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View Full Version : Lordie, Are We Really That Bad?


Cindysphinx
05-17-2009, 08:58 AM
Holy smokes.

I captain a 3.5 ladies team. We win some, we lose some. We try to have fun, and we are not threat to go to Nationals.

Usually, I do not attend the matches if I'm not playing. Yesterday, I attended the match as a spectator. It was an outdoor match, rain was forecast, my players aren't familiar with what to do with a rain delay because our matches are always indoors. I figured I'd come to make sure everything went smoothly.

So I watched. And, um . . . It was a real eye-opener.

First, the singles players. I was really surprised at the level of inconsistency. Players missed plain old rally shots all the time, when they weren't even going for a winner or doing anything special. It was All Defense and little offense. The Short Dink Shot was alive and well, and players seemed not to anticipate enough to reach them, often not reacting until the Dink was well on its way. Balls seemed to be played up the middle, mostly. Approach shots were much too timid and short, and the person approaching almost always lost the point. Most errors were in balls hit long.

Then there were the doubles players. Of the 12 doubles players, not one person served and volleyed, even once that I saw. It was rare for anyone to follow a return to net (although the Doubles One court did this sometimes). Some players stood in no-man's land the entire point.

Most striking of all was the footwork. When a player had to hit a volley, she stood in one spot and tried to meet the ball without even the slightest foot movement. If she couldn't reach it with her outstretched racket, that was that. There was no split step. There were so many makeable volleys that were missed. And the backswings on these missed volleys? Big.

I spent part of the time keeping track of how many shots it took to win a point. It was unusual for a doubles team to hit three shots over the net. Someone made an unforced error or hit a ball that could easily be put away long before the ball crossed the net six times.

There was a lot of good play also, don't get me wrong. Players made some great gets, there were some nice first serves, there was good communication before and during points. Line calls I saw were fair (with one noticeable exception). Players were aggressive at net (I saw some nice poaches) and really tried to punish sitters.

Now, it is not unusual for some of my teammates to be able to beat me in practice. You know what this means, right? It means that *my* consistency must also be quite poor, my footwork must also be non-existent, I must not be anticipating short balls and moving up to them either. I am going to take this to heart and really work on some of these fundamentals.

And I am going to pledge to get the ball back over the net in doubles three times in doubles, no matter what!

Steady Eddy
05-17-2009, 05:36 PM
So I watched. And, um . . . It was a real eye-opener.

I know the feeling. :)
First, the singles players. I was really surprised at the level of inconsistency. Players missed plain old rally shots all the time, when they weren't even going for a winner or doing anything special. It was All Defense and little offense. The Short Dink Shot was alive and well, and players seemed not to anticipate enough to reach them, often not reacting until the Dink was well on its way. Balls seemed to be played up the middle, mostly. Approach shots were much too timid and short, and the person approaching almost always lost the point. Most errors were in balls hit long.
This last sentence surprises me. My folks seem to hit into the net all the time. They swing on a horizontal plane, and the ball doesn't have enough pace to make it over the net. They worry about topspin even though they hardly ever hit long. Second serves in tight situations go into the net, and hardly ever go long. They get afraid to hit the ball. Your peeps are at least willing to hit it, and not baby it. I think that's a good sign.

Most striking of all was the footwork. When a player had to hit a volley, she stood in one spot and tried to meet the ball without even the slightest foot movement. If she couldn't reach it with her outstretched racket, that was that. There was no split step. There were so many makeable volleys that were missed. And the backswings on these missed volleys? Big.
"You know you swing your volleys."
"No I don't."
Also, doesn't tennis look easy from the stands? Doesn't it look like the players are frozen out there. To me, the crosscourt serve returns look so fat when I'm in the stands.

I spent part of the time keeping track of how many shots it took to win a point. It was unusual for a doubles team to hit three shots over the net. Someone made an unforced error or hit a ball that could easily be put away long before the ball crossed the net six times.
That's why I smile when someone wants to talk "strategy". Keep it in play is all the strategy needed. It's good to watch the play from off the court. It's also good to see what wins at your own level. It's not power or great shots, it's a game that can mostly be described as "solid", and it just grinds up the opponents who are more "loose". It's really helps to see it, and get a firm picture of it in one's mind.

bluegrasser
05-17-2009, 05:41 PM
Holy smokes.

I captain a 3.5 ladies team. We win some, we lose some. We try to have fun, and we are not threat to go to Nationals.

Usually, I do not attend the matches if I'm not playing. Yesterday, I attended the match as a spectator. It was an outdoor match, rain was forecast, my players aren't familiar with what to do with a rain delay because our matches are always indoors. I figured I'd come to make sure everything went smoothly.

So I watched. And, um . . . It was a real eye-opener.

First, the singles players. I was really surprised at the level of inconsistency. Players missed plain old rally shots all the time, when they weren't even going for a winner or doing anything special. It was All Defense and little offense. The Short Dink Shot was alive and well, and players seemed not to anticipate enough to reach them, often not reacting until the Dink was well on its way. Balls seemed to be played up the middle, mostly. Approach shots were much too timid and short, and the person approaching almost always lost the point. Most errors were in balls hit long.

Then there were the doubles players. Of the 12 doubles players, not one person served and volleyed, even once that I saw. It was rare for anyone to follow a return to net (although the Doubles One court did this sometimes). Some players stood in no-man's land the entire point.

Most striking of all was the footwork. When a player had to hit a volley, she stood in one spot and tried to meet the ball without even the slightest foot movement. If she couldn't reach it with her outstretched racket, that was that. There was no split step. There were so many makeable volleys that were missed. And the backswings on these missed volleys? Big.

I spent part of the time keeping track of how many shots it took to win a point. It was unusual for a doubles team to hit three shots over the net. Someone made an unforced error or hit a ball that could easily be put away long before the ball crossed the net six times.

There was a lot of good play also, don't get me wrong. Players made some great gets, there were some nice first serves, there was good communication before and during points. Line calls I saw were fair (with one noticeable exception). Players were aggressive at net (I saw some nice poaches) and really tried to punish sitters.

Now, it is not unusual for some of my teammates to be able to beat me in practice. You know what this means, right? It means that *my* consistency must also be quite poor, my footwork must also be non-existent, I must not be anticipating short balls and moving up to them either. I am going to take this to heart and really work on some of these fundamentals.

And I am going to pledge to get the ball back over the net in doubles three times in doubles, no matter what!

Time to move up kiddo...

raiden031
05-17-2009, 06:42 PM
I always felt that most adult league players are better than they look, whereas juniors and young adults are often worse than they look. Back in the day many times I would watch some 4.0 or even a few 4.5 players playing usta matches and think they look easily beatable yet I was still struggling against 3.5 players. It wasn't until I started playing with them that I realized that they are much better players than I thought they could be just from looks.

Another way to look at it is alot of the hitches in a 3.5 player's game are not as obvious to the untrained eye, especially when they are the young players with the more modern game. As you gain more knowledge you start to notice weaknesses in other players alot more. Then as you get better and hit the strong end of the level you will even wonder why it took so long to be able to beat those players.

