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-   -   How much work goes into captaining a team? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=451264)

RollTrackTake 01-17-2013 08:01 AM

How much work goes into captaining a team?
 
Back-story: After winning the league with shocking ease last year, half of my 4.0 team was bumped to 4.5 including our team captain. So my club decided to field two 4.5 teams and let the remaining 4.0 guys play up. With only 7 guys still at 4.0 and seemingly not enough new recruits (I seriously doubt how hard they tried to find players) there was no 4.0 team this past fall. So I played 4.5, went 2-6 and I think improved my game a bit. This winter season I'm being moved to doubles on the 4.5 team. I was thinking of trying to get a 4.0 team going again. Partly so I can play more competitive singles, partly so I can kick a little arse and talk smack at the watercooler.

my question for you enlightened TT posters: How much work goes into being a captain for a USTA team?

Spokewench 01-17-2013 09:10 AM

It's quite a bit of work, first recruiting, and organizing. If you aren't a good organizer, and you don't have a lot of patience, don't do it.

If you have patience, don't take things personally, and go with the flow it is doable.

You are talking to a queen of captaining though; I've captained 4 teams at once and played on two of them.

ohplease 01-17-2013 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spokewench (Post 7129237)
It's quite a bit of work, first recruiting, and organizing. If you aren't a good organizer, and you don't have a lot of patience, don't do it.

If you have patience, don't take things personally, and go with the flow it is doable.

You are talking to a queen of captaining though; I've captained 4 teams at once and played on two of them.

Seconded. It's work.

There's lots of threads here talking about captaining. Ultimately, you'll never know until you try it.

Alchemy-Z 01-17-2013 09:44 AM

Honestly depends on the team

I've had one team that was like pulling teeth to get them to show up...it was fall they were all football fans and would rather be on the couch watching the game.

My current team everyone shows up...sometimes a few come to just watch...or play for fun if their is some open courts so at any match I always seem to have at least 1 sub which I have yet to need.

OrangePower 01-17-2013 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RollTrackTake (Post 7129059)
Back-story: After winning the league with shocking ease last year, half of my 4.0 team was bumped to 4.5 including our team captain. So my club decided to field two 4.5 teams and let the remaining 4.0 guys play up. With only 7 guys still at 4.0 and seemingly not enough new recruits (I seriously doubt how hard they tried to find players) there was no 4.0 team this past fall. So I played 4.5, went 2-6 and I think improved my game a bit. This winter season I'm being moved to doubles on the 4.5 team. I was thinking of trying to get a 4.0 team going again. Partly so I can play more competitive singles, partly so I can kick a little arse and talk smack at the watercooler.

my question for you enlightened TT posters: How much work goes into being a captain for a USTA team?

It ranges... anywhere from a lot of work to a heaping ****load of work.

Recruiting players, arranging lineups, getting people to respond, dealing with last minute injuries / cancellations, keeping people happy, team dynamics / politics, etc.

It's not just the time involved, it's also the mental headache!

The level of time and headache will depend on the nature of the team, the team members, and your own personality.

Having said all that, it can be very satisfying to be a captain, especially once you get a good team going (good meaning not just strong, but also fun with good team dynamics). Figuring out lineups and so on can also be fun depending on what you enjoy.

I tend to captain for a couple of seasons, get sick of it, sit out captaining for a season or two, miss it, captain for a couple of seasons, etc, all in a twisted cycle.

RollTrackTake 01-18-2013 06:40 AM

Thanks for the warning! Not sure if I have the time to put on the captain's arm badge. I'll dip my toe in the water by trying to gauge interest at my facility. 2 of the 7 guys who played 4.0 and were not bumped switched clubs. So that leaves 5 guys to start the team. I was planning on asking three 3.5 players to play up. Then I was hoping to recruit some guys I play pickup games with but I highly doubt they would pay/join the club just to play USTA tennis once a week. If I can convince someone else to be co-captain that would be best!

Cindysphinx 01-18-2013 08:32 AM

Honestly?

