Of Trophies And Paperweights

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cindysphinx, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe we can talk about this subject here rather than derail the Jolly thread yet again?

    OK. Topaz quoted Jolly as saying the following:

    And in discussing Donald Young, mtommer suggested that winning a challenger was a pittance and a pro wouldn't be thrilled to win a Challenger, and DNShade disagreed:

    DNShade:
    How proud should any of us be if we win a non-pro tournament or match? What would we think if someone here boasted about being on a winning team at Nationals? Would our view be different if they were talking about winning 2.5 or 4.5? If someone wins a 3.0 tournament or a pro wins a Futures event, is the trophy a trophy or a paperweight?

    My own record is that I only have one tournament trophy: 2.5 singles back in 2005. I beat three other players in a round robin to win the title. I had been playing tennis less than a year at the time. Is it a paperweight?

    Yeah, I think it is. The reason is that it wasn't much of an achievement. Everything is relative, of course, but I kind of feel now that I *should* have won. I had the best mobility and I pushed better, so I should have won. So if someone asked me to list my tennis exploits of which I am most proud, winning that tournament wouldn't make the top ten.

    How about being proud of winning Nationals? Well, I've never been to Nationals, so I can't say how I would feel. My personal view of USTA post-season play is that it isn't very important and doesn't mean much because the imperfect effort to group players according to ability breaks down completely at Nationals. There is so much unethical behavior that happens to get to that level that is tarnishes the whole thing in my eyes. So if someone told me their team won at Nationals, I wouldn't be any more impressed than if someone told me they won a difficult match during the regular season -- I would be happy for them because they are enjoying their tennis, but nothing more.

    How about a pro who wins a challenger? Well if Donald Young is thrilled to have won a challenger, this is probably because it is a small piece of evidence that his quest to be a tennis pro is not a pipe dream. If Federer won a challenger and fell on back as though he had just won the FO, that would look weird. That's because Fed *should* win every challenger he enters, right?

    So when does a trophy become a paperweight?

    Cindy -- who attaches no value whatever in the plaque she has for her USTA team going to sectionals because she didn't play at sectionals and only played two matches in the regular season
     
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  2. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I am sure there are as many opinions here as there are people. IMO, I guess it depends. If you have attained a certain level of play, winning among many others at that level is a true accomplishment, regardless of what that level happens to be. Thus if I am a 2.5 or 3.5 or 4.0 and I win a tournament at that level, I am rightly proud of that fact.

    OTOH, if I am a 5.0 and I win a 4.5 tournament/league because in my area they don't have 5.0 (too few players) then feeling proud of the hardware is a bit lame, IMO.

    Getting to Nationals similarly fits into this category since by definition you are a team of sandbaggers, no big accomplishment. However winning at Nationals is different, since you are playing among other sandbaggers so that is an accomplishment.
     
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  3. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I know what you mean... I have a huge box of trophies for tennis and I cannnot remember enjoying winning any of them. Like you I feel they are all paperweights... I have never had them on show... After the tourney I would bring them home and put them in a box.

    I found that I enjoyed living vicariously though my partner more than I enjoyed the process for myself... hence why I stopped playing singles.

    I didn't find much joy in winning and hated losing... and I hated feeling that way... and eventually quit playing altogether.

    But now I am back... and I just enjoy playing... but I cannot see putting myself back in a competitive situation, so I am probably done with leagues and tournies.

    At the end of the day... all trophies are dust collectors and paper weights... they are just a reminder of what you have done and no one wants to hear you relive it. If you think about it probably not even yourself... why would you want to remind yourself of who you were as opposed to who you are.

    As a sidenote... I have more pleasant memories of specific matches played than tournament wins, to be honest I can't remember any of the wins in detail.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hmm... I guess it depends on how much you really care.
    Seems if you are expected to win the T, you shouldn't celebrate too highly, but if you were a darkhorse, it could have been luck.
    I had 6 tennis trophies...tossed them within 6 years.
    Qualified for over 70 motocross trophies, collected 20 (after turning pro, you could take the $$ over a dumb statue), and tossed them same time.
    Easy 10 surfing trophies, most I didn't bring home (expected those).
    Double that in windsurfing trophies, but elected to take the wetsuits, T's, hats, or gear instead. I was a financially struggling windsurfer.
    Accolades are nice, but for the me, just useless trinkets.
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    At a certain age, your kids want to know all about those tournament wins. Perhaps in more detail than you can even remember.
     
