Who says women are more dramatic than men when it comes to tennis?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by AR15, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I am a male and have captained many men's and mixed teams over the years. I have heard talk from my fellow men, from time to time, about how much drama there is in womens leagues. I've finally decided that there is just as much in the mens leagues, it's just not as openly evident.

    Last night, I had to change my lineup an hour before the match because a player called and said he was sick. So, I shuffled things around attempting to find that winning formula AND attempting to please the most players on my team. My court 2 players showed up about 15 minutes before the match while I was on the phone trying to track down another player who I was not sure was coming due to his lack of replying to communications about the scheduled match. I didn't have time to talk to my team before the match and explain lineup changes, but as captain I've told them in the past, several times, that I reserve the right to make such changes. My court 2 team was soundly defeated.

    Later last night I get an email notification that one of my court 2 players had changed his scheduled availability for the upcoming matches. So, I logged into the schedule to find that he has made himself unavailable to play the remainder of the season. I sent him an email and asked if his schedule change had anything to do with his match last night. He sent me a very lengthy email complaining about how he thought he was playing with one guy and how I "blindsided" him by putting him with someone else.

    Now, if he had just asked me, face to face, why the schedule change, I would have explained and we wouldn't have had this drama.

    I'm captaining the "b" team at my club and half the team is borderline a/b team and the other half is "b" team. It's very difficult to please the players, when everyone regardless of their personal skill level, want to play with the "A" players.
     
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  2. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sorry but I think the problem was you not communicating effectively with the team.

    Also I think the "reserve the right" phrase, while factually true, is not speaking much for your handling skills in this situation.
     
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  3. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I can accept constructive criticism. How would you have communicated "effectively" with the team? Now, keep in mind, you would have been on the phone trying to track down your missing player until it was time to walk to your court and play.
     
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  4. J0EBL0W

    J0EBL0W New User

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    Wow. My captain could change my spot 1 minute before I play and I'm sure I wouldn't react this way.
     
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  5. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I wouldn't either. And, I've had captains change my playing partners at the last minute many times. BUT, I have captained teams so I know what it's like to be captain.
     
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  6. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Let no well thought-out thread go un-punished. It's a tennis court, NOT a court of law. The OP is not getting paid $240 per hour--maybe a case of balls, if he's lucky, when the season ends if he takes them to play-offs. I appreciate that a captain can spend many hours administering and wet-nursing to these premier athletes, as well they deserve to be. It's a thankless job, not one I would want to have. OP was busy just trying to field a team, not much time to balance out the potential synergies of the various playing styles of the troops.
     
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  7. J_R_B

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    I mostly agree with this, but the guy's reaction by passive-aggressively "quitting" by setting his availability to no for every match without even having a direct conversation was no better.

    If this was my team, the minute your guy called out sick, I would have sent a message to everyone in the lineup who could possibly be affected just saying, "hey, Jim is sick, I'm looking for a replacement, the lineup might have to change", so that everyone understands the situation right away and no one is blindsided when they get to the club.
     
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  8. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Yes that is a good strategy.

    Hanging on the phone? :?

    What year are we living in folks? 1970?
    Anybody ever heard of email and messages, let alone Skype and WeChat?
     
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  9. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    Good idea when you have more than the hour I had before match play. We play our matches at 6pm. I found out about the sick player at 5 pm. I don't expect most players to check their email between 5 and 6pm. Most players are leaving work and driving to the match at that time.
     
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  10. J_R_B

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    Almost all of my communication with my team is via text message. Almost everyone if not everyone would have gotten the message within minutes.
     
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  11. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sorry AR15 but now you show stubbornness. :)

    So you do not think it is a good idea to text message and email instantly the moment you found out because maybe people do not read their mail or check their phones? :shock:

    Come on now, anyone could tell you that is a good idea. Even if they read the information later they surely will appreciate the effort.
     
