost you two matches instead of one.

Oldguysrule has a horror story about this thread, if he wants to share it. It probably cost him the national championship last year.

BigJEFF
02-01-2007, 09:50 PM
Cindy, if your team is serious about advancing as far as you can, then each player's personal welfare has to be secondary to the team's welfare. If you're not serious about advancing, then the question is irrelevant.

Like Jack's team, our team is not a democracy, meaning we do not have equal ability, and will not have equal court time, at least while we are in contention. After we have been mathematically eliminated, or have done the eliminating, we try to equalize things a little, but not until then. I am one of those weaker players myself, so that gives me a little credibility when I ask someone else to stay on the sidelines a little more often. Equinox is right, in that when you play her with another weakling at #1 as a sacrifice, they will get smoked, but that will leave your better players to go after #2 & #3. If the two weak links play separately, they will probably get picked on, and cost you two matches instead of one.

Oldguysrule has a horror story about this thread, if he wants to share it. It probably cost him the national championship last year.

I am also a Captain although we werent National Champs we did make it to the Party playing weaker players is always tough and frienships can be lost but when I start a team I tell them my goal is to win the league and Sectionals but have fun I bet Croc would agree team chemistry is just as important so I would alway put 2 strong courts out and then my weaker crt at usually 1 or 2 it cost me a couple of matches last winter especailly if somebody has a bad day another thing I always start out with my best team for the first 3 weeks and get a little cushion..... then if one of your weak player stummbles your ok and you can always point to that match but usually they get the picture but you have to keep the peace.....

Cindysphinx
02-02-2007, 05:42 AM
Cindy, if your team is serious about advancing as far as you can, then each player's personal welfare has to be secondary to the team's welfare. If you're not serious about advancing, then the question is irrelevant.


You know, I don't entirely agree with this.

There is another goal my players and I care about. We want to do well in our matches so that we protect our ratings in TennisLink. Last season, three women dropped from 3.0 to 2.5, which is everyone's nightmare.

Personally, I know I would like to move up to 3.5 as soon as possible. I think the style of play will be more interesting and challenging. It's tough to get on a 3.5 team around here without a 3.5 rating. Even if I started my own 3.5 team, I'd have a tough time attracting other 3.5 players because of my own lower rating.

If I had to play with this player, we'd likely lose, plus her positioning tendencies would drive me nuts. How am I supposed to learn to play doubles properly with a partner who will never, ever come to net and who has requirements that make it difficult for me to play my game?

Also, I'm not sure I agree with the assumption that if you are "just playing for fun" that it doesn't matter whether you win or lose. Endless losing is demoralizing, period. It's not good for team spirit. How many times can you send around a post-match e-mail with "Well, we gave it a good fight but we lost 0-5!!"

No, we're not striving to win the division, but we still would prefer not to suck. Not Sucking is a reasonable goal also.

Cindysphinx
02-02-2007, 05:44 AM
Sounds like you may need to encourage her to get into some clinics or lessons. I'm surprised that someone who doesn't know position (or like it) has such a good record on Tennislink. Who partnered her then?

I think I figured out how I was duped. She was the captain in those previous seasons. I think she may have cherry-picked strong partners.

marcl65
02-02-2007, 06:58 AM
If I had to play with this player, we'd likely lose, plus her positioning tendencies would drive me nuts. How am I supposed to learn to play doubles properly with a partner who will never, ever come to net and who has requirements that make it difficult for me to play my game?Depending on this person's personality, can you pair her with either A) a strong-willed player who's going to tell her, stand here, do this, don't do that or B) an easygoing player who will let her run the show?

If it were me, I'd put her with one of the weaker players in the #3 spot and just hope that the #1/#2 teams win.

And the concept of "protecting" a rating is kind of foreign to me. On the teams I've been on we'll take anyone, but we needed bodies so we couldn't afford to be choosey. Actually, I kind of hope my rating gets dropped this year as I think my year-end rating increase was erroneous and a lower level player can always play on a higher level team.

spot
02-02-2007, 07:09 AM
Cindy- you should play with her. You are the captain and you have the ability to tell her when she is out of position. If she is making strange demands about your positioning then you can tell her then WHY what she is saying is wrong. And if she is difficult about it then it makes her a bad partner and a reason to leave her out of the lineup that you can talk to her about. But you need to experience it first hand so you can use concrete examples with her.

raiden031
02-02-2007, 07:19 AM
You know, I don't entirely agree with this.

