I had a player arrive late for a match recently. She caused us to take a default on Court Three, and she caused hurt feelings when I had to bench a weaker player to field strong doubles teams. It is the first default we have ever taken. The match was on a Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't rush hour traffic. I was not happy about this.
Here is the message I sent to her the day after the default:
I heard about the difficulties we had at the match yesterday. I hope you're not beating yourself up about it. Repeat after me: "It's only league tennis, it's only league tennis, it's only league tennis." It's certainly not worth risking a speeding ticket or an accident, that's for sure. Also, you did the right thing to call and let us know you were having some problems. Had you not called, we could not have changed our line-up to put our strongest players on Courts One and Two and thereby pull out a team win.
The league will assess us for the other team's court costs of $30. You can send a check to me at: [address].
Hoping to see you at practice this Saturday,
She wrote back to say the check was in the mail, that she was very sorry, and that she was relieved everyone had treated her well.
You know, my old mixed captain had a brand new player get lost and cause a default. She ripped him a new one over it. She sent a huge long tirade to him, the whole team, and the *league coordinator* about how awful it was, how he had cost the team a victory, how it had better not happen again, blah, blah.
When I saw this message, I resigned from the team without playing my first match. I don't wish to be associated with that.
It's only league tennis.
-- Random Error Generator, Version 4.0
-- Master Moonballer