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  12. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    LOL, I have one player who is almost 70, shares an email address with his wife and has no texting on his flip phone. He says to send him smoke signals.

    I have another player in his 60's who doesn't even have a cell phone.

    The other players average age is probably 54, and most have and use texting, but it's far from a reliable means of getting a message out to them.
     
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  13. J_R_B

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    One of the guys on my team is over 70. He doesn't text, but he's responded to all of my emails within 20 minutes, so I guess he mostly sits at home on the computer. He's glad to play every match he plays and willing to do whatever, so he wouldn't care if he showed up and was paired with someone else.
     
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  14. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Smoke signals would be more reliable then the cell service where I live. Bring back the good ol' party lines on solid copper wire. When the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, land-line phones were the only utility that remained functioning--no gas, no electricity, no cells--only land-lines. That's why I still keep up my service in case of an emergency. And the sound reproduction is infinitely better on a land-line, can't be beaten for phone sex.
     
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  15. Brian11785

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    You people are a bunch of nitpicking vultures.

    If you get so upset by a switched line up (that has you with a different partner....I could see it being an issue if it were a switched line up that kept you from playing) that you openly complain about it (much worse, are willing to take the pout to another level by making yourself unavailable for the rest of the season), I say good riddance.

    This guy's reaction (and some of the responders' implicit OK of it by criticizing the OP) show why captaining a USTA team can be a thankless job.
     
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  16. newpball

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    I completely disagree, I think the poster is wrong at two levels:

    1. He did not immediately inform the members of the situation.
    2. He does not acknowledge he should have informed them immediately and instead comes with a lame excuse that they were too old or too busy to see his message had he done so.
     
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  17. Brian11785

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    I would argue that calling the guy to tell him he's playing with another partner is unimportant. The no-show is not coming, so the schedule has to be rearranged. Would calling this guy 30 minutes before the match to tell him he's not getting to play with the person he was expecting to play with make him much happier? I doubt it. It looks like he was madder about whom he was stuck with, not that he didn't get the call informing him of this news an hour earlier.

    What would have changed had he gotten that news an hour earlier? Brought a different racquet? Not shown up? What?!
     
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  18. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sorry but in my opinion that is being arrogant.

    I think you are not the one who decides what is important for a player whether you are a captain or not.
     
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  19. Bdarb

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    I think this falls into a "what can you do" situation. If your team isn't able to receive texts I don't think that there is a more reliable form of communication. As someone said, who is sitting there trying to call people anymore?? Its like the least effective way to communicate what with service interruption, or people turning off their phone etc.

    It was definitely nice of that guy to give you a whole hour to find a replacement though.. :confused:

    That being said, if the guy can't handle a line up switch without being a little baby about it, you're better off.
     
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  20. Brian11785

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    This is nonsense.

    We are talking about the obligations of the captain, not the player here. The captain IS the one who decides the import of whether or not to call people at the last minute to let them know of something they will find out in 30 minutes anyway.

    Your stance is the arrogant one, being an armchair captain.
     
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  21. Topaz

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    He had one hour...an hour he spent trying to get a player. Pretty good use of him time IMO.

    One of my *captains* doesn't have a smart phone. So don't assume that YOUR preferred way of communicating works for everyone. A captain has to use a method that will work for everyone on the team. He knows his players best and how to communicate with them best.
     
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  22. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I am speaking as a captain. It is a thankless job, and the guy's reaction clearly was asinine and not helpful, and I'm NOT giving it any sort of implicit OK. With that in mind, I do believe that there are better ways it could have been handled from the captain's end as well. I was trying to be constructive here.
     
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  23. Topaz

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    And...OP...as far as passive-aggressive guy, I would say 'see ya'. Especially if you have other people who don't pull that crap who are willing to show up and play.

    I suspect those of us who have captained are the ones answering with this bias.
     
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  24. spot

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    If he quits over something so ridiculous then he isn't worth having on the team. Don't think twice about it.