There is another goal my players and I care about. We want to do well in our matches so that we protect our ratings in TennisLink. Last season, three women dropped from 3.0 to 2.5, which is everyone's nightmare.

Personally, I know I would like to move up to 3.5 as soon as possible. I think the style of play will be more interesting and challenging. It's tough to get on a 3.5 team around here without a 3.5 rating. Even if I started my own 3.5 team, I'd have a tough time attracting other 3.5 players because of my own lower rating.

If I had to play with this player, we'd likely lose, plus her positioning tendencies would drive me nuts. How am I supposed to learn to play doubles properly with a partner who will never, ever come to net and who has requirements that make it difficult for me to play my game?

Also, I'm not sure I agree with the assumption that if you are "just playing for fun" that it doesn't matter whether you win or lose. Endless losing is demoralizing, period. It's not good for team spirit. How many times can you send around a post-match e-mail with "Well, we gave it a good fight but we lost 0-5!!"

No, we're not striving to win the division, but we still would prefer not to suck. Not Sucking is a reasonable goal also.

I totally have the same worries as you. Thats why you should play some singles in the spring so that you don't have to rely on other people. I would prefer to play at the 3.5 level because the game is so much more fun when the speed of the game is faster and players are better. I'm worried my lowsy 6.0 mixed results are going to make me look like a mediocre 3.0 at best, when I know I can compete with 3.5s because I do so at the casual level all the time. I guess I'll have to offer to tryout for a captain to prove I can play at their level.

Maybe try to arrange more casual matches with 3.5 players instead of 3.0 to get the experience you're not getting in USTA.

cak
02-02-2007, 01:19 PM
You know, I don't entirely agree with this.

There is another goal my players and I care about. We want to do well in our matches so that we protect our ratings in TennisLink. Last season, three women dropped from 3.0 to 2.5, which is everyone's nightmare.

One really great thing about combo is it does not count toward your TennisLink ratings. It's not a National league, and national doesn't care how you did. (I also suspect their algorithm wouldn't quite know what to do with a whole season of people playing doubles with and against partners outside their rating...)



No, we're not striving to win the division, but we still would prefer not to suck. Not Sucking is a reasonable goal also.

It absolutely is. Unfortunately, I don't have any idea what I would do with a player like this. I'm sure you will come up with something reasonable.

Nick Irons
02-02-2007, 01:22 PM
Sigh ...

The 3.0 player calling another player the underwhelming weak link. :rolleyes:

Stick it out for the season, pair her with the next weakest link on the team; any wins will be a nice surprise. Pairing her with a stonger player is only going to frustrate.

CrocodileRock
02-03-2007, 12:51 PM
but you have to keep the peace.....

Yes, you do, but sometimes a little war is inevitable. People get their feelings hurt if you don't play them enough, put them with the wrong partner, put them at the wrong position, put them in singles, etc. One of my mantras is that I'd rather have one guy mad at me for a petty reason, than 10 guys mad at me for a good reason, like botching the lineup to spare someone's feelings, then losing the tournament because of it. I never intend to hurt anyone, but sometimes it's a byproduct of doing right by the team.

Cindysphinx
02-03-2007, 04:53 PM
Sigh ...

The 3.0 player calling another player the underwhelming weak link. :rolleyes:



So, uh . . . what are you trying to say, exactly?

That because we're 3.0s no one should notice that some 3.0s are considerably weaker than others?

Gee, I hope I've misunderstood you, 'cause if I read you right then that was a rather pompous and nasty thing to say, IMHO.

equinox
02-03-2007, 07:25 PM
Lol, you're no angel yourself cindy..

Cindysphinx
02-03-2007, 09:26 PM
Lol, you're no angel yourself cindy..

Well, OK. If you say so. I don't recall taking shots at anyone just because they're rated lower than I am, but maybe I did.