I would not take on a co-captain if you decide to do this. Having someone else involved increases the time burden and communication issues too much.

If you are good at organizing things and have decent people skills, you will be fine. Just send out email to gauge interest, recruit via email, make sure the team is big enough, make your expectations clear.

I have captained continuously since 2006. Despite the work, I like to do it because I know there will be one team that will run just as it should. Even if my other teams don't work out, I can get plenty of match play on my own team.

Cindysphinx 01-18-2013 08:33 AM

Oh, and try not to advance any money for anything. Deadbeats lurk where you least expect them.

Spokewench 01-18-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7132148)
Oh, and try not to advance any money for anything. Deadbeats lurk where you least expect them.

excellent advice

Mauvaise 01-18-2013 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7132142)
I would not take on a co-captain if you decide to do this. Having someone else involved increases the time burden and communication issues too much.

In my area, starting this season (Spring), co-captains are required.

Personally, I think it's good to have a co-captain to handle line-ups and questions on nights you don't play because captain or not, if I'm not playing, I'm not showing up.

I found captaining my women only team much easier than my mixed. I had 12 people on my 7.0 team, only needed (6) each week and had trouble fielding courts all season and I'm not sure if the captain ever got paid by everyone (I was the co-captain).

Conversely, I had 8 women on my 3.0 team, needed 8 each week and only had to default (2) courts the entire season and everyone paid up promptly the first night we played after the dollar amount was sent out.

Still, it's work preparing the line ups, sending out emails, making sure people confirmed, having your teammate argue with you about the rules when you and (3) other captains swear you know what you're talking about, bringing balls and paying court fees for home matches, recording scores, handling disputes, etc.

I didn't want to captain in the Spring, but no one else stepped up for the women, so I sucked it up. Never again for mixed though.

RollTrackTake 01-18-2013 11:49 AM

Wow. Never even fathomed the money component. A lot to consider. My career as a captain may have to wait until my kids can drive themselves and I'm semi-retired!

texacali 01-18-2013 01:37 PM

I don't understand the money thing....in my area when you sign up for the team you pay the USTA reg fee (on line) and maybe a facility fee if you are not a member of the club you are based out of. I'm new to leagues so learning something here.

Cindysphinx 01-19-2013 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texacali (Post 7132990)
I don't understand the money thing....in my area when you sign up for the team you pay the USTA reg fee (on line) and maybe a facility fee if you are not a member of the club you are based out of. I'm new to leagues so learning something here.

Our league requires Tennislink registration fee plus $17/match. The captain had to pay all match fees up front and then collect from players. This meant in a ten-match season the captain might have to pay for 80 matches at $17 each.

Every now and then you would have to chase a player to get paid.

Now they have changed it so payers have to pay for five matches up front on Tennislink so the captain need not font ll tat money.

Spokewench 01-20-2013 06:02 AM

Here in our league; it is the captain's responsiblity to pay for game balls and also to arrange for court reservations. This is what you have to collect from your team members.

I've only had one person not pay me and that was a gal who came up from Phoenix - wanted to play on a team in my league - and then stiffed me.

Sakkijarvi 01-20-2013 07:31 AM

If you are a small business owner, it can cost you mid five figures in lost productivity, so beware. If you are not in that situation, you can go forward without a hit on your earnings since you are probably already Dilbert.

Seriously, I had time and inclination to captain and coach when I was younger. Now you couldn't pay me for the headaches I once put up with.

texacali 01-22-2013 07:35 AM

Wow....we must have it easy where I am. Nobody has to pay up front for anyone (that I know of) especially for any per/match fees and each team member playing in the next match (if you are the home team) is obligated to bring a new can of balls.

Learn something new all the time.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7136621)
Our league requires Tennislink registration fee plus $17/match. The captain had to pay all match fees up front and then collect from players. This meant in a ten-match season the captain might have to pay for 80 matches at $17 each.

Every now and then you would have to chase a player to get paid.

Now they have changed it so payers have to pay for five matches up front on Tennislink so the captain need not font ll tat money.



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