Rising versus falling players

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dizzlmcwizzl, Jun 30, 2010.

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Would you rather have the young buck or the grizzled veteran?

Poll closed Jul 20, 2010.
  1. Definately the young buck

    9 vote(s)
    32.1%
  2. Definately the grizzled veteran

    19 vote(s)
    67.9%
  1. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Over some post--match beverages last night a little disagreement emerged and I wonder what your thoughts on this are?

    With no other information than what is below, which would you choose?

    Suppose you are the captain of a playoff caliber 4.0 team. You need to fill the final spot on the roster for the season. You have two doubles players you can choose from for this season only ... which do you select and why?

    The young buck this player started the game late (30 years old) but clearly has athletic ability. His progress has been steady and now at 40 it appears like he is one of the better 4.0's in the region. While he sometimes makes errors because of inexperience he compensates for this with natural ability. This player could be a 4.5 next year.

    The grizzled veteran this player has played 4.5 for the the last 10 years. He compensates for his age (55) and diminished mobility with his clear understanding of the game. He rarely makes errors but he had a poor season last year which likely resulted in the "demotion" to 4.0. He may or may not get bumped back to 4.5.

    Assume you will only have these players for this year only. At the beginning of the year both players start out with the exact same rating.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
    #1
  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Young buck. You said he would be one of the better 4.0 players in the region and is certainly going to be a 4.5 next year. I don't really see the argument for taking the older player where you haven't listed any advantages other than his "poor" season he just had.
     
    #2
  3. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    To be fair I edited the post 1 minute later to say that he could be a 4.5 next year.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Always a tossup.
    Which meshes better with the current players?
    Which shows up for both matches AND practices?
    Which do you like personally?
    Both can play up, both can play down, so playing level is NOT consistent.
     
    #4
  5. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I say young buck. I just disagree on what a young buck is. You have described 2 wylie veterans IMO.

    I think a young buck is a kid in his mid-20's that is just starting to try league tennis after playing some junior tournaments and high school ball bashing tennis. He took a few years off in college and now he is fresh into the real world & looking for hobbies. He wants to get his competitive edge back & starts playing against the older guys for the first time. Undoubtedly he rates himself higher than he should since his talent & athletic gifts are trumped by his inexperience.
     
    #5
  6. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you're describing me.

    Personally, I struggle most against level-headed players with ice in their vains...usually guys in their mid-50's who still can handle pace. I do best against other hot-shots who hit hard.

    That being said, as a captain, I would love one more wily veteran if I could have one based on my team dynamics.
     
    #6
  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Definitely the vet, in dubs, mobility is not an issue, in fact hyper-mobility is baad and only creates caos. I play very good to excellent club doubles hobbling around on one leg.

    Tennis matches are won by not making mistakes. I would go with the player who doesn't look flashy, but has good court instincts, keeps getting the ball back, with good soft hands and can thread the needle with accurate placements to end the point. The serve doesn't have to be big, just spin it in, with good placement, with the ability to ocassionaly pop a big one.
     
    #7
  8. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    Easy - the vet.

    A few reasons:
    1) It's doubles. Mobility isn't a major issue; you're covering half the court - particularly if you pair him with a younger guy.
    2) The other guy is no spring chicken himself.
    3) In doubles you want the wise/crafty type anyways. Crush and rush doesn't always win. Smarts are rewarded more often than naivete.
    4) I'd go by results vs potential. One is proven and the other may never be.
    5) The 'crush and rush' folks are a dime a dozen. 4.0s are littered with UE machines. You want the rare commodity of the finesse/crafty/wise player.

    Ultimately it depends on the composition of the rest of your team and what you think will be the best addition to your team.

    K_I
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
    #8
  9. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Although we may disagree on what I term a young buck, your final sentance gets at what I think is the essence of the question.

    In comparing these two I would tend to think that the grizzled veteran is one that will win every match he is expected to. He may not pull out the miracle win against overwhelming odds but as a seasoned recent 4.5 player this will not happen very often. I would expect consistent play every match.

