How Not To Handle Not Being Invited

yea but you can't just dump people that's been with the team for years just cause they suck now or isn't as good as division winning team you are trying to build
Agree with Nostradamus. I've seen many teams (and captained one) that dumped a bunch of old players in favor of new, stronger ones. Created a bunch of ill will, which of course was expected, but perhaps more importantly the teams always self-destructed at the end of the year.

A lot has to do with how it's done. If it's done with some compassion, face to face letting them down easy...nah, what am I saying, that's never worked when breaking up, why would it work for a tennis team? Just e-mail 'em that you're cutting 'em loose, park nose out and get ready to peel out.

To be fair, I would have a playoff and let the best players prove themselves. Very few team captains I've know are able to judge tennis talent as well as a tennis pro can. Best thing is hire a tennis pro to pick the team, then you can blame him.
 

atatu

Legend
Do the weaker players know they are weaker?

Nope.

I think if I told the two weakest players on any team I have captained that they are the weakest player, they would disagree and take great offense.
Not to hijack this thread, but Cindy could you tell me if it is ok to join another team if your team from last year has not been in touch since the end of the season and you are now being recruited by last year's first place team ? I'm feeling conflicted about this, but I'm leaning towards jumping ship.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Not to hijack this thread, but Cindy could you tell me if it is ok to join another team if your team from last year has not been in touch since the end of the season and you are now being recruited by last year's first place team ? I'm feeling conflicted about this, but I'm leaning towards jumping ship.
Hey, hijacks are fine!

I think players are free to jump ship so long as they haven't accepted an invitation already. If you want to be on that other team, this is your chance.

Now, if you like your old team and think the captain just hasn't sent out invitations yet, you could inquire. That would be a nice thing to do if you have a long history with the team.

Often, however, silence from a prior team means either there will be no team or you won't be on it. It would be really awkward to ask your old captain only to have him tell you that you have been given the heave ho.

Speaking of hijacks . . . . I have to say, it really bothers me when players accept an invitation, sit on it for months, and then change their minds and go play for another team. The asymmetry is a problem. I am not free to bump them from the team once they have accepted if a better player comes along, but they feel free to blow off their commitment to our team for greener pastures.

It makes a captain want to start requiring non-refundable $100 deposits to hold someone's place on the roster . . .
 

buruan

New User
Thats a Generation ME problem if I ever heard one.
Less and less people can handle critizism.

A few years back I played for a 3.0 team and was the worst player on the team, I didn't get invited back the next season.
I wasn't happy about it, but in all seriousness, it makes sense to replace the weakest player.

I improved, and got recruited to a 3.5 team, in the City playoffs we played that exact team (by now mostly bumped to 3.5), I played in the winning 1st doubles getting us to sectionals, and sending them packing.

Either way, yes, just with everything in life if you are the worst of a certain group, you will likely get dropped.
 
Thats a Generation ME problem if I ever heard one.
Less and less people can handle critizism.


... I played in the winning 1st doubles getting us to sectionals, and sending them packing.

... with everything in life if you are the worst of a certain group, you will likely get dropped.
Well said, revenge is sweet, anger is a great motivator.
 

atatu

Legend
Thats a Generation ME problem if I ever heard one.
Less and less people can handle critizism.

A few years back I played for a 3.0 team and was the worst player on the team, I didn't get invited back the next season.
I wasn't happy about it, but in all seriousness, it makes sense to replace the weakest player.

I improved, and got recruited to a 3.5 team, in the City playoffs we played that exact team (by now mostly bumped to 3.5), I played in the winning 1st doubles getting us to sectionals, and sending them packing.

Either way, yes, just with everything in life if you are the worst of a certain group, you will likely get dropped.
I think the belief that women take it worse than men is a fallacy, men are just as bad, and they might be more motivated to exact "revenge" than women. I've heard tons of "how do you like me now ??" stories from guys, rarely from women.
 
It's more complicated than that.

The answer to all of this is: If you want to be invited onto teams, improve you tennis.
^^Agreed Cindy, but it's like the saying, "I need experience to get a job, but I can't get experience unless I get a job"....

I am not sure about other clubs, but the 4.0 women at my club can be very elitist. If you don't know the right people, or aren't the kind of person they wish to include, you will not be included. In ANYTHING. I wish it were about "the tennis", but sadly with women it's about so much more.
 

andfor

Legend
Hey, hijacks are fine!

I think players are free to jump ship so long as they haven't accepted an invitation already. If you want to be on that other team, this is your chance.

