No One Cares About Your Tennis Game!

Badmrfrosty

Rookie
Just started playing in this ladder after a long layoff. I've never had to fake smile and/or laugh so much in all my life. I don't care about your tennis game or your analysis of mine. Not sure if it is a bad run of people recently, but it is so annoying. Maybe I'm too sensitive to the "all about me" types, but 3 people in a row now. I blame my narcissistic mother.

Why when I play ladder matches against people I don't know they always want to talk about their tennis game on changeovers or worse during a game?

"I'm excited my serves are going in" - I don't care
"I've been trying to work on my volleys more" - I don't care
"You have a great forehand your backhand is a little stiff" - I don't care
"You are my first win on the ladder" - I don't care
"Can you believe I broke my strings" Stares at racquet then me then back at racquet then me 10x - I don't care
"What do you think about my game" - I don't care
 
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MathGeek

Hall of Fame
For many amateurs, there is a social aspect to the recreational sports they pursue. I've seen plenty of evidence of this in tennis, fencing, ultimate frisbee, fishing, and the shooting sports. Socially minded players often want to talk about something when opportunities arise. I'm not real chatty myself, but I try and be gracious and carry myself in a way that allows enjoyment for other participants who prefer to talk more than I do.

This approach has made a few friends among those whose interests and dispositions are similar to mine. In other cases, it has broadened my perspectives and horizons by providing insight into the thought processes of others. Occasionally, I even learn something that helps me be more competitive.

It is true that one learns more by listening than by talking. I don't mind listening.
 
Social tennis is about talking and drinking--play tournaments, and there won't be much if any banter. You realize ANYTHING you say may be construed as gamesmanship and getting into your opponent's head, inadvertently and unintentionally. BUT, on a rare occasion you will encounter an opponent at a tournament that is chatty--very rarely--then the umpire will shout "TIME" if you'll are talking too much on the changeovers. If you want to avoid chatting, do what is becoming popular now--pull out your cell phone and text thus ignoring your chatty Kathy opponent.
 
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Badmrfrosty

Rookie
For many amateurs, there is a social aspect to the recreational sports they pursue. I've seen plenty of evidence of this in tennis, fencing, ultimate frisbee, fishing, and the shooting sports. Socially minded players often want to talk about something when opportunities arise. I'm not real chatty myself, but I try and be gracious and carry myself in a way that allows enjoyment for other participants who prefer to talk more than I do.

This approach has made a few friends among those whose interests and dispositions are similar to mine. In other cases, it has broadened my perspectives and horizons by providing insight into the thought processes of others. Occasionally, I even learn something that helps me be more competitive.

It is true that one learns more by listening than by talking. I don't mind listening.
I'd disagree this isn't a talk or socializing thing. It's narcissism or social ineptitude. At least when at parties you can excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or refresh your drink. Here are some example's of things normal people do when socializing in tennis with strangers.

"Hey so why did you join this ladder?"
"Glad we are getting to play today as I think it is going to rain all next week."
"Are you watching any of the French Open?"
"Do you play in any other leagues"
"How long have you lived here"
"How long have you been playing tennis"
"You have a great serve"
"Oh you have a wilson clash, I've wanted to try it how is it?"
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Just started playing in this ladder after a long layoff. I've never had to fake smile and/or laugh so much in all my life. I don't care about your tennis game or your analysis of mine. Not sure if it is a bad run of people recently, but it is so annoying. Maybe I'm too sensitive to the "all about me" types, but 3 people in a row now. I blame my narcissistic mother.

Why when I play ladder matches against people I don't know they always want to talk about their tennis game on changeovers or worse during a game?

"I'm excited my serves are going in" - I don't care
"I've been trying to work on my volleys more" - I don't care
"You have a great forehand your backhand is a little stiff" - I don't care
"You are my first win on the ladder" - I don't care
"Can you believe I broke my strings" Stares at racquet then me then back at racquet then me 10x - I don't care
"What do you think about my game" - I don't care
your user name fits ....

