Social snobs

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Love_10is, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    I am new to tennis and have had weekly lessons since Xmas. I play social games on Wednesday, Were we just pick up games depending on who is there.
    Well I am sick of the snobs who think they are to good to play me. I don't often win but a lot of points come to duece and final scores are not embarrassing. How am I supposed to get better if these experts won't play me!
    Rant over.
     
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  2. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Sign up for a tournament and they have to play you.

    Work on your serve, it's the most important shot in tennis, if you get your serve in the box they have to play it.

    Welcome to the world of tennis, it's no more fair then the rest of life.
     
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  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    The truth is that you cannot force someone to play with you.

    It may not be related to level, could be other things. Some people spin everything left and right or only play high risk shots with a result that most shots go out or in the net, others moonball everything, others take everything too seriously or are too laid back about it, others talk too much, others are rule sticklers.

    Perhaps none of these describe you but again there may be many reasons.

    Also, why no play a lot with people less good that you?
     
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  4. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    Food for thought.
     
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  5. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    Maybe they, the snobs, don't want to play down to your level. The better you get the more other people will want to be on the same court as you. A noob can't expect to play with people who have been playing for years if they haven't put in the time in their games as well.

    -Jon
     
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  6. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    I think you would fit in with the 'snobs'
     
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  7. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    If you enjoy the game and have fun playing, then find others that share the same approach. I wouldn't beat my head against the practice wall trying to get people like you've described to play with you - it's a waste of your time and energy, IMHO. Meetups, club leagues, etc. offer a ton of options for you to play and improve. You're taking the first steps by taking lessons and I assume you're also doing clinics, too. Should be able to find hitting partners right there. Good luck and have fun!

    -dd
     
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  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You'll gradually find more and more people at your level.

    I'll hit with about anyone, but if I were to hit with you it would essentially be giving you a free lesson. I will do that on occasion because I enjoy teaching people, but to most people it isn't as fun as actually playing tennis near their level.

    Would you be mad if a Major League Baseball player wouldn't skip playing with their team to shag fly balls for you? What about Triple-A? What about college? What about High School? What about the neighborhood kids playing with each other?

    Some people may not be very friendly, but they don't exist purely for your enjoyment.
     
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  9. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    Hahaha. Maybe...maybe not, but really who cares. I've experienced this myself and feel the vast majority of rec players have experienced this to varying degrees. As your game gets better and once you get to the higher levels situations like this tend to diminish. Bottom line do work and you game will speak for itself. Nice sympathy thread tho

    -Jon
     
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  10. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    You seem like a nice guy and are willing to improve, but you might be in denial about your ability to hang with some of these guys.

    Other possible explanations are you don't know the court etiquette and rituals, the guys at your club are cliquey and slow to welcome new players, you smell bad, or these other guys just have enough partners already and don't want to play with someone new.
     
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  11. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I went through that. You need to seek out two or three others who are also getting the cold shoulder but are just as motivated as you. That's what I did. I think for the first year. I had a guy that I played with about 5 times a week at a different park. After about a year we started beating guys at our own park then we went down and started kicking in everyone that would not play with us.lol Now...we are basically running the courts. So time tells all but it will depend on how motivated you are.


     
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  12. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    Well I take your points. I work very hard on my game, am hitting a good ball but lack court experience. Might pack some anti- persperant next time.
     
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  13. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    Good one chatt_town c:
     
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  14. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Hey man glad to hear you love the game ... keep playing !!!

    It takes time to find a more or less regular group of people to play with. They don't necessarily have to be at your exact level, but just people that you click with and have a good time on court with.

    Try to get into league teams also, its a great way to meet new tennis players. Make sure you don't overestimate your level when self rating or getting on teams may be a struggle. A team may really want a really good 3.0, but not be so interested in a low level 3.5. I'm not saying to sandbag just that if you aren't sure which level you are between 2 different levels than picking the lower rating will give you a better chance of getting teams interested in you.

    Also if you tell us here what general area you're in (like I'm in Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina) you may meet some people here to play with.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    As others have said, you might want to find a group that is at a lower level (or form a group yourself).

    If you are at the "taking lessons" stage and not at the "play lots of competitive matches" stage, then I don't think playing people considerably stronger is a good idea anyway. You need to be in a situation where you can hit your shots the way you have been taught to hit them. You don't want to be under such relentless pressure that you resort to hacking.

    I would say to ask your pro for the names of other students who are about your level and organize games of singles or doubles (or just practice hitting). These folks will wind up being your posse, and you can form a team with them in the spring if you like.