Now, if you like your old team and think the captain just hasn't sent out invitations yet, you could inquire. That would be a nice thing to do if you have a long history with the team.

Often, however, silence from a prior team means either there will be no team or you won't be on it. It would be really awkward to ask your old captain only to have him tell you that you have been given the heave ho.

Speaking of hijacks . . . . I have to say, it really bothers me when players accept an invitation, sit on it for months, and then change their minds and go play for another team. The asymmetry is a problem. I am not free to bump them from the team once they have accepted if a better player comes along, but they feel free to blow off their commitment to our team for greener pastures.

It makes a captain want to start requiring non-refundable $100 deposits to hold someone's place on the roster . . .
How about Captains recruiting players to keep them off other teams to keep from playing against them, but have little intention of playing them? Maybe two match minumum. It happens and is done to dilute the competition pool. Sad.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
I doubt that person has issues. I am sure she felt like she should have been invited and wasn't so probably was wondering why ? maybe she is wondering she was wronged in someway or she offended cindy as a friend
Sounds like she does if the she approaches someone and addresses him or her with the phrase "I see you didn't invite me to be a part of..." I would never approach someone whose team I'm hoping to join with a statement like that. It has an undertone of entitlement simply because you may be friends, siblings, or whatever. And if she's wondering there is something wrong between her and Cindy that prompted her not to be invited, it's probably to ask the question more directly such as "Hey Cindy..I see that you've started forming your team and I was hoping to be invited to join. Is there a reason why I didn't get the invite?"

At that point the ball is in Cindy's court (no pun intended) to respond diplomatically I hope. Just my take.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
it's probably to ask the question more directly such as "Hey Cindy..I see that you've started forming your team and I was hoping to be invited to join. Is there a reason why I didn't get the invite?"

At that point the ball is in Cindy's court (no pun intended) to respond diplomatically I hope. Just my take.
Diplomatically?

"Um . . . yeah. . . . uh-huh. See -- how shall I put this? -- It's kind of important that everyone on the team be competitive at this level. We're not expecting to go to Nationals, but we don't want to wind up in the basement. What's that? 'You can handle this level?' Yeah. I know, I know you can. Of course you can. It's just that . . . wow, um . . . it's important to be consistent and cover the court, so . . . . Pardon? 'You just need stronger partners?' Yes, yes. That's true. That's true of all of us. But the stronger players, they . . . goodness, this is hard . . . they don't like it when their partners can't pull their own weight so . . . 'What do I mean by that?' Erm . . . "

It's a conversation that never ends well if it ends at all.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I actually broke up with my 7.0 team this year in search of another team. This 7.0 team has an 8.0 team but it only has one 4.5 (guy) which means my options to play are limited. I left the team to find another team which has both a 7.0 and 8.0 team loaded with 4.5's so I can play all around.

The reason I left this 7.0 team is because its easier to "schedule" if you play for the same team at different levels. It's a nightmare if you play for two different teams at two different levels because they fight over players, especially if both teams are playing a critical match on that same week.

The one thing I liked about this team the most is that its very "direct". If you join the team its understood that you play when they say. If you're not on the lineup it is what it is.

At the end of this season they straight up say "If you're not going to play, let us know now." and I love that type of direct communication.

If they told me I was uninvited this next season it wouldnt have bothered me one bit. The only thing that would **** me off is if they dont tell me to the last min so I turned down other teams, for example.

If you uninvite someone I dont see what the problem is as long as you let them know early enough so that they can find another team and arnt turning down teams with the expectation that they're still playing for you.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
Diplomatically?

"Um . . . yeah. . . . uh-huh. See -- how shall I put this? -- It's kind of important that everyone on the team be competitive at this level. We're not expecting to go to Nationals, but we don't want to wind up in the basement. What's that? 'You can handle this level?' Yeah. I know, I know you can. Of course you can. It's just that . . . wow, um . . . it's important to be consistent and cover the court, so . . . . Pardon? 'You just need stronger partners?' Yes, yes. That's true. That's true of all of us. But the stronger players, they . . . goodness, this is hard . . . they don't like it when their partners can't pull their own weight so . . . 'What do I mean by that?' Erm . . . "

It's a conversation that never ends well if it ends at all.
Well..let me clarify. Diplomatic and direct.
 

