Handshakes Should Be For Shutting Up

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    One of my players told me about the end to a recent match.

    Our gals lost. Opponents had played one player relentlessly, as she is a singles player who doesn't volley, doesn't transition, doesn't really get doubles.

    During the handshake at the net, one opponent said to the singles player: "Keep working on it. You'll be really good someday."

    The other opponent chimed in: "Yeah, we really targeted you."

    What the heck?

    Why be rude like that? It is often apparent who is the stronger player and who is struggling. If you picked on one player for the win, why embarrass her needlessly by laying responsibility on her, right out in public? Better to keep your assessments of your vanquished opponent's skills to yourself.

    There seems to be an epidemic of this in ladies doubles. I have seen people do everything from diss a player's rating ("Oh, we thought your partner was the 4.0") to provide unsolicited stroke analysis ("You should toss the ball more to the right on your serve").

    Me, I'm going to keep my post-match remarks limited to, "That was fun" or "Great match."
     
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  2. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    egos are out of control

    finally a thread I can fully agree with you

    well said darling
     
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  3. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    Don't baby your players. If they have obvious weaknesses that the other players pick up on, what's more incentive to fix it than those people telling her the things they saw, and why they targeted her?

    If it hurt her feelings or something, fine I guess. But if she gives up over hurt feelings then she will keep losing. If she can take those comments, hurtful and embarrassing or not...and turn it into things she fully works on, that will make her a strong winner at heart.

    I think it's a good thing. An eye opener IMO.
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, ugh.

    Nobody likes middling rec players who have never coached a day in their lives who hand out unsolicited (and sometimes incorrect) advice.

    If your vanquished opponents ask you what your strategy was, by all means tell them. If they ask you to explain how you hit X shot so well, do share.

    Otherwise, assume they know which of their shots/skills didn't measure up and pipe down, IMHO.
     
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  5. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    If the match went badly, saying that was fun, is kinda rude...It's like saying...that was fun because it was soooo easy...or that was fun FOR ME, but i know not for you.

    Saying great match, when it wasn't great, it was easy...is rude too. At least more rude than saying "keep working on it, you'll be really good someday".

    That semi encouraging.

    The bold comments I don't find rude, I find helpful. If I went for a handshake and someone said...."man we really targeted your forehand". Even if I knew I hit it out every forehand...That would make me focus on that.

    Sometimes people that are coached, don't listen to coaches when they are too nice and polite. It takes a good loss and embarrassment to make someone believe that their faults are really their fault.
     
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  6. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    you make a good point
     
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  7. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I agree with Cindy, if you can't say anything positive during handshake, don't say anything at all. Does Federer say "Thanks" or "Good match" to opponents he bagels? Yes, he does.

    Advice is not wanted, unless it's requested.
     
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  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Just don't worry about it, and all will be OK.
     
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  9. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    I have no doubt that when Nadal and Federer shake hands after the usual outcome, Nadal says, "that backhand again, eh?"
     
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  10. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    They are friends, so it would probably be alright, but I strongly doubt he would say anything like that.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hee! :)

    Well done, sir.
     
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  12. Mike Hodge

    Mike Hodge Rookie

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    I agree.
    Anyone with half a brain knows they were targeted and why. The opponents were merely feathering their own nest. If a match is one sided, all one has to do is exchange a general pleasantry and leave it at that. Leave the coaching to the pros --- the people who do it for a living.
    My motto: If I want instruction or analysis, I grab my checkbook.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, he says "Smell it."
     
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  14. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Ahhhh if it were only that simple

    true true
     
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  15. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    eh.....missed its mark......
     
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  16. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    It wouldn't have bothered me a bit. For this being such a mental game, I don't get why any little thing gets people so riled up.
     
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  17. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Mixed feelings. I enjoy; encourage even, advice from some while dreading it from others. Strangers telling me to "keep at it" or "we were targeting you" wouldn't bother me in the slightest. (Unless I felt I was the stronger partner! Then it's painful assessment time.) There is a social aspect to the game.

    It's not as if they publicly announced to the world they can't volley, transition, or get doubles. ;)
     
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  18. NTexas

    NTexas New User

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    A lot of this matters how it was said also. If it was said in a nice manner than it is ok. But if said just being rude, than its not cool at all.
     
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  19. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    To me, hearing 'keep at it' after just being beaten soundly just comes off as patronizing.

    The 'we were targeting you' isn't so much patronizing as it probably is just redundant. If you just spent the whole match hitting 80% of the time to me, you can rest assured I already noticed.
     
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  20. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

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    no right answer.
    i never say anything like that unless its asked. If its a true slaughter nothing needs said. if you were able to take advantage of something than the person probably knows and if not should ask. unsolicited advice is just patronizing. only time ill say its okay is if its not advice but observation of some minor tweak the player could have done to beat you, the nit essentially become a compliment bc you are acknowledging it was close and they could have won, but even then its cool not say anything.

    had a guy once keep hitting to my forehand and i was killing him with it. i felt so bad i wanted to pause the match and even ask him why he wasn't hitting more to my backhand? he didn't otherwise seem like he couldn't if he wanted too. but that would have been patronizing and rude during and would have been patronizing and rude afterwards too. didn't say good match said "thanks for the match" i meant it and no more was said....
     
