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Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 05:27 AM
I've been wondering just how often it works when a player decides to move from a "fun" team (where people try to improve and win but know they have little chance of making the playoffs) to a "competitive" team (where playoffs and beyond are the goal).

I've been watching the experiences of one of my former teammates, kind of as a test case.

This lady joined my team maybe two years ago. She and a few other players were leaving her old team because they had issues with the captain. She joined our little orbit (day, combo, adult) and seemed happy. She was a strong doubles player (with ambitions to make it to 4.0 this November), so I made sure she had her choice of partners and I tried to be accommodating of her schedule etc. Last December and again this March, she confirmed her intention of continuing with the team for our spring 3.5 season.

Then she played a fun, competitive doubles match against another captain. This captain -- who always tries to field a team strong enough to go to Nationals -- was impressed with her and offered her a spot on her team. My player called me and asked if it was OK if she backed out of her commitment and went instead to this playoff-bound team. She felt this could be her last chance to make a playoff run before she moves up to 4.0.

Well, what could I say? Of course I said it was fine if she backed out. It's a free country, last time I checked. All I can do to retain players is be the best captain I can be. If that isn't enough, or if a player has other priorities, then it probably is best if they change teams. Why try to guilt someone into staying with a team?

So. That left me shorthanded at the beginning of the season and left me lacking a strong Court One player. I later heard this teammate got some blowback from another captain she plays for in the winter, who was irked that this player would go to That Other Captain rather than go to her. Oy.

It will not surprise you to hear that I have kept one eye on how things are going on this new team. My former teammate is crazy fast around the court, so it seems her new captain has decided to use her in singles (this may also be because many of the players on that team have established partners). The new team played her once at No. 2 singles. My former teammate was beaten, something like 7-5, 4-4 (timed). This probably came as a shock given that her opponent was just a 3.0.

She got another shot yesterday, again at No. 2 singles. Again she drew a 3.0 opponent -- and this opponent is a former teammate of the captain so the captain knows how that player plays. Again my former teammate lost, 6-4, 6-3. Oh, man.

What could be causing her to play so poorly that she can't beat players a full level beneath her? It certainly isn't that she is a poor singles player -- I've seen her play singles and she knows what she is doing.

Me, I think it is the pressure to win, plain and simple.

I think the atmosphere on some hyper-competitive teams can be toxic to a person's tennis. I know from conversations with this other captain that her approach is that you don't play if you can't win. That is a big change from a less competitive philosophy where you know you will get your shot and no one will hold it against you if you lose.

I also have some personal experience with this. I joined a competitive team this season, and it is the first time I've been on such a team. The jury is still out -- I've only played one match, and I lost. Did I feel tight during that match because of the pressure? You betcha. Do I feel like I will walk the plank if I don't win next time? Ay yay, Captain.

Has anyone else had difficulty making the transition to a competitive team? Captains, have you seen it among your players?

sureshs
05-27-2009, 05:52 AM
Serves her right for ditching you.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 05:57 AM
Serves her right for ditching you.

But I *like* her. And I do think it is just the pressure.

Although . . . I haven't been able to bring myself to set up a foursome with her, like the good old days. It would be too awkward. Maybe later this summer. . . .

There was a lot of buzzing about it among the various teams. People would come up to me and express their horror, probably hoping I would put on a Big Show Of Disapproval and satisfy the insatiable need for Drama. Nah. I just said she decided to try something different, and I was OK with it. Which left them disappointed! ;)

raiden031
05-27-2009, 05:57 AM
What could be causing her to play so poorly that she can't beat players a full level beneath her? It certainly isn't that she is a poor singles player -- I've seen her play singles and she knows what she is doing.

Me, I think it is the pressure to win, plain and simple.

I think the atmosphere on some hyper-competitive teams can be toxic to a person's tennis. I know from conversations with this other captain that her approach is that you don't play if you can't win. That is a big change from a less competitive philosophy where you know you will get your shot and no one will hold it against you if you lose.

