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AR15
01-12-2010, 01:57 PM
I'm captaining a USTA team with 15 players (too many for my taste, but that's another thread).

A new team member signs up. After signing up, he emails me and says he only wants to play 2 matches during the season. I reply and tell them that is fine (because we have so many people on the team.

The other day I get another email from him. He has analysed our schedule and determined where the soft courts are on our schedule, and says he wants to only play at those clubs.

The guy is new to league play, so I I'm giving him the benefit of being a "noobie," but how would you reply to this request?

I have thoughts of my own, but I'd like to hear yours.

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 02:04 PM
You are the captain... you take requests not orders, do what you think is best. And being the newbie I would think he would have the least input as to where and when he would be playing.

Steady Eddy
01-12-2010, 02:55 PM
I'd reply something like, "We'll see", then add, "I'm not in a position to make promises." He should be ok with that.

Klaus
01-12-2010, 03:06 PM
I am told that in order to be a true gentleman, you must avoid conflict at all costs, so schedule him per his requests.

Tina
01-12-2010, 03:07 PM
I would have call him up for a meeting.

ALten1
01-12-2010, 03:41 PM
His two matches would be on hard courts. J/k I would try to accommodate him but if I couldn't I wouldn't lose any sleep.
BTW does he have any physical limitations that might make it better for him to play soft courts?

Cindysphinx
01-12-2010, 03:47 PM
I would accommodate him if I could.

If I could not, I would tell him precisely why.

Put out the line-up for the match he wants that doesn't have him in it. Send him an e-mail: "Hey, Bill. I know you were hoping to play your matches on Plush Courts, but I had to go with a different line-up. The guys in the line-up have done well against Plush Courts in the past, so I think I should stick with them. I'll try to work you in for another match."

I have some players who have become a little demanding on which matches they play (don't like 9 pm matches on work nights, which is understandable). I accommodate them when I can, but I won't compromise the line-up. When I forget to send the "Here's why you're not playing at Plush Courts" e-mail, they always ask me how come they're not playing the Push Courts match. Which feels a little pushy, honestly.

beernutz
01-12-2010, 05:16 PM
I am told that in order to be a true gentleman, you must avoid conflict at all costs, so schedule him per his requests.

The person who told you this was not a true gentleman because he was lying. True gentlemen aren't liars.

To AR (who plays at the same club I do though I'm not on his team), I'd tell newbie that it is difficult enough to be a team captain to players who don't make any special demands and that you are sorry but you don't need him on the team after all.

Steady Eddy
01-12-2010, 05:22 PM
The person who told you this was not a true gentleman because he was lying. True gentlemen aren't liars.

To AR (who plays at the same club I do though I'm not on his team), I'd tell newbie that it is difficult enough to be a team captain to players who don't make any special demands and that you are sorry but you don't need him on the team after all.Would you really do this? You might think you would, but it's different when it's for real and not just advice. That very direct approach might make him into an enemy.

Panic492
01-12-2010, 06:42 PM
Tell him, you will play you strongest lines that give you the best chance to win. If you have the opportunity to accomodate him you will but your job as captain is to put together a winning team and have fun. NO GUARANTEES.

gameboy
01-12-2010, 08:17 PM
I am told that in order to be a true gentleman, you must avoid conflict at all costs, so schedule him per his requests.

A true gentleman avoid all UNNECESSARY conflicts.

A gentleman would try to accomodate the request if possible, but tell him the truth that you are trying to field the best team whenever possible and those two goals may not agree all the time.

A gentleman would not act like an a-hole and tell him "get lost, it's my team."

Dave Mc
01-13-2010, 04:53 AM
How strong is the new player? If he is your new ringer, you may want to accommodate him (superiority has its privileges).... otherwise, you should just toss him into the rotation, and he plays when it's his turn, or however your team normally operates.

athiker
01-13-2010, 05:17 AM
I guess it partially depends on the makeup of your team and how it normally operates. Our team is mostly neighborhood guys with a few from other neighborhoods. I had a guy last year who told me upfront he would have conflicts in the fall with coaching his son's football team. I told him just let me know when he could make a match and I'll do my best to work him in. He ended up only playing 2 matches, but only b/c that's all he could make.

We don't schedule the whole season at the beginning though. A good many of our guys travel for work so that's not possible; so we schedule only 1 or 2 weeks ahead. I did make a Google Document open spreadsheet and asked for everyone to fill in their expected availabilty at the season beginning to get a general idea then adjusted as the season went on.

It just happened that the 2 match guy also asked to play on hardcourt at one match. Kind of an odd situation, but due to recent rain only 2 clay courts were dry enough to use at an away match so one was forced to a hard court. Our home courts are hard. He asked to play on the hard, so I asked the other captain what court # would be on the hard and put him and his partner there. I wanted him to play wherever he felt the most confident.