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  21. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    There always does seem to be that awkward moment where you feel you should say something. These days I also stick to 'thank you' or 'good match', and maybe compliment them on some aspect of their game ('good serving!', 'your slices are brutal'). But often I also know the person, and we end up chatting anyway.
     
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  22. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    It's a loss with a lesson. Not sure why emotions have to be put first, I saw their comments as mere insight from the more experienced players.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
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  23. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the losers of a match really don't want to hear it. Last week my partner and I (both over 50) played two good, young players who have been playing very well and working hard. We just had a little too much experience for them. I said great match and got off the court. My partner gave them a little speech about playing for 40 years and experience, etc. etc. He meant well, but they did not want to hear it at that time.
     
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  24. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I really don't care to hear comments from my opponent about my game either way, whether I win or lose. If they do offer comments, I will pretend to listen politely, but really it's in one ear and out the other.

    I know my game pretty well - if I win I know what I did well, and if I lose, I know what I could have done better or differently. My problem is not strategy / tactics / technique, but rather fitness, footwork, and quality of execution - lack of all of these!
     
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  25. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I agree. And since most of the time our opponents are close to our own level... it's not like they are so much better, so why dispense with the advice?

    It's like golfing, you shank a shot, and your buddy with an 23 handicap is giving you advice.... dude... you suck just as much as I do! I don't think I need advice from someone who can barely break 100!
     
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  26. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    I used to hit with a former AAA baseball shortstop who took up tennis after baseball. Good serve, good forehand, great movement, weak backhand. After one match I said, "you are going to be really good when you shore up that backhand", meant as a compliment to how good he was getting so quickly.

    He got so mad and took it as an insult. So yeah, no advice unless asked for is the way to go.
     
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  27. dizzlmcwizzl

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    I find golf is much worse for this than tennis. A lifetime ago I played a lot, was a golf coach for the local high school and carried a 6 handicap.

    Often I would sneak out for an late afternoon round and get paired up with some jokers that always would offer suggestions ... I would be beat them every hole, but the first fairway missed would elicit a comment of "keep your head down" ... just keep quiet, I will figure it out.

    I never hear comments on the tennis court. Perhaps my strokes are so awful they do not want to venture a guess as to how they may be fixed :)
     
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  28. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This seems kind of odd. Why in women's doubles specifically?

    Perhaps they are more catty. Perhaps they think they are being helpful and are just tome deaf. I don't know without knowing the individuals involved.
     
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  29. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I think the age difference is a bigger factor.

    Young folks tend to be too impatient for the long-winded old folks talk.

    What I do notice on court is that old folks have less tolerance for things and get upset more about little things than young folks.
     
    #29
  30. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    That sounds like an encouragement to me.
    We are talking here about a player who doesn't really get doubles right?
    So it sounds to me they think she has potential but it has not come out yet.

    That has never bothered me, if someone has good intentions to help me in anyway I thank them.
    Now whether I think their advice make any sense is another thing and I typically keep that to myself. :)

    But why dislike it when someone genuinely tries to help?

    I don't know, looks like the only people who would be bothered by this would be the ones who know their shortcomings and hate to be reminded of them, or those who do not like to hear commentary on their play from people they perceive to be lower ranked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
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  31. moonbat

    moonbat Semi-Pro

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    For what it's worth, I'm getting much better at ignoring all the distractions and snarky remarks and just focusing on the match. For some reason I'm winning a lot more matches. If you let anyone get into your head, that's on you.

    On the other hand, it does suck when you lose a tough match and somebody snarks about it. In that case, I either laugh at them, or in the last instance, tell them to "go away you effing troll." Since the snarker did look like a troll, I thought it was appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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  32. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I think it depends on the context.

    Many of my opponents have given me advice after a competitive match when playing up and I never took umbrage. I have even had officials give me unsolicited advice post match.

    The advice has always come after I was beaten thoroughly when playing up or if I won but double faulted an excessive amount.

    I think they recognize I am a new player and genuinely want to help. most people do especially if it costs them nothing.

    One older fellow in DC gave me an impromptu lesson on volleying after I volleyed very poorly in a match against him but still won. It was kind of cute.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You have to wait to be asked before you open your huge pie hole.

    Recently I watched my teammates play, which I rarely do. Both teams lost.

    Not one of the four teammates asked to hear my comments on why they lost, what they could do differently, what shots they were missing, how they positioned. Since they did not ask, I did not opine.
     
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  34. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Says who? :confused:

    If you want to do that, please do, but who do you think you are to tell other people what and what not to do?

    Good for you, but so what?

    Are we supposed to follow everything you do or don't? :confused:
     
    #34
  35. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    She thinks any ounce of help is unecessary criticism--especially since she's got it all figure out losing matches against better players. Though it seems she will save her pie-hole comments only for us posters on the internet. Keep it up..good job.
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmmm. I think it is becoming clear who has a really big pie hole.
     