Figjam
05-17-2009, 07:41 PM
you talk too much

iamgoat
05-17-2009, 08:05 PM
you talk too much

agreed 10char

larry10s
05-18-2009, 03:07 AM
cindysphinx video yourself playing. it will be an eyeopener.

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 03:53 AM
cindysphinx video yourself playing. it will be an eyeopener.

Oh, I did, I did. That's why I was watching how everyone played instead of just watching the result (like whether the team was winning). Trust me, Larry. that video wasn't pretty. It was barely watchable.

As SteadyEddy says, it looks so different from the stands. His observation that folks look "frozen" is spot on.

As for why these players were hitting long so much . . . I think it is because we all have it drilled into us to hit long long long. There were a lot of shots that went long by a bit where the player was intending to hit long. But there were a lot of off-balance and out-of-position shots that went long also.

As far as pace goes, I didn't see many attempts to crush the ball, which is surprising. I feel like when I play singles, I make a lot of errors trying to smack a winner for the highlight reel. These players weren't trying to do that at all. I have no idea how they were able to resist the temptation!

nickynu
05-18-2009, 03:54 AM
The original post indicates to me that you might not be captaincy material. No offence meant honestly but:

A) Why do you not know this already
B) Why would you make disparaging comments about your own team in public
C) Why are you watching and not leading from the front

You may think you can excuse these 3 points.... BUT can your team. Just a thought

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 04:00 AM
The original post indicates to me that you might not be captaincy material. No offence meant honestly but:

A) Why do you not know this already
B) Why would you make disparaging comments about your own team in public
C) Why are you watching and not leading from the front

You may think you can excuse these 3 points.... BUT can your team. Just a thought

Good questions.

Why do I not know this already? As I said, I video taped myself recently, which has opened my own eyes to how I appear when I play. My experience this weekend showed me that the problems I have are common for my level, and these problems really do prevent players from playing as well as they can.

Why make disparaging comments in public? Hey, it's a discussion forum. My remarks are honest assessments of a bunch of 3.5 ladies in action. If my players asked me what I thought of their play, I would have said pretty much what I observed. None asked. There were no personal slights, and my remarks pertain to all sixteen players, not just my teammates.

Why watch and not lead from the front? Huh? Ya lost me there. I am not a coach or a pro, so I won't tell other players how to improve unless they ask my opinion. I watched because only 8 people can play a match, and it wasn't my turn.

If someone watched me play and made the sorts of observations I made, I wouldn't be bothered by it. 'Cause I would know (from my pro's criticisms and the video I have of myself) that it was all true. What made it interesting for me was that the criticisms my pro has really do affect the quality of a player's shots. That is hard to ascertain the artificial construct of a typical lesson. It is very easy to see in a match situation from the sidelines.

larry10s
05-18-2009, 05:09 AM
having watched yourself and seeing the same mistakes in others will start to get you to imporove if you keep working on not looking like that. how many "rate this player " videos do we get. certain levels look certain ways in their strokes and footwork(or lack thereof). keep working to improve your look . ive never seen a really good player look bad. but i kanow alot of people who are very good at being bad because 30 years of doing the same thing gets you good at it. its just not effective as the levels go up.

cak
05-18-2009, 05:59 AM
To answer the original question, oh yes, yes we are that bad.

Bud
05-18-2009, 06:30 AM
Holy smokes.

I captain a 3.5 ladies team. We win some, we lose some. We try to have fun, and we are not threat to go to Nationals.

Usually, I do not attend the matches if I'm not playing. Yesterday, I attended the match as a spectator. It was an outdoor match, rain was forecast, my players aren't familiar with what to do with a rain delay because our matches are always indoors. I figured I'd come to make sure everything went smoothly.

So I watched. And, um . . . It was a real eye-opener.

First, the singles players. I was really surprised at the level of inconsistency. Players missed plain old rally shots all the time, when they weren't even going for a winner or doing anything special. It was All Defense and little offense. The Short Dink Shot was alive and well, and players seemed not to anticipate enough to reach them, often not reacting until the Dink was well on its way. Balls seemed to be played up the middle, mostly. Approach shots were much too timid and short, and the person approaching almost always lost the point. Most errors were in balls hit long.

Then there were the doubles players. Of the 12 doubles players, not one person served and volleyed, even once that I saw. It was rare for anyone to follow a return to net (although the Doubles One court did this sometimes). Some players stood in no-man's land the entire point.

Most striking of all was the footwork. When a player had to hit a volley, she stood in one spot and tried to meet the ball without even the slightest foot movement. If she couldn't reach it with her outstretched racket, that was that. There was no split step. There were so many makeable volleys that were missed. And the backswings on these missed volleys? Big.

I spent part of the time keeping track of how many shots it took to win a point. It was unusual for a doubles team to hit three shots over the net. Someone made an unforced error or hit a ball that could easily be put away long before the ball crossed the net six times.

There was a lot of good play also, don't get me wrong. Players made some great gets, there were some nice first serves, there was good communication before and during points. Line calls I saw were fair (with one noticeable exception). Players were aggressive at net (I saw some nice poaches) and really tried to punish sitters.

Now, it is not unusual for some of my teammates to be able to beat me in practice. You know what this means, right? It means that *my* consistency must also be quite poor, my footwork must also be non-existent, I must not be anticipating short balls and moving up to them either. I am going to take this to heart and really work on some of these fundamentals.

And I am going to pledge to get the ball back over the net in doubles three times in doubles, no matter what!

I think when you observe these things and can identify what the players could improve on... it makes you a better player.

nickynu
05-18-2009, 06:37 AM
Good questions.

Why do I not know this already? As I said, I video taped myself recently, which has opened my own eyes to how I appear when I play. My experience this weekend showed me that the problems I have are common for my level, and these problems really do prevent players from playing as well as they can.

Why make disparaging comments in public? Hey, it's a discussion forum. My remarks are honest assessments of a bunch of 3.5 ladies in action. If my players asked me what I thought of their play, I would have said pretty much what I observed. None asked. There were no personal slights, and my remarks pertain to all sixteen players, not just my teammates.

Why watch and not lead from the front? Huh? Ya lost me there. I am not a coach or a pro, so I won't tell other players how to improve unless they ask my opinion. I watched because only 8 people can play a match, and it wasn't my turn.

If someone watched me play and made the sorts of observations I made, I wouldn't be bothered by it. 'Cause I would know (from my pro's criticisms and the video I have of myself) that it was all true. What made it interesting for me was that the criticisms my pro has really do affect the quality of a player's shots. That is hard to ascertain the artificial construct of a typical lesson. It is very easy to see in a match situation from the sidelines.

You missed my point. A captain should play if available - forget turns, because if Im on your team and playing I want you in the trenches with me. I want your constructive help whether I ask for it or not, also it doesnt matter what YOU would think about getting ripped in public-A captain should consider what their players would think. Coming on here to discuss it is not leadership.

