Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
I have captained teams continuously since 2006. Maybe it is my imagination, but it seems like more players are failing to honor their commitments nowadays.
Just this year, I had one returning player commit to my spring team in November and several times after that. When it came time to register in April, she stopped answering my emails and never signed up. It got to the point that I worried something terrible had happened, but I have learned she plays regularly at her club. Her disappearing act came so late, I wasn't able to find a replacement and we had shortage of singles players.
I had another lady agree to join my tri-level team. As the roster filled, she proposed another player as her partner. I looked up the other player and learned she was weak and not a frequent partner of this lady. I didn't wish to use my last roster spot on her. The lady who had agreed to join then wrote to me to say that she was dropping off the team because she hadn't received the team code for registration, so she was joining another team instead.
I have had two other ladies agree to join my team, only to go completely silent. They have ignored emails point-blank asking them if they are going to play.
I'm sorry, but that is rude, rude, rude. Don't accept and have a captain hold a spot for you for months and then back out absent a darn good reason.
If you will only join if your partner joins also or if you have other terms to negotiate, say that up front.
If you must back out, *say so* and don't go all Ostrich-With-Head-In-Sand. The captain who held your spot deserves an honest explanation (if you ever hope to be invited back).
And for all that is good and holy, don't gin up a bogus reason like you didn't receive the team code, 'cause that makes you look like the victim of massive head trauma.
If this is how the captain of a successful team is treated, I cannot imagine the horrors visited upon captains of new or less successful teams.
Judging by your aversion to taking the "weak" partner, and I admit it's a small amount of evidence to go by, I think you might be picking your players the wrong way. I think you're trying to pick the "stongest" players rather than the most reliable players, and you're finding out that these strong players can't be bothered to turn up or sign up.
My club's top men's team here has the same problem. On paper, we have the strongest team in the county and should manage to win the league each season, and the old captain picked the team that way. But, the three strongest players are also the three least reliable players, and they have always caused problems with their reluctance to play matches or their tendency to pull out at the last minute. This led to all sorts of problems for the captain and he eventually just quit.
Remember that this is recreational tennis. A successful team is one that enjoys its tennis. The best way to enjoy being a captain is to pick the most reliable players to join your team. Those might not be the ones that will take you to nationals, but they won't be the ones leading you to rant about the lack of common courtesy.