I just signed up for a league for the first time. The guy who put it together is a totally nice guy, and told me it was a casual level 3 league (which is where I'm at), and while I was a little nervous because it would be my first time engaging in competitive play, I thought that even if I didn't win many games, at least I'd get some experience competing. Well, long story short... Last night was the first night, and I'm pretty sure that while there were one or two other players at level 3, the vast majority of the folks were at least level 4 or higher. Now it looks like I have to make an unpleasant decision. I can either admit that I am seriously outclassed and quit, in which case I hurt my team. Or I can decide to stick it out, in which case I still hurt my team. Fortunately, the league is "just for fun" (i.e. non ATP), so I'm not going to be hurting anyone's official ranking. At this point, I'm leaning towards staying in. I'll admit that my reasons are pretty selfish. Basically, I need more experience trying to keep my head together in competitive situations, and I don't know how else to get it. But staying in has some complications. There are three other people on the team. Two of them seemed to understand that I was really nervous, but that I was hustling my ass off even if I wasn't playing my best tennis. They were as cool about the situation as could possibly be hoped for. The third person on the team is super competitive and seems to really want to win, and is clearly not happy that she's been saddled with someone who could cause her team to lose. Unfortunately, I've already built up some tension with this person by losing my temper with her when she took the initiative to helpfully criticize my playing after the session. Honestly, if at that moment I wasn't already mentally reliving each and every mistake for the evening in excruciating full-color smo-motion detail, I probably would have just nodded and accepted the fact that she believed that she was trying to be helpful even if her delivery was a little less than gracious. Instead what I said was something like, "Look, this is the first time I've done this, and I'm doing my best to hang with people who are clearly better than me. I am fully aware of all the mistakes I made tonight, so I'd appreciate it if you could just back off for right now." In retrospect, there might have been more cussing on my part. Anyway, even though I lost my temper, I did resist the temptation to return the favor and helpfully criticize her playing (yes, I did notice some legitimate holes in her game). I really wanted to, but I figured I'd already done enough to destroy team spirit for one evening so it was probably best to keep my mouth shut. So I guess my questions are: if you were the other three people on the team, would you appreciate it more if I quit, or if I stuck it out? And if I do stick it out, what should I be doing to try to minimize the damage I'll be causing if I stay?