I also have some personal experience with this. I joined a competitive team this season, and it is the first time I've been on such a team. The jury is still out -- I've only played one match, and I lost. Did I feel tight during that match because of the pressure? You betcha. Do I feel like I will walk the plank if I don't win next time? Ay yay, Captain.

Has anyone else had difficulty making the transition to a competitive team? Captains, have you seen it among your players?

I find it doubtful that she is losing to 3.0 players because of too much pressure. Pressure might have an effect at times, but not that great of an effect.

I think either 1) they are not truly 3.0, hinted by the fact that they are playing up in a 3.5 league and beating someone who is a strong 3.5 player, or 2) she is not a good singles player. You can be athletic and still lose in singles if you don't have consistent strokes or the right strategy and shot selections. I started improving in doubles faster than in singles initially, then it sorta reversed.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 05:58 AM
I find it doubtful that she is losing to 3.0 players because of too much pressure. Pressure might have an effect at times, but not that great of an effect.

I think either 1) they are not truly 3.0, hinted by the fact that they are playing up in a 3.5 league and beating someone who is a strong 3.5 player, or 2) she is not a good singles player. You can be athletic and still lose in singles if you don't have consistent strokes or the right strategy and shot selections. I started improving in doubles faster than in singles initially, then it sorta reversed.

Raiden, on your 3.0 team that went to Nationals, was there a lot of pressure? Maybe not on you, but on some of the players who lost a bit more frequently? Did they get benched?

sureshs
05-27-2009, 06:01 AM
This brings me back to the "bad day" thread. If your former teammate loses to a 3.0 in a competitive match, then she is a 3.0 or 2.5, by definition. She is not having a bad hair day because it is a competitive match. I understand all about the jitters of playing under pressure, but losing to someone a whole level below shows that her game has many cracks.

raiden031
05-27-2009, 06:08 AM
Raiden, on your 3.0 team that went to Nationals, was there a lot of pressure? Maybe not on you, but on some of the players who lost a bit more frequently? Did they get benched?

There was some pressure, but honestly none of the players except maybe the captains took it all that seriously. I'd say all of the players performed to their best ability most of the time, and the only benching I saw was maybe at Nationals when a few players only got to play 2 matches, whereas me and a few others played like 4-6 matches.

sureshs
05-27-2009, 06:14 AM
There was a lot of buzzing about it among the various teams. People would come up to me and express their horror, probably hoping I would put on a Big Show Of Disapproval and satisfy the insatiable need for Drama. Nah. I just said she decided to try something different, and I was OK with it. Which left them disappointed! ;)

She will come back crawling to you.

Some people are best in casual social play, and they should just take it as something they do for fun and exercise, and leave it at that.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 06:36 AM
Eh, I doubt it. She has lots of options. The awkwardness will be difficult to overcome, I'm afraid.

blakesq
05-27-2009, 06:46 AM
in Connecticut there is an unwritten rule that captains of teams were not supposed to poach players from other teams. Not sure how or if it is enforced, but the captain of my team mentioned this rule to me just a week or so ago. I wonder if you guys don't have the same rule in your area Cindy?


snip
Then she played a fun, competitive doubles match against another captain. This captain -- who always tries to field a team strong enough to go to Nationals -- was impressed with her and offered her a spot on her team. My player called me and asked if it was OK if she backed out of her commitment and went instead to this playoff-bound team. She felt this could be her last chance to make a playoff run before she moves up to 4.0.
snip

cak
05-27-2009, 06:51 AM
Call her for a social game. Really. I'm betting the awkwardness will all fade away.

My partner from last season got bumped to 4.0, and I didn't. Our club doesn't have any other 4.0 ladies, but was thinking of building a 4.0 team with 3.5 players, and a few 4.0s from outside the club. She wanted a true 4.0 team, so she joined another club. We still play social tennis weekly. And my one stipulation is I will not play on my 4.0 team against her team in league play. And next year if she comes back to play for our club it will be with high fives all around.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 07:04 AM
in Connecticut there is an unwritten rule that captains of teams were not supposed to poach players from other teams. Not sure how or if it is enforced, but the captain of my team mentioned this rule to me just a week or so ago. I wonder if you guys don't have the same rule in your area Cindy?