    Captains need to make instantaneous decisions all the time. Someone needs to be called to let them know that their match isn't going to be played so they can make other plans. If the simply are playing with someone else or at a different line that starts at the same time then that just isn't a big deal. In general I do take a lot of input from players on who they believe they would play well with but when it comes to make up matches or scrambling at the last minute then I will do what is best for the team even if it means that someone doesn't learn about a lineup change until they get to the courts.
     
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  25. goober

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    When I captained, I simply did not release line ups until right before the match. I would talk over lineups possibilities with the cocaptain and anyone else on the team who was interested ahead of time, but I made it pretty clear that every player had to be prepared to play with anyone else and singles players would have to play doubles if needed and vice versa. I never had a problem over the 5+ teams I captained. Preset line ups don't work just because too many people change their availability too often too close to the match.
     
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  26. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    In previous seasons I have done just that: instead of sending the lineup, just send a list of who's playing that night.

    when I've sent lineups, I've had players suddenly decide they aren't available because they don't want to play with whom they're paired. It's probably been a mistake to use lineups this season.
     
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  27. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

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    dude....some ppl you just learn to ignore. :)

    Its easy to tell here who has been a captain and who hasn't. Being screwed an hour before a match is going to **** someone off. Only way to handle that is to not change line up and simply plug in a new person who is able into the missing persons slot. As this OP was trying to switch things up probably means winning is important to the team.

    no phones, it dies, i don't check email, i was busy, oh sorry i forgot, my tin foil hat keeps out all the signals, i was in surgery....etc. there is always a reason why people don't communicate or get the message.

    No captain I have ever known stops before taking action to fix a problem and goes and informs the team that a player is out, "so we might be switching things up"....a half hour before a match. he acts and calls to scrounge up a player if he has an option. that is his job, now while on phone he could have taken a minute to let people know line up will be changing.....but not being there in that situation with that team i won't assign blame.
     
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  28. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    That is true but the poster uses it as an argument not to email and text people.
     
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  29. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to hear that. I've always sent lineups, and it's never been a problem. I would definitely drop people that refused to play with the guy I need them to play with, but that's never happened once. People have come after a match and said their partnership didn't work very well and they'd prefer not to play again, but even that was done constructively.
     
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  30. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    See what I mean about all the drama in men's tennis?

    rather than 'man up' and tell me they don't like who I paired them with, some just change their availability on the website we use for scheduling after the lineup goes out. Then, as captain, I have to find a replacement who I might not want to play in that open slot and cause me to juggle the lineup that I already sent out.

    I've also seen the availability used to not play away matches, not play singles, and pick which court surface ("i'll only play soft courts").
     
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  31. beernutz

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    Ditto x10.

    Knowing some of the players on the OP's team, I'd say just don't send out a lineup beforehand. That way no one can claim to be 'blindsided'.
     
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  32. OrangePower

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    Hey AR15, I've been in the same situation before, and I don't think you did anything wrong. I see some people trying to imply that you handled it badly - my guess is these people have never captained.

    The reality is, when you are suddenly forced to scramble an hour before a match, you don't have much time to consider what and when to communicate to the rest of the team, whether to call, email, or text, etc. At that point, your main concern is making sure you can get another player in time so that you don't default. And then you rely on your teammates to be understanding of the situation.

    My only question would be how the 'offended' player found out about his new partner / court assignment. Since you had sent out lineups in advance (whitch BTW I also do and I think is a good thing to do), he must have found out when he showed up that things had changed... did he find out from you or from looking at the lineups that were exchanged or what?

    I've had some sensitive players on my team before, and knowing who they are, I would make a point of being very apologetic to them in such a situation, before they take the court. So for example, pull the guy aside even if it's right before his match starts, and say something like "Jim, listen, I know you were really looking forward to playing with Bob, but I was really in scramble mode after Dave pulled out right before the match, and had to shuffle things around as best I could. Sorry dude, we'll get you and Bob together some other time."