If you dont understand it this time, then I fear that it just proves my original point in the first reply I made.

Bud
05-18-2009, 06:43 AM
You missed my point. A captain should play if available - forget turns, because if Im on your team and playing I want you in the trenches with me. I want your constructive help whether I ask for it or not, also it doesnt matter what YOU would think about getting ripped in public-A captain should consider what their players would think. Coming on here to discuss it is not leadership.

If you dont understand it this time, then I fear that it just proves my original point in the first reply I made.

I disagree with you. Her observations and her assessment are honest. An anonymous tennis forum is the best place to chat about things like this.

larry10s
05-18-2009, 06:57 AM
You missed my point. A captain should play if available - forget turns, because if Im on your team and playing I want you in the trenches with me. I want your constructive help whether I ask for it or not, also it doesnt matter what YOU would think about getting ripped in public-A captain should consider what their players would think. Coming on here to discuss it is not leadership.

If you dont understand it this time, then I fear that it just proves my original point in the first reply I made. a captain is not a teaching pro. not everyone on the team wants to improve or hear about what they are doing wrong. the captain organizes the lineup etc. you are looking for a coach not a captain.imho

nickynu
05-18-2009, 07:04 AM
I disagree with you. Her observations and her assessment are honest. An anonymous tennis forum is the best place to chat about things like this.

Thats your right Bud, how anonymous this forum is could be an interesting question though?

drakulie
05-18-2009, 07:06 AM
Yes, you are really that bad.

nickynu
05-18-2009, 07:11 AM
a captain is not a teaching pro. not everyone on the team wants to improve or hear about what they are doing wrong. the captain organizes the lineup etc. you are looking for a coach not a captain.imho

Ok maybe I have different expectations of captaincy, you obviously view the captaincy role as purely one of administration. Personally I expect more from my skipper in terms of leadership, motivation etc- but maybe its a different thing in the USA to here in England.

Humble and heartfelt apologies if I have misunderstood the nature of the role Cindy, hence the confusion.:oops:

sureshs
05-18-2009, 07:17 AM
I always felt that most adult league players are better than they look, whereas juniors and young adults are often worse than they look. Back in the day many times I would watch some 4.0 or even a few 4.5 players playing usta matches and think they look easily beatable yet I was still struggling against 3.5 players. It wasn't until I started playing with them that I realized that they are much better players than I thought they could be just from looks.

Another way to look at it is alot of the hitches in a 3.5 player's game are not as obvious to the untrained eye, especially when they are the young players with the more modern game. As you gain more knowledge you start to notice weaknesses in other players alot more. Then as you get better and hit the strong end of the level you will even wonder why it took so long to be able to beat those players.

It is the opposite: Adult players are usually worse than they look. Junior players go for more, have more threatening serves, and get bored - that is why they look worse. Those juniors are the ones who will add more consistency to their game and go pro. The opposite direction (consistency first, power second) is a path to nowhere other than maxing out at a 4.0.

And a lot of the hitches in a 3.5 player's game is painfully obvious, so obvious that it is better to avoid watching them altogether and watch a pro match on TTC instead, so that you don't subconsciously develop bad habits.

eagle
05-18-2009, 07:21 AM
As larry has mentioned and as I've mentioned in past threads, taking vids of oneself on the court really does help. Probably a lot more than any lesson or tips from a pro or a helpful friend.

Once you actually see what you are doing or more appropriately not doing, or not doing properly, or doing wrong, you will have a better chance of correcting those shortcomings.

It might be a good idea to have a team get together at a teammate's house to go over the vids. You will likely not fix the problems right away but working to get better a little at a time will help improve yours and your teammates' games and hopefully future match results.

r,
eagle

Topaz
05-18-2009, 08:13 AM
Ok maybe I have different expectations of captaincy, you obviously view the captaincy role as purely one of administration. Personally I expect more from my skipper in terms of leadership, motivation etc- but maybe its a different thing in the USA to here in England.

Humble and heartfelt apologies if I have misunderstood the nature of the role Cindy, hence the confusion.:oops:

I'm glad that you had the thought to apologize, though you still take time to take a swipe.

As others have said, a USTA team captain is *not* the teaching pro...and it is very much the 'administrative' position. A lot of organization is needed to put these teams together and get people to matches.

Cindy treats her players fairly (by playing all of them equally and letting them know that up front), and how could you call her anything but motivated?

Let me ask you...what USTA captaining experience do you have? What USTA league experience do you have? What knowledge of the USTA adult league set-up and administration do you have?

I'm willing to bet 'none' is the answer to those questions, yet you felt the need to judge someone who is in a role that you know nothing about. Not a good trait to have in someone who fancies themselves a writer.

raiden031
05-18-2009, 08:27 AM
It is the opposite: Adult players are usually worse than they look. Junior players go for more, have more threatening serves, and get bored - that is why they look worse. Those juniors are the ones who will add more consistency to their game and go pro. The opposite direction (consistency first, power second) is a path to nowhere other than maxing out at a 4.0.

And a lot of the hitches in a 3.5 player's game is painfully obvious, so obvious that it is better to avoid watching them altogether and watch a pro match on TTC instead, so that you don't subconsciously develop bad habits.

Junior players look worse? No, junior players are more likely to have stroke mechanics that resemble advanced play, but they are not intelligent players so they beat themselves. Once they gain experience, then they fly through the rankings because they have more solid fundamentals.

You're more likely to see middle-aged adult players who have been playing with sub-par mechanics for 20 years but are very smart and can play at 4.0-4.5 even though they are appraised by video as being 2.5-3.0 players.

sureshs
05-18-2009, 08:32 AM
You're more likely to see middle-aged adult players who have been playing with sub-par mechanics for 20 years but are very smart and can play at 4.0-4.5 even though they are appraised by video as being 2.5-3.0 players.

Really? I have yet to come across a 4.5 middle-aged adult player who looks like a 2.5. Yes, they all look bad, but relatively speaking, a 2.0 difference in level is very noticeable.

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 09:01 AM
Ok maybe I have different expectations of captaincy, you obviously view the captaincy role as purely one of administration. Personally I expect more from my skipper in terms of leadership, motivation etc- but maybe its a different thing in the USA to here in England.

Humble and heartfelt apologies if I have misunderstood the nature of the role Cindy, hence the confusion.:oops:

Hey, no worries. You asked some questions, I gave you my thoughts. Who knows? In England, things could be different. In my area, captains are rarely coaches (although my 4.0 captain does a nice job as both captain and coach) and usually don't pipe up about stroke mechanics and positioning issues unless asked.

Regarding anonymity . . . bottom line: If any of my players had asked me, I would have given them my honest assessment, although of course I would sugar-coat it some.

I did talk to both of my singles players at length about their matches. Neither remarked on the things I noticed, and both had different explanations for the nature of their difficulties. The doubles players, on the other hand, seemed not to know what had gone wrong (or perhaps didn't feel they could say what they really thought with their partner standing there). That too is interesting. It means that an observer may give a totally different diagnosis than the player who is caught up in just trying to keep the ball in play.