Goodness no. There's no such rule here.

Some captains are big on "loyalty" -- read Guilt Trip -- but I'm not. If you do a crap job as captain, your players owe you nothing other than to do their best to perform well.

I think it is fine to make offers to players on other teams, but my feeling is that players often act like idiots when this happens. All you have to say is, "Thanks for thinking of me, but I'll stick with Suzy's team for now." But nooooo. Folks have to make a big fat deal out of it.

Me, I do make offers to people if I know them from some other tennis forum. That would be people I meet in clinics, people on my other teams, people I meet socially. I have had people leave their teams and join mine from these invitations. Sometimes there are players on strong teams who are unhappy because they don't get enough playing time or enough of a challenge or don't like their partners or captain, but they are trapped. If they want out, I'm happy to take them.

CAK, I think I will try to set something up now rather than waiting for the season to end. Why not? The worst that can happen is she'll decline.

CrocodileRock
05-27-2009, 07:14 AM
Deja vu Cindy. In our case, we've had three guys join other teams they thought were more competitive than us after committing to us, and exchanging emails, phone calls, team strategies, etc. In all three cases, they left a competitive team for a "more competitive" team (even though our team has won five straight years) that they thought was going to nationals. And in all three cases, the teams they joined ended up in last place. It hasn't been that awkward seeing them around though. Maybe that's a woman thing?

RoddickAce
05-27-2009, 07:33 AM
Actually I think you're right. Pressure can do that to people. You tense up during matches and then when that happens you hit more errors and you mess up your timing because your feet are tensed up. And in the 3.0 stage, a lot of successful players are pushers, so that might spell a loss for your former teammate.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 07:38 AM
Deja vu Cindy. In our case, we've had three guys join other teams they thought were more competitive than us after committing to us, and exchanging emails, phone calls, team strategies, etc. In all three cases, they left a competitive team for a "more competitive" team (even though our team has won five straight years) that they thought was going to nationals. And in all three cases, the teams they joined ended up in last place. It hasn't been that awkward seeing them around though. Maybe that's a woman thing?

What's up with the committing repeatedly and then backing out stuff?

I can't imagine telling a player she has a spot and then waiting until the season is about to start and teams have been formed and then tossing her out on her butt because someone stronger comes along. Yet players do that to captains.

Man. I turned down a bunch of players because my roster was full, and then this happened. I wasn't able to find anyone to fill the spot, and certainly not anyone capable of playing Court One. Urrrrgg.

drakulie
05-27-2009, 08:17 AM
What could be causing her to play so poorly that she can't beat players a full level beneath her?


an inflated NTRP.

jgn1013
05-27-2009, 08:26 AM
I think playing singles is totally different from doubles. I feel less pressure,and sometimes lack concentration playing doubles then when I play singles. Maybe she's not a good singles player ?

subaru3169
05-27-2009, 09:27 AM
i say if she can be happier joining a higher level team, then let her have it given it's not last minute so that you can find a replacement to fill her spot

so you already know how she plays and what her results were.. ok, so her results against those other ppl from that other team isn't really your business.. for her to commit to that other team is for her to decide whether it's worth it or not.. but since you seem pretty inviting, let her on back if she decides it's not right for her, and be happy if it is

slick
05-27-2009, 09:46 AM
She clearly is not as good as she thinks she is. Even if nervous a low 4.0 should beat a high 3.0 every time.

Second, she showed poor character committing to play for your team and then ditching you for greener pastures.

Admit it, deep down you have to be happy she is getting her *** handed to her.

Topaz
05-27-2009, 10:06 AM
This brings me back to the "bad day" thread. If your former teammate loses to a 3.0 in a competitive match, then she is a 3.0 or 2.5, by definition. She is not having a bad hair day because it is a competitive match. I understand all about the jitters of playing under pressure, but losing to someone a whole level below shows that her game has many cracks.