    If the guy is still upset after that, nothing I can do about it, and that's probably not someone I'd want on the team long term.
     
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  33. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    LOL. I have done this several times. In fact, the one week I was on vacation 2500 miles away from my team this season, a guy called to say he was hurt an hour before the scheduled match while I was at my cousin's rehearsal dinner. I ended up texting 4 different people for a half hour trying to straighten out the lineup. I got a guy to sub who was at a cocktail party after work who raced over to the match, played singles, and won a three setter. During the whole time, I kept everyone except the two doubles pairs that were totally set in the loop of what was going on. It's the beauty of modern technology. It's not that hard to manage anymore.
     
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  34. OrangePower

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    I admire your dedication, but have you considered perhaps appointing a co-captain / acting captain for when you're out of town?

    P.S. hope your cousin was understanding :)
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Good lord.

    I don't know what is more obnoxious.

    Is it the Diva who is unhappy about something but not mature enough to just have a conversation with the captain and instead changes his availability?

    Or is it the people who think an hour is plenty of time to find a replacement (giving the replacement some travel time), consider a new line-up, make decisions and make the exchange, while still massaging the egos and delicate Diva feelings of the Diva?

    OP did nothing wrong. Except maybe in taking the bait and reaching out the Diva. Me, I have no use for Divas and would have enjoyed the idea of the Diva sitting by the phone waiting for me to come a'callin'.
     
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  36. goober

    goober Legend

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    dude- where is your cocaptain? :) You should not have to handle these things if you are out of town. It's admirable that you kept everyone in the loop of what was going on, but probably not necessary. When it's crunch time and I am scrambling, I run my teams like the army- its on a need-to-know basis
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Also . . .

    I always give my players a line-up with partners and court assignments. If I do not, they will ask me. So I save myself a step and just tell them up front.

    I do not like it at all if my captain does not tell me with whom I will be partnered. If I know in advance that I will be playing with Sally, I can prepare. I know Sally likes deuce court, so I will go practice returning on the ad side. If I have enough time, I can even set up a practice match with Sally.

    As captain, I do dislike it when players back out because I don't like to change pairings once I have sent them out. But I will do it in extreme cases when I know there is a compelling reason why I cannot just plug the sub into the line-up.

    In that case, I have to make up a white lie to explain the decision, as it wouldn't be good to say, "I need to change the pairing because Becky has said she cannot stand playing with Eve."
     
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I want to know also!

    When I am out of town, I designate an acting captain and I have her handle everything, including last-minute substitutions. I tell the whole team to contact the acting captain if there is any problem, and she has full authority to do whatever needs to be done with the line-up.

    If folks spend time trying to reach me across time zones to deal with a problem while others sit on their hands, it might be too late.
     
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  39. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Huh? :confused: Of course the captain has to make decisions. If players don't like the decisions they can go captain a team themselves. Why do players feel like a captain's job is to do whatever each individual player wants them to do? How can you make every player happy without going crazy? Some people are so self-centered. Sheesh.
     
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  40. newpball

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    I don't think it is about right and wrong but he could have potentially saved all this drama by sending an email and texting everybody right away. That he does not agree with that and actually tries to find off-base arguments against it does not really speak for him IMHO.

    I think it takes a little effort to admit that emailing and texting would have been a good idea.
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Mmmm, no.

    You assume that more information is better than less information.

    As a player, I do not want to receive texts, emails or calls unless there is something of great importance that affects me directly. That we are short a player and the doubles line-up may need to be scrambled does not affect me, so please do not call/text/email me about it.

    Each thing my captain sends to me will receive my prompt attention. If my captain sends too much stuff, I will give each thing less attention. I do not appreciate receiving "false alarms."

    If you text me while I am on the way to the match, I will literally pull over, get my phone out of my purse, get my reading glasses and then grind the fillings out of my teeth when I see that your text is "Short a player. Will scramble doubles line-up. Still working on it . . ." Please, don't.

