Whatever Happened To Common Courtesy?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have captained teams continuously since 2006. Maybe it is my imagination, but it seems like more players are failing to honor their commitments nowadays.

    Just this year, I had one returning player commit to my spring team in November and several times after that. When it came time to register in April, she stopped answering my emails and never signed up. It got to the point that I worried something terrible had happened, but I have learned she plays regularly at her club. Her disappearing act came so late, I wasn't able to find a replacement and we had shortage of singles players.

    I had another lady agree to join my tri-level team. As the roster filled, she proposed another player as her partner. I looked up the other player and learned she was weak and not a frequent partner of this lady. I didn't wish to use my last roster spot on her. The lady who had agreed to join then wrote to me to say that she was dropping off the team because she hadn't received the team code for registration, so she was joining another team instead.

    I have had two other ladies agree to join my team, only to go completely silent. They have ignored emails point-blank asking them if they are going to play.

    I'm sorry, but that is rude, rude, rude. Don't accept and have a captain hold a spot for you for months and then back out absent a darn good reason.

    If you will only join if your partner joins also or if you have other terms to negotiate, say that up front.

    If you must back out, *say so* and don't go all Ostrich-With-Head-In-Sand. The captain who held your spot deserves an honest explanation (if you ever hope to be invited back).

    And for all that is good and holy, don't gin up a bogus reason like you didn't receive the team code, 'cause that makes you look like the victim of massive head trauma.

    If this is how the captain of a successful team is treated, I cannot imagine the horrors visited upon captains of new or less successful teams.
     
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  2. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I dont think that has anything to do with the teams strength. I think that has to do with the people themselves. While I do believe that finding people for a strong team is easier than finding them for a weak team, I think its more important to focus on the "honoring the commitment" aspect, not the strength of the team.

    It's hard to find solid players. I define a solid player as:

    -Goes to practice.
    -Shows for matches on time, every time.
    -Will play with whoever for whatever if an executive decision has to be made.
    (Sometimes its in the best interest to split people up from their dedicated partners, or move them around in different lines. Not every person is down like that.)
    -Commits to go to nationals/sectionals/playoffs and honors that commitment.
    -Gives the best cancellation notice possible if there is an unplanned absence for a scheduled match.

    I've seen people on "nationals" teams who do not even meet half of these qualities. One year, one team failed to go to nationals because someone decided to have a baby even though it was decided beforehand that they were going to nationals. They only had 8. A season isnt 9 months long... im sure you can figure it out.


    PS: I had some good laughs just now because that team captain still goes off about the baby situation till this day. He's not that mad anymore because hes going to nationals this year, but AFAIK those two still arnt talking. Keep in mind, the captain is like 50 and the dude who had the baby is like 30 but this little drama they had reminded me of some 16 year old high school girls on a talk show. They're both good guys, but this "situation" was hilarious. But I can say that, because I wasnt one of the people who were basically screwed out of a national title. haha.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  3. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Seriously. What's wrong with peoples' priorities these days.
     
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  4. spot

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    The outrage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What if the baby was not planned?

    Or what if a couple has been trying to have a baby for a long time and taking some treatments too? Should the woman never join a team because she could become pregnant any time?
     
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  6. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Ok geniuses...

    A season is NOT 9 months long... think about it...

    Either his wife hid the pregnancy for months or he committed to going to nationals without asking his wife first knowing they were having a baby.

    Did I really have to spell that out for you?
     
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  7. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Judging by your aversion to taking the "weak" partner, and I admit it's a small amount of evidence to go by, I think you might be picking your players the wrong way. I think you're trying to pick the "stongest" players rather than the most reliable players, and you're finding out that these strong players can't be bothered to turn up or sign up.

    My club's top men's team here has the same problem. On paper, we have the strongest team in the county and should manage to win the league each season, and the old captain picked the team that way. But, the three strongest players are also the three least reliable players, and they have always caused problems with their reluctance to play matches or their tendency to pull out at the last minute. This led to all sorts of problems for the captain and he eventually just quit.

    Remember that this is recreational tennis. A successful team is one that enjoys its tennis. The best way to enjoy being a captain is to pick the most reliable players to join your team. Those might not be the ones that will take you to nationals, but they won't be the ones leading you to rant about the lack of common courtesy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    The funny thing is that this thread is about Cindy asking for completely reasonable things that are truly the bare minimum level of respect. Then the example you use is of the captain who is too extreme who expects people to make tennis their #1 priority no matter what. And then you use the most extreme example I have heard of a captain who is pissed because a teammate wouldn't prioritize tennis over a pregnancy. I mean I thought that I knew the most extreme example of a guy who was pissed that a guy wouldn't come back early from his honeymoon to play because "he made a commitment to the team" but being mad about a pregnancy!?