I think in general that's what I would want, my players to play wherever they feel most confident, as long as it wasn't too big a hassle or affected others too much. Bear in mind the guy on my team was not demanding in any way; he just said he would prefer it. Your guy may feel he is much better on soft courts, or as someone mentioned may have some health issue that makes that easier on him. If he was demanding or had an attitude, which would be surprising for a newbie, I don't know for sure how I would react to be honest. I would like to think I would just tell him something like, "I'll keep your request in mind, but we'll have to see how everyone's schedule comes together best." Good luck.

JavierLW
01-13-2010, 05:21 AM
A true gentleman avoid all UNNECESSARY conflicts.

A gentleman would try to accomodate the request if possible, but tell him the truth that you are trying to field the best team whenever possible and those two goals may not agree all the time.

A gentleman would not act like an a-hole and tell him "get lost, it's my team."

I think you guys are seriously confusing being a gentleman with something else....

And it's just not ideal to have 15-16 people requesting all sorts of specific things because you can not accommodate them all, nor should you favor certain ones if it screws someone else.

That's part of being on a team and not just a individual endeavor.

You dont have to be a a-hole to not cave in everytime someone demands something or challenges you. There are 15 other people on the team so it's simple enough to point that out and be honest that you are not going to make any promises.

It depends on your team goal, but I make my lineups based on how we can be the most successful, and allow everyone to play if that's possible.

That's how scheduling works, you might have a list of different priority's that you want to accomplish and the further down the list a priority is the less likely that it will happen.

Sometimes what one particular player wants isnt even possible without messing everything else up.

In this particular request, I would consider the guy is only getting to play twice. But negatives may be:

1) He's taking the only weak spot away from another weaker player who was already on my team. Maybe Id like to give them a nice easy match as well.

2) Maybe I dont consider these to be "soft spots", maybe it's really a tough team and I have someone better there. We're not going to lose a position just to accommodate someone else's whim.

All this is a big problem though because it sounds like somehow you ended up with a 16th player that was maybe beyond your control.

If you went and got the 16th player yourself, you'd be a little bit more obliged to at least try to give them a better experience then you are when you got one shoved onto your team when clearly you have more then enough players....

athiker
01-13-2010, 05:39 AM
I'm captaining a USTA team with 15 players (too many for my taste, but that's another thread).

A new team member signs up. After signing up, he emails me and says he only wants to play 2 matches during the season. I reply and tell them that is fine (because we have so many people on the team.

The other day I get another email from him. He has analysed our schedule and determined where the soft courts are on our schedule, and says he wants to only play at those clubs.

The guy is new to league play, so I I'm giving him the benefit of being a "noobie," but how would you reply to this request?

I have thoughts of my own, but I'd like to hear yours.

I'm sorry, I may have misunderstood...what did you mean by "soft courts"?

I thought you meant clay, did you mean he only wants to play against the weakest clubs!?

AR15
01-13-2010, 06:07 AM
By soft courts, I mean artificial clay, or Rubico.

The player is a very fit individual, in his 30's, and is solid for his ranking.



I'm inclined to grant his request simply because the request are not causing me to make other changes to accommodate. BUT, because this individual doesn't seem to have a clue as to what it means to be part of a TEAM, I would like to provide him with this understanding before the season is complete.

Cindysphinx
01-13-2010, 06:19 AM
I'll give you this, gameboy. A lot of people don't try to be accommodating over small matters when they easily could. If your natural tendency is to be accommodating, that is in general a good thing. I imagine you on the freeway, cheerfully letting everyone cut in front of you. Maybe the world needs more of that? :)

Anyway, there is one thing that troubles me when players start making a lot of special requests. One request I get a lot is that players generally do not want the 9 pm weeknight start times. I can usually accommodate those who express a preference, but is that fair to the others, who then get saddled with playing more late matches than they otherwise would? It's a squeaky wheel problem.

One unusual thing that I do with my team is that I split the season court fees equally among the players. One reason is that I found too much cherry-picking was going on. Players were saying they were only available for the most convenient matches. I had players who would list themselves as available for the only two weekend matches so I could only play them twice. It didn't cost them anything to do this, as they only paid when they played. I found myself with too few players for the distant or late matches, while the cherry-picker was parked on the roster so I couldn't take on more players.

Now we split the fees equally, and if someone wants to cherry-pick the best matches, they may find themselves paying for five matches but only playing in one.

AR15
01-13-2010, 06:52 AM
I'll give you this, gameboy. A lot of people don't try to be accommodating over small matters when they easily could. If your natural tendency is to be accommodating, that is in general a good thing. I imagine you on the freeway, cheerfully letting everyone cut in front of you. Maybe the world needs more of that? :)

Anyway, there is one thing that troubles me when players start making a lot of special requests. One request I get a lot is that players generally do not want the 9 pm weeknight start times. I can usually accommodate those who express a preference, but is that fair to the others, who then get saddled with playing more late matches than they otherwise would? It's a squeaky wheel problem.

