Cult of Personality!

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    For some reason I got roped into being captain again for the fall season. What is wrong with me? Do I just enjoy abuse?

    So my co-captain and I start getting requests for partnerships and everything's cool except that one of our top three players is a bee-atch that nobody wants to play with.

    There's no question that she's a great player, and capable of winning a lot - but in the three years she's been on the team, she's gotten a reputation of being really critical of partners. She actually says hurtful, mean things that end friendships.

    The two people I'd like her to play with have both specifically asked me not to put them together, and they've chosen other partners - so the only solution is to play her down, with one of the less experienced players (who haven't had the experience of dealing with her corrosive personality).

    She should be playing at #2 position but she'll have to be in #4 now because the other top players would rather quit the team than play with her! I guess the upside is, we'll always win line 4.

    Anybody have a similar situation?
     
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  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Does the problem partner have people that she really wants to play with?

    And for situations like this I do end up playing the person down a couple lines. People tend to be much less critical when they are going out there and winning.
     
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  3. goober

    goober Legend

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    Are you just keeping her on the team because she is a strong player? At some point you have to ask is it worth it? If you think she is worth it then both of the captains should partner with her if nobody else wants to play with her. No point in making the rest of the team miserable.
     
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  4. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    I agree with this one. Also, if you put her with an inexperienced player she might end up running them off. The more inexperienced players will probably be more susceptible to breakdowns if she's that hurtful.
     
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  5. TENNIS4FUN2

    TENNIS4FUN2 New User

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    I had a couple of these off and on over the last year. I finally decided the stress and drama weren't worth winning a court while all my other players were miserable. I had several players tell me they wouldn't show up for the match if she was their partner. Even when she played singles she caused trouble. I finally didn't ask her back this season. Everyone is much happier and it hasn't hurt our win/loss record.
     
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  6. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Is it seriously that easy for you to just kick people off of the team because people don't like to play with them? Kicking people off the team takes FAR more than that for us.
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    It depends. If everybody on the team didn't like playing with this person, the captains were not happy about playing with them either and the person is not a good singles player then yes I would not have any problem kicking them off. Of course this would only happen after we talked to the person in question and gave them the opportunity to change their ways. This is recreational tennis, not some fraternity of brothers that pledged a loyalty oath to each other.

    That said, I have only kicked off one person before and that had mostly to do with not showing up for matches. He basically didn't really like being on the team anyways, was poor at responding to emails/texts, he always lost and had a bad attitude. No show for the match was the final straw.
     
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  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Ok... thats my experience as well. If someone can't be counted on to show up then thats 100% grounds for booting them. If someone was getting into yelling matches or having physical altercations then that could be reason enough as well. I guess for me I just am not going to get involved when its a case of people not liking to play with someone- I simply wouldn't kick someone off for that. I don't want to be in the position to have to be the one who sits there in judgment of personality conflicts.
     
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  9. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    To me... that's grounds enough for her to get booted. People like that are cancerous in team situations.
     
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  10. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Why is it hard to kick people off of a team? I see it happen sometimes. Not so much "kicking off" of the team, but just not playing that person in any more matches, and then not asking them back the following year.
     
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  11. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Our teams have a very nice balance of being competitively run while also socializing a ton off of the court. We'll normally get 20 people to go out for drinks after our Thursday night practices. There are people who don't like each other and people who refuse to play with each other but I would never have those things be the cause of kicking someone off of the team. For teams where people just show up to play and then leave maybe it would be easier- for us it would just take more than a few disagreements and a few people who didn't want to play with that person.

    If someone were ever to cause the team to default lines from being late to a match then absolutely its fine to not play them the rest of the season and not invite them back. I just can't consider a situation where I would do it simply because of personality conflicts. I suppose if 2 people had a physical altercation then I could see it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
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  12. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    This is good advice, thanks.
    I think I'll start by partnering her with a player who is easy-going and see how it goes. I've played partners with this person before and I either zone out the negative comments, or air-draw my standard "no coaching zone" for her with my hands. This doesn't mean I don't want to strategize, but that I don't need to hear "why you missed that shot".