JoelDali

G.O.A.T.
We dropped all the 3.0 chicks with epic spider veins this year. Too many young ones with cleaner, smoother walkers.
 

goldenera

Semi-Pro
If they are like the weakest player, they usually know that. That is what I had found. and they know they won't get any much playing time as the strongest players. And when I am a captain, I usually just put them at #3 doubles when we play bottom 1/3 division teams. and that usually works out. These weaker or weakest players don't want to play when we play the top 1/3 division teams anyway.
Best graciously written ever post here
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I dunno. There seems to be a huge sense of entitlement among a lot of ladies.
I find a lot of women use their tennis rating as a determinant of social hierarchy. At least at our tennis club. My wife could tell you stories!

I don't see that same social/tennis maneuvering in men. I have my theories as to why but they would likely be construed as misogynistic in today's cancel culture so I'll keep them to myself.


yea but you can't just dump people that's been with the team for years just cause they suck now or isn't as good as division winning team you are trying to build
My wife plays city league div 3 and generally is one of the best players. Everyone says she's too good for Div 3 and should be in a higher Div. But she can't get on the Div 1 and 2 teams because they are filled with old ladies that have kept those positions well past their prime playing days. She can beat every one of them in tennis but they keep signing up and no one will tell them, "perhaps its time you consider a lower div."

My wife got to spare once on the Div 1 team and was paired on court 3 with one of these old cronies. She came back saying her Div 3 partner was far better than this old Div 1 player. It's a true social mafia.

I think if I told the two weakest players on any team I have captained that they are the weakest player, they would disagree and take great offense.
I agree. That's how it would be at our club. Hell hath no fury....
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Wow ... nice old thread ... and nothing has changed in the 8 years since it started.

Our Fall leagues are a few weeks from ending, the numbers for 40+ come out on Dec 1st. with play starting Jan 2

My phone is blowing up. I have at least 6 women who want on the 3.5 team I captain.
I am being recruited for 8.0 mixed by 3 different captains ... doesn't start until March!
I have a bunch who are asking to get included on the 4.0 team I play on.

For the first time since starting to captain I am going to have a team that has a shot at districts. A shot, not a lock.
I am starting to enjoy the phrase: We are full ... but try so and so over at club D, or whosiewhatsit at club W.

That said, I have a few weaker players and they 100% know and understand that they will get 2 maybe 3 matches a season and only against the weaker teams. I am clear and up front about it.

Next season, I will play our best until we are not in the running except against the lowest teams ... if we are not in the running, then play whatever and balance out the playing time.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
Now that I have been capping for many years, I've learned to ask the requestor, "what is your goal/intent?" There are basically two types of league players: 1) those who just want a weekly match (or at least every-other week), and they want to get better and play strong players, and don't care about advancing, and 2) those who only want to be on a team that has a real shot to advance. Once they give me the answer to my question, I guide them accordingly:

--the weaker player who just wants to be on a team and play strong players/get better: I guide them to a weaker team with fewer players -- this way they will get more matches, and play the stronger players in the flight.

--those who only want to advance -- depends how strong they are and how strong our team is that particular session. If they are weaker, i set the expectation that they'll get their get their 2 min matches and that's likely about it...
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
If that were the root cause then I would think we would see the men doing the same thing, but we don't seem to be seeing that.
We elected a man who cannot let any perceived slight go unanswered. Men do this too, it just looks a little different. And Cindy is right.
 

nyta2

Semi-Pro
hehe 8y old thread, but some things never change...
when i captained... i typically just did challenge matches to determine where you played.
so if a weak player joins, but doesn't get matches, it's clear why (eg. folks who beat him will always play ahead of him)
 

nyta2

Semi-Pro
Now that I have been capping for many years, I've learned to ask the requestor, "what is your goal/intent?" There are basically two types of league players: 1) those who just want a weekly match (or at least every-other week), and they want to get better and play strong players, and don't care about advancing, and 2) those who only want to be on a team that has a real shot to advance. Once they give me the answer to my question, I guide them accordingly:

--the weaker player who just wants to be on a team and play strong players/get better: I guide them to a weaker team with fewer players -- this way they will get more matches, and play the stronger players in the flight.

--those who only want to advance -- depends how strong they are and how strong our team is that particular session. If they are weaker, i set the expectation that they'll get their get their 2 min matches and that's likely about it...
interesting... i've always found folks to be coy about stating what they are looking for....
that said, i've been both:
* join-weak-team-to-get-more-singles-matches
* join-strong-team-but-play-last-dubs
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
interesting... i've always found folks to be coy about stating what they are looking for....
that said, i've been both:
* join-weak-team-to-get-more-singles-matches
* join-strong-team-but-play-last-dubs
I don't know if "coy" is the right word .... I think they are self-delusional!

