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-   -   Of Trophies And Paperweights (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=312344)

Cindysphinx 02-11-2010 07:25 AM

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

OK. Topaz quoted Jolly as saying the following:

Quote:

I thought Florida finished 4th last year behind Arkansas and Texas?

My buddies team won.

Eastern...4.0 national champions...Big F'ing deal...

What this has to do with the original post, I have no idea.

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

DNShade:
Quote:

As someone who was standing a couple feet away from DY when he was presented the trophy for winning a Challenger I can tell you for sure he doesn't consider it a "pittance". Quite the opposite.
How proud should any of us be if we win a non-pro tournament or match? What would we think if someone here boasted about being on a winning team at Nationals? Would our view be different if they were talking about winning 2.5 or 4.5? If someone wins a 3.0 tournament or a pro wins a Futures event, is the trophy a trophy or a paperweight?

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

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

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

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

So when does a trophy become a paperweight?

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

LuckyR 02-11-2010 10:14 AM

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

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

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

Ripper014 02-11-2010 10:20 AM

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

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

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

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

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

As a sidenote... I have more pleasant memories of specific matches played than tournament wins, to be honest I can't remember any of the wins in detail.

LeeD 02-11-2010 10:26 AM

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

LuckyR 02-11-2010 10:26 AM

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

Larrysümmers 02-11-2010 10:27 AM

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

mtommer 02-11-2010 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4390694)
And in discussing Donald Young, mtommer suggested that winning a challenger was a pittance and a pro wouldn't be thrilled to win a Challenger, and DNShade disagreed:

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4390694)
How proud should any of us be if we win a non-pro tournament or match? What would we think if someone here boasted about being on a winning team at Nationals? Would our view be different if they were talking about winning 2.5 or 4.5? If someone wins a 3.0 tournament or a pro wins a Futures event, is the trophy a trophy or a paperweight?

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

DavaiMarat 02-11-2010 10:39 AM

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

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

Cheers,

Mike

mtommer 02-11-2010 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larrysümmers (Post 4391126)
so I think it has to do with the effort in winning them.

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

LeeD 02-11-2010 10:51 AM

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

Larrysümmers 02-11-2010 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 4391195)
Worse is the expectations of your peers. Pure pressure, + knowing I should do much better against much better competition.

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

Cindysphinx 02-11-2010 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtommer (Post 4391153)
If someone like Topaz wants to be proud of being a 3.5, hey, nothing wrong with that. For myself, I would be **ssed off at myself. I am very athletic so I won't accept being low level anything. I simply have higher expectations of myself in whatever I do and I'm a very quick learner.

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

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

sureshs 02-11-2010 12:13 PM

I have the following tennis trophies:

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

I no longer remember what these were for.

mtommer 02-11-2010 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4391393)
I guess I can understand that -- except for your (probably unintentional) gratuitous slam at 3.5 as being "low level." I know a 3.0 woman who is desperate to make it to 3.5, but she can't. She might not consider it "low level."

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

raiden031 02-11-2010 12:22 PM

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

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

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

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

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

sureshs 02-11-2010 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtommer (Post 4391420)
But I think "consider" gets in the way of objectivity. The scale goes from (essentially) 2.5 to 7.0. 3.5 isn't even in the middle. I don't think it's arrogant for anyone to see this. If 90% of tennis players are in the 3.5 category, it doesn't change the fact that scale goes from 2.5 - 7.0, not from the placement of people on that scale. The scale doesn't care about one's feelings on the subject. It's an objective standard (as objective as such a standard can be I guess). This is why I don't feel that I'm being arrogant or dismissing when I say the level is "low-level". I see it as simply a statement of fact. <shrug>

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

SlapShot 02-11-2010 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 4391423)
So its all relative.

^^^+1

Different people get different things out of playing tennis.

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

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 4391444)
Not as simple as that. The scale is logarithmic, not linear. It is not like a student who gets 3.5 out of 7 in a test. It is more like if a 4.0 earthquake destroys your home, you would not be going around saying it is low level compared to a 8 on the Richter scale.

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

skiracer55 02-11-2010 12:40 PM

Um, here's what I think...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4390694)
Maybe we can talk about this subject here rather than derail the Jolly thread yet again?

OK. Topaz quoted Jolly as saying the following:



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

DNShade:

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

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

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

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

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

So when does a trophy become a paperweight?

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

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

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

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

Ripper014 02-11-2010 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 4391444)
Not as simple as that. The scale is logarithmic, not linear. It is not like a student who gets 3.5 out of 7 in a test. It is more like if a 4.0 earthquake destroys your home, you would not be going around saying it is low level compared to a 8 on the Richter scale.

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

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

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

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

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

mtommer 02-11-2010 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 4391444)
Not as simple as that. The scale is logarithmic, not linear. It is not like a student who gets 3.5 out of 7 in a test. It is more like if a 4.0 earthquake destroys your home, you would not be going around saying it is low level compared to a 8 on the Richter scale.

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


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