Unless...that 3.0 is not really a 3.0.

In my little corner of the world, ladies will self-rate 3.0 for the mixed season, meaning they can pair up wit ha 4.0 guy. Then, come ladies league, they don't even bother to play 3.0...they just play 3.5. We have a few of them running around in singles, and if they beat a well established, strong 3.5, it doesn't necessarily hurt the 3.5...it gets the 3.0 bumped up to where they belong.

Topaz
05-27-2009, 10:06 AM
She clearly is not as good as she thinks she is. Even if nervous a low 4.0 should beat a high 3.0 every time.

Second, she showed poor character committing to play for your team and then ditching you for greener pastures.

Admit it, deep down you have to be happy she is getting her *** handed to her.

The person in question isn't a 4.0...she's a 3.5.

Jim A
05-27-2009, 10:56 AM
why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? My current team has a chance to win our flight and if so, I believe will be setup to do well and potentially make it to nationals.

I would think the further we go the shorter our roster will get, but we only really have 1-2 week players on our roster.

we don't hold practices other than some social hitting, I'm still meeting people on my team as not everyone has entered the rotation (we are heading into Wk 4)

slick
05-27-2009, 11:18 AM
The person in question isn't a 4.0...she's a 3.5.

Right. The OP said that this person "thought" they should be moved up to 4.0.

If said person keeps losing to 3.0's she may get moved down.

sureshs
05-27-2009, 12:12 PM
Unless...that 3.0 is not really a 3.0.

In my little corner of the world, ladies will self-rate 3.0 for the mixed season, meaning they can pair up wit ha 4.0 guy. Then, come ladies league, they don't even bother to play 3.0...they just play 3.5. We have a few of them running around in singles, and if they beat a well established, strong 3.5, it doesn't necessarily hurt the 3.5...it gets the 3.0 bumped up to where they belong.

Possible. Just going by what was posted. And remember she lost to two of them.

spiderman123
05-27-2009, 12:15 PM
This brings me back to the "bad day" thread. If your former teammate loses to a 3.0 in a competitive match, then she is a 3.0 or 2.5, by definition. She is not having a bad hair day because it is a competitive match. I understand all about the jitters of playing under pressure, but losing to someone a whole level below shows that her game has many cracks.

Nope. This means that both of them could be at the border of the level.

Maybe the 3.0's dynamic rating is 2.94 and 3.5's dynamic rating is 3.06, or even closer.

The only time your comment holds is when a player loses to 2 levels below. Then there is something seriously wrong.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 12:27 PM
why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? My current team has a chance to win our flight and if so, I believe will be setup to do well and potentially make it to nationals.


I think they do have to be mutually exclusive. Unless you define "fun" to mean "Beer after matches."

I think "fun" means you know you'll get to play and no one will be judging you. "Fun" means no pressure to win, other than self-imposed pressure.

Honestly, I have talked with various members of the team at various times. Everyone would like to get more team wins. We knock around the idea of playing the stronger players more and benching the weaker ones.

And ever time, we circle back to the same conclusion: If I start making line-up decisions based on who is stronger, it will ruin the atmosphere of the team.

Sure, it's easy to see who is (in terms of strength) Player No. 1 v. Player No. 17. What is tough is seeing who is Player No. 5 v. Player No. 11. Once results start to affect playing time, players will get mighty picky about their partner and will be less willing to "take one for the team." Then add in the inherent conflict of interest the captain has -- who will never bench herself, will she? -- and it just seems like a whole lot more tension and friction than it is worth.

We're just going to have to do what we did the last time we moved up a level: Work harder to get better and try to recruit new players with potential.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 12:28 PM
Admit it, deep down you have to be happy she is getting her *** handed to her.

I am trying really hard not to feel that way. You want to know why?

The Tennis Gods will smite me down for wishing ill on another player.

I have enough problems without getting smited. :)

CrocodileRock
05-27-2009, 12:52 PM
I think they do have to be mutually exclusive.