One unusual thing that I do with my team is that I split the season court fees equally among the players. One reason is that I found too much cherry-picking was going on. Players were saying they were only available for the most convenient matches. I had players who would list themselves as available for the only two weekend matches so I could only play them twice. It didn't cost them anything to do this, as they only paid when they played. I found myself with too few players for the distant or late matches, while the cherry-picker was parked on the roster so I couldn't take on more players.

Now we split the fees equally, and if someone wants to cherry-pick the best matches, they may find themselves paying for five matches but only playing in one.


We have two teams on our schedule every season that are across the bay from our club, and require a 45-60 minute drive, vs. the 15 minute drive to the local clubs. Invariably, I have players every season, that put down that they are unavailable (on Tennisone) to play those matches. They can't be bothered with that drive. What would you do in this situation?

rasajadad
01-13-2010, 07:06 AM
Funny, I make the same "request" of my captain for our Senior team. (I have arthitis in both knees.) I expect it to be just that...a request. My captain calls me when he needs me and I make my decision.

That being said, I played in my sectionals as well as the nationals. Both were on hardcourts. (My knees are still sore and swollen, but hey. How many times do you go to nationals?)

Cindysphinx
01-13-2010, 07:15 AM
We have two teams on our schedule every season that are across the bay from our club, and require a 45-60 minute drive, vs. the 15 minute drive to the local clubs. Invariably, I have players every season, that put down that they are unavailable (on Tennisone) to play those matches. They can't be bothered with that drive. What would you do in this situation?

I don't schedule anyone for a match if they say they are unavailable, no matter the reason for the unavailability. I won't beg them to play unless I am really desperate.

Say we have 12 matches during the season, and someone cherry-picks and says they are only available for five. I might decide that they are not right for the line-up in two of those matches (or I may simply need to get someone else some play time). In that case, the Cherry-Picker will get three matches, but their court fees will be for five matches.

If they are OK paying money to subsidize the play of others, fine. I found that splitting the court fees did help make folks a bit more flexible about their availability.

Cindysphinx
01-13-2010, 07:18 AM
Also, you can simply make it a requirement that everyone play X number of inconvenient matches. Share the burden.

jrod
01-13-2010, 07:23 AM
I'm captaining a USTA team with 15 players (too many for my taste, but that's another thread).

A new team member signs up. After signing up, he emails me and says he only wants to play 2 matches during the season. I reply and tell them that is fine (because we have so many people on the team.

The other day I get another email from him. He has analysed our schedule and determined where the soft courts are on our schedule, and says he wants to only play at those clubs.

The guy is new to league play, so I I'm giving him the benefit of being a "noobie," but how would you reply to this request?

I have thoughts of my own, but I'd like to hear yours.

It seems to me his request is not out of line with your objectives, so it may not be all that difficult to honor it. However, I would take the time to explain to him that you need to strike a balance and still try and meet the objective of winning and that this sometimes means that requests like his are not honored.

gameboy
01-13-2010, 09:33 AM
Actually, I think the best way to go about something like this is to set clear rules from the beginning. Before the season starts, you should send out guidelines on how the team will be run to everybody. How often people are expected to play, how accomodating you will be to special requests, etc. just so that people know exactly what they are signing up for.

If you do not set clear boundaries from the start, you shouldn't act surprised or irritated when people ask for whatever they want.

JavierLW
01-13-2010, 09:47 AM
Actually, I think the best way to go about something like this is to set clear rules from the beginning. Before the season starts, you should send out guidelines on how the team will be run to everybody. How often people are expected to play, how accomodating you will be to special requests, etc. just so that people know exactly what they are signing up for.

If you do not set clear boundaries from the start, you shouldn't act surprised or irritated when people ask for whatever they want.

I agree with that.

However it sounds like what is going on here is that for whatever reason this guy was added unexpectedly. (he didnt really say WHY he already had 15 players but it sounds like it's beyond his control for some reason)

Otherwise I agree, if you add someone to your team, you're basically selling them a product that they are going to spend money and time on, you need to let them know what it is and it's good to know what their motivations are as well otherwise why are you adding them to your team??

Also it means that if 15 people was an unreasonable number for your team already (if you have a short playing schedule), then you're not really doing the 16th person OR any of your current players a favor by adding someone else.

beernutz
01-14-2010, 07:23 AM
Would you really do this? You might think you would, but it's different when it's for real and not just advice. That very direct approach might make him into an enemy.

You are probably right Eddy. I think my response would depend on how I felt the other person was conveying these "requests" to me. If they were relayed to me as preferences then I doubt I'd tell them to get lost but if they came across as demands I think I really would cut them loose from the team.

However, I am not nearly as diplomatic nor do I have nearly as many friends as AR so he probably knows how much credence to give to advice from me.