They *say* they want to be on a competitive team, they *say* they understand how playing time will be allocated. Then they whine that the best players played more than they did.

They also *say* that they want to be on a team that is all about even playing time win or lose. Then they whine about the team not winning enough matches.

I have also been in both of your scenarios ... as long as captains are up front on their goals and plan, it is all good.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
I just ghost the person. It's not like I have any further need to be in contact with them once they stop performing.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
I don't know if "coy" is the right word .... I think they are self-delusional!

They *say* they want to be on a competitive team, they *say* they understand how playing time will be allocated. Then they whine that the best players played more than they did.

They also *say* that they want to be on a team that is all about even playing time win or lose. Then they whine about the team not winning enough matches.

I have also been in both of your scenarios ... as long as captains are up front on their goals and plan, it is all good.
the reality is, now that i've been capping a while, the player lists have grown. example, for each team i cap (a 3.5 and a 4.0), i put a message out along the lines of 'here's the team number - first 12 to register are in, and i need it done within a week'. i don't really chase players anymore...and this leaves me time to get headcount and grab 1-2 more guys if needed...but i haven't needed to do that for a while...
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
the reality is, now that i've been capping a while, the player lists have grown. example, for each team i cap (a 3.5 and a 4.0), i put a message out along the lines of 'here's the team number - first 12 to register are in, and i need it done within a week'. i don't really chase players anymore...and this leaves me time to get headcount and grab 1-2 more guys if needed...but i haven't needed to do that for a while...
I wish I could do that!
If I did I would be left with
Lady with bad hip that won't move 3 inches laterally
The one who considers herself an "athlete" who while athletic has no strokes that are consistent and refuses to practice
The one who plays a match that she thinks involves making statue impressions

At this point I don't chase, spend more time getting asked for a spot ... but I wouldn't mind scratching a few off the list.
 
I wish I could do that!
If I did I would be left with
Lady with bad hip that won't move 3 inches laterally
The one who considers herself an "athlete" who while athletic has no strokes that are consistent and refuses to practice
The one who plays a match that she thinks involves making statue impressions
Sounds like you have the makings of a Nationals-caliber team!
 

andfor

Legend
Make your own team. Did that a few years back then won the city league 10 out of 11 years in a row. The one year we did not win still went to state and advanced to the regionals.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
I have nothing but respect for anyone who takes on the role of league team captain. It's a tough often thankless job that requires the captain to play the roles of coach, parent, manager, psychiatrist, mediator, cheerleader often all on the same weekend. I was a league captain once, the key word there being 'once'.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Start your own tennis team. With blackjack, and hookers.

Actually, forget the tennis team and the blackjack.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
It's like reality TV. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win. If you are an obstacle to winning, you gotta be removed, plain and simple. It's just business. I don't notify the rejects. If you aren't invited, you aren't on the team, should be obvious. I don't answer questions from them as to why they didn't make the team. Take a hint.

For the same reason in my business I don't call and tell interviewees who don't get the job that they didn't get the job. If nobody called to say 'you're hired', you're not hired. If you call and ask if you got the job or ask why you didn't get the job, I ensure you don't get hired for any future openings, because you are clearly to dense or stubborn to understand the subtleties of human communication.
 
It's a rare captain who is actually a good, reliable evaluator of talent. Most people who suffer the thankless job of captain, god bless them, never played division 1 or 2 tennis, but often find themselves judging which player who has is better than this or that player. Some are ok at it, around 80% aren't really as good as they think at evaluating tennis ability.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I have nothing but respect for anyone who takes on the role of league team captain. It's a tough often thankless job that requires the captain to play the roles of coach, parent, manager, psychiatrist, mediator, cheerleader often all on the same weekend. I was a league captain once, the key word there being 'once'.
I‘ve captained men‘s USTA teams in 2013-2014 and 2018-2020 at two different private clubs where I was allowed to recruit only players who were members of the club and therefore there was a limited pool of players at each level. I’m found that after four or five seasons, all the top players get bumped up to the next level and you are left only with the mediocre players and the prima donna/neurotic ones who don’t win as much as they should.

That’s usually when it’s time to stop captaining and just go play on a team at the next higher level. Last Fall, I was fortunate enough to captain a team that was good enough to win the local league and go to Sectionals at Indian Wells which was a lot of fun.