If I were a teaching pro and the team asked me to tell them what they can do right now to win more, I could identify two things that would make a dramatic difference without the need for lots of lessons, changed stroke mechanics, improved fitness or any of that stuff that is difficult to implement.

First, players consistently failed to seize clear opportunities to come to net. Like, they would hit a great lob and touch off a scramble on the other side of the net, with one player struggling to make it over to hit a high BH. You know the reply will be weak, yet the player who hit the great shot stood waiting and watching.

Second, nobody would be allowed to put their heels on the ground during a point. I think this really hurt net play and the readiness of players to hit volleys or react to short balls. They say Marion Bartoli's dad strapped tennis balls to her heels to train her to stay on her toes. It's starting to sound less extreme to me.

I'm going to take both of these prinicples to heart for my next match. Follow good shots in & stay on my toes. Got it!

Grover Sparkman
05-18-2009, 09:42 AM
I'm captaining a USTA singles team (it's only a 3 week league), but it's eye opening. It's a whole new thing for me to have to do in terms of dealing with people and managing people's expectations. Fortunately, everyone's been understanding and pretty level-headed.

I've enjoyed it, though. I've enjoyed running it the right way, and I've learned the right and wrong way of doing it over time.

JavierLW
05-18-2009, 10:03 AM
The original post indicates to me that you might not be captaincy material. No offence meant honestly but:

A) Why do you not know this already
B) Why would you make disparaging comments about your own team in public
C) Why are you watching and not leading from the front

You may think you can excuse these 3 points.... BUT can your team. Just a thought

There are differences between the type of teams and their captains in these leagues.

Im not sure the differences are really something that you can criticize though, it's just the nature of whatever the expectations of why they have a team. (ie...some teams are there for the whole "team" experience of being successful together and some teams are just there as a vehicle for a lot of people to play tennis)

On my team, Ive been to every single match even if I dont play which does allow me to make suggestions.

But like Cindy, besides being captain, Im just another player on the team, Im not their tennis pro or anything. We all actually enjoy discussing tennis and we appreciate each other's viewpoint but as captain it's not my job or anything. (nor is it their job to listen to me :-) )

I do have to make the lineups however which is the main reason I like to know what's going on.

Hearing about some how one of your teams won a match 6-2, 6-4, is about as useless as reading the newspaper to find out your favorite soccer team lost 1-0, if you didnt actually see it and you were responsible for deciding who was playing out there you'd be lost.

Also we have to pair up doubles teams and watching the matches is useful for that.

But that's "just" if you have some goal to be have some level of success, if it's just to let people play tennis and be happy it doesn't matter.

Otherwise for the most part being a captain is an administrative duty, it's more like being the general manager for a sports team then it is being the coach. Actually some teams have a "coach", and it's usually some teaching pro or someone being paid to be one. (I made a spreadsheet once defining what the responsibility's were of a coach vs a captain vs the player, I'll have to find it)

It is interesting though. Someone I know who runs a supposed "for fun" team always thinks that because my team is more "gung ho" that somehow our players are not having fun. I think it's the opposite in some cases, everyone on my team cares about how the team does which means that they dont care where they play and they are very supportive of everyone and there is some sense of pride involved even if they lose their individual match.

Compared to this other guys team where most of his players are either there because they have no where else to go, or they were promised that they would get to do such and such....

He has players defecting from his team constantly (because they get promised things that didnt come true and that's the only reason they are there), and I dont think Id ever have a problem fielding a team. (I have way too many players as it is)

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 10:08 AM
Really, only a 3-week season? I've never heard of that.

I enjoy captaining also. I've been at it continuously since Fall 2006. The one thing I'm starting to notice now that I didn't notice before is that . . . um . . . the walls are starting to close in on me a bit. The group has been together long enough for folks to have some pretty firm and established boundaries regarding partners they do not prefer. Since these preferences are told to me in confidence, it is getting harder to find excuses for not pairing this player with that player.

Be glad you are captaining singles, Grover! :)

Xisbum
05-18-2009, 10:08 AM
There are differences between the type of teams and their captains in these leagues.

Im not sure the differences are really something that you can criticize though, it's just the nature of whatever the expectations of why they have a team. (ie...some teams are there for the whole "team" experience of being successful together and some teams are just there as a vehicle for a lot of people to play tennis)

On my team, Ive been to every single match even if I dont play which does allow me to make suggestions.

But like Cindy, besides being captain, Im just another player on the team, Im not their tennis pro or anything. We all actually enjoy discussing tennis and we appreciate each other's viewpoint but as captain it's not my job or anything. (nor is it their job to listen to me :-) )

I do have to make the lineups however which is the main reason I like to know what's going on.

Hearing about some how one of your teams won a match 6-2, 6-4, is about as useless as reading the newspaper to find out your favorite soccer team lost 1-0, if you didnt actually see it and you were responsible for deciding who was playing out there you'd be lost.

Also we have to pair up doubles teams and watching the matches is useful for that.

But that's "just" if you have some goal to be have some level of success, if it's just to let people play tennis and be happy it doesn't matter.

Otherwise for the most part being a captain is an administrative duty, it's more like being the general manager for a sports team then it is being the coach. Actually some teams have a "coach", and it's usually some teaching pro or someone being paid to be one. (I made a spreadsheet once defining what the responsibility's were of a coach vs a captain vs the player, I'll have to find it)

It is interesting though. Someone I know who runs a supposed "for fun" team always thinks that because my team is more "gung ho" that somehow our players are not having fun. I think it's the opposite in some cases, everyone on my team cares about how the team does which means that they dont care where they play and they are very supportive of everyone and there is some sense of pride involved even if they lose their individual match.

Compared to this other guys team where most of his players are either there because they have no where else to go, or they were promised that they would get to do such and such....

He has players defecting from his team constantly (because they get promised things that didnt come true and that's the only reason they are there), and I dont think Id ever have a problem fielding a team. (I have way too many players as it is)

Pretty much see captaining as you do, Javie. I was always there but played the other guys more if at all possible while still trying to win the match. And I thought of myself as supersub, in case someone didn't make it by match time.

We discussed matches afterward, and if I just watched, I didn't offer anything unless someone asked about specific points or tactics. Then I would offer my 2 cents and discuss from there.

It was fun and frustrating at the same time, but ultimately a rewarding experience.

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 10:17 AM
Xisbum and Javier,

Did you ever get the sense that players didn't want you to watch their matches?

I kind of notice if there are spectators when I am playing. If the spectator is my captain, it makes me uncomfortable. It adds a layer of unneeded pressure. I am being Watched and Evaluated, and I don't care for it.

I don't think I am alone in this feeling. In a recent 4.0 match, there was a viewing area, and the opposing captain spent a lot of time watching our match. I was delighted to see this, especially as we started making a comeback as she appeared. And of course she stuck around to watch because we were gaining on her players. Which perhaps made them play less well?

