Competition on the courts and sidelines - part deux- womens leagues

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Littlemissball, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Hi all, need some help here. Someone has to remind me why I am playing this game. I need reminders about how wonderful tennis is. I joined another team for the fall but am with my old team for another combo group but am getting the cold shoulder like you would not believe. The other team is higher up and I am a newbie but they have been so great to me. So welcoming. My other team has been so cold to me and did not even say good bye to me in our last practice last weekend. It was so weird. I don't get it. I just want to play up and not deal with getting the beer after wards, shopping dates, parties and networking that seems part of this team's dynamics. I want to be friends but I just am not into all that stuff but a hello on the courts would be nice. We all started off at the same level but I am committed to getting better at this game and putting myself through the wringer to get there and taking myself out of the comfort zone of winning in the 3.0 range to try and get to a 3.5 status. Anyhow, this past weekend, no one said hello to me, no one returns my emails regarding ball money, no one even says good bye to me. For one weekend match my teammates hardly bothered to warm me up. I really believe this is targeted to hurt me and if that is what they are trying to do, it's really working. Don't know what to do. My captain seems to be spearheading this endeavor and about a week ago after a match she started telling me in the parking lot that I would be really busy with school, a new job and another team. I think it was the drum roll that she did not want me on the team in the fall but can't bring herself to say it but wants me to say it:cry:. Help here people. This is so hurtful. I've never experienced this kind of hazing before. Please tell me why you play. Remind me why I play this game.
     
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  2. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Should I take myself off the old team now as we are entering the fall league season? What would you do?
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Me, I would try to assume no one is out to hurt me and just go play. If you don't get along with these women, go find some new ones you like better.

    You caught me on a day when I am a little weary of hurt feelings. A friend was complaining that our captain invited her to be on a team and then didn't play her much. The captain had good reasons: This lady was playing up and so was comparatively weak. Yet the lady was saying she was "hurt."

    These are line-up decisions, not marriage proposals. There is no cause to be hurt. No one is out to get you. Getting better will fix all problems.

    Anyway, I have strayed off topic. To OP, you will drive yourself wild trying to assign motives to everything that happens. Just play.
     
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  4. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Hi Cindy,

    You are right, you are right. I have to get thicker skin. I am just tired I guess. I am just tired of doing everyone's emotional homework. I think I am sick of club tennis and wondering if there is a tennis league on planet mars that is playing tennis the way I want tennis to be played. You are right. Just play. If I have been shut out - then so be it. I have to find new people to play and I just have to get better. Just tired I guess.

    Nite,
    LMB
     
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  5. TENNIS4FUN2

    TENNIS4FUN2 New User

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    Did the old team invite you to play again or did someone at the club you play at assign you to this team?

    I would just resign. You have found a new team that is welcoming. Go play with them and don't look back!
     
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  6. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    The captain is giving you an out saying that she knows you will be busy. You don't want to play on that team. Whats the problem? Just play for the other team and move on.

    That said- if you don't want to socialize with a team that is very social then I can see why you feel like an outsider.
     
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  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried playing tournaments, flex league, or perhaps a local ladder? If for whatever reason team tennis is not working out for you, there are other alternatives where you can focus on just playing and not have to deal with team politics and social dynamics.
     
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  8. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    They asked me to play but it was before the gossip attacks started on me in mid summer. Comments on my weight, my matches being too close, my love life. I started hanging back because I felt like it was more of a sororiety and not a tennis team. I just stopped talking because I felt under attack. Here is the deal - I can beat anyone on this team except the 4.5 who is slumming as a 3.0 to get her ranking back from 4 years ago. Friends outside the community say it is jealousy. The ironic thing is the person spearheading all of this accusing me that I don't like them. It's so funny because I wanted them to like them but my tennis was indicating otherwise. I guess I should have lost a couple of practice games to make some people feel better. lol
    So they are acting all hurt that I don't like THEM - when it is the other way around. Yes to answer your question, they did ask me to play again in the early spring. Now no one talks to me, no one returns my emails, no one responds to me about ball money. I would like to show up and play but it's hard people. Really hard and I am pretty tough too. This community has been so help - TW - because I know you are all the serious players. I am trying to grind through this point. I was in trouble when I started playing better from the get go. I just want to be a 3.5 and keep playing with a league to get to a 3.5 status. I really do believe that the people at 3.5 - 4.0 level are the nicer more secure players that do not begrudge you getting better. I also don't want to burn bridges but it is pretty clear to me that this one is going down, down, down. lol
     
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  9. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    "I just want to play up and not deal with getting the beer after wards, shopping dates, parties and networking that seems part of this team's dynamics. I want to be friends but I just am not into all that stuff but a hello on the courts would be nice."

