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Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have an awkward situation on my hands, and I'm not sure what to do with it.

    It's pretty simple, really. Someone wants to be my doubles partner, and I am looking for a way out. This person works hard on her game. The trouble is she just isn't a very good doubles player. We are not a well-balanced doubles team because she struggles with the strokes that are most important in doubles: returning, approach shots, volleys, groundstroke placement, lobs, overheads.

    The problem is how to say no. I could say, "We're not a well-balanced doubles team." Or "I just don't think we would do well together." Or something vague like that. The problem is that she will undoubtedly ask for an explanation because she does think we would be a good team.

    I'm really feeling backed into a corner at this point. I don't think would go over well for me to imply I am Oh So Much Stronger than she is because we are both 3.5s. I just don't think I would enjoy playing matches with her because . . . . well, I know for a fact I can play with people who are better players, I do well with those people, and those matches are fast-paced and fun. If I did play some matches with her, they would have to be court three against weak opponents. And if we won, then this would support her view that we make a good pair when in fact we would be eaten alive by stronger opponents -- the sorts of opponents I enjoy playing.

    Now what?
     
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  2. StanW

    StanW Rookie

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    Hmm you can say something like this "Not to be rude or anything, but I don't think working together as a doubles pair."

    There's no need to feel so awkward about this, just get to the point and that way she wont misunderstand or anything. I'm sure she'll understand.
     
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  3. StanW

    StanW Rookie

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    I type slower than I think sorry. D:
     
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  4. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I think the best thing to do is find a doubles partner you really like and say that "Well Player X is my doubles partner".

    Or even pick two players whom you prefer. "Well I have already agreed to play with Jackie and Alice this season, so I am sorry."

    J
     
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  5. rainman007

    rainman007 Rookie

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    I think this would be the best way too.. Decide who you want to play with then tell her so and so is my partner then i would recommend someone to her that you know and suggest maybe they would be a great doubles team..
     
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  6. max8176

    max8176 Rookie

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    Just say that you already have a partner for the season. Are you the captain of the team? If she persists just defer it to your captain! LOL
     
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  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Tell her you can't be her doubles partner because you're busy washing your sweaters. In high school, I asked a chick out on a date for a Friday night and she gave me that excuse. I got the hint, try it, it may be all you need to say to get you out of this picadillio.
     
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  8. larlarbd

    larlarbd Banned

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    Well, You yourself told me the best way to get out of this - if you play well with others , just tell her that you have been in talks with others ( basically you're booked ) & you already have a doubles partner .... You play with others or keep your option open with her that way - in the meantime she improves her game , you like it in the future - you have the option to say yes , if not you don't look bad or keep her hanging ( which would be certainly unfair ). sounds good ?
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    She's asked me many times who I plan to play with. I respond with names. And I get the same reply: "Come on. We should play together. We'd do great!"

    I'm never quite sure what to say to that. I think maybe I will have to say, "Nah, we wouldn't stand a chance until we improve our net game and transition game."
     
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  10. MixieP

    MixieP Hall of Fame

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    Be blunt and say that you really want to improve your game and in order to do so you need to pair up with a player of a higher level than yourself.
     
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  11. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    take the appraoch you are the weak one and need someone strong to carry you. :shock:and her game isnt strong enough:)
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    When she asks who you want to play with talk about how you are looking to play with skills that even she will know aren't her strong suit. "I'd really love to find someone who will S&V with me and just wants to crash the net and win from up there".
     
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  13. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    You are the captain, right? Put you and her at line 1 against the best team in the league. Either you get thrashed (and basically end up stacking your lineup for the lower courts), which should quiet her down, or you play out of your minds together and maybe she is right. There's only one way to find out, though.
     
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  14. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    Not a bad idea, unless you really need all your courts strong for a team win.

    Another alternative is the same one our team uses to find good doubles pairs. Play a practice match with her against your strongest doubles pair on your team. If she sees that you are not that successful as a team, she may realize you don't mesh well.

    Plus, look at it as a compliment. She thinks you are a strong player and wants to play with you because of it.
     
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  15. Tarboro

    Tarboro Rookie

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    Consider playing with her socially against another strong pair. Demonstrate to her that the two of you are not as strong as she thinks you are.

    If she does not take the hint, play her (with another partner) where you think she ought to be (court 3 against a relatively weak opponent). If she wins, tell her that it she and Gertrude, her new partner, looked good out there, and plan on keeping her together. If she loses, tell her that you'll work with her to find her a good partnership, but that you're committed to playing with Susie and Sally. If she puts on the full court press, offer to play with her in practice as much as you can and see if she changes your mind.
     
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  16. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    Makes the most sense. Its already worked for you, so just keep using it regardless of how tiresome it gets. Or if you want to end it, be blunt and deal with the ruffled feathers.

    Ah, the variation on the classic, "I can't, I have to see a man about a mule." In other words, if someone one doesn't want to do something any excuse will do. It doesn't have to make sense to get your point across.
     
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  17. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Tell her you have a very contagious and incurable disease. All jokes aside. That’s a tough spot to be in. Hope it works out for you...
     
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  18. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    To be contrarian...

    Why not play one match with her? Play against good opposition... and see what happens. The worst that can happen is you lose. And then you can justify not partnering with her again ("our games are not complimentary"). Or alternatively, you might find that you are not as bad a pairing as you think.

    Of course, I'm assuming that your reluctance to pair with her is purely based on tennis compatibility on not on some other personal issues.
     
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  19. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I dig the practice match against another pair from your own team idea too.

    Dubs is a funny thing in that sometimes against all obvious things two people just don't make a good team.

    I have friends who I am very close personal friends with, who I play singles with and doubles against all the time, who are approx the same level as me, and we just happen to make a bad team.

