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Old 04-15-2007, 08:19 AM   #2
Mark Jensen
New User
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 63

I'm a noob compared to a lot of other players on this forum but already have enough stories to fill up a couple of 12-pack bags.

I started league play in '04 on a 3.0 Adult team after a long hiatus from the courts.
Since then, I've played on 11 teams and captained or co-captained 6.
(3.0, 3.5, 4.0 Adult; 6.0 Mixed; 5.5, 6.5, 7.5 Combo)

I'll play on 2-3 Mixed teams this summer (6, 7, & 8 if they'll have me); and 6.5, 7.5 Combo in the fall.

Of the last 11 teams, we finally won our area in our 6.5 Combo last fall and went on to sweep districts. We later got smoked in sectionals, but I'll save that story for Rants & Raves.
Right now we're finishing up our 14-match 3.5 Adult league where the team is 11-1 and looks to take 1st place (I think we may already have clinched our spot to go to districts).

So after being one, and seeing how a lot of others do it...what have I found to be the best attributes in a good captain?

1. Be organized!
Divide the season into 3 parts (pre- season, season, & post-season). And think of all the things that need to be accomplished in each part. Also, in-season, think about what has to happen before, during, and after each match. And just get it done, When you don't procrastinate or leave things undone it leaves you time to be a player too.
Example: I don't want to be collecting everybody's court fees before each match...that cuts into my warm-up time. So I estimate what everyone's fees will be over the whole season and collect that from the players early in the year. Then I just cut a check to the facility when I arrive on match day. No hassles.

2. Be a good communicator.

The more transparent the workings of how you run the team, the better the players feel and react.
For me, and the players that sign up with me, this is competitive tennis. We get all sorts of other things out of it...we really do..from friendship to physical exercise, to bragging rights, all of it. I think I get people around me who just really enjoy the game and the league format...It's a great thing.
Example: Going into it, we all know we'll all get to play pretty equally (7-11 matches each this season). We also know, that when push comes to shove in a tight race, the players currently playing their best will be put out on court. We all know it up front, no hurt feelings. The team wins, we ALL advance.
I am SO lucky this season, there are some stellar players here who I'm fortunate enough to have as friends and teammates. I haven't reshuffled the roster once. Now, substitutions due to work, etc...that happens a lot and that's where good communication pays off again.

Anyway, long post. Probably more noise than signal.
Good thread max81', I hope a lot of folks chime in.
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