Call me out on it next time, 'kay?

rasajadad
02-04-2007, 05:45 AM
Cindy,
I think you were right to comment on Nick's reply. But I think equinox was just making a joke based on your comments in another thread of yours. Wasn't there one about hitting at opponents or something?

It's obvious from your posts that you are thoughtful, competitive, and serious as a player and captain. And as I offerred before, I'd play on your team anytime.

Cindysphinx
02-04-2007, 07:48 AM
You're sweet, rasajadad.

I don't remember the "hitting at opponents" thread, as there have been several. Hope I didn't come off as nasty. . . .

rasajadad
02-04-2007, 09:37 AM
Maybe it was a different thread that I remember? I do recall reading something you wrote and I thought it was a little more edgy than you usually come off. I took it that when you got out between the lines, that you meant business. Nothing over the top.

Keep it up.

CrocodileRock
02-04-2007, 02:07 PM
I'd play on your team too Cindy. That is, if i wasn't your new weakest player, and you benched me. ;)

Nick Irons
02-04-2007, 02:16 PM
So, uh . . . what are you trying to say, exactly?

That because we're 3.0s no one should notice that some 3.0s are considerably weaker than others?

Gee, I hope I've misunderstood you, 'cause if I read you right then that was a rather pompous and nasty thing to say, IMHO.

I was having some harmless fun with the comment.

My apologies if I upset you.

sue20852
02-04-2007, 06:12 PM
Now I gotta figure out how to play this new weak player 5 times in the season. I could just pair her with Meg. This is what my co-captain thinks we should do ("Hey, she recommended her, she can play with her.") But that would hurt the team because Meg is one of my best 3.0s. If I saddle her with a partner she doesn't like, Meg could just leave the team.


I agreed with your co-captain: pair her with Meg. Since Meg recommended her and probably has played with her before joining your team, it might be good for your team when they win. IMHO.

Sue

AndrewD
02-05-2007, 08:43 PM
If I had to play with this player, we'd likely lose, plus her positioning tendencies would drive me nuts. How am I supposed to learn to play doubles properly with a partner who will never, ever come to net and who has requirements that make it difficult for me to play my game?

A lot of players, even at the pro level, will always play two back or, at best, one up but won't follow their serves into net. Not the ideal way to play doubles but you can make it work (I think Massu and Gonzales won their Olympic gold playing two back and that is essentially how Suarez and Ruano Pascal played). Looking on the bright side, it does also give you a look at a different way of playing doubles so, when you face a team playing two back (especially if they play it very well) you have some insight to the strengths and weaknesses of that method.

With her requirement that, when she serves, you stand behind the service line, there are ways to make that work. Firstly, one mistake a lot of doubles players make is that the net player never moves. They stand up at the net in the 'technically correct position' but are totally flat footed. So, when a lob, drop shot or opportunity for a poach presents itself they can't transfer their body weight back, forward or to the side. Totally useless unless someone hits the ball straight to/at them - even then, how many times have you seen players dump a volley into the net because they havent just havent moved their body (weight is usually on the back foot) or because they've moved far too late for an intercept (their feet started moving too late). Moving in behind her serve ensures that your weight is moving forward and it also, most importantly, gets your feet moving.

In a match where the players don't have big serves its usually relatively easy to hit a good, offensive lob and you have more options on the return due to the lack of pace on serve. A good returning team can, effectively and quite easily, remove the net player from the game. The only way to counter that is by the net player varying their position. You can play two back, which is, to my mind, a defensive position. Or, you can move the net player back to the service line to counter the lob, the easy down-the-line shot or the mid-court drop-shot (a shot I see a lot of seniors playing to exploit their opponents lack of pace and willingness to move forward). That position is far more attacking. If the returning team wants to lob they've got to hit a better shot, they can't just slam a weak serve at the net player and they can't just float their returns back. Yes, you are open to a down-the-line shot but you can counter that by moving with the serve (if it goes wide, move wide) and, really, if you stand up to the net on a weak serve the returners (assuming they aren't exceptionally weak) will win 9 of 10 times anyway.