    ANyway- Cindy it just shows once again how much better teammates people are once they have been captain before. I seriously doubt that anyone who has ever captained would do something like that. Just showing once again what a thankless job it is to be captain of a bunch of random people who don't ahve any incentive to see the big picture.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  9. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    When Adding people to the men's team there are 3 criteria. They can be good. They can be reliable. They can fit in socially. If someone has all 3 they are a perfect fit. If someone has 2 qualities they can be useful. But if someone only has one quality then it just doesn't work to have them on the team.
     
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  10. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Based on the wording I thought this someone spontaneously decided to go make babies instead of going to nationals, like on that day... haha.

    As for courtesy, wouldn't it be nice if team captains would reply to inquiries from folks who want to join? If there are no spots, just say so. I'll understand. All I get is silence... lol. Maybe they know I suck..?? :)

    As for common, it is anything but common. Cindy - I'm sorry about the inconveniences your team has caused you. It IS rude. Integrity is crumbling in this world.
     
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  11. LuckyR

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    This change in social norms is real. Of course there are generational changes, but that likely does not account for this observation since they are probably the same individuals who over time have adopted a style that used (and still) to be called "rude".

    I can only point to the take-over of electronic (vs older fashioned) communication for this. Sure, snicker if you want but do you disagree that 1) Cindy's observation is not on the rise? and 2) that you have another explanation for it?
     
    #11
  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I respond to players asking if I have a spot, and I will put them into contact with any captains I know are looking for players.

    Really, it takes five seconds, just slightly more time than to delete the message. A curt "I don't have a spot" is better than nothing.
     
    #12
  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    "Whatever Happened To Common Courtesy?"

    It is disintegrating along with the other human values that bind citizens together forming a civilization within an empire.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Part of it has to be the technology, LuckyR.

    If I get you on the phone, you have to deal with me and say *something.*

    With an email or a text, if you stall long enough it falls off your screen and then doesn't exist in your mind anymore.

    There is one other factor that could be at work for some people. Nowadays, captains fill their spring rosters as early as December. If you choose to wait, you will struggle to find players. Players do not wish to decline these early invitations because the door may not be open later, so they accept. Then something better comes along -- and they just blow off the first commitment.

    Maybe I should start taking non-refundable deposits . . .

    Cindy -- so, so tempted to agree to take some of these ladies onto the team and then yanking the invitation the day before the season starts
     
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  15. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Agreed. Thank you.
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  17. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Yea, people are even having babies instead of going to Rec league nationals. This world is just wacky.
     
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  18. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Why this problem isn't going away...

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  19. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Title reminded me of a thing I read a while back ... enjoy :)

    ----

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

    He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

    - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;

    - Why the early bird gets the worm;

    - Life isn’t always fair;

    - And maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

    Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death,

    -by his parents, Truth and Trust,

    -by his wife, Discretion,

    -by his daughter, Responsibility,

    -and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;

    - I Know My Rights

    - I Want It Now

    - Someone Else Is To Blame

    - I’m A Victim

    - Pay Me For Doing Nothing

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

    If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
     
    #19
  20. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    "The world is going to hell in a hand basket" is a theme throughout human history. The industrial revolution. The automobile. The movies. TV. Computers. Cellphones.

    These may all be manifestations, but it always has been and always will be a character issue.

    This is a theme that is as old as human history as well. For some reason we all long for "the good old days that never really were".
     
    #20
  21. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    "The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
    authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
    rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
    chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
    legs, and are tyrants over their teachers." Socrates.
     
    #21
  22. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Talk about lack of commitment; a failure to abstain and save his energy in preparation for his team tennis season.
     
    #22
  23. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    Captains can make a team fun and productive, or they can cause folks to swear off USTA forever. Common courtesy from captains would include letting partners play together if that was the deal when the partners signed up.

    Courtesy includes calling a match off due to rain as soon as possible, and not expect your players to suit up and drive off to some club a half-hour away in the rain just to confirm that the courts are too wet to play. (Yes, I know it is a huge headache to reschedule rain-outs. But I would like to have my Sunday afternoon free if it is clear that the 200 mile wide storm system is not going to suddenly evaporate in time for the match. Don't tell me your leaf blower works great drying hard courts so you thought we might be able to play.)

    Captain courtesy includes telling players up front if the team will be hyper-aggressive (always playing the very best players available), or if the team will be more social and the members will play equally. I will play on either of those teams, but everyone should know the deal up front.

    Captain courtesy means the captain should know where he fits in the talent line-up. Putting yourself at Singles 1 all the time, even though you lose every week, is not a great strategy.