    Had I been the Diva, I would have showed up at the facility on time, as usual. When line-ups were exchanged, I would have learned in the team huddle that I was no longer playing with Kim but was playing with Diana. I would have then gone off and played my match with Diana.

    No need to give me any more notice or information than that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  42. newpball

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    Definitely yes in this case.

    I think it is clear that the person was upset because he was not informed. The poster even admitted that when he wrote:

    Now, if he had just asked me, face to face, why the schedule change, I would have explained and we wouldn't have had this drama.

    So instead of blaming him change in the above sentence if he had just asked me, face to face into if I had just emailed and texted him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    #42
  43. gameboy

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    Regarding OP's question at the thread heading...

    Cindy reminds us almost everyday that women's league has far more drama.
     
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  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Some people, like the Diva, want everything told to them. It is someone else's job to keep them informed.

    Some people, like me, do not want everything told to them. They will get annoyed and tune out the captain if the captain sends too many messages.

    Tell us, Newball. How is any captain who has not been blessed with the ability to read minds to know in advance which player has which preference?
     
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  45. eelhc

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    Several questions come to mind....

    First.... You are correct... men can be just as *****y as women.

    Now that out of the way. Some questions...

    What ground rules did you establish and communicate to your team before the season began/you started recruiting players w.r.t how you will captain this team?

    Do you have alternates for the match? Guys who dress and show up and stay at least through warmups to avoid the last minute scramble for players should someone run late or is ill.

    I am of the opinion that players should follow the captains lineup decisions without complaint regardless of how good/bad they captain a team. If they don't like the way someone captains, then they don't have to play again for team/captain another team.... But if they should honor their commitment to the team for the season. Complete BS this guy checked himself out... IMO you don't need that type of poison on your team.
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ground rules for communication?

    In addition to spelling out the team's goals, helping players register and self-rate, polling the team regarding preferred partners, collecting contact information, setting up a line-up system like TennisOne or GoogleDrive, and managing the money, captains are also supposed to tell players how the captain will communicate in case of some unspecified emergency that may or may not happen?

    Here's a ground rule, I guess: If you want to know something, ask.
     
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  47. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    As soon as I would find out a player is sick I would let everybody know by email and text.

    I suppose you won't.
    That's OK we all have our ways. :)
     
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  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No. I do not send out notices of line-up changes to the whole team.

    I tell the people who are affected, only. If there is a substitute captain, of course I tell her.

    This is actually one of the things I detest about TennisOne. Every time a line-up changes, I get a new email. I panic a little, wondering if I was in the original line-up, wondering if I have missed something. Or maybe I am getting this new email because the time changed, or the location. Each time, I have to go to my calendar and see, yep, I already had myself playing that match and the only thing that has changed is that Sally sprained her ankle. Gah!!

    And then when I need to search for the match information, I have a bazillion eTennisTeam messages to search to find the latest one for this particular match.
     
    #48
  49. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,475
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Wow, a lot of "interesting" responses on this thread.

    I just signed up for my first team league in many, many years. You know what I know about my first match? It's Saturday at 11am at a local high school. When I show up, the captain can deploy me any way he sees fit. The only thing that would upset me would be if he told me to come and I blocked my schedule out and then he didn't play me at all. If that happened, I'd be done with that team. Other than that, he can use me as he sees fit. He's the captain. I'll do as I'm told.

    Some people have lost sight of what it means to be the MEMBER of a TEAM.
     
    #49
  50. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,073
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Not the same. The guy was upset not because he was not informed. It was because he did not have his ego properly massaged.

    Text is good for transmitting info. Not so much for giving explanations that soothe the ego. Face to face is needed when feelings are involved.

    Really? You mean you don't have a twitter feed for your team? How primitive. :oops: If you're going to flood your teammates with unnecessary information, at least let them choose if, when and how they read it.
     
    #50

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