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  6. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I think its when you achieve something that you feel you hardly put effort in and you won a trophy then it becomes a paper weight . My two stories, these are stories from my sophmore year of highschool.
    In a soccer tourny that our school was hosting I was rewarded with an all tourny trophy. It was based on votings from all the coaches and refs on which players helped their team the most. I was so proud because I worked my butt off so hard I thought I was going to puke after each game, and I just put everything I had into my performace. That trophy means a lot to me because of those reasons.
    Now that same year I got a varsity tennis letter, even though it is my only letter, it doesnt really seem that big to me because I didn't really try and its more like oh cool I have a letter, could really care less.
    so I think it has to do with the effort in winning them.
     
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  7. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Well first, let me clarify. I didn't say wouldn't or even necessarily shouldn't. I simply said it wouldn't surprise me. I know that if I had the potential to be pro I wouldn't be satisfied with a Challenger trophy. More to the point, my feelings would probably depend upon whether the Challenger was merely "payin' the dues" to get the invites to the tournaments or if I had the invites and failed but showed some abiltity to push current touring pros.

    I think it's individual. If someone like Topaz wants to be proud of being a 3.5, hey, nothing wrong with that. For myself, I would be **ssed off at myself. I am very athletic so I won't accept being low level anything. I simply have higher expectations of myself in whatever I do and I'm a very quick learner.
     
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  8. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    My trophies from recent years sit upstairs in my office collecting dust on the shelf. However, I have two modest gold cups sitting on my mantle with my name and my girlfriends name written on the cups. We won the mixed open tourney at my home club last year. We were match points down, 3 of our 5 matches went to three sets, we were exhausted (it was played over 4 days). But we had no expectations and we never gave up.

    That's one is definitely not a paperweight. I don't know how long it will stay on the my mantle. Maybe until Krissy get's tired of dusting it. Lol.

    Cheers,

    Mike
     
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  9. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    And I think there's a lot of truth in this. For some people playing at a certain level is hard work for them. Others, they may very well be spraying balls left and right but if you look at them they haven't broken a sweat. In other words they'd lose to a ball machine. Heck, if the other player did nothing but sit down on the court they'd still probably lose but the point is they aren't being physically challenged. Perceived effort has a lot to do with a feeling of accomplishment.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Worse is the expectations of your peers. Pure pressure, + knowing I should do much better against much better competition.
     
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  11. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    Worse than that is pressure from your uncle. That is really hard
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I guess I can understand that -- except for your (probably unintentional) gratuitous slam at 3.5 as being "low level." I know a 3.0 woman who is desperate to make it to 3.5, but she can't. She might not consider it "low level."

    Do I consider my 3.5 level to be low? Yes and no. Compared to Serena, it is low. Compared to people like me who started tennis very late in life and never played a competitive sport before, 3.5 is a nice achievement. I think I can get to 4.0, and if someone told me that making 4.0 at 48 or 49 years of age was a "low level," I would figure they would get their comeuppance when they get to this age.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have the following tennis trophies:

    One glass tennis ball on a stand for winning something
    One small tennis cup for winning something
    One large beer bug for winning something
    A T shirt for winning something

    I no longer remember what these were for.
     
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  14. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    But I think "consider" gets in the way of objectivity. The scale goes from (essentially) 2.5 to 7.0. 3.5 isn't even in the middle. I don't think it's arrogant for anyone to see this. If 90% of tennis players are in the 3.5 category, it doesn't change the fact that scale goes from 2.5 - 7.0, not from the placement of people on that scale. The scale doesn't care about one's feelings on the subject. It's an objective standard (as objective as such a standard can be I guess). This is why I don't feel that I'm being arrogant or dismissing when I say the level is "low-level". I see it as simply a statement of fact. <shrug>
     
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  15. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Everyone should weigh the importance of their achievements against the goals they've set for themselves. But don't expect anyone else to weigh your achievements the same.