    But this year I have a regular partner and want to start out with her. I can always make changes later. If I get lots of complaints I think being honest is the best thing. Sometimes people don't realize the effect their words have, and that some players are more sensitive to negative comments than others. I won't cut anybody from the team for attitude, especially one of our best athletes.

    One year we had a captain that was such a pill, we all voted her off the team. It's amazing how a little "power" changes people! :) My theory is, the captain "serves" the team, you're not a generalissimo! We never saw that person again, I'm told she doesn't play league anymore. Certainly wasn't a loss for the team, in fact things ran much more smoothly once the Evil Queen was dethroned.
     
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  13. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I was wondering along similar lines - what do people mean by "kicking off" of a team?

    During the course of a season, I would never ask a team member to deregister, or tell them they are not welcome to practices. And I do my best to get them some playing time... but no guarantees, especially if nobody is willing to partner with them.

    However, I don't feel obligated to invite past team members for future seasons. In actual practice 95% of the past season's team will be invited for the following season, but if someone is not a good fit for whatever reason, then I am not going to invite them again. I will of course let them know early on so that they can look for another team to join.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    My own captaining practice is this:

    If they are so bad or so toxic that even I refuse to partner with them, then they simply cannot be on the team.

    I never, ever dump a horrible or toxic player onto a new player. New players get awesome partners, to start out with, anyway. New players are already nervous and have no loyalty to the team. That loyalty has to be built, and it starts by giving them partners who get along with everyone. If someone is good enough to be invited onto an existing team, then they are good enough to treat well from the get-go.

    So. If I were OP and were captain of a team, I would not consider myself free to play with my favorite partner. I either have to play with Ms. Toxic, or I have to excuse Ms. Toxic from the team.

    Another option is to give her the lowest number of matches you can give her and ask each of your buddies to play with her once. And then do not invite her back for next year.

    The final option is brutal honesty. I once had a Toxic Player -- she was perfectly nice but did a lot of things that upset her partners, like groaning loudly whenever they missed a shot. I paired her with one of my nicest, easy-going, solid players, just to see what would happen. The nice player immediately called me after the match and expressed the same frustrations everyone else had. I called Ms. Toxic on the phone and nicely told her that there were some issues. She was so offended ("If everyone is talking about me, then I don't want to be on this team!") she quit on the spot.

    Problem solved.
     
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  15. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I agree with most of this - although to clarify, nobody on the main roster is new. There are a couple people who haven't played often with this person, and who have very forgiving personalities (not likely to get into arguments on court). I have someone in mind. If that doesn't work out, I'll have a talk with The Toxic One.

    Push comes to shove, I'll play with her sometimes if it makes sense for the lineup. I don't want her to quit, I want her to be a better partner - and we all may have to teach her that it means attitude as well as aptitude on court.
     
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  16. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    OP, are you really in North Carolina? This sounds just like my wife's team. The best player is tough on her partners. The captain agreed to be her partner, and she even made the captain cry during the match.
     
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  17. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    That would be funny, if not pitiful! :) I guess every team has one of these people. Most of us are "veterans" and just ignore it, but it's harder to put together a reasonable lineup when you're juggling a meany.

    Nah, I'm in south florida. And for the record, I've never cried on court, nobody's worth that!!! I'd deliver a waffle face first.
     
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  18. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    HAHAHAHA now THAT would be funny to see.
     
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  19. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    I'd put her with another strong personality that will tell her in no uncertain terms that if they are to partner together, she will not put up with negative comments and see what happens!
     
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  20. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'm sorry I think I missed reading it, why not just put her in singles so she doesn't have to deal with a partner?

    -Fuji
     
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  21. Lambo

    Lambo Banned

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    I dont get it. Why dont you just tell her what she does. Be honest with her rather than dumping her on an "easy going person". If she is so corrosive it is better to nip it in the bud both for her in the long run and in the interests of the team. Make it clear to her that she cannot play for much longer in the team if she does not improve her behaviour as it affects the team morale.

    Is she gets it well and good. If not then dump her. Some people learn the hard way. Sorry if I sounded harsh but thats just my opinion.
     
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