I'm with you on this Cindy. A team can only have one primary goal, whether it be win, have fun, drink beer, equalize playing time, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc. Inevitably, there will be a match where it's Weak Wendy's turn to play, but playing Strong Susie will advance you to the playoffs. You have to choose one goal over the other, and it should be made clear to each member before signing up what is most important to the team.

raiden031
05-27-2009, 01:01 PM
Sure, it's easy to see who is (in terms of strength) Player No. 1 v. Player No. 17. What is tough is seeing who is Player No. 5 v. Player No. 11. Once results start to affect playing time, players will get mighty picky about their partner and will be less willing to "take one for the team." Then add in the inherent conflict of interest the captain has -- who will never bench herself, will she? -- and it just seems like a whole lot more tension and friction than it is worth.

We're just going to have to do what we did the last time we moved up a level: Work harder to get better and try to recruit new players with potential.

It is seriously not worth the trouble. Lets say you ended up putting together a team that wins the league. Unless your team is destroying the opposing teams during the regular season, they are going to get slaughtered in districts.

Even our Nationals team barely made it out of districts. We were 1 tiebreak set away from getting eliminated at districts.

Unless you have cream of the crop players in your league, chances are its not worth the trouble.

Topaz
05-27-2009, 01:06 PM
It is seriously not worth the trouble. Lets say you ended up putting together a team that wins the league. Unless your team is destroying the opposing teams during the regular season, they are going to get slaughtered in districts.

Even our Nationals team barely made it out of districts. We were 1 tiebreak set away from getting eliminated at districts.

Unless you have cream of the crop players in your league, chances are its not worth the trouble.

Well, not necessarily! *Someone* has to win, right? ;)

Though, it is the same here in VA...districts is much tougher than sectionals, just because of the sheer volume of teams you have to get through.

A very good friend of mine captained a team that went all the way to Nationals, and they had *no* clue that was going to happen at the beginning of the season. They are a good, strong group that stays together, has fun, and works on getting better...and one year, they were just better than everyone else. *shrug* They didn't *try* to get to Nationals.

I think some of those teams that are just h*ll-bent on getting there and do everything with that in mind...I think it takes away from the fun of playing tennis. And I'm just as competitive as the next person.

raiden031
05-27-2009, 01:13 PM
Well, not necessarily! *Someone* has to win, right? ;)

Though, it is the same here in VA...districts is much tougher than sectionals, just because of the sheer volume of teams you have to get through.

A very good friend of mine captained a team that went all the way to Nationals, and they had *no* clue that was going to happen at the beginning of the season. They are a good, strong group that stays together, has fun, and works on getting better...and one year, they were just better than everyone else. *shrug* They didn't *try* to get to Nationals.

I think some of those teams that are just h*ll-bent on getting there and do everything with that in mind...I think it takes away from the fun of playing tennis. And I'm just as competitive as the next person.

If you have all good players, it is worthwhile. But when you start worrying about certain players being too weak and having to bench them, then that right there is a sign you don't have the right players for the task. Even our worst player (aside from the non-playing captains themselves) got bumped up at year's end, and could win most matches easily when they played during the regular season.

CrocodileRock
05-27-2009, 01:22 PM
If you have all good players, it is worthwhile. But when you start worrying about certain players being too weak and having to bench them, then that right there is a sign you don't have the right players for the task. Even our worst player (aside from the non-playing captains themselves) got bumped up at year's end, and could win most matches easily when they played during the regular season.

Ideally, that is the best situation - all players are strong, and can be rotated in and out of the lineup with no adverse consequences, but that seems to be the exception, not the rule.

JavierLW
05-27-2009, 01:30 PM
I'm with you on this Cindy. A team can only have one primary goal, whether it be win, have fun, drink beer, equalize playing time, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc. Inevitably, there will be a match where it's Weak Wendy's turn to play, but playing Strong Susie will advance you to the playoffs. You have to choose one goal over the other, and it should be made clear to each member before signing up what is most important to the team.