    Rant over.
     
    #23
  24. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I don't know why this poster is taking such a beating over this. The person who decided to have the baby made a commitment to the team that they didn't follow thru with and seemingly never had any intention of following thru with. That's the issue. Why on earth couldn't this guy just say "not this year, my wife is expecting in 6 months. I won't be available".

    This person could have simply informed the captain as soon as they realized that they would not be able to honor their commitment, but apparantly chose not to. Thus, the entire team missed out on something that they had worked all year for.

    Was this person selfish to have a baby? No. They were selfish to make a commitment to a team that they had no intention of honoring or at least not informing the team when they realized that they couldn't honor the commitment.

    I think you completely missed the point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  25. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    OP needs to take a hard look at herself......but she won't.
     
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  26. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    League tennis is just social. Life comes before this and good captains know this.

    It's like some adult softball players who wear their league champ t shirts and think they know how Jeter feels to win the world series. Lol....
     
    #26
  27. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    WE HAVE A WINNER!
     
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  28. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I'm glad someone here understands what im saying.

    It's too bad some people on this forum insist on acting like they're 12 and insinuating that this couple should have had an abortion or people shouldnt have kids if they want to play tennis.
     
    #28
  29. Tennis Truth

    Tennis Truth Rookie

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    Without more details about what happened, it is difficult to lump this in with "Whatever happened to Common Courtesy." Since the birth of a new baby seems so much more important than playing recreational tennis, I can see why people jumped on this.

    The way you decided to write this up was also odd. You framed the probelm as "someone decided to have a baby" instead of "someone made a committment they probably should have known they would be unable to keep."

    It also seems like you are saying this person committed to going to Nationals, then selfishly decided to have a baby instead.

    Also, it seems odd that one person backing out would cause a team to not go to Nationals. Most teams I know about try to bring at least a couple of extra players, because things like this happen. Nationals is a lot of matches, and usually at least the singles players need a sub or two.
     
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  30. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    THe world does not revolve around Tennis. Tennis doesn't have to be everyone's #1 priority. You are the one that has missed the point. The fact that a captain would be on non-speaking terms with someone because they prioritized their child over a recreational tennis match is absolutely ridiculous.
     
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  31. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I'm going to assume you are just trolling.
     
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  32. floridatennisdude

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    What you consider trolling, I see as blatant common sense.
     
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When you said they "decided" to have a baby, I thought you meant it had happened in the recent past. Are you saying that she was well pregnant and this was about the time of the delivery itself?
     
    #33
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What you don't see is that he was being sarcastic and funny. He is like that.
     
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  35. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    OK

    ........
     
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  36. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    If you want to assume that im an indecent human being and that im blaming someone for having an accidental baby (or a miraculous one) then sure. Seems like the only people who read it that way were already the people who seem to have personal problems (hence the "maybe they should have had a team fundraiser to get an abortion).


    This relates to the theme of the thread...

    Person commits to something they know they cant honor. If they had just said "we're having a baby on or about that time, maybe next year" there would have been ZERO problems.

    It's quite common to build a sectionals/nationals team with 10-12 people, where they seek to commit 8-10 "will go's" before the season even starts. This way, if people want to join later, they can, but if no one else joins, you still have the minimum 8.

    If you know you're the 8th, but you cant go, you just ruined 7 other peoples chance that year. Some of those people may be bumped up next year and never have the chance again all because you committed to something you couldnt realistically attend.
     
    #36
  37. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Common courtesy is definitely lacking in many people, but I don't know that I've noticed it getting any worse.

    Perhaps it seems worse to you because you are now captaining at a new level with newish players, whereas previously you had a larger number of repeat players?
     
    #37
  38. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    And for what!? To have a baby!? Unacceptable. You are ruining my chances of being 3.0 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. We have the chance to be the best group of lousy tennis players that has ever been assembled and you want to blow that just to bring another life into this world!? YOU MADE A COMMITMENT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  39. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Really? Are you denying that Cindy's observation is real?

    I didn't read her OP as a Chicken Little style lament but a documentation of a minor but real observation.
     
    #39
  40. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Baaahahahahahaha
     
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  41. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Wow, this thread is all over the place.

    Cindy, yes, this happens, that's just people. I had the opposite happen to me. I had a team that reneged on their invitation to me (and this is after I turned down two other teams), so I had to scramble to find another team at the last minute, which I did.

    As for the baby thing, there are professional athletes who missed a game because their wife gave birth. And depending on the team, it might be none of their business if my significant other is pregnant. And it is hard enough to get people to commit to the next match let alone a potentially expensive and time-consuming trip to Districts, Sectionals, and/or Nationals. Teams should be big enough to account for people who may not be able to make these trips.
     