    So, you want to be friends with the ladies on their team, but on YOUR terms, not THEIR terms. Whose team is it again, yours or theirs?
     
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  10. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    We're here to listen and help.
     
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  11. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Thanks Tennis_ocd!
    I think the coup de gras was playing my captain in the spring, going to a tie breaker with her, beating her and when we came to the net, she was crying and said "I just can't beat you." I was shook to the core.
     
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  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    LMB,

    You have to understand league tennis is PRIMARILY about socializing! That's what teams are formed for. Tennis is the activity that the beer, hor doeuvres, business networking and dating monkey business is the nucleus for. As the ratings get higher, so do the social skills of the players, until it reaches "elite social status".

    I mentioned to you before, get a calendar for Adult Age Group tournaments and sign up for them. You will meet excellent opponents who will make you pay your dues to the game you respect and love. Each match will be like a lesson for the cost of the entry. They will NOT talk until the tournament party. They will not talk on the sidelines while watching the matches out of respect to the players. You can meet like minded tennis players who you may be able to become practice partners with.

    G'luck
     
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  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Women.

    Men would just tell you they broke a string during the first game; no biggie as it wasn't their ususal racket that they'd left at home due to the pain medication for a bad back that has been going on for over a week.
     
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  14. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Good question. I guess I wanted them to be kind and at least civil. Kindness is out and civility as well.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think there are a few clues to the source of the problem in your post. Look at things from their point of view for a moment.

    First, we know they invited you to be on the team. Very nice of them, don't you think?

    They might say they are not gossiping about you. After all, how would you know if they are doing it behind your back?

    In my 50+ years of experience being a chick, I can confirm that women commiserate about weight and relationships. What's the big deal? As for your matches being "too close," what does that even mean? Perhaps you reading something into an innocuous comment?

    Yikes. Folks tend to dislike anyone who is at the same level they are but thinks they are better than everyone else. This is especially so if the one player on the team who is legitimately stronger is dissed and dismissed as a sandbagger.

    Are you sure you're correct about that this lady was a computer-rated 4.5 who has now come back to play as a 3.0? I cannot think of anyone who is happy playing three USTA levels too low.

    Also, if you are all 3.0s, it might ruffle some feathers to refer to your own level as "slumming" in the presence of those who might be perfectly happy to have a 3.0 rating.

    It sounds like you are gossiping openly to others about these ladies. I hope none of it got back to them. It's a small world . . .

    But . . . you *don't* like them. So this person is apparently right -- and it is probably quite apparent that you are unhappy because you are shunning them.

    Again, no one appreciates someone of their level suggesting that the only way they can win is if you tank. Perhaps you didn't say this, but if you are thinking it, maybe they got a strong whiff of it? If so, that would perhaps make them wish they hadn't extended you the kindness of asking you to join the team.

    So either you are wrong that they don't like you, or they decided to be grown-ups and not exclude you based on personality. Either way, it sounds like they at least tried to be decent.

    IME, folks don't mind at all when their friends get better. They do resent having their noses rubbed in it, especially if the rubbing is a bit premature.

    Also, be warned that the people at 3.5/4.0 are *people.* Do not expect them to appreciate the silent treatment, having their social invitations rejected, or having their tennis skills dissed and dismissed.

    Yes, these bridges burned to the ground months ago. Cut your losses, resign this team as nicely and cheerfully and calmly as you possibly can (making up excuses about being too busy), and then play on the 3.5 team. Work very hard to be sociable, pleasant and unassuming in this new environment.