    And of course . . . pay extra attention to proper tennis etiquette. Read The Code so that you aren't doing anything that more experienced players might find annoying.

    Like, uh . . . you wouldn't want to suggest playing lets on close line calls. That drives people nuts.

    :: winks at NewBall ::
     
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Partnered in a pickup match with a guy who other players shunned. Discovered he called balls out without checking the mark on clay. Had to overturn three points in a set on these calls. There was no second set.
     
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  17. Love_10is

    Love_10is New User

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    Ok, so thanks for the reality check!
    I'm in a regional area in Australia. And tennis isn't all that popular with my age group, I'm 33. I suppose I thought that social tennis was about meeting like minded people( people that enjoy tennis).
    I'm from a competitive fishing background, were the motto is, he who shares wins. So people tend to help others out who are learning and keen.
    See, today I was flat out turned down when I said I would play when a game was being lined up... It was quite rude. But I am gonna stay positive and move on.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, OK. Australia. Forget about the Code, then. :)

    Yeah, your situation sounds pretty serious. I mean, if someone said, "Who can play on Saturday?" and you said, "I can," it would be pretty extreme for them to say, "No thanks, we'd rather you didn't."

    I mean, it is common for there to be a member of the group who is "less desirable" for some reason. It can be about skills level, but it is more likely that they are rude, clueless, chronically late, chronically cheap or forgetful about the money, have anger issues, or hopeless ignorant about etiquette. Even in that situation, though, you wouldn't have an open call for players and then turn down a volunteer. It is all done quietly in email -- that person just doesn't get invited.

    About helping people out . . .

    Keep in mind that many folks do not want to be told by a peer what they are doing wrong. Endless coaching by one person in a social foursome is a huge no-no. Same thing in golf, I'm told.
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    If you are a new player, you should not be concerned about competitive matches at this point. Even social matches people often expect a certain level of minimum play. I remember my first month of tennis I played social doubles and I couldn't even get my serves in, my ground strokes were all over the place and had no clue how to volley. One older guy made a several comments about my level of play and how I shouldn't be there. I was upset at the time, but in retrospect he was correct. I really didn't belong on the court until I had learned how to play. You should focus on ball machine/practice sessions/lessons.
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Go low to high, like a top spin stroke. Start at the lowest levels of the game, cultivating the friendship of old folks who have been playing at the same low level for 30 years. Dink your serve in - without that even they will not let you in. Then gradually work your way up. Join round-robin socials and King of the Hill contests, and swallow the humiliation. Always have a smile on your face and be ready to lose. Then a time will come my friend when you will be on the top and turning down offers to play. That is how I am at this level today, without wasting any money on lessons.
     
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  21. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Welcome to the community! I wish you continued satisfaction with the game.

    There are certainly snobs--tennis is real life, by the way--but most likely what you're encountering is people at higher levels than you simply not wanting to play you. It's not personal, I assure you.

    Tennis is a game where skill level plays a tremendously huge role in the outcome. Even if you think you're good for a noob--and maybe you are!--you're still very new to the game and someone who is at a higher level, with more experience, may not see the value in playing you. A tennis match takes time, and commitment: two things most busy people don't have a lot of to spare.

    For instance, when I play tennis, I want it to be a competitive match. When I practice, I prefer it to be with a hitting partner at or slightly above my level. I've turned down matches before when approached by people of a significantly lower level. To put it simply: it's just not fun.

    Hope this helps! The easiest way to get matches is to self-rate and join a league. Eventually you'll find your level and you'll have more matches than you know what to do with.
     
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  22. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Makes sense, however I do think there is a 'do onto others' aspect in this as well. If you want to play with folks that are better than you I think it is only fair that you should also play with those who are worse than you.
     
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  23. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    What level is that? With all due respect, if you use a good coach, there is no such thing as "wasted money" on lessons.
     
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  24. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Sure, but in a all fairness; I did say that for match play I want it to be competitive, meaning: each player has a decent chance to win. In practice, like a hitting session, I said "When I practice, I prefer it to be with a hitting partner at or slightly above my level." I do hitting sessions with people below my level often (mainly friends and family though, every once in a while after a lop-sided league match).

    The main takeaway here is for you to not take it personally, and use the avenues everyone takes to improve. Essentially, go cut your teeth in a 3.0 league and work your way up to facing those "snobs," as you call them.
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I would add that players should play with folks a level down once in a while. They will give you balls you don't often see. If I play two weaker players in doubles, I like to come to net and finish with overheads and swinging volleys. There is value in that.