I agree that it is a thankless job especially if the team is not good enough to contend for the local league title as you always have people frustrated about their playing time, lineup choices/partners etc. I tried to bring beer or take the team to bars after our victories so that we had a lot of fun socializing after matches and that made players behave better to each other over time - regular practice sessions also helped with the bonding.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
I wish I could do that!
If I did I would be left with
Lady with bad hip that won't move 3 inches laterally
The one who considers herself an "athlete" who while athletic has no strokes that are consistent and refuses to practice
The one who plays a match that she thinks involves making statue impressions

At this point I don't chase, spend more time getting asked for a spot ... but I wouldn't mind scratching a few off the list.
yep that can be a issue...i do cull the email list, so the initial email i send out is to about 15 players, mostly A's who are regulars, reliable, stronger players...once those guys either register or let me know they have to bow out of the session for whatever reason, I'm usually right at about 9-10. then i send another smaller batch to the B's, etc. these numbers are based on fall/winter sessions (1s/2d courts), so i just scale it up a bit for the summer session. for winter i like to limit to about 12-13, and summer ~15-16 players, so i can strike the balance between having enough subs, but also getting everyone a decent number of matches.

i keep my list in a spreadsheet, and as responses roll in, i just tag green/yellow/red. most everyone replies one way or the other within about a week. those who don't reply at all get dropped from my list. i can only deal with people who are courteous enough to reply.

green = in
yellow = i'm in if you need me, let me know
red= out

**important** on these emails, i put myself in the 'to' field, and bcc all the players. this way they all reply to me only.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
It's a rare captain who is actually a good, reliable evaluator of talent. Most people who suffer the thankless job of captain, god bless them, never played division 1 or 2 tennis, but often find themselves judging which player who has is better than this or that player. Some are ok at it, around 80% aren't really as good as they think at evaluating tennis ability.
Yes this is true, I have captained a little and a good bit of that is that I feel like I am better at talent evaluation than most. The problem is that most people likely think that or that even if I am correct in my assessment that I do it better than most, many others on the team will disagree with my assessments, particularly if my assessment does not have them in the top 8. I have lost some friendly acquaintances from this. It is one of the harder things to do, and for my part I really like to be obviously a top player or obviously not so that I would not have to slide myself in over a fairly equal player. I dont want it to seem like I am captaining the team just to play myself.
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
Well...
What does it reallly mean to be the #1 team in your 3.5 league? What does it mean to be the best 3.5 player in the country?

Really, all this league play is just an opportunity for a bunch of middling players to get together and have some fun. All the to-do over snapping up "ringers" and excluding others can poison the atmosphere of what should be a fun experience for all.

What might make sense is for everyone interested in league play to enter a "pool" or list of applicants- then through a computerized system be sorted and assigned fairly to the various teams so everyone would start out on a (fairly) even footing and there would be less crushing of fragile egos and fighting over the elite few.
 

andfor

Legend
Well...
What does it reallly mean to be the #1 team in your 3.5 league? What does it mean to be the best 3.5 player in the country?

Really, all this league play is just an opportunity for a bunch of middling players to get together and have some fun. All the to-do over snapping up "ringers" and excluding others can poison the atmosphere of what should be a fun experience for all.

What might make sense is for everyone interested in league play to enter a "pool" or list of applicants- then through a computerized system be sorted and assigned fairly to the various teams so everyone would start out on a (fairly) even footing and there would be less crushing of fragile egos and fighting over the elite few.
Assuming the pool of players all know each other, get along, understand each persons schedule, etc., in some sort of utopian world this might work.

Our league coordinators do manage a pool of players looking to play on a team. This is nice and while many of those players get picked up, it does not guarantee selection.
 
Assuming the pool of players all know each other, get along, understand each persons schedule, etc., in some sort of utopian world this might work.

Our league coordinators do manage a pool of players looking to play on a team. This is nice and while many of those players get picked up, it does not guarantee selection.
I'd be very reluctant to pick up someone "sight unseen" without at least some feedback from a trusted source. A bad addition can easily harm a team more than a good addition will benefit.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I'd be very reluctant to pick up someone "sight unseen" without at least some feedback from a trusted source. A bad addition can easily harm a team more than a good addition will benefit.
I have picked up a few like this over the past couple years. 2 were a complete disaster and that was going off the word of a teaching pro I trusted. The most recent asked to have her hit with me before saying yes ... was a great addition to the team.
 

andfor

Legend
I'd be very reluctant to pick up someone "sight unseen" without at least some feedback from a trusted source. A bad addition can easily harm a team more than a good addition will benefit.
I don't have the numbers. My guess is anyone on that list is likely picked up by a captain that already new the person. Being new to town can be tough of course. The best way is to find a way to get involved, then perform. Also not being a jerk helps. HAHA
 
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