Winning is fun though.... The problem becomes when a team's ONLY goal of existence is winning and then if they dont it is suddenly not fun.

I get into this debate with a friend of mine all the time.

My team according to him is "gung ho". We've never taken first place, but in the last 5 years if you look at all the teams who have never won a title, we're #1. (woo hoo! :-) ) So we do want to win, and I think for the most part everyone on my team cares if the team does well, it is a team sport after all.

And actually I think that gives us some good things. Nobody is very selfish about the lineup, if someone plays a bit more then someone else, everyone understands why. (if someone is clearly better it makes no sense to take them out, especially if they've worked on their game)

We dont have the usual constant complaints from people who ONLY want to play singles, because it's clear that our 2 or 3 singles players are dominate. (we've only lost 7 individual singles matches in 2 years in 40 trys)

Ive even had guys who've only played 3 or 4 matches in a season and you know what? They dont complain and they dont feel bad. If they wanted to play more, they would go out and take lessons and work on their game, but instead they are happy to just be on the team.

And do you know why? Because it's fun..... It's a good time, we all get along, and we all have a goal. It's kind of circular.

Meanwhile his team is the "for fun" team. Almost everyone on it is either there because they have no where else to go, or it's because they've demanded something and he's promised it to them.

So supposably that's the place to go to "have fun" if all you care about is getting your tennis in.

Well guess again, he's promised 15 different people 15 different things, and when they dont get what they want, they are all unhappy and they all complain and they dont have fun. (they also complain that they lose, because when almost everyone on your team loses it's actually depressing, no matter how much someone wants to admit it)

I should start a thread about people who leave the "competitive" team for the "for fun"/"selfish" team because we have some ex teammates on that team and they are about as miserable as all get out.

On my team I always try to put everyone in a match that they can be successful at (because we want wins and in our league's system individual wins matter).

On his team you'll get stuck just about everywhere because he has to worry about 15 different people's feelings and if you arent on the top of his pecking order or in his thoughts that day who knows where you are going to be or who you will get stuck with at doubles.

Not to say all "for fun" teams are as bad as his, but not all competitive teams are "not fun" either. Everyone thinks that somehow it's "fair" when they divy up the matches evenly, but it's actually not really fair to some because some players just deserve to play more.

It's hard work improving your game, and that should be rewarded by not getting pulled out of lineups just to satisfy the goal of making sure everyone gets X number of matches. (which just happens to help the team as well)

OrangePower
05-27-2009, 01:42 PM
I'm with you on this Cindy. A team can only have one primary goal, whether it be win, have fun, drink beer, equalize playing time, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc. Inevitably, there will be a match where it's Weak Wendy's turn to play, but playing Strong Susie will advance you to the playoffs. You have to choose one goal over the other, and it should be made clear to each member before signing up what is most important to the team.

I think it's possible to reach a happy compromise... for example, I'm on a very strong team - currently undefeated and likely to easily win our flight. We want to win, but at the same time we all enjoy socializing and practicing together, and we have a lot of fun. There are a few weaker players on the team. True, they will not get to play as much as the stronger players. But they knew this going in, and they will still get several matches each (we know who the weaker teams are in the league, against whom we don't need to put out our strongest lineup). The weaker players enjoy the cameraderie and excitement of being on a winning team, plus they enjoy the practices, where they get to play regularly against stronger players - on a weak team, they would not be playing against strong players nearly as much, even if they got more actual matches.

OrangePower
05-27-2009, 01:45 PM
^^^^^^

+1 for Javier's long post two above... that's been my experience also

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 01:54 PM
Regarding Raiden's thoughts, I guess I might say that it can be fun to be the winning team that advances, so long as you fall backside backward into it.

In the 2008 combo season, we had a team of good players. We adhered to our custom of giving everyone the same number of matches. Near the end of the season, we looked up and realized that we could advance by finishing second if we won one of our last three matches. The team discussed it and decided to re-work the line-ups to get that one win (and then we had the weaker players close out the season). We went to Districts and lost in the semi-finals (because I played like crap, but that's another story).