    Having won a 3.0 National championship, to most of the people on this board who can easily beat me (I'm sure there are plenty of people out there), this is not much of an achievement. But it was an achievement for me because a year prior I went .500 at 3.0, and then I beat the best sandbaggin' 3.0s in the nation a year later. It was a mark of good progress.

    Since then I am starting to devalue this accomplishment because I have set my goals higher. Thats natural though. I'm sure if DY starts contending in the slams he won't think highly of his challenger victories anymore.

    So its all relative. Even if someone else's accomplishment is nothing to you because you can do alot better than them, doesn't mean you should belittle their accomplishment to them but should be respectful.

    I can see this as a challenge on the board, because you can have a 4.5 who is saying that 4.0s are lousy players. Then of course how are the 3.0s and 3.5s going to feel about that? Probably insulted. You need a thick spine to post on this board.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not as simple as that. The scale is logarithmic, not linear. It is not like a student who gets 3.5 out of 7 in a test. It is more like if a 4.0 earthquake destroys your home, you would not be going around saying it is low level compared to a 8 on the Richter scale.
     
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  17. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    ^^^+1

    Different people get different things out of playing tennis.

    I play tournaments because I love the atmosphere, and the win or go home mentality. I play league so that I can work on things for tournaments.

    I have a few trophies, both from playing as a junior and as an adult, but to me, they are more landmarks of my playing map than "achievement" markers. With regard to DY, someone said that if he started winning majors, then he might not look at Challenger wins the same. I think that this is on the mark. But that isn't to mean that winning a Challenger or 4.5 or 2.5 tournament can't mean the world to someone who is genuinely excited and surprised by the win.

    Bingo. Even 4.5 level players are better than something like 90% of the world tennis community. I would think that to be 90th percentile in anything is respectable, despite the fact that there are people at the 95th percentile (say, 5.0 or 5.5) and at the 99th percentile (Fed, Nadal, etc).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  18. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Um, here's what I think...

    - It's kind of up to you how you feel about winning this tournament or anything else.

    - Having said that, I think you did real well in winning this tournament, and you ought to take some pride in the achievement. There is no such thing, IMHO, as *should* in a tennis match. You either win or you lose. Just because you were the superior player, on paper, you still had to go out and win three matches, real time, and in any of those, you could have choked, had an off day, your opponent could have played out of her mind, whatever. Instead, you did what it took to win the tournament. Congrats, and take pride in it.

    - I've won some tournaments, and I can't even find the trophies. I'm much more interested in the memories of what I did and how I felt, per what some other posters said. I once won the finals of a tournament against a guy I wasn't supposed to beat after breaking a string in the warmup in my only racket. I just served and volleyed (no point in having the points go past two or three shots) and made it happen. Definitely my favorite memory, and my best effort, and I'd still feel that way even if I hadn't won...
     
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  19. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Well I would beg to differ... 4.0 is still considered light... minor damage... 8.0 would cause major damage felt across hundreds of miles. 4.0 is low leveled compared to an 8.0

    Unless you are playing at the highest levels... trophies are more about recognition than achievement. It recognizes you have achieved a certain level of play... a marker like a boy scout badge.

    In National events you are probably dealing with stacked teams full of sandbaggers... so what is the net worth of the win other than to stroke one's ego.

    Who is the better player...? A 4.0 skilled player that plays 4.5-5.0 tournies to challenge and improve his abilities, or a 4.0 skilled player who plays down to win tournies. He may have the hardware but is he a better player? I don't know.

    I guess what I am saying is that once you won a tournament... we should be looking to move up to the next level and not staying where you are. You have already proven you don't belong anymore because you have achieve that level of play.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  20. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Is it? What if it's only one block of houses that gets destroyed? Do you think the Governer is going to declare a state of emergency to get federal relief funds? I don't think so. One may "feel" the weight of an 8.0 earthquake but it doesn't mean it was an 8.0 earthquake. For the one whose house was destroyed, hey, I get it, it sucks.
     