    The young buck, in my mind, is more likely to have dramatic swings in play. Perhaps he will show up and beat the bext player in the region on one day and fall to an also ran the next.

    I would always take the veteran for consistency and his familiarity with good play. I think this is the kind of player you could partner with someone with less skill and make them a better player.
     
    #9
  10. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Some times you have to make decisions with limited information such as "how people will get along?" or "will the chemistry will be there?" ... but number 4 and 5 are strong motivators for me
     
    #10
  11. bodieq

    bodieq Rookie

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    Since the USTA was on a big crusade last year to bump-up so many players with their revised dynamic-rating algorithm....if this guy actually got bumped DOWN a level, he must really suck. Therefore, I don't want this old guy on my team. As a matter of fact, I don't even want him to be within a 100 yards of whatever court my players are on.
     
    #11
  12. goober

    goober Legend

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    Since it is doubles, I would take whoever has the best recent track record in doubles. If their records are very similar I would go off personality and perceived commitment to leagues and teams.
     
    #12
  13. goober

    goober Legend

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    I think that is pretty harsh. Just because someone gets bumped down from a higher level doesn't mean he can't compete at the lower level. I know a guy that played 4.5 for 10+ years during his 40s. He got bumped down to 4.0 in his 50s. He went undefeated at 4.0 doubles for 2 straight years with a variety of partners before he got bumped up again.
     
    #13
  14. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    this is for dubs? grizzled veteran in his 50's. everyday and twice on sunday. young buck for singles where fresh legs and being an athlete matter more.
     
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  15. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    This is about the result I hoped for but I did not expect. While I am more like the young buck I described here .... I very much enjoy playing with a grizzled veteran.

    Sometimes I feel like knowing how to play play is less valued than having weapons even if they are erratic.

    If given the choice to play with some one on the upswing who has talent or playing with someone who has been battle tested, I would always choose the experience.

    It is very comforting to know that your partner has seen it all before and against a higher level of player. Having that steadiness next to me always makes me a better player.
     
    #15
  16. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If both had been 4.0's, I would take the younger guy. However, the important thing here is not age or even years of experience playing tennis. At 4.5, there is a different level of play and the player would know more about changing his game to match the situation, different strategies in playing points, what to change if everything is going badly, etc. If you were going to have this player long-term, of course you would want the one who is going to improve more.
     
    #16
  17. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Or would you take the 59 year old spring chicken that used to
    be a 7.0 but has fallen on hard times in the last 10 years, spending
    some time in the pen, going through multiple divorces, a
    few felonies, and possibly some substance abuse. But he's still
    got remnants of a mean lefty serve.
     
    #17
  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Sure Roscoe, love your serve, and could you throw in the Brooklyn bridge too!
     
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  19. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    UH ... yea
     
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  20. NoSkillzAndy

    NoSkillzAndy Rookie

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    A 40 year old young buck...? That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one!

    While I'm no league captain, if it were up to me I'd gravitate towards putting the more experienced players in the doubles lineup, leaving fresh meat to battle it out in singles. So in this situation, the recently bumped down vet makes the cut.

    And as a side note, I would think that most league captains would be chomping at the bit to have bumped-down players on their squad as that player is probably going to be more capable of competing well against tougher opponents and taking care of business against easier ones than a player who has never played at a higher NTRP level.
     
    #20
  21. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Given that they are equal I would always go for the old guy... They may not be as flashy as they once were, but they are steady and reliable. They will seldom faulter in a tight situation as they have been through many before, and have enough experience to recognize and draw on and win those few key points during a tight match.

    The young buck will win big on the easy matches... but may or may not bring you a victory in the tight ones. The old guy has been through the wars... and will get you a win with the easy opponents... though maybe not as handily... but he will grind out more victories in those matches were key points count.

    Just one more thing to consider... the older geezer was a 4.5 player... the youngster is hoping to achieve that goal... he may or may not ever get there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
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  22. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I believe the OP stated this would be a one off... that the player would only be there for the one season.
     
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