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Old 02-19-2013, 05:18 AM   #38
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,405

No, I've never been a tennis captain and probably wouldn't be a good one given my long absence from the game. But I have served in various leadership positions throughout my work career
Just as I thought. First of all time off from the game has nothing at all to do with being a tennis captain. Many people who pick the game up late in life end up as tremendous tennis captains.

In work people are PAID to be there. They are PAID to put the goals of the company over their own selfish interests. They are specifically hired to have a certain skillset and if someone isn't performing adequately they can be replaced with no problem. You can make someone show up at a certain time and do something that they don't really want to do. If they have a problem with it you can pay them more or find someone else. If my league starts to give me funding to pay my players then I'll tell you that the job of captaining would get dramatically easier.

Being a tennis captain is taking a bunch of people who are volunteering their time because they enjoy playing tennis and then having to make it more like a job. Some teams the problem is convincing people to play when they may have other priorities that day. Some days its convincing players to play with someone they do not wish to. Sometimes it is putting out a lineup which makes the person realize that you do not think that they are as good as they KNOW they are. Sometimes its about splitting a pairing that has been successful simply because one person wants a new partner but doesn't want to tell the other person that. Sometimes its asking someone to wake up early and drive 45 minutes to play when they have the option of just sleeping in and playing on the free courts in their neighborhood instead. League tennis makes it so you have to ask volunteers to jump through hoops and to pay for the privilege of doing so.

To be honest the single biggest skill as a tennis captain is managing people's disappointment when you ask them to do something that they wouldn't choose if they were captain. It isn't a job or a college team- this is making a group of individuals volunteer to fulfill the structure and rules of a league. It is impossible to make everyone happy as a tennis captain because you have to have exactly the right number of people in the lineup every week.

And if by some chance you actually believe that one can't comment on being a tennis captain unless one has actually served in that capacity
I think you can comment on it, I just think that you make yourself look pretty foolish when you do because you obviously have no clue about how it actually works. At least you have the awareness you would be a lousy captain, normally players who complain about the captain think that the job is easy but don't want to do it themselves.

I think that every captain will tell you that the best teammates to have are the people that have been a captain themselves. There is simply no substitute for the experience of having to deal with all the behind the scenes stuff that goes along with being a good captain that the other people on the team are blissfully unaware of.

Last edited by spot : 02-19-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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