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  21. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    I'm very curious why you would consider yourself very athletic or a quick learner. From other posts I thought you mostly hit against the wall. Do you hit against the wall so well that you consider yourself good? Comments you have made about videos make it difficult to believe you are good. I would consider a very athletic person someone that has excelled in at least one sport (against actual competition). It would completely blow my perception of you if you have competed at a high level in any sports but I'm up for being enlightened so please share.
     
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  22. T1000

    T1000 Hall of Fame

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    Whenever i win the local weekly club tournaments I don't get that enthused. Its pretty easy to win those since the competition isn't that great. I've won one usta tournament, it was a singles one last april. I was pretty happy, but it was only a 7 and a 6 man draw (me being the 2 seed I got a bye) I also won a mens open, non usta, and I was really happy with that. It was my first time playing one and I beat a DII college kid in the finals in three sets (6-4, 6-7 (6) 6-3, down 0-3 in the third). It was also the first time the tournament was held so I can be remembered as the first person to win the mens open singles tournament.
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    As you will realize later, once you age, you are happy to even stay where you are :)
     
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  24. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Well first of all, you have to consider that most people could care less about the achievements of others, no matter how big or small. Sure you might be impressed for about 2 minutes, but do you really care? (unless you have some personal stake in it which could be monetary, pride, whatever....)

    But beyond that, why does a person care what goes on in any tennis event at all? If they dont play tennis much they probably dont care, even if it's Wimbledon. I know people are going to hate to hear this, but tennis is really boring to watch if you dont play.... It's just a ball going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, etc...

    (kind of like how for some people basketball is just a bunch of people running back and forth on a court throwing a ball in a hoop, and car racing is just a bunch of cars driving around and around a track with accidents here and there)

    When you play a sport it makes you more interested in watching it, and it may make you care a "little" more about who wins. It's because you can be in a better position to understand what the participants are going thru.

    Those of us that are working on our game at any level, understand what it's like to actually play and get better, so I think the same thing applys, we can appreciate other people's accomplishments no matter how small. (appreciate but not necessarily "care")

    But not everyone's experience is the same. The player who's been playing since they are 6 years old and maybe was what we would call a 4.5 player in HS and went on to college or other fame, isnt going to identify with the 54 year old adult who stands out among a bunch of other 3.5 adults as a "good" player.

    I think winning (if done legitimately without cheating or sandbagging) is actually hard at any level. It takes something to get thru a whole match and be able to perform at your best beyond your opponent and ultimately win.

    For a team concept sport, I think that's true even more, but it's hard to arrange 8 people every week and expect to have any sort of success. You have to field 3 doubles teams for one, and given any random number of people that can be incredibly difficult, as if just having one doubles team is all that easy sometimes....

    The problem though like someone pointed out is that when someone brags about there team going somewhere far like Nationals, the odds of it being a team that actually fought thru it and was successful versus a team of people who just simply grabbed a ton of under-rated players is rare. So that taints the accomplishment somewhat.

    So I think winning a trophy I think is just a personal accomplishment. If you're in a tournament or some event, your goal should be to win it, but that shouldnt be your only reason for being there. If you do win, that's cool, then you accomplished your goal...

    When you get older and more mature you start to learn that nobody is really all that interested in what YOU are doing anyway. (which is reasonable, why should they care as much as YOU do about something YOU accomplished?)
     
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  25. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    At 51 how much more do I need to age...? But if you are saying at some point our skills will diminish and that our level of play will slide, I agree... at which time we may start to work backward on the scale... but then there are the age group events. Though I would rather play in a general draw. But like I said earlier I consider my competitive playing days over. Not because I can't play, but because I have no interest in playing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know how much you earn.

    I can say that the wage levels in the U.S. run from zero to Bill Gates. More to the point, let's guess that you earn less than $20,000 [edit: $200,000] annually. The mere fact that there are people who earn more would not make you "poor." Similarly, the fact that Serena could beat me does not make me "low level." I would say that my USTA rating makes me average. If you take age into account, perhaps I am "above average." So maybe we need to reserve 2.5 and low 3.0 for the descriptor "low level."