    But if they are truly new to the game and cannot get a point started . . . yeah, that would be a problem.
     
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  26. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    YES!

    Unsolicited coaching--which is almost always done in good faith--is intolerably annoying.

    "Oh, you though my 7-iron approach shot was so bad you're telling me about the fundamentals of a golf-swing, some guy I just met who sucks just as bad as me? Thank you SO MUCH!"

    Or, says the guy sitting next to you after the match, after you won, who says, "You know, you could have a much better serve if you fixed this and that, see, here, let me show you ..."

    Unsolicited coaching = don't ever do it, ever. If you see an opportunity to coach, offer your help, "Hey, I'd be happy to give you some pointers, if you want." That gives them a super easy out, or in, depending on their preference.
     
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  27. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    What exactly is a "weaker" player? Weaker pace and/or poor placement? Those are not necessary entry level players. They are still very "valuable" and "helpful" as players. Very playable players.

    It's the "weak" player that can't hit the ball to save their life that is often shunned.


    Funny, this thread reminds me of my own early year, too. I went on here and ranted exactly how better players ignored and even made disparaging remarks about my level. It was Cindys who gave me some words of comfort and encouragement to keep going. Thanks Cindy.

    It didn't take very long for me to outgrow that group. I gave my best shots to encourage those guys to get better, build better group, even tried to recruit people for them, but eventually had to leave them. After I left, a couple more left and then the group, which had started 15 years before I joined, disbanded completely.
     
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  28. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Speaking of coaching, I have virtually never heard any player asking another in the game for tips and coaching.

    It's always people offering tips and direction unsolicitedly, but it's more about them letting out some steam than wishing the other better.

    I just started to hit with this one woman. She can hit probably 2 balls out 5 that I feed her, but she hasn't said a word about her "level" or anything about techniques.
     
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  29. rajah84

    rajah84 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with this.

    It's nice to be charitable once in a while, but otherwise it's a severe waste of time to hit with people well below you.
     
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  30. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I enjoy hitting with virtually anyone who can return a ball for 10/15 minutes; sometimes slowing down and concentrating on technique is refreshing. Trying to return the ball with the least overall effort; fully using entire body.

    At any club or busy rec court I’ve been there is a hierarchy of players. All recognize and fall in accordingly; very few require a bit of direction.

    Don’t mind occasional feedback if I think the guy knows what he’s talking about. I’ve come to believe there is no way anyone proceeds to their achievable level, or really is able to accurately self-assess their own technique, without expert feedback. It’s folly. Most men think they can (mentally picture their fh as Feds) and just pay lip service to real improvement.
     
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  31. rajah84

    rajah84 Semi-Pro

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    Could it be that you have an annoying aura and people don't want to hit with you?

    Criticizing people, "snobs", because they don't want to go down a level or two isn't the best attitude.

    My advice, looks for some kids. They don't care who they hit with and very little irritates them. Or you know what? You could sign up for one of those group lessons. If it's match play you want to work on you could pay an instructor.
     
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  32. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Love, I feel ya!

    When I first stated off, I had a hard time finding hitting partners. But there was one person that took the time hit with me, even if he was on the court all day. He was an older gentleman, a crafty "pusher" that loved tennis. He really help me get to speed to the point others players saw me getting better. Even was asked to hit with a 6 year old Serena Williams.

    Because of this person, I made a promise to hit with anyone that wanted to hit regardless of level and regardless of how long I've been on the court. You gotta play it forward.

    Good luck Love.
     
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  33. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    People generally want to play with people at their own level or slightly above. That makes it kind of tough to improve unless you have friends who will cut you some slack or you are willing to pay for lessons and hitting partners.

    I don't see it as snobbery, although of course I have no idea about the OP's situation. There is a frustrating chicken and egg quality to it too. You need to play to get better but people don't want to play with you until you get better.
     
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  34. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    Another approach is to play in a tennis ladder. Players on your level will get a good match out of it, and players better than you will get lots of points!
     
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  35. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    I'm not sure it's snobbery if the matches are close like you say. Maybe there are other reasons. I suggest you find another group of people to play with.
     
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  36. TangentZ

    TangentZ New User

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    OP, I hope you remember this quote a few years down the road, when you've become better.

    If a "lesser" player then asks to hit with you, then you know what you should do. :)
     
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  37. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Many people don't like playing pushers. If you chop, hack, moon ball, bunt the ball back, etc. this could be contributing to them avoiding you.

    I have no idea how you play so it may not be an issue.
     