    If you wash out of two different teams, you will likely earn the label "difficult," and it could be quite hard to find teams. Believe me, captains talk and we know who does not play nicely in the sandbox.

    And brace yourself. Your teammates will soon join you in 3.5. Most folks get there sooner or later. That's another reason to start rebuilding those bridges.
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Lol, well said.
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Maybe. I haven't seen the work ethic yet with all the socializing they are doing. You can only do so much padding and tweaking and stacking to stand behind and empty 3.5 ranking that you didn't earn before you spend your first yr as a 3.5 fighting to keep that ranking and losing all season as a 3.5 or anyhow that's what the pro told me. You have to stock pile tennis. Play it when you are exhausted for all the times you can't get to it due to work or other commitments and you have to drag your butt out of bed at 6 am in the morning on weekdays to get better at it if you know you can't play later in the day.

    I AM in a snake pit.
     
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  18. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Maybe I thought it was our team.
     
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  19. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Thanks Tom. You are right. Tennis is a status symbol down here and I want to play it as a sport. I actually LOVE street tennis. I am scared to take your advice because it means leaving a comfort zone, but things are so mean right now, I have nothing to lose. I hope I am not too old like one person said to me on my team to follow your advice. Thank you for listening. You are lucky you are man. I think women and women in the leagues are just psychos and mean as hell. Thanks so much. You have given me great advice. I have to bite the bullet and take it.
     
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  20. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    The Real Housewives of Tennis Talk
     
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  21. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Maui - please don't tell me you think I am a housewife. :( I am actually desperately, desperately trying to get away from the bored house wives with money that play tennis because they think it is chic to do and makes them friends and go for the wine and cheese after wards. I am trying to get to the dude-ette status. The real deal. Trying desperately how to accomplish that. I love this game. I want to play for keeps.
     
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  22. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Love it. I was so upset that I made this person cry. I was like omg what have I done? Don't want to play her any more. That was too weird.
     
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  23. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Miss Ball,

    I've seen this sort of soap opera stuff at our club. It's more common on the ladies' teams but it's also with men's teams.

    This past year we've had huge storms among the ladies with insults, hurt feelings, etc. It got so bad some people started their own teams rather than deal with the drama.

    Among our men I've beat some of our better players in singles and doubles and, yes, they get PO'd when a new player manages to improve and finally bests some of the vets. It quickly goes from "welcome to tennis" noob to cold shoulders after you work your butt off practicing and beat them.

    It stinks because I thought the social aspect would be fun. What I didn't realize is that tennis communities have pecking orders and cliques. Upset the pecking order by improving while others rest on their laurels and you're persona non grata. One veteran player got all huffy and asked if I was toying with him in singles and never again asked me to hit with him. Five of our better doubles players were clearly surprised and annoyed with me when I could finally return their serves and, more importantly, blast forehand winners against them. So, no, I don't see invites from them.

    OTOH I've met a few really nice people. I think tennis is like so much else in lifeand follows the 80/20 rule. About 20 percent of the people you'll meet will be worth it. The other 80 percent are the chaff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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  24. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    It may not sound like it, but this is my trying to be tactful:

    If something like making an opponent cry because you beat them can shake you "to the core", maybe you're too emotional for this sport?

    If you really want to achieve "dude-ette" status (and I think I know what you mean by that) in tennis the first thing you need to drop is any sense of compassion for your opponents. You step on the court to win and if you can crush them 0 & 0, then you do it - no mercy. Obviously, if it's a purely social match, you can tone it down, but in competition you're, well, competing. There will be a winner and a loser. Your goal is to be the winner.

    But you need to that graciously at the same time. This means no fist pumps and c'mons when you're up 5-0, this means thanking the person for a good match afterwords (win or lose). Compliment them on a good shot during the game (even the highest level pro will do this).

    This also means not looking down on your teammates because you don't think they are as good as you. Eventually you're going to be on a team where you're the weaker player and you'd better hope you don't get treated the way your treat your weaker teammates.