    'Cause if 3.5 is going to be considered "low level," what term are we going to use for 2.5? :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  27. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I guess it is all relative... but I play on a regular basis with some 3.5- 4.0 men players that do not consider themselves as good players. But I guess your viewpoint can get easily skewed if you are only playing and experiencing life in your own level.

    I think you need to give mtommer some leeway because he is speaking from a general point... not a specific point. If you compare a 7.0 to a 3.5, a 3.5 level is pretty low... even if you were to compare a 4.5 to a 3.5 it would seem low.

    If we start to quantify something... then I am pretty damn good for a ethnic person, who is over 50, right handed, under 160lbs, under 5-10, smaller than a size 9 foot, etc etc etc....

    I personally think that players start to be more complete at the 4.5 level... up til then there are still obvious flaws in their games.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
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  28. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Earning less then $20,000 a year does make someone "poor".

    And you are playing "lower level".....
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, let's not debate the obvious.

    For women, the average player in my area is about 3.5. That means 3.5 can't be "low level," because this reserves nothing for the two USTA levels below 3.5.

    As for whether 3.5 is "lower level," that leaves the obvious question: "Lower than what."

    Look. If someone is a recreational player and they are 3.5, they are doing fine. They can yank any non-tennis player off the street and beat them soundly. Should they brag about their tennis prowess in a room full of Div. 1 College Players?

    Not unless they are doing stand-up comedy. :)
     
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  30. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    "In your area"? Who cares about that? (other then you obviously....)

    If everyone "in your area" only made $20,000 or less a year, then most normal people would say you live in a poor area. There need not be anything more positive or negative about it other than that, the situation is what it is.

    Nobody's saying that they cant feel happy about it, or brag about it.

    But if you're so busy blowing smoke up your rear that you cant stand to realize that in term's of skill you're "lower level", then that's quite another thing altogether....
     
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  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    you got that right!
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry to have thrown you, but I made a type on my previous post, which I corrected. I meant to type $200,000 but typed $20,000 instead. Sticky "0", doncha know.

    As for the rest of your post . . . you probably don't have a lot of friends in real life, do you? ;)
     
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  33. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    I don't have the competitive results to say for sure. I will say that I have been approached to play Div II tennis by K's coach (Tim, before Mark). I'm not a student (I'm just at their courts all the time and do actually get taken for a student all the time coincidentally) so I can't play. Now, the question is, what did he see in me? Potential? Current skill? I'm not interested in playing competitively so I don't personally care. It was also before I ever came on this board so, quite frankly, it never crossed my mind as being spectacular or noteworthy, it is only Div II after all. Considering I've hit with some of the guys and their play isn't what I'd call butt kicking, well, I figure the guy probably just didn't have enough to field a full team and I can hit a decent ball so why not.

    I've only competed at Div 1 baseball for a couple of years. I did make it past the first cut tryouts of a local minor farm team though. But, I don't consider this especially high level, fun though.

    Anyway, I've never claimed to be any good at tennis. One need only to see my own videos to know that. As for wall hitting, I'm also the only one at the courts a lot of time so it's hit against the wall or hit serves for three or four hours. I'd rather hit against the wall for a fair bit of that time. I play whenever I can fit the time in/feel the urge and I don't have a set schedule that others with more commitments (almost everybody :D) can plan by.
     
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  34. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    I do make less that $20,000 (I know you edited), it's quite difficult to find any engineering jobs in MI anymore let alone Kalamazoo. I also make more than many people in my area. I am poor, so are they. I'm just not quite as poor as they are. I may be taking care of my mom but financially I only have to worry for myself so, in a sense, I make even more than those around me, just not on paper. I'm still poor though. But if you ever need to know how to bargain hunt....:D
     
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  35. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    I'm not terribly impressed by being approached by a div 2 tennis coach but playing a few years of d1 baseball counts for a lot in my opinion as well as the farm team try out. You would have to play at a pretty high level to get that far. I was wrong again, thanks for clarifying.
     
