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user92626 05-08-2013 01:15 PM

Incentives for Competition and Improvement?
I start to find that the guys that play with a little stakes like ball money, lunches, have a point when they say their game level is a lot better and more exciting. On other hand our pick up games are getting lamer as time goes. People stop trying so early. They wack the ball so randomly and never bother to refine their actions.

I read that even pros in their early days used to play for money.

Anyone here play with stakes? Or have any idea about it?

Ducker 05-08-2013 04:53 PM

Yes. I' e been thinking of doing this lately but only to add pressure. Be careful though you are walking a fine line here. You have to play for enough that if you lose it hurts you if you want to truly get the most out of it. If you play for 5 or 20 bucks, sure you want to win, but there's no real added pressure.

Further more if your playing for a lot of money, close line cAlls are going to start getting interesting. Just be careful you don't lose friends doing this. It hard enough to lose for pride games let alone 100 bux on top of that lol.

WildVolley 05-08-2013 05:25 PM

The older Bobby Riggs basically wouldn't play unless there was money or something at stake. However, I think he was more like a compulsive gambler than a tennis player.

goran_ace 05-08-2013 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7395926)
our pick up games are getting lamer as time goes. People stop trying so early.

I hear you on that. I hate when you play someone in a practice match or pick up match and as soon as they're down they give up and use a cop out of an excuse like it doesn't matter because it's just practice, it's not the finals of wimbledon. I think back to the movie Rudy when Vince Vaughn gets sacked and complains that it's the last day of practice and Rudy thinks it's the superbowl and Coach Parseghian tells him "You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence!"

That's why these guys were never that great of players earlier in life. You can't just turn it on when you decide it matters and expect to become a good player. True competitors give it their all no matter the stakes. Whether it's $100 at stake, or $5, or even just pride, you play because you want to win and you hate to lose. Sport is by definition meaningless. It is competition for the sake of competition and nothing else. The best players don't have an off switch on their competitiveness. If you just want exercise go run laps. If you just want to hit the ball then rally with a partner or hit with a ball machine. But if we're keeping score, you better respect your opponent by putting up a fight.

HughJars 05-08-2013 07:36 PM

Im remember reading in Agass's autobiography that his dad made him play this massive NFL star at tennis when he was 7 years old for something like $10000. He made a lot of money that day.

user92626 05-09-2013 08:26 AM

I really think it's healthy to have a competition system even for a weekend group if you happen to have like 8-10 players. You don't need to play straight for money but for contribution into a pool that will be used to get balls, drinks, hats, food and stuffs for all participants. Basically losers fund the pool. I don't know why I didn't think of this when I still had my weekend group.

An inherent problem with recreational sport is you don't get the same commitment and thus competition. Or at least you are not convinced that other players share the same commitment with you, which makes it hard to make the most of it. Weekend tennis is just too broadly defined. You need a common thread.

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