    I appreciate your passion for the sport, but there is more to life than tennis. I'm not the most social of people and I strongly dislike idle small talk. But you know what? I make the effort with my teammates and opponents alike. I do this because it makes for a more pleasant experience for everyone. I do not socialize outside of tennis, I don't join for drinks after or anything, but during practices & warm up, I make the extra effort to be social and take an interest in other people.

    This could be why people keep asking me to co-captain teams or I get invited to join teams, even those that would involve me playing up. It certainly isn't my skill at tennis! :)
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Um.

    If this is the sort of thing you are saying to people, I think I have a greater understanding of why you may be having interpersonal issues on your team.

    Cindy -- a stay-at-home mom for 15 years who doesn't appreciate being disrespected for it
     
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  26. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    :) I think there is reality show potential.
     
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  27. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Cindy, I don't say anything to anyone. Once again, my family is everything to me - they are the only people I trust to express how I feel about tennis and what is happening to me on the courts- that and this forum. I am very, very sorry that you are offended as I once again, did not mean to offend you or anyone. I am a very private person which is why I took my problems to this blog for help. I do not meant to offend you or anyone and I am sorry if you take it like that as I was just responding to the other thread saying the real housewives of TW. Once again, I don't talk to anyone out there. That being said, I am looking for serious players that are pushing their body and their mental capabilities to the limit on the tennis court as we are all running out of time and getting older and I don't want to peak, drink beer on the courts or go shopping at Anthea or whatever that place is. It would have been nice to make friends but now I am just looking for fundamental civility as the level at this club has begun to feel like sororiety rush meets Dynasty or Dallas soap opera levels and is robbing me of the joy of tennis. I am looking for serious players and that has been my problem. Tennis Tom is right. Please see his thread. He has hit my problem on the head. League Tennis is social and I am now all about the game. I am not disrespecting you whatsoever. But there is the wine and cheese and apres tennis cliche that really exist within the tennis community and I have to acknowedge that and you can or can't if you want to as well. That choice is up to you. I am sorry you take a offense. That is how I see it. Thank you for all your great advice and help. I really appreciate it.
    Best to you and all your endeavors on and off the court.
    Sincerely,
    LMB
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, fine. Understood.

    I don't see why "serious rec tennis" and socializing have to be mutually exclusive. If nothing else, why not see it as an opportunity to expand your business network. You never know what business opportunities would pop up if you are willing to get to know people.

    I dunno. I consider the women I have met through tennis to be among my closest friends. Four of us are going to IW in 2013, yet we are all committed to improving. The socializing makes the tennis more fun, and the tennis makes the socializing more fun.

    But if not, then of course league tennis is not for you and you should play tournaments only.
     
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  29. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Thanks LMB. I think you will find what you are looking for at the Age Group tournaments. You can perhaps then supplement practicing for tournaments by being on a team and not feel as much pressure. As your skill level improves from tournaments, you'll be able to join 4.0 and above teams depending on your age. My pappy, who was a very wise business man, said never mix business with friendship, it never ends well.

    Cheers and g'luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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  30. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Somehow this reminds me of how Larry Walker, the great player, was described as a member of the Coloraodo Rockies baseball team. He was not a particularly well-liked player, other players thought he was somewhat selfish, but he wasn't terribly disliked and didn't cause problems. He was the described by a sportswriter as "the guy on your softball team who you want to be on your team because he is so good, but he shows up just before gametime, plays, and leaves. You don't really feel that he is part of the team, but he helps you win." You can be that person, enjoy the tennis for what it is, and leave. There isn't anything wrong with that. Don't expect to be treated as part of the team, though.

    This is much easier to do with guys than women, however. The women are much more about socializing (in all areas of life). To top it off, there is a culture clash between your hard-driving ways and their social-tribe ways.
    Moving up to 3.5 is, in many ways, like losing weight. Often, the social-tribe around you will try to pull you backwards because they are not comfortable with people differing themselves and distancing themselves from the tribe.

    If you don't want to socialize - show up, play, and leave, and don't be emotional.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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  31. goober

    goober Legend

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    lol -yes be a tennis mercernary. Many playoff bound teams need them. :)
     
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  32. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    How can you NOT make tons of friends with this attitude? :twisted:

     
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