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, really? I said something that wasn't insufferable? Must have been a typo. :)

    Yeah, you make a good point. If two 2.5 players wanted me to join them for doubles . . . they'd have to be *really* good friends, and I would get nothing out of it (except a good workout from chasing balls that fly over the fence).

    But if two 3.5 friends (one level below me) wanted me to play doubles, I'm fine with it. And if they want me to come to help them with something I can do that maybe their peers cannot (hit slice serves, hit topspin lobs, come to net relentlessly), I would definitely do it and would probably get some very good practice.
     
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ditto this.

    I can stand at the baseline and hit topspin moonballs all day long. Not one of my friends seems to enjoy this, especially when the ball goes over the fence into the woods. One of my friends has christened these moonballs "The shot that nobody likes."

    When I play socially, I resolve not to hit offensive moonballs. Well, OK. I might hit them if we are losing badly, but then only a couple, for yuks.

    So if you have an "annoying weapon," (lob, drop shot, underhand serve), you might wish to holster it so that you are not limited to people who are not annoyed by your weapon.
     
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  40. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    There we go again, another reason for people to be offended. :rolleyes:

    I must remind me to consider myself blessed by not being surrounded by people who are offended, distracted and irritated by just about anything that passes their way.

    Oops, I forgot being annoyed:
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What can I say? Some things are annoying.

    I remember long ago I was on a mixed doubles team. Our captain was a great guy who happened to be 6.5 feet tall. The tallest person I have ever met.

    He liked to hit overheads, as you might imagine. He could slam the ball down such that it went over the fence and onto a four-lane road. His wife would chastise him when he did this because it is annoying to keep losing balls when he could just hit a different shot.

    I'm not sure whether he understood the point she was making about not being annoying even if your shot is otherwise legal and cannot be defended, but I suppose there was a spirited discussion on the ride home.

    If you want to maximize your chances to be included in social doubles, being less annoying is an excellent place to start.
     
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  42. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    welcome to tennis.

    some folks will play with just about anyone.

    some claim their time is too worthwhile etc.

    don't sweat it, just try to play as much as you can/want.

    you'll find a crew, just dont try to call lets on line calls you aren't sure of......just give 'em the point.
     
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  43. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    Welcome back to high school! If you really want to play, you'll find a way unless you're a complete toad.
     
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  44. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I never understand why people don't like pushers and bunters, etc. As a relatively aggressive hitter I love to play them as they provide many opportunities for me to try different shots.

    I tend to get annoyed by "winner" hitters. It's either they hit an outright winner which you can't tell due to luck or skill, and you lose the point anyway, or you win the point and earn the honor of retrieving their errant ball. It's a lose-lose situation for you. Hmmmm..
     
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  45. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I know two people that fit in this category... and they have no idea what it is about themselves that turns off others. (The one guy has such a difficult manner that a social league dissolved and reformed on a different night/different time so as not to have to confront him.)

    It may not be the OPs tennis level, sometimes the problem is staring back in the mirror.
     
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  46. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    OP, try to take an objective look at what you're doing to see if it might reasonably annoy others. Do you often make excuses for why you aren't playing very well? Do you have a temper problem and swear or yell at yourself when you make a mistake? Someone else mentioned this, but are you one of those rare people who doesn't believe in normal hygiene (showering daily, using deoderant)? I was in a sports league with a guy like that who had bad underarm odor and no one wanted to play with him Do you typically call all close line calls in your favor or regularly question opponents' line calls? Are you the sort of player who never praises opponents' good shots or conversely, praises their shots too frequently? If any of these sorts of things might apply to you, that could influence people negatively about wanting to play with you. Or it truly could be because you're dealing with some snobs.

    Since you're regularly taking lessons, after one of your sessions, tell your instructor your situation and ask him/her to be completely candid with you and tell you if he/she can see anything you are doing wrong that might cause these other players to want to avoid playing with you. Otherwise, just focus on improving your game, being friendly and polite, and be a good sport who knows the rules.

    Good luck.
     
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  47. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    I didn't know never praising an opponent's shot was bad manner?

    Most of the time I see their shot as a mistake I did rather than something on their part.

    After all, all I can control is my own play.
     
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  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    That's good general advice for all rec players to heed, well thought out post from years of experience obviously.
     
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  49. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    While it might not cross the line into bad manners, I could see some people considering it a lack of good manners or maybe a too-intense/competitive attitude. You know how sensitive tennis players are ;-)
     
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  50. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    Pff fk that.

    I'm trying to win, I'm sorry I'm not as sporting as Djokovic (who praises his opponents even in slam finals) but I see it as pretentious.
     
    #50

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