Then for 2009, we again had the same group of women (more or less). This time we set out to win the whole enchilada (meaning our flight) and then try to win the championship. We achieved the first goal, again adhering to our principal of playing everyone equally. I think everyone feels they have contributed so far, which is nice.

That said, I can see that there are going to be hurt feelings about who plays at Districts.

'Cause for the first time this year, I'll be indicating who I think is stronger than whom. There are gonna be some mighty surprised women.

Cindy -- who is likely to bench herself for Districts because she can't win with the partner she put herself with, but that partner can and does win with others

CrocodileRock
05-27-2009, 02:17 PM
That said, I can see that there are going to be hurt feelings about who plays at Districts.

'Cause for the first time this year, I'll be indicating who I think is stronger than whom. There are gonna be some mighty surprised women.


One of my friends captains a team here, and he has already started recording practice scores. Also, he has set up challenge ladders for singles and doubles based on those scores. Come sectionals, the top two singles and top three doubles are in the lineup, with the others not playing until and if the team is eliminated. That way, there is no opinion involved. This was made clear to everyone weeks ago.

Can you do the same thing Cindy, so that no one can blame you if they are near the bottom?

OrangePower
05-27-2009, 02:26 PM
One of my friends captains a team here, and he has already started recording practice scores. Also, he has set up challenge ladders for singles and doubles based on those scores. Come sectionals, the top two singles and top three doubles are in the lineup, with the others not playing until and if the team is eliminated. That way, there is no opinion involved. This was made clear to everyone weeks ago.

Can you do the same thing Cindy, so that no one can blame you if they are near the bottom?

That's a good idea. We kinda do this but much more informally (take mental note of practice match results but not to the extent of having an actual ladder).

hotseat
05-27-2009, 02:27 PM
But I *like* her. And I do think it is just the pressure.

Although . . . I haven't been able to bring myself to set up a foursome with her, like the good old days. It would be too awkward. Maybe later this summer. . . .

There was a lot of buzzing about it among the various teams. People would come up to me and express their horror, probably hoping I would put on a Big Show Of Disapproval and satisfy the insatiable need for Drama. Nah. I just said she decided to try something different, and I was OK with it. Which left them disappointed! ;)

should have just forwarded them to this thread

Xisbum
05-27-2009, 02:59 PM
I am trying really hard not to feel that way. You want to know why?

The Tennis Gods will smite me down for wishing ill on another player.

I have enough problems without getting smited. :)
Seems to me you get smited (smote?) plenty in these forums. :)

slick
05-27-2009, 05:25 PM
I am trying really hard not to feel that way. You want to know why?

The Tennis Gods will smite me down for wishing ill on another player.

I have enough problems without getting smited. :)

Maybe the Tennis Gods are smiting her.

Question is: when they kick her off their team will you take her back?

ohplease
05-27-2009, 05:30 PM
One of my friends captains a team here, and he has already started recording practice scores. Also, he has set up challenge ladders for singles and doubles based on those scores. Come sectionals, the top two singles and top three doubles are in the lineup, with the others not playing until and if the team is eliminated. That way, there is no opinion involved. This was made clear to everyone weeks ago.

Can you do the same thing Cindy, so that no one can blame you if they are near the bottom?

Best way to do it.

Tennis players as a species tend to think way too much of their abilities. Ladders (done well - I like tennisengine.com) fix that.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 05:52 PM
One of my friends captains a team here, and he has already started recording practice scores. Also, he has set up challenge ladders for singles and doubles based on those scores. Come sectionals, the top two singles and top three doubles are in the lineup, with the others not playing until and if the team is eliminated. That way, there is no opinion involved. This was made clear to everyone weeks ago.

Can you do the same thing Cindy, so that no one can blame you if they are near the bottom?

Nah, I can't. We barely get together for practices as it is. Usually we can get 4 people out of a team of 18 at any given practice. Players have husbands who want to go golfing, children with soccer games, and multiple tennis teams and clinics to attend.