    It is like you add 2+2 and get 3.

    And then there are other teams where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    And it only takes half the team to not be feeling the partnership in order for it to fail.

    J
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I like the practice match idea. We tried this a few months ago, actually. Opposing team forfeited several courts, so she and I played against our No. 1 doubles team. We lost, 2-6.

    It's not that we lost that is the problem. It's *how* we lost. This player is not aggressive in doubles. Lots of pushing of volleys and groundies. Footwork and positioning aren't aggressive either (lots of standing around at net, missed opportunities to come to net). I always find myself covering the whole court when we play, and good opponents will make you pay.

    Maybe I will have a talk with her about that issue as the reason we wouldn't make a good pair. Recently, she played a practice set with a strong partner. Afterward, she boasted that she had poached twice during that set. Twice. Two poaches in an entire set with a strong partner is actually quite pitiful. That suggests she doesn't know what aggressive doubles play is all about. Maybe that is something she could address if she knew it is an issue.
     
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  21. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ I would have said, "Wow, it is great that you poached twice per game."

    J
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ha! No, I didn't want to embarrass her in front of the group. Taking someone's "accomplishment" and publicly declaring it inadequate would not have been a good idea.
     
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  23. raging

    raging Professional

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    actually you have highlighted why it wouldn't be effective: you see the issues but she doesn't: somebody has to be the finisher or more aggressive player. Getting her to join a clinic/coaching group where this finishing is practiced would be more beneficial to her tennis. Good Luck!
     
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  24. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I would simply tell her that I don't think we're as strong a doubles team as it might seem and she'd be better off with a different partner. You have the experience of playing together is a practice match and it would seem that you have that as evidence that you games aren't that compatible.
     
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  25. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    What does it mean to be someone's doubles partner when you are a non-professional adult? I play doubles 99% of the time, but I have no set "doubles partner". During the summer, we have a summer league, where we do have a set doubles partner, but an easy way out there, is to simply say you already have a partner, or that you are waiting to hear if your partner is available to play, or that you are not playing doubles in that particular league.
     
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  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Someone asked if you were the captain of your team. If so, just tell her that you have to match the doubles partners up in a way that gives the team the best chance to get a win, and that she will just have to play with someone who best complements her strengths and weaknesses.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting.

    There are women who have established doubles partners. You rarely see one without the other. These women usually dominate. They have figured out how to handle any given opponent.

    I haven't had a regular doubles partner for several reasons. Frankly, I think it would get a little boring. Also, my game has changed a ton over the last couple of years, so what I wanted in a partner two years ago is vastly different from what I want now.

    Add in that there is a certain amount of change in the circles in which I run. People are always getting pregnant, injured, divorced or going back to work. As soon as you think you have a partner who will be perfect, life happens and you are back to square one again.

    This season, I will probably play my 4-5 matches with 2-3 different women.
     
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  28. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    That's good advice. If necessary, maybe use a bullhorn and start out with "ATTENTION--This your Captain speaking!"
     
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  29. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    D*mmit Cindy, you just could have sent me an email!!!

    ;)
     
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  30. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    That's me and mine, I suppose. We've played together, off-and-on, for the past 5 years...but over the past 12 months it's been very, very regular...and very, very successful. We are the same age but at very different points in our lives (she has HS/college-aged kids; mine aren't even in kindergarten). But our personalities and skill sets mesh on- and off-court. We have figured out how to handle most of our opponents. It's been a nice ride.

    We are both, however, careful to practice and play with others since...as you also pointed out, things change. I've been pregnant, twice, over our "partnership" but she's been a real trooper at saying, doing and playing it all the right way. In return, she's gained (at least I hope she sees it this way) a loyal friend and playing partner. Bad days at home or on court don't even need to be "forgiven" because there's always....tomorrow.

    As for your specific situation, I think the blunt approach may be your only successful one. You've tried playing with her and seem to feel it was definitely a failed experiment. At least you tried. Good luck.
     
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  31. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    Oh you two are funny! :)
     
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  32. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    ? So what would happen if two of these teams played each other? It would be like the "irresistible force vs. the immovable object" conundrum.
     
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  33. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I have three different male partners I play exceptionally well with. I've won tournaments with all three. Out of the three, there's only one I would consider calling my partner only because complement each other well both in skill and temperament. The other two are great partners as well but the one guy does have a way of calming me down, getting me to focus and try harder if need be.

    But those are the three that I play best with. Nevermind the other 20 or so, I absolutely suck with....
     
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  34. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    You know, if you were male, it'd be easier. Here's what you'd say, "No. I don't want to play doubles with you."
     
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  35. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Nope. Then the one you're trying to avoid says, "Well, I call dibs for being your partner next season!" and you're back to square one.

    To the OP, just explain that your footwork, aggressiveness, volleys, overheads, returns, and teamwork are at a much higher level than hers and it would be a drag for you to play with her.

    That is the gist of it, isn't it?
     
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  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Lol, nobody calls dibs on me, I am not a slice of apple pie ffs.


    J
     
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  37. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Hmm seems like you should try something like this:

    -wait till said person asks you to play doubles
    -when person does ask politely say "No thank you"
    -if said person asks why and persists on an answer you say "Because you suck"

    Dosnt seem so hard to me :)
     
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  38. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I have to agree with max, you should try joining a mens team to avoid a lot of this drama ;-)

    Another thought on avoiding the conversation would be to offer a suggestion of another player that her game should match up well with.

    My wife has found that eliminating the personal aspect of it and focusing on the strategy of why two players compliment each other as an effective match up is an effective way of avoiding animosity.
     
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  39. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster Semi-Pro

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    I think you should sit her down in private and be totally honest with her. I find that people deal with let down much better when it is being done with honesty and sincerity.
     
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