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  36. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Brave words from someone who has never actually gotten out on the court and played a USTA match.

    I am damn proud of my level, thank you very much. I worked hard to get there, and I'll keep working hard.
     
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  37. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I really don't have anything to say, but if this were on facebook, I'd click the like button for sure :)
     
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  38. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    As many have stated, whether or not you take pride in your trophy, or 'paperweight', probably depends on how you acquired it.

    If you didn't play the tournament and still got a plaque, I get that you don't really feel any ownership in that.

    If you clawed and played your way through a draw and are proud of your achievement, then that is awesome!

    And really, who is anyone on here to denounce or belittle the achievements of others? If is fine if you don't care, but you can still not care and not be a jerk, right? And I think many of us, particularly if we've been around here a while, would be happy to hear of a fellow tennis player having success. There are a lot of threads that demonstrate that on this forum.

    I have several paperweights...some earned at the 3.0 level and some at the 3.5 level. I also have some 'finishers' medals from races I've run. I like the medals, and I have a blast participating in races...but those medals are really just that...for participation and finishing.

    I have one doubles win from my 3.0 days that was pretty hard fought...until the final, when our opponents bailed because of an ankle injury. My partner and I were disappointed to not get to play it out, but we had had a hard semi and were already proud of how well we played to get through that match. I have another doubles win which was as close as it could get...it was a round robin and came down to games and head to head. The others are all runner-ups. One we were happy to get that far, and the other we were disappointed as we had blown a huge lead.

    I have no paperweights for singles however, having just really starting to concentrate on singles just last year. I would like one...not because I have an empty space on my bookshelf, but because it represents setting and achieving a goal. Personally, I enjoy setting and meeting goals in all parts of my life.

    What is 'good' or 'high' or 'low' level is always relative. But if someone who has never achieved what I have dares to belittle it, then I will say something. That's just who I am!

    And I hope I have never ever, either here or in person, made someone feel badly about their achievements. And if I found out I had, I would apologize.

    You know, I've done the 'Jolly' thing. I've twice played in tournaments that, by all rights, I did not belong in. I understand playing way out of level from time to time and I do think you can learn things from that. (I do not think you should do that for the majority of your matches though, and other posters and I have repeatedly stated.) I've had my butt kicked by 5.5 women and men and a 5.0 woman...and none of them were rude when they found out I was a 3.5. They didn't scoff or belittle me...instead they were all very nice, very encouraging, and class acts.
     
    #38
  39. samster

    samster Legend

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    Where are the pics of these trophy items? As the G.O.A.T. here at TTW, you should know that no pics = didn't happen!
     
    #39
  40. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Maybe they're all paperweights? After all, Borg sold his Wimbledon trophies. Why would he keep them? Don't people know he won Wimbledon 5 times?

    So then, what is the value of lesser trophies? It would look so desperate to display your trophies to a visitor. Enjoy tennis, strive to improve, but don't make it about winning trophies, IMO.
     
    #40
  41. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    They ain't paperweights, they are signs of glory baby! I guess I fall in the minority but I value my trophies. Heck I have a darn trophy case in my rec room. Now I don't have any tennis trophies for the simple reason that back in the late 70's when I was "good" relatively speaking I wasn't on a team and I don't think they even had leagues or tournaments in Spokane. However I do have multiple pieces of hardware from football, softball, and volleyball and am rather proud of most of them. For instance there is the one from my second year of rec football were went form losing every game our first year to going undefeated and winning the championship 14-13. After only converting 2 Pat's all season we managed both to win in the big game. Then there is the one where our softball team took 6th out of 100 odd teams in the city and only lost because our starting shortstop had to work and missed all the games and our backup had to leave midway because his wife was having their first child.

    I even value our recent softball thropies that we are managing to win in practicly the lowest league. Hey we are the oldest, fatest team in the town yet somehow we manage to hang with the young bucks. Gee close to half the team are grandparents now. When we can put 2 guys hovering around 50 and pushing 290 pounds in left and center field and compete with High School players I feel we are holding our own.