No one has any time for any more tennis. The last time I arranged a practice for Districts (and mind you, this was *one* two-hour practice), I had 8 players come on a team of 18.

Cindysphinx
05-27-2009, 05:53 PM
Maybe the Tennis Gods are smiting her.

Question is: when they kick her off their team will you take her back?

Absolutely. Why wouldn't I?

Jim A
05-27-2009, 08:23 PM
I think they do have to be mutually exclusive. Unless you define "fun" to mean "Beer after matches."

I think "fun" means you know you'll get to play and no one will be judging you. "Fun" means no pressure to win, other than self-imposed pressure.

Honestly, I have talked with various members of the team at various times. Everyone would like to get more team wins. We knock around the idea of playing the stronger players more and benching the weaker ones.

And ever time, we circle back to the same conclusion: If I start making line-up decisions based on who is stronger, it will ruin the atmosphere of the team.

Sure, it's easy to see who is (in terms of strength) Player No. 1 v. Player No. 17. What is tough is seeing who is Player No. 5 v. Player No. 11. Once results start to affect playing time, players will get mighty picky about their partner and will be less willing to "take one for the team." Then add in the inherent conflict of interest the captain has -- who will never bench herself, will she? -- and it just seems like a whole lot more tension and friction than it is worth.

We're just going to have to do what we did the last time we moved up a level: Work harder to get better and try to recruit new players with potential.

I guess its just much easier on the men's side of all of this. I'm amazed you get 18 women to agree to play on one team when only 8 are playing on a given night. We have 12 on our roster, 8 listed for a match with 1 sub to be on site (everyone subs 1x basically) and everyone plays 6 and sits 3 in our flight. I didn't know the USTA even allowed that many on a single team.

We don't practice outside of some social hitting on a weekend and we get 4-6 to show up. Today our #2 doubles team played together for the first time ever and our #3 met while warming up.

While we may not know everyone on the squad, all of us want to see the team do well, and we like to win. However any pressure and motivation is internal. If my captain told me he was moving me from 1/2 singles to 3 doubles, so be it.

sureshs
05-28-2009, 09:19 AM
Hey Cindy, check out post #64 of this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=263685&page=4

Cindysphinx
05-28-2009, 09:20 AM
I guess its just much easier on the men's side of all of this. I'm amazed you get 18 women to agree to play on one team when only 8 are playing on a given night. We have 12 on our roster, 8 listed for a match with 1 sub to be on site (everyone subs 1x basically) and everyone plays 6 and sits 3 in our flight.

Our league is unusual in that matches can be any time on a weeknight or weekend. So you might have a match at noon on Sunday, and then another on Thursday at 9 pm, and then the next one on Monday at 7 pm.

This works OK because some players have more freedom on weeknights and others have more freedom on weekends. Some of my players say they would prefer to be used at 9 pm on a weeknight only as a last resort because they have to work the next day, whereas that time works great for the stay-at-home moms because then our spouses needn't rush home from work to relieve us.

My sister plays in a league where matches are always Monday nights, so you know to set that aside. That allows for smaller rosters and more matches per player. The problem comes in when the designated time for your level is on a day or time when you can't do it. Then you are straight out of luck.

My main gripe is that our adult league has 20 teams and is divided into two flights. So that means just 9 team matches. If you try to have a small squad (say, 14 players), then each person gets 5+ matches. But you'd be defaulting courts, most likely, or you'd wind up with a random assortment of 8 players for each outing. If you have a larger squad of 18 players, then each player only gets 4 matches, which is too skimpy.

The best thing is the fall and winter combo season,s where the flight is huge. We often get 17+ matches, so we can have a big roster and lots of playing opportunities.

North
05-28-2009, 11:48 AM
What could be causing her to play so poorly that she can't beat players a full level beneath her?

Sandbagging. Lots of good 3.5 players in Mid-Atlantic 3.0 teams.

Cindysphinx
05-28-2009, 12:21 PM
Hey Cindy, check out post #64 of this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=263685&page=4

Hey, thanks, but I have that poster on PermaIgnore.