In this last match over the weekend, I was the home captain and therefore had the right to give out the court assignments. I had four consecutive courts and one court across the street. I put Singles One across the street. I did this so she would have some privacy. Singles One is the toughest assignment, and I thought my prying eyes would make her feel less secure. I didn't go over and watch until the very end, when the other team headed over in that direction.

JavierLW
05-18-2009, 10:26 AM
Xisbum and Javier,

Did you ever get the sense that players didn't want you to watch their matches?

I kind of notice if there are spectators when I am playing. If the spectator is my captain, it makes me uncomfortable. It adds a layer of unneeded pressure. I am being Watched and Evaluated, and I don't care for it.

I don't think I am alone in this feeling. In a recent 4.0 match, there was a viewing area, and the opposing captain spent a lot of time watching our match. I was delighted to see this, especially as we started making a comeback as she appeared. And of course she stuck around to watch because we were gaining on her players. Which perhaps made them play less well?

In this last match over the weekend, I was the home captain and therefore had the right to give out the court assignments. I had four consecutive courts and one court across the street. I put Singles One across the street. I did this so she would have some privacy. Singles One is the toughest assignment, and I thought my prying eyes would make her feel less secure. I didn't go over and watch until the very end, when the other team headed over in that direction.

No most people dont care if I watch the matches. They are not that skittish or anything.

Although I do try to keep a low profile, and I dont cheer or shout out instructions or anything because that is not only distracting to my team, it's not fun for the other team either. (and we want to beat them fairly)

Once in awhile I have a guy playing singles who has a tendency to get distracted, so I usually stay away from him because he'll come over and talk to me in the middle of the match otherwise and will be just as obsessed with entertaining the "spectators" as he is in playing.

Generally I dont bother watching singles because they are playing within themselves over there, and besides that on our team, I assume most of the time we win those. (we have an outstanding record in singles because I always put our best players there)

There are 5 matches going on at once so obviously I cant watch all of them anyway.

Usually I just pick a decent doubles match or one that I am not too sure about and mostly pay attention to what happens on that one, and maybe I'll peek at the other matches when there is a break.

It's nice because I can get a feel for any ebb and flow within that one match then which is good for identifying whether a team is doing something successful together or not, versus just knowing if they won or lost the match.

Also since Im there I can "be the captain" and take care of the lineup exchange and give out the tennis balls and all that other distracting crap that you have to deal with at the beginning so the players that are playing can just warmup and focus on playing their match.

When Im playing I always wish someone else would come along to take care of that for me, but never happens. :-) (I got a volunteer last year but he never did it)

Watching matches is not all that uncommon here though. Some teams have been around for 10 or 20 years or more and they always have people watching (former players, fellow club members, friends, etc....). Usually happens a lot with the better teams who are successful, people just like to hang around people playing tennis. (and there is usually beer afterwards and nobody wants to pass up on free beer.....)

There have been a couple teams even at 3.5 that being all of their friends and familys there as some sort of big cheering sections, although that's always sort of funny and is a little much....IMO

nickynu
05-18-2009, 10:36 AM
I'm glad that you had the thought to apologize, though you still take time to take a swipe.

As others have said, a USTA team captain is *not* the teaching pro...and it is very much the 'administrative' position. A lot of organization is needed to put these teams together and get people to matches.

Cindy treats her players fairly (by playing all of them equally and letting them know that up front), and how could you call her anything but motivated?

Let me ask you...what USTA captaining experience do you have? What USTA league experience do you have? What knowledge of the USTA adult league set-up and administration do you have?

I'm willing to bet 'none' is the answer to those questions, yet you felt the need to judge someone who is in a role that you know nothing about. Not a good trait to have in someone who fancies themselves a writer.


Topaz you are really too kind.:) I'm sure Cindy appreciated your loyalty although Im sure she could fight her own battles if the need arose. However she was gracious enough to excuse my lack of understanding, and that was appreciated.

I apologised to her if the role was different to the one I am used to. I meant it. Here in England if you imagine football(soccer) or cricket as obvious examples, the captain is always the on-field leader, and usually the best or most competetive player who motivates and cajoles the others to give their best on the pitch(court).

Friends now Topaz? :)

JavierLW
05-18-2009, 10:41 AM
Topaz you are really too kind.:) I'm sure Cindy appreciated your loyalty although Im sure she could fight her own battles if the need arose. However she was gracious enough to excuse my lack of understanding, and that was appreciated.

I apologised to her if the role was different to the one I am used to. I meant it. Here in England if you imagine football(soccer) or cricket as obvious examples, the captain is always the on-field leader, and usually the best or most competetive player who motivates and cajoles the others to give their best on the pitch(court).

Friends now Topaz? :)

Yep, the difference is here, the captain is usually the one who's deciding to even have a team in the first place. Not necessarily the best player.

Like I said, more like a manager. I think your definition is more like what Hockey, Basketball, and American Football labels as a "captain". (usually there is a coach/manager and they are the ones who select who the "captain" or "on field leader" is)

You cant really compare it to other sports, because it's sort of unique. Tennis is not really a "team sport" once you get on the court, there are really just more manager/logistical aspects that can make it into a "team sport".

In fact a captain sucking it up and not playing (either to give the team a better shot at winning or to furfil some other team goal like match number fairness) is actually something I would consider that is done for the team.

larry10s
05-18-2009, 10:46 AM
cindysphinx good intuition. it does take some getting used to having people watch you.the common theme in all the mental books is staying focused. when people statrt watching its easy to start thinking about " ihope i dont miss" i hope i look good , etc . playing the point and forgetting about them is an important skill to learn

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 10:47 AM
The different experiences with captains being spectators (regarding players losing focus because of it) may be in part because several of our venues do not have viewing areas (or the viewing area is so remote that little can be seen).

I do remember that there were spectators during one of my matches at Districts. I kind of liked it. It really encouraged me to be more aggressive because people applauded good shots. Plus, I was prepared for it because there are always spectators at Districts.

I have had players tell me after matches that they were very nervous being my partner because I'm the captain. I know I was always a nervous wreck when my partner in mixed was the captain. Again, it's hard to shake the feeling of being evaluated.

The other thing is that I couldn't really keep track of who was winning and who was losing. For the most part, it was impossible to figure this out just from stroke mechanics or body language. I was wrong more times than I was right. The main giveaway was that the team that took the net a lot won, just as one would predict.

JavierLW
05-18-2009, 10:56 AM
The other thing is that I couldn't really keep track of who was winning and who was losing. For the most part, it was impossible to figure this out just from stroke mechanics or body language. I was wrong more times than I was right. The main giveaway was that the team that took the net a lot won, just as one would predict.

I always notice the same thing. If it's at a venue where there are no scorecards, I swear Im almost always surprised at who won or lost if it's a match that I just glanced over at occasionally.

Which is why I usually just focus on one and try to keep track of the score in that one.