    As I've stated before I live in the nations rec sports capital and firmly believe that if you are playing at your proper level and eek out a win they it is note worthy. If you win by too much then perhaps you weren't facing proper compitition.

    To say that wins only matters once a person reaches a certain level is not in keeping with the whole idea behind sports. If they keep score there is a winner and a loser. To say that winning a High School championship is nothing because some guys do it at the college level is silly because you can then take that to the extreme and say that college and even pro means nothing unless you are the world's number one.
     
    #41
  42. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    I respect everyone who's won a trophy/award at any level.

    It's a relative thing. A player who expects to win 1st place and takes 2nd is disappointed. Another player who doesn't expect to make the final and wins 2nd is much happier with that result.

    Like a lot of things, over time the significance fades as we're on to new quests, but the trophy serves as reminder of a positive achievement. I have 20+ in 11 different sports, but they've been in "storage" for many years now.

    But I did dig out my only tennis trophy for my avitar. :)
     
    #42
  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    What I don't respect is the people who acquire their trophies thru "cherrypickin".....
    A friend of mine has over 200 motocross trophies, something NOT to brag about. He's raced Novice class now for over 20 years, choosing never to move himself up....rather he takes a year off to race in another organization to lose his built up points, so he can stay novice.
    OTOH, I had a total of 5 Novice trophies, moved up to intermediate, got 3 trophies there, then moved to Expert, barely getting 4th's there for 2 years. So my total, not counting Vet trophies, is barely 30.
    I still think my way is "better" than his, but his trophy room is crowded, and he can "prove" his expertise by pointing to his trophies on the mantle.
     
    #43
  44. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    I enjoy the small number of tennis trophies I have because they remind me of the tough matches I had to win and/or the fun I had with my team or partner that season. I don't think I've ever won one very easily which is probably why they mean something to me. For some reason, every tournament I enter seems to have at least 25 people in the draw and I never get a bye.

    And to address the question of what "low level" means: everybody is "low level" compared to someone except the top 200 in the world. I think a more objective standard for everyday use is the overall tennis playing population. The center of the USTA league player distribution (a distribution with pretty low kurtosis) is 3.5 to 4.0 so a more objective description of that level would be "average". If you include all recreational players, a 3.5 player is probably above average.

    Perhaps a less insulting term structure would be beginner-intermediate-advanced.
     
    #44
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Self and peer expectations can affect our "value" in trophy recieving/worth.
    I always though I could and should be MUCH better than I actually was, based on my actual performances. So when a trophy get's "earned", it had little meaning or value, because it was long "overdue".
    Basically, I'm an underachiever, in most sports, so why not in tennis also.
    An underachiever cannot value his trophies, because he should have won them years ago.
     
    #45
  46. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Yeah percentile is the best way to gauge how good someone is at tennis. If you are better than say 80% of all tennis players, then you are a good tennis player. It doesn't matter if that puts you in the 3.5 or 4.0 range, the fact is you are out-performing most of the tennis-playing population, which should count for something.
     
    #46
  47. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    He has a knack for not maintaining proper context. That's just our Drakulie.
     
    #47
  48. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Then I'm proud to be an idiot. Winning tennis matches isn't much of an "achievement". It's not like curing polio, or even cleaning up your backyard. Winning a match isn't a public service. Someone always wins every match. Wanting to get trophies for winning tennis matches isn't about being a socially useful person, it's a selfish, egotistical act, if someone takes it too seriously. If all you can claim for achievement in your life is winning tennis matches, "In your face, I'm better than you!", that's a really sorry fact.
     
    #48
  49. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Hardly brave words. I know the level of some of the people I play and don't have trouble with.


    And I never said you shouldn't be. However, MY feelings about MY game need not mirror yours....thank you very much. Maybe the question you ought to ask yourself is why you feel so threatened. Don't bother pretending you aren't. It's evident in your posts. Don't get snippy with others because you're insecure with yourself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
    #49
  50. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Not something I would put out there for everyone to use against you.

    Though an accurate post, which in most part I do agree with... I would have done it in a more delicate way. But good on you for putting it out there... I think.
     
    #50

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