Also, far more importantly, when playing doubles you must do away with the notion of 'my game'. Your game must be whatever gives your team the best chance of winning, absolutely no exceptions.

Oh, and I'd be asking Meg exactly why she felt this woman was "good, definitely not on the low end of 3.0, closer to the middle." That's a very clear and relatively specific statement so she must have had reasons for making it.


No, we're not striving to win the division, but we still would prefer not to suck. Not Sucking is a reasonable goal also.

On a side note, this quote really reminded me of Charlie Brown's attitude to his baseball team. Definitely belongs on a t-shirt LOL

Swissv2
02-05-2007, 08:58 PM
You could try the following: Match the weak player with a person that is mid-range strong.

Matching two weak players is a recipe to failure. Matching a weak player with a very strong player is also a recipe to failure. Matching a weak player to a player that is in the middle of the road may produce higher than average results.

Any weak player forced to carry a bit of weight into the game will get better. If the partner is too weak, both will be overwhelmed. If the partner is too strong, the weak player will result to letting the strong player do most of the work.

cak
02-06-2007, 06:47 AM
You could try the following: Match the weak player with a person that is mid-range strong.

Any weak player forced to carry a bit of weight into the game will get better. If the partner is too weak, both will be overwhelmed. If the partner is too strong, the weak player will result to letting the strong player do most of the work.

That's an issue my 3.5 team is grappling with right now. There is a relatively large number of ladies that want to play up. I'm thinking that of those that won't play singles, we pair them with others the same strength as themselves, or at least others that they believe are the same strength as themselves. I'd hate to have these ladies play up, only to be carried or marginalized by a stronger partner. If they want to play up to improve they need to actually play their own game. (And I don't think 3.0 should be necessarily playing with other 3.0s in 3.5 matches. The NTRP ratings are guidelines, and some 3.0s are stronger than some 3.5s.)

cak
02-06-2007, 06:54 AM
I gotta admit, one of the most fun and challenging games I ever played was a social match. My partner was a lovely lady that only played baseline deuce. And I mean ONLY. When I was serving to the deuce side I'd be trying to serve, volley, and poach to get back on the ad side at net. But she was really, really good at baseline, and we ended up having a very close set. When we switched around I could see why we did so well. If her partner could get to net, and cover her backhand down the middle, she was incredibly steady and strong. Basically you needed the down the line shot to beat them.

Just mentioning that some folks enjoy the challenge of partners with quirky limitations, and can win. You can ask Meg if she's one of those people. Maybe she's had tons of success with this player's unconventional style.

jimmycoop
02-06-2007, 08:32 AM
As a long-time captain, I "feel your pain." Here's what I'd do--scope your opposition for the season. Pick those weaker teams you feel you can beat easily at #'s 1 & 2 and put your weak sister with your next best player at # 3.(I don't necessarily agree that pairing a weak player with a strong player spells a loss; depends on a lot of factors) If there aren't enough such teams to get her the required five matches then consider the "sacrifice" at # 1. Good luck and "Why was it that you wanted to be a captain?"

HowardH
03-05-2008, 05:33 AM
I'm having similar issues as a captain.
A friend of mine and I wanted to start our own team and he asked me to captain.
Well at first we were just wanting to get bodies so we had a team, now we are getting some interest from better players but I have 3 guys that play around 2.5.
I don't want to make my better players play with them but I don't want the weak players to feel overwhelmed and loose all of the time becasue I keep putting them together.
We did ask them to play.
Not sure what I'm going to do yet.

cak
03-05-2008, 06:56 AM
That's an issue my 3.5 team is grappling with right now. There is a relatively large number of ladies that want to play up. I'm thinking that of those that won't play singles, we pair them with others the same strength as themselves, or at least others that they believe are the same strength as themselves. I'd hate to have these ladies play up, only to be carried or marginalized by a stronger partner. If they want to play up to improve they need to actually play their own game. (And I don't think 3.0 should be necessarily playing with other 3.0s in 3.5 matches. The NTRP ratings are guidelines, and some 3.0s are stronger than some 3.5s.)