I dont think anyone ever took me seriously enough to "worry that Im the captain". :-)

Like I said, they dont know that Im out there half the time anyway because I dont make it obvious. And sometimes other players show up as well or wifes, or one match finishes before the others.

And people stand around and chit chat which can be distracting outside when there is just a fence there in the way.

(when some guy is out there and it's the last match going on and there are 15+ people watching, that's probably when it becomes really distratcting....)

I actually had one of my worst matches though when my parents came to watch. I just think there were already a lot of other distracting things going on so it didnt help to have one more extra thing to be aware of.

I know some people cant get over having people watch them because they are the sort that are extra worried about what people think of them or how they look out there instead of just focusing on what they need to do (which is mainly hit the tennis ball).

I think it's easy to do, but I should hope that's something that I can overcome (which becomes easier when Im playing well).

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 11:07 AM
cindysphinx good intuition. it does take some getting used to having people watch you.the common theme in all the mental books is staying focused. when people statrt watching its easy to start thinking about " ihope i dont miss" i hope i look good , etc . playing the point and forgetting about them is an important skill to learn

Ah, but the applause was like a drug when it was for me! :)

And when it was for my opponent, it saved me the trouble of saying "Good shot!" when I was really thinking, "I can't believe I gave her a sitter like that. Well, that's the last freebie you're gonna get, sister."

Topaz
05-18-2009, 12:06 PM
Topaz you are really too kind.:) I'm sure Cindy appreciated your loyalty although Im sure she could fight her own battles if the need arose. However she was gracious enough to excuse my lack of understanding, and that was appreciated.

I apologised to her if the role was different to the one I am used to. I meant it. Here in England if you imagine football(soccer) or cricket as obvious examples, the captain is always the on-field leader, and usually the best or most competetive player who motivates and cajoles the others to give their best on the pitch(court).

Friends now Topaz? :)

We were never not friends Nickynu.

I also captain, and in an adjacent section to Cindy...so my jumping to her defense is also because I know *exactly* what she is talking about. If you've never been there...then you shouldn't judge, at least not without asking some questions first.

Again, others have covered this already, so I don't have much to add...other than the most competitive player is not necessarily the captain and vice/versa ad nauseum. LOL Every team and its make-up is a bit different.

I play on two teams, but captain one. I *really* enjoy, on the team that I do not captain, just being able to show up and play and not having to worry about anything else.

goober
05-18-2009, 12:17 PM
Really? I have yet to come across a 4.5 middle-aged adult player who looks like a 2.5. Yes, they all look bad, but relatively speaking, a 2.0 difference in level is very noticeable.

4.5 level players look like and do for the most part have advanced technique. There are however a whole lot of 3.5s and 4.0s that have 2.5-3.0 looking strokes. Why do you think every time a certain middle aged 4.0 computer rated player vid gets posted on this board he is rated 3.0 over and over again?

sureshs
05-18-2009, 12:21 PM
4.5 level players look like and do for the most part have advanced technique.

That is what I said - 4.5 players don't look like 2.5 players.

goober
05-18-2009, 12:31 PM
That is what I said - 4.5 players don't look like 2.5 players.
It is all context. You were picking out the extremes of what Raiden was stating, but his general point I believe to be correct. Club level adults generally are better resultswise than their form would indicate- mostly because of experience in seeing every type of different shot and knowing how to handle game situations. Juniors often look great hitting out on everyball and usually have been trained at a young age so their form looks outwardly good- until you actually play a match with them.

raiden031
05-18-2009, 12:33 PM
It is all context. You were picking out the extremes of what Raiden was stating, but his general point I believe to be correct. Club level adults generally are better resultswise than their form would indicate- mostly because of experience in seeing every type of different shot and knowing how to handle game situations. Juniors often look great hitting out on everyball and usually have been trained at a young age so their form looks outwardly good- until you actually play a match with them.

Well I would say that anyone with a brain would not think a 4.5 could look like a 2.5, but I've seen people on the board say that pros are 4.0 at best.

sureshs
05-18-2009, 12:41 PM
It is all context. You were picking out the extremes of what Raiden was stating, but his general point I believe to be correct. Club level adults generally are better resultswise than their form would indicate- mostly because of experience in seeing every type of different shot and knowing how to handle game situations. Juniors often look great hitting out on everyball and usually have been trained at a young age so their form looks outwardly good- until you actually play a match with them.

Middle school girls routinely defeat 4.5 males (USTA tournament players) at my club, so my experience says otherwise. Game savvy works against other adults, but not against hard hitting juniors who just break down their game. The usual problems are inability to handle high topspin balls to the 1 handed backhand, and a horribly inconsistent serve. The rare good fast first serve is often the only department the adults are better than the girls. At lease 4.5 players are not as difficult on the eye as 4.0 players.

sureshs
05-18-2009, 12:43 PM
Well I would say that anyone with a brain would not think a 4.5 could look like a 2.5, but I've seen people on the board say that pros are 4.0 at best.

You also posted before how you were hammered when you moved from a 3.5 to a 4.0, so your opinion is based on the people you lose to all the time. Here is a news flash: 4.0 players are not good at all.

raiden031
05-18-2009, 12:44 PM
Middle school girls routinely defeat 4.5 males (USTA tournament players) at my club, so my experience says otherwise. Game savvy works against other adults, but not against hard hitting juniors who just break down their game. The usual problems are inability to handle high topspin balls to the 1 handed backhand, and a horribly inconsistent serve. The rare good fast first serve is often the only department the adults are better than the girls. At lease 4.5 players are not as difficult on the eye as 4.0 players.

If you're talking about the Bolletieri academy maybe you're right, but I doubt the average teenage girl is going to be competitive against 4.5 males. That would mean you're saying these girls are 5.0-5.5 players at what, age 12-13?

sureshs
05-18-2009, 12:47 PM
If you're talking about the Bolletieri academy maybe you're right, but I doubt the average teenage girl is going to be competitive against 4.5 males. That would mean you're saying these girls are 5.0-5.5 players at what, age 12-13?

No, I am saying what passes for 4.5 play is very variable, especially among working men who are not out hitting every day. BTW, these are real 4.5 tourney players and have been for many years.

goober
05-18-2009, 01:18 PM
Middle school girls routinely defeat 4.5 males (USTA tournament players) at my club, so my experience says otherwise. Game savvy works against other adults, but not against hard hitting juniors who just break down their game. The usual problems are inability to handle high topspin balls to the 1 handed backhand, and a horribly inconsistent serve. The rare good fast first serve is often the only department the adults are better than the girls. At lease 4.5 players are not as difficult on the eye as 4.0 players.

Middle school girls? You have got to be kidding me. If you played 100 random middle school girl tennis players against 100 random 4.5 USTA rated male players, the men would win between 99-100 matches. There are very few middle school girls who could beat 4.5 male player. They would represent less then 1% of girls playing at that age. I have seen the #1 ranked player in the 12s in our region. She could maybe beat 50% of the 4.5 rated males and that is a big maybe. The average middle school girl would get creamed in a mens 3.5 league.

