View Full Version : My USTA Team Captain is Very Lame
08-02-2006, 04:48 PM
Our USTA district playoff is this weekend. Our team consists of 19-20 players. We are undefeated in team play losing only a couple of courts. We're all solid players, but because we are a large team many have only played a few times. When we practice, sets are always close there is no obvious ranking of players (kind of unusual, but everyone is pretty strong). So, its Wedesday night, and nobody knows who is going to play the 3 matches this weekend. Or at least, it hasn't been announced to the group. We have (3 doubles, 2 singles, for 3 matches) to play this weekend which is a total of 24 playing slots.
Why I'm ****ed:
Our captain sends a very disturbing email indicating that some players will play in all 3 matches, i.e 3 times (?!?), some will play in 2 matches (ok, I see that), some 1 (time), and some players will play ZERO times.
Now, it is the captain's prerogative to be an azszszhole. Personally, I think the captain is garbage if he puts anyone out there in 3 USTA district matches in 1 weekend and then tells others you aren't playing at all.
Note: There is no obvious weak or light player on the team.
You really gotta try being captain. It's absolute amazing how painful it can be. You at least are ranting at us instead of directly at your captain. I guarantee you, no matter what your captain does, there will be at least 5 phone calls of folks yelling at him. (And it doesn't matter if your team is all up and coming players, that are not expected to win, or if you are a great team, and are cleaning up, you still get yelled at.)
08-02-2006, 08:33 PM
A possible soultion would be to split up the team into two teams at the next opportunity if they are that big and players are ridin' the bench. silly to be playing handicapped tennis and still not have some of the players playing i think.
Maybe your captain is a member of this forum and will respond shortly ...;O
that sounds pretty rubbish to me..
thats if ur statement stands true
maybe if u look at it from a strategical perspective
ur captain obviously wants to win...
so he might be matching up players against the opposing team...
like maybe player A might do better against the specific opponents than player B... so player A gets more playing time...
then maybe next match player B matches up better than player A so player B gets more playing time..
u feel it?
08-03-2006, 04:12 AM
I've been captaining teams for years in every division available. Been to state and sectionals and we are about to begin a roundrobin playoff with three other teams to determine who represents our district at the state mixed doubles tourney. It has always been my position that if a player is on the roster and available for any champioinship play, they will play at least once. But that is just my philosophy. I've seen some unbelievable and absolutely cruel things take place by captains and others on teams. I steer clear of those guys and gals. It's a game that is supposed to be fun for all on the team. I would voice my displeasure with the captain in an adult manner and find another team. To me, not winning and having fun is better than winning and being miserable. Just my two cents.
08-03-2006, 05:53 AM
My clubs policy takes finals selection out of the hands of the team captain.
Everyone who's played in the 3 qualifying season matches gets a vote and they're then anonymously tallied up. The top 4 get selected for that particular finals match. Then if you win, do it again for the next match.
This is supposed to take favouritism out of the picture and hopefully not leave any bad feeling towards the captain for the players missing out on selection.
Of course it doesn't fully work, it becomes a popularity contest with buddies selecting each other. Also it can put a captain in a bind if they've made certain promises about matches. And you don't always get the best team.
At my club, It's about making sure everyone is given a chance to participate and have fun, not winning at any cost.
08-03-2006, 02:08 PM
Well, I may be the odd duck here (wouldn't be the first time) but I always encourage my captain to field the strongest line-up's possible when we're playing a tough team, and to schedule line-up's that he thinks will be just good enough to win if we're playing a weaker team. If I have to sit out because there are better players available, I don't have a problem with that.
I guess it depends on whether your team philosophy is to play everyone equally no matter what their skill level, or to play to win.
In USTA leagues and tournaments I'm in play-to-win mode. If I'm just playing in a club league or city league, I'm more of a play-for-fun guy.
In my opinion, the captains job is to manage the team to the best possible outcome. There will be times when the players with the hot racquet are playing, and the others are cheering them on.
Several years ago, I was the captain of our USTA team that went to nationals. In the round robin, we had three matches on Friday and Saturday. The winner of each group and best second place team of the round robbin groups got to play on Sunday in the semi and possibly the final.
I had to make difficult decisions. Everybody had out-of-town travel expenses. Everybody wanted to play. I wanted everybody to have an equal chance to play. What I finally decided to do is make my decision about the weekend and then sit down with the team to get a concensus.
It was my decision to put the strongest team forward for the first and second match. If we did well in those two matches, and it looked like we would have a chance to make the semi-finals on Sunday, I was going to go with my strongest team for the third match, (if we had not clinched a spot in the semis by that time).
Based on the results of the first two matches, if it didn't look like we would qualify for the semi-finals, then I would play everybody who didn't yet have a chance.
The end result was that everybody played at least two matches, a few all three, except for me (only played one - and won it!). The whole team went home happy and enjoyed the experience.
But, I don't think I want to be a captain again . . . ever again! The worst part is getting an commitment from players to show up for a match on any given weekend. Some are lazy and slow to respond. Some don't even bother to respond at all. Others you know that you can count on each and every time. All in all, I'm not sure it is worth the hassle. But, I did get a nice fleece sweater vest with "2003 National Championships" on the back under the USTA logo and racket backpack. That was a nice, unexpected captain's gift.
08-03-2006, 03:14 PM
How did he figure out who played all of the League matches? He should use the same method for the playoffs.
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