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  37. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    I still think you are talking about yourself.
     
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  38. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    But why even pretend? If you don't care, you don't care!

    If someone has an attitude after a match, there's really no right thing to say to make things better. Silence or an extremely obvious superficial "good game" is sufficient. A sincere thank you is awkward and unwarranted. You can't really mean "good game" either cuz it is patronizing to the losers.
     
    #38
  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nah. Told to me by the partner of the player who received the unsolicited advice.
     
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  40. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    It's bad form to offer unsolicited advice.
     
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  41. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Depends what's more important to you. Molly coddling your team mate so that she doesn't realise where she needs to improve or her being given some hard facts so that she can potentially develop and your team have a better chance of winning. You yourself say that she's pretty awful at doubles, so you're being a bit contradictory with the position you're taking:-

    Unless your team is short of players or is weak generally and you need this player to regularly turn up, or this player is very sensitive, sparing her the hard facts as to where her game needs to improve doesn't really make sense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Some folks on this thread aren't listening, so Maui's post bears repeating.

    People don't want your unsolicited advice. This applies to situations in which your unsolicited advice is just what the doctor ordered. This applies when the person you'd like to advise is a terrible, terrible tennis player.

    If you're doing this, you are being rude. If you are not normally a rude person or do not wish to be thought of as rude, then don't give unsolicited advice to vanquished opponents.

    I mean, what is the problem? If your tennis is so amazing, they will ask you for your thoughts soon enough. Be patient and wait to be asked.
     
    #42
  43. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Guys don't wait till the match is over to needle each other. We tell the strong player to take a seat. He will never see the ball.
     
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  44. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I didn't realise that you spoke for the entire tennis playing population of the world.

    If there's something that happened during the match involving me that caused or contributed to me or my team to lose, I'd want to know about it, no matter who it comes from it. But then again, I'm like that because I want to improve, don't want to be letting the 'team' down, and I value improvement and development over fragile egos. You can't do that without feedback. I'd have a volley cam over the courts and do a post match analysis if I could. If someone says something stupid, then I just grin - its water off a ducks back.
     
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  45. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    It is rude to offer unsolicited advice. If you offer advice without being asked, it is rude. It's that simple.
     
    #45
  46. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't find it rude. If we've lost, I'd like to hear some feedback, particularly so if its doubles as so much of it is about plays and tactics. Gets you thinking about areas for development, and allows scope for improvement.

    If anything, it's better if it comes from the opponents as it makes it less awkward in you having to pick it up directly with the person concerned (who you're going to see again), or dropping them for the next game without saying anything or giving some excuse, and without them properly understanding what the reasons are.

    If I think the comments are over the top or my partner is the sensitve type that won't benefit from it, then its not difficult to manage the situation by flipping it back at your opponents, making a joke, chipping in with a few fun comments about their game, your game etc. But this thread all sounds like a storm in a teacup and an overreaction. Them saying suggesting to Cindy's partner that she should keep on working on her volleys and that she'll be really good [with them] one day is hardly a character assasination.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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  47. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    It's rude if you are a sore loser, and get your feelings hurt easy. Me, the first day I bought a racquet and went to a court, I called out the guys on the court next to me, and they both embarrassed me. It's what I wanted.

    I couldn't even hit the ball...It was an extreme way to learn on your first day, no training, no coaching...just using someones arrogance in MY favor to learn what I should be doing.

    They told me how bad I was, gave me advice (while laughing at me, and most of the advice I didn't even understand) but I soaked it all in, and told them to their face...that's ok I lost so bad, I'm gonna get you back...(in fun though, not in a voodoo kinda way). But i was serious. They still laughed

    I played about a month more at the same courts and saw that they made bets that I would quit tennis.

    I didn't quit and I can play and have beaten them now. They ask ME to play on their teams if they are down a player in doubles now.

    They laughed, and told me what I was doing wrong but they were telling me in jest. Instead of coming here to cry about it, I used the embarrassment and comments as clues and fuel to learn.

    I love criticism. Especially when people think they are just being mean. They don't realize I'm using it to learn and I come back stronger. But I gave more respect by taking it in, rather than getting upset by it. They know they can't break me.

    Not everyone is as sensitive as you, and it's fine if something like this would hurt you...but it's sports...things like that should make you stronger imo /longest post ever
     
    #47
  48. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    also, LOL

    some of the best advice i've gotten playing tennis, has been unsolicited advice. I didn't get mad, I was grateful someone was helping me without asking for money, or anything else in return.
     
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  49. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    This true whether it's about tennis or life in general. If an adult wants your advice he or she will ask for it.
     
    #49
  50. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I do not find it rude either.

    If someone gives me unsolicited advice I thank them, whether I agree with it or can use it I generally keep to myself.

    You can repeat it a million times but that does not make it so. :)

    My suggestion, yes indeed unsolicited, is that instead of writing: "It is rude to offer unsolicited advice. " you could write "I think it is rude to offer unsolicited advice" or "I am of the opinion that it is rude to offer unsolicited advice".
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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