Maybe your club attracts elite level players, but they hardly represent average junior players. I have played lots of high school players. The unranked ones- many who play varsity, seriously are 3.5-4.0 at best. The top ones are very good, but they are not your typical junior player at all.

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 01:57 PM
Boy, I dunno. I think most male and female middle schoolers would lose to your average 4.5 player . . . .

If you take your most elite middle school child (that would be Martina Hingis, who turned pro at 12 IIRC), then I think she could stomp your average 4.5 guy.

Cindy -- thinking the buck-tooth girl in pigtails beating the 4.5 adult guy would make a rockin' screenplay, however

UnforcedError
05-18-2009, 02:32 PM
Maybe next time you show up just to watch bring your video camera and capture some of the action. Some of your players might want to see themselves and it could be eye opening for them.

lovin'it
05-18-2009, 02:36 PM
yep, agreed....

Racer41c
05-18-2009, 02:42 PM
Boy, I dunno. I think most male and female middle schoolers would lose to your average 4.5 player . . . .

If you take your most elite middle school child (that would be Martina Hingis, who turned pro at 12 IIRC), then I think she could stomp your average 4.5 guy.

Cindy -- thinking the buck-tooth girl in pigtails beating the 4.5 adult guy would make a rockin' screenplay, however


Wow, I'm not sure how we got here, but in So Cal I've seen middle school kids who are unbelievable and 16 yo's who are downright scarry.

Steady Eddy
05-18-2009, 03:58 PM
Wow, I'm not sure how we got here, but in So Cal I've seen middle school kids who are unbelievable and 16 yo's who are downright scarry.Of course, Tracy Austin was beating the very best well before she was 16.

larry10s
05-18-2009, 04:29 PM
Ah, but the applause was like a drug when it was for me! :)

And when it was for my opponent, it saved me the trouble of saying "Good shot!" when I was really thinking, "I can't believe I gave her a sitter like that. Well, that's the last freebie you're gonna get, sister." drugs can be dangerous. the last freebie thought is staying focused on task at hand. not saying to yourself "you stink how could you let her hit a ball like that" instead objective observation and analytical problem solving . the start of upper level winning tennis. you are getting it.

Cindysphinx
05-18-2009, 04:41 PM
drugs can be dangerous. the last freebie thought is staying focused on task at hand. not saying to yourself "you stink how could you let her hit a ball like that" instead objective observation and analytical problem solving . the start of upper level winning tennis. you are getting it.

So then, I shouldn't be wondering if my new skirt makes my butt look big?

I mean, a gal has to stay focused on what really matters . . . :)

larry10s
05-19-2009, 05:22 AM
So then, I shouldn't be wondering if my new skirt makes my butt look big?

I mean, a gal has to stay focused on what really matters . . . :)

you are right . one must have thier priorities straight::)

cak
05-19-2009, 06:31 AM
Last night was one of those games. From the viewing deck it must have looked horrendous. My partner, a 6 foot former volley ball player, and I were playing against two older tiny ladies. They decided the way to win was do the lob/powderpuff game. Oh yeah, bring it on. I might look young and spry, but I can lob like an 80 year old and Patience is my middle name. So the game was to lob back, making them move around, until they hit short and we could put it away. Lob, lob, lob, lob, lob, lob, overhead smash. I must of hit 10 overheads, and I'm the short one. I'm pretty sure the game looked really bad. And yeah, we lost two games a set out of sheer boredom.

sureshs
05-19-2009, 06:34 AM
Middle school girls? You have got to be kidding me. If you played 100 random middle school girl tennis players against 100 random 4.5 USTA rated male players, the men would win between 99-100 matches. There are very few middle school girls who could beat 4.5 male player. They would represent less then 1% of girls playing at that age. I have seen the #1 ranked player in the 12s in our region. She could maybe beat 50% of the 4.5 rated males and that is a big maybe. The average middle school girl would get creamed in a mens 3.5 league.

Maybe your club attracts elite level players, but they hardly represent average junior players. I have played lots of high school players. The unranked ones- many who play varsity, seriously are 3.5-4.0 at best. The top ones are very good, but they are not your typical junior player at all.

Men's 3.5 league? You must be kidding. I have played 3.5 few years back and beaten half the guys. They are no good.

In fact, one of the 4.5 men in my club now prefers to hit with middle school juniors (boys and girls). It started with the parents/coach asking him to hit with them before a tournament. No, it has become the rule and he has been caught in a couple of awkward situations when he told other 4.5 and 4.0 players he was injured and going home, and then was seen playing a set with the middle school juniors on another court. No consistency, that is the problem with adult club players. One or two big serves is not enough.

JavierLW
05-19-2009, 06:42 AM
Men's 3.5 league? You must be kidding. I have played 3.5 few years back and beaten half the guys. They are no good.

In fact, one of the 4.5 men in my club now prefers to hit with middle school juniors (boys and girls). It started with the parents/coach asking him to hit with them before a tournament. No, it has become the rule and he has been caught in a couple of awkward situations when he told other 4.5 and 4.0 players he was injured and going home, and then was seen playing a set with the middle school juniors on another court. No consistency, that is the problem with adult club players. One or two big serves is not enough.

I actually believe that. I belong to a club where most of the kids are on some of the more elite HS in our state, and the majority of them would kill a 3.5 player.

It's not even any contest, they hit over a thousand balls a week, that's why they can go for all of their shots and they wouldnt be labeled as "inconsistant" like adults are.

Even some adult playing 4.5 cant hold a candle to these kids sometimes because they are busy with work or whatever else is going on, they are lucky if they are even playing twice a week. Maybe they were better at one time when they were younger and had more free time, but they are not necessarily better now.

Not to mention the kids dont get tired as well. Sure Middle School is not when you are at your peak physical condition but it's still better then being in your 40's or 50's. (even people in their 30's start to notice some physical decline sometimes, like that they cant play 4 days in a row anymore because they dont have time to cross train....)

I think it's deceiving because if you look at High School tennis it probably varys greatly from school to school. I went to a school where we learned how to play tennis on the tennis team, but we played in the same division as suburb schools where the kids had been playing since they were 6 or 7 years old and they whooped us everytime.

I seriously think the kids at the club Im at would best a lot of lesser known college tennis teams out there, by the time they are in high school there are plenty of them that are 4.5 players or better already, and they improve within a matter of months, where with adults you can pretty much expect they are going to be the same from year to year.

Cindysphinx
05-19-2009, 08:33 AM
Well, crappity crap crap crap.

I just played some practice singles. And darn it, *I* couldn't pass the ball over the net a decent number of times or go for my shots. *My* approach shots were shallow and right up the middle. Whenever I needed a cheap point, I hit topspin lobs to the baseline until one bounced too high for her to reach.

It was quite pitiful. One could even say it was bad.