Just wanted to add an update. Those 3.0 ladies did improve their games playing up. And lo and behold, the NTRP computer noticed, and now they are all 3.5s. Going into our 3.5 season we have a very strong and evenly matched team. And those former "weak" players are now some of our strongest, with no one on the team that we don't believe could bring home a win playing with anyone else. (And the after match or practice parties are absolutely the best.) It looks to be a great season.

Cindysphinx
03-05-2008, 09:30 AM
Heck, as long as we're doing updates . . .

I kind of spread the pain around. I played once with the weak player, and I put her on court three with other weak players. She lost all of her matches.

She left to start her own team in April 2007. She wins a bit more now because she gets to choose her own partners now.

Two other weak players also left to rejoin an old team of theirs. They lost their matches on my team, and they continue to lose their matches.

Howard, I would suggest just putting the weak players together and letting the chips fall where they may. Either they will improve or they will leave of their own accord.

Over the last year (or perhaps even before), I've come around to the idea that weak players should play with weak players and strong should play with strong. Putting weak with strong tends to result in a poor experience for both players, with the weak player deferring too much and the match deteriorating into a game of keep-away.

God luck!!

fe6250
03-05-2008, 11:17 AM
Funny reading this stuff now - looking at when it started. It is curious to me some of the politics that go on with USTA teams and that you mention players leaving / building new teams, etc...

We 'rebuild' each season and while there are some loyalties to players, it is common for people not to get an invite back by some captains - while other captains are really loyal to the previous seasons players.

One method that works well is to keep alternating the captains and then the new captain has no requirement to take from the old pool.

Cindysphinx
03-05-2008, 11:35 AM
I'm loyal. To a point.

I've never shown anyone the door, and even though we split playing time equally, I have never cut back on the matches anyone gets or forced anyone to go part-time.

The most I will do is play people with appropriate partners on appropriate courts (Court Three, with similarly challenged partner).

For some strange reason, I just don't think much of the idea of having people on the team but not playing them much or at all. I mean, if they are on my roster they can't be on someone else's roster, so in some sense I owe them playing time.

Also, I think if a player knows the captain thinks they are A Great Big Loser, they will play that way. If someone knows they are considered just as much a member of the team as The Star, they will play better. I have had weak players pull off crazy upset while the Stars are getting stomped.

That said, all bets are off when I form a "new" team at a higher level. Then, I start from scratch. This causes those left behind to feel "left behind," but I still think it is a fair and reasonable way to go. If someone is not ready for play at a higher level . . . well, it will undoubtedly happen to me someday.

When it does, my plan is to Suck It Up.

fe6250
03-05-2008, 12:07 PM
I agree with you on having players and not playing them. Generally we won't add players that are too weak just to fill out a roster unless we are really low on numbers. The challenge is to have enough strong players to build a team. We have multiple teams at my level in the club and our team is the strongest of the teams so we generally have a good pool of available talent to choose from. I guess I'm trying to say that you are better off not having the spot filled then to have to fill with too weak a player.

Like they say sometimes 'no breath' is better than 'bad breath'!:)

Desperate Tennis Wife
03-05-2008, 02:56 PM
As a long-time captain, I "feel your pain." Here's what I'd do--scope your opposition for the season. Pick those weaker teams you feel you can beat easily at #'s 1 & 2 and put your weak sister with your next best player at # 3.(I don't necessarily agree that pairing a weak player with a strong player spells a loss; depends on a lot of factors) If there aren't enough such teams to get her the required five matches then consider the "sacrifice" at # 1. Good luck and "Why was it that you wanted to be a captain?"

This is exactly what I do with my weaker players. I don't play them against strong opponents at all unless I have to and I try to pair them with strong players when we play weaker teams. The weaker players really get down when they lose over and over. They like to play with stronger players. Also, I give my stronger players a heads up when I have them play with a weaker player so they can be prepared. This season my stronger players are playing more matches than weaker players. The previous seasons I always tried to even it out and we did not do well as a team overall. I have a wide range of players and we play a wide range of players, everything from 3.0's playing up to 4.0's who keep appealing their ratings.

I didn't really tell the team that I was doing it, I just decided I wanted more wins for the team this season. It may cause some problems but I'm ready to let someone else be captain and figure it out next season anyway.