    #41
  42. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Not at all. I think she ran into some people who, on this occasion, acted rudely.

    But I think people have always acted rudely. And other people have always lamented such rudeness (especially the people hurt or inconvenienced by the rudeness in question). Is it necessarily getting worse? I suppose a lot of this depends on your perceptions of the past (and of the present).

    Read Spaceman's quote from Socrates.
     
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  43. beernutz

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    #43
  44. Tennis Truth

    Tennis Truth Rookie

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    When was the "committment" made by this player? Beginning of the season, mid-season, at the end?

    You seem to burden this one player with 100% of the fault and for ruining Nationals for 7 other people.

    In my experience, it is hard to blame a single person for something like this. If a team can't put together enough players to bring a team to Nationals, it is likely a combination of many different reasons, and many players not being able to pay for the trip, etc. Just not sure it is fair to put it all on one individual.

    So when was the "committment" made by this player?
     
    #44
  45. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    Look, professional athletes leave their teams when their wives go into labor. No one questions their commitment.

    As for the stuff listed by OP, looking back over 3 decades of coaching, captaining, kids (and the adults they come with) and adult teams in three sports -- everything she listed is 'the usual stuff' that comes with captaining/coaching/mankind.

    If you are plucked up during The Rapture, none of this will happen on your new teams. Down here, that stuff will still go on.
     
    #45
  46. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    being a captain of a USTA team is a thankless job.
     
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  47. OrangePower

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    But note that it would be highly inconsiderate of a person to be plucked up during The Rapture if that person has already made commitments to a Nationals-bound team. :)
     
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  48. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    So I guess you aren't just trolling?

    I think NTRPolice and I are simply saying that this person could have simply informed the team as soon as he knew. Thus giving them months of opportunity to make alternate plans.

    From the way NTRPolice worded his post, it appears as if all of this came as a complete surprise to the team as nationals drew very near and it wasn't possible to make alternate plans.

    Thus, nobody is condemning this person for having a baby. He is being condemned for staying quiet about it when he knew for many months that he would not be able to honor the commitment to his team thru to nationals. As such, the other persons on the team were needlessly hurt and inconvenienced as all the person had to do was inform the team.

    If you feel informing the team of a possible inability to honor a commitment when it is well within your power to do so and it could have been done many months in advance, then I guess we simply have a difference of opinion.

    The fact that it is a pregnacy is pretty much irrelevant. The point is all this person had to do was mention it to the captain and the rest of the team. I have a hard time believing that he didn't know his wife was pregnant and that he didn't realize this would affect his commitment to the team. Simply inform the team so they can make some decisions on the best information possible. But withholding this information given the consequences doesn't seem at all courteous to me. It seems quite rude.

    Perhaps you are hung up on the fact of "baby" and "pregnacy". It might then serve to simply abstract away the particulars.

    "X knows several months in advance that he will be unable to honor a certain commitment he made to his team. X chooses to keep quiet about it. This results in consequences undesirable to the team. Consequences that could have been avoided if X had informed the team of his situation"

    Please comment on X's actions above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    #48
  49. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Before the season even started.

    Apparently, his wife started to show about the time the seasoned started. People started to wonder. After the seasoned ended (theres like a month or two break before between league end and nationals) and it was about time to buy the plane tickets he said he couldnt go leaving them with 7.

    Of course, I didnt hear this conversations, nor was I on the team affected.

    No one would have blamed the guy for having an accidental baby (or w/e) during the season and having to cancel. The reason why the captain was so mad is because he committed to going knowing he couldnt. I'm going to assume that his wife was not hiding the pregnancy or being totally oblivious to being months along.

    If a league lasts 2-3 months and there is a 2-3 month break between league end and nationals... its safe to assume that the wife knew she was pregnant 2-3 months beforehand.

    If you want to support someone by laughing at their joke about having an abortion to go to nationals you cant be old enough to be my dad. If you are, you're a complete nothing of an adult and of a human being. I can only see a teenager or a complete nothing thinking that such a thing is funny.
     
    #49
  50. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,976
    Another thing that makes this possibly the worst comparison to "lacking commitment" ever is the fact that it is entirely possible for a player to commit to a team (January), play league (Feb-Apr), go to districts/sectionals (July), and then be unable to go to nationals (Oct) because his wife got pregnant in....January!

    If the guys wife is anything like mine, he would probably not even know she was pregnant until early March and would be forbidden to tell anyone until May.

    Maybe the guy could've lied and made up an excuse in March to tell the captain, but for the captain to be anything other than happy for the guy is selfish. If the captain holds a grudge against someone for something like this, he is a total low life.
     
    #50

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