Cindy -- who isn't going to respect herself in the morning

goober
05-19-2009, 08:40 AM
Again we are not talking elite level junior players. That's a ridiculous comparison. If you select a very small subgroup of player from any age range you can come to absurd conclusions based on this when generalizing across a whole group of people. What if I said well the best players at my club are a bunch of 50 year old ex-ATP players. They can absolutely destroy anybody that they play at the club regardless of age. Therefore based on this sample I conclude that middle age men are the best players around.

The original assertion is that middle school girls would routinely beat 4.5 men and therefore juniors are better players than adult in game situations. Juniors training for D1 scholarships and a shot at the pros do NOT represent average junior players or even anything close to it. They represent a very small fraction of players. Go around and watch some high school matches of average teams- not the ones that go to the playoffs- The middle of the road teams. They are filled with 3.0-4.0 players. People who watch elite level juniors training at clubs are seeing a very small part of the picture.

JavierLW
05-19-2009, 09:19 AM
Again we are not talking elite level junior players. That's a ridiculous comparison. If you select a very small subgroup of player from any age range you can come to absurd conclusions based on this when generalizing across a whole group of people. What if I said well the best players at my club are a bunch of 50 year old ex-ATP players. They can absolutely destroy anybody that they play at the club regardless of age. Therefore based on this sample I conclude that middle age men are the best players around.

The original assertion is that middle school girls would routinely beat 4.5 men and therefore juniors are better players than adult in game situations. Juniors training for D1 scholarships and a shot at the pros do NOT represent average junior players or even anything close to it. They represent a very small fraction of players. Go around and watch some high school matches of average teams- not the ones that go to the playoffs- The middle of the road teams. They are filled with 3.0-4.0 players. People who watch elite level juniors training at clubs are seeing a very small part of the picture.

No you are missing the big picture (of this conversation).

Suresh merely stated that "Middle School girls routinely beat 4.5 Men". He didnt say all of them, or even most of them, or even some of them.

And to that some said "No WAY!!!!". And as usual rather then think about it logically they choose to paint pictures of how absurd it is to them based on their own narrow experiences.

And to counter some even went the whole other way giving statistics about how out of 100 girls 99 of them would lose to a 3.5 Men, etc.....

That's how these conversations typically go.

Why would anyone even talk about random middle school girls on some tennis team? I agree, most of them dont even really play tennis, but if you take a random sampling of human beings in general you'll find the same.

The point is just because someone hasnt seen something doesnt mean it doenst happen and it doesnt mean in some other area it's not widespread.

(I live in a state where tennis isnt even a huge sport and Ive seen plenty, I can imagine California or Florida has way more)

I think it's funny as well that some people will use an example of ONE person they played as some sort of argument as to what their belief is on the matter.

Also there is the obvious situation where if you look at who's playing in college or knocking on the door to go to pros, that is NOT that small of a number. It's big enough where it's not unreasonable that you'd know someone in that situation, and those are all kids.

(also it's not all that far fetched that people know kids in this situation because a lot of us on this board play at clubs. Clubs mainly train kids, and mainly for well-to-do parents who can afford it, that's how they make most of their money these days if they are smart)

raiden031
05-19-2009, 10:28 AM
No you are missing the big picture (of this conversation).

Suresh merely stated that "Middle School girls routinely beat 4.5 Men". He didnt say all of them, or even most of them, or even some of them.

And to that some said "No WAY!!!!". And as usual rather then think about it logically they choose to paint pictures of how absurd it is to them based on their own narrow experiences.

And to counter some even went the whole other way giving statistics about how out of 100 girls 99 of them would lose to a 3.5 Men, etc.....

That's how these conversations typically go.

Why would anyone even talk about random middle school girls on some tennis team? I agree, most of them dont even really play tennis, but if you take a random sampling of human beings in general you'll find the same.

The point is just because someone hasnt seen something doesnt mean it doenst happen and it doesnt mean in some other area it's not widespread.

(I live in a state where tennis isnt even a huge sport and Ive seen plenty, I can imagine California or Florida has way more)

I think it's funny as well that some people will use an example of ONE person they played as some sort of argument as to what their belief is on the matter.

Also there is the obvious situation where if you look at who's playing in college or knocking on the door to go to pros, that is NOT that small of a number. It's big enough where it's not unreasonable that you'd know someone in that situation, and those are all kids.

(also it's not all that far fetched that people know kids in this situation because a lot of us on this board play at clubs. Clubs mainly train kids, and mainly for well-to-do parents who can afford it, that's how they make most of their money these days if they are smart)

Goober is right. The whole debate started because I said that a 4.0-4.5 adult league player probably won't look as solid, but will probably beat a teen or young adult who does look more solid (ie. more modern strokes) but might actually be only a 3.5 player because they lack court smarts and experience. Suresh decided to point out a couple highly elite teenage girls who can take out 4.5 men to counter my argument.

JavierLW
05-19-2009, 10:53 AM
Goober is right. The whole debate started because I said that a 4.0-4.5 adult league player probably won't look as solid, but will probably beat a teen or young adult who does look more solid (ie. more modern strokes) but might actually be only a 3.5 player because they lack court smarts and experience. Suresh decided to point out a couple highly elite teenage girls who can take out 4.5 men to counter my argument.

Well then goober is wrong again then.

If you're going to define them as "looking more solid/more modern strokes" suggesting they have some sort of flawless looking technique, then you cant go pull up all of the girls who happen to play tennis in middle school or some little kid that you found yourself playing last Sunday.

(because most of them are just learning how to play tennis, there is no way in hell they LOOK even close to a 4.5 adult)

(well actually goober was right in assuming most of them are 3.0 or worse, but then you cant apply them to your arguement because 3.0 or worse players do not generally look like 4.5 players. Maybe when their name is RAIDEN031 they do.... :-) , but that's not usually the case.....)

raiden031
05-19-2009, 11:06 AM
Well then goober is wrong again then.

If you're going to define them as "looking more solid/more modern strokes" suggesting they have some sort of flawless looking technique, then you cant go pull up all of the girls who happen to play tennis in middle school or some little kid that you found yourself playing last Sunday.

(because most of them are just learning how to play tennis, there is no way in hell they LOOK even close to a 4.5 adult)

(well actually goober was right in assuming most of them are 3.0 or worse, but then you cant apply them to your arguement because 3.0 or worse players do not generally look like 4.5 players. Maybe when their name is RAIDEN031 they do.... :-) , but that's not usually the case.....)

The whole point is that your average adult league player does not look as skilled as their NTRP level per the NTRP descriptions, because their rating level has been attained more by their experience than their actual shot-making skills. If that was untrue, then why do so many people on the board say that a USTA 4.0 player could only be a 3.0 player when they watch them on video?

Players that hit with SW grips, loads of topspin, open stances, and can run tend to look like more advanced players than those who hit with continental forehands, neutral stances, and really funky looking strokes. There are loads more HS players who play like modern players than 45 year olds, yet the average HS rating level would be pretty low because they overhit, lack patience, lack experience, etc.