I play tennis because I do care ... I would rather talk about tennis on the court at changeovers than the weather. If I didn't care, I would go find a sport where I did.

I think most who play care a great deal and will talk a little about the match, and more along the lines of equipment and such during the match, and maybe more specific afterwards.
 

IA-SteveB

Hall of Fame
I blame social media for changing the way we interact with people. Needy social media people bring that to their everyday social lives as well. So many more people are me me me types these days, always seeking affirmation and fishing for compliments.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I'd disagree this isn't a talk or socializing thing. It's narcissism or social ineptitude. At least when at parties you can excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or refresh your drink. Here are some example's of things normal people do when socializing in tennis with strangers.

"Hey so why did you join this ladder?"
"Glad we are getting to play today as I think it is going to rain all next week."
"Are you watching any of the French Open?"
"Do you play in any other leagues"
"How long have you lived here"
"How long have you been playing tennis"
"You have a great serve"
"Oh you have a wilson clash, I've wanted to try it how is it?"
In line with my general observation that I learn more by listening, if a person's conversation is not very interesting or enlightening for me, it is usually a simple matter to steer it in a more compelling direction with a couple of questions. Sure, lots of folks will be still be inclined to talk about themselves. But at least the information they offer about themselves is more educational for me.
 

davced1

Professional
I don't really care about their dog or wife if I don't know them but small talk about tennis is always fine with me.
 
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Just started playing in this ladder after a long layoff. I've never had to fake smile and/or laugh so much in all my life. I don't care about your tennis game or your analysis of mine. Not sure if it is a bad run of people recently, but it is so annoying. Maybe I'm too sensitive to the "all about me" types, but 3 people in a row now. I blame my narcissistic mother.

Why when I play ladder matches against people I don't know they always want to talk about their tennis game on changeovers or worse during a game?

"I'm excited my serves are going in" - I don't care
"I've been trying to work on my volleys more" - I don't care
"You have a great forehand your backhand is a little stiff" - I don't care
"You are my first win on the ladder" - I don't care
"Can you believe I broke my strings" Stares at racquet then me then back at racquet then me 10x - I don't care
"What do you think about my game" - I don't care
You ought to team up with @PK6.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Just started playing in this ladder after a long layoff. I've never had to fake smile and/or laugh so much in all my life. I don't care about your tennis game or your analysis of mine. Not sure if it is a bad run of people recently, but it is so annoying. Maybe I'm too sensitive to the "all about me" types, but 3 people in a row now. I blame my narcissistic mother.

Why when I play ladder matches against people I don't know they always want to talk about their tennis game on changeovers or worse during a game?

"I'm excited my serves are going in" - I don't care
"I've been trying to work on my volleys more" - I don't care
"You have a great forehand your backhand is a little stiff" - I don't care
"You are my first win on the ladder" - I don't care
"Can you believe I broke my strings" Stares at racquet then me then back at racquet then me 10x - I don't care
"What do you think about my game" - I don't care
How would your ideal match go? Silence except for calling the score and saying in/out?
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
I participated in a work training once where we did an exercise. The group paired up and half went out of the room. Facilitator told the half in the room to begin conversation with their partner. Ask questions about them and see how long it takes them to steer it back and ask about you. Other group just thought they were coming back for a conversation. Pretty much all the folks went on and on about themselves without ever a “...and how about you.” Pretty interesting.

Ever since then I’ve noticed most folks’ favorite subject is themselves.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
I participated in a work training once where we did an exercise. The group paired up and half went out of the room. Facilitator told the half in the room to begin conversation with their partner. Ask questions about them and see how long it takes them to steer it back and ask about you. Other group just thought they were coming back for a conversation. Pretty much all the folks went on and on about themselves without ever a “...and how about you.” Pretty interesting.

Ever since then I’ve noticed most folks’ favorite subject is themselves.
My entire social life is this work training exercise.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Depends if it’s genuine or gamesmanship.

If they are trying to get in my head, they’re opening the door for me to treat it like a basketball game. And in that case, the trash talk is not suitable for tennis and they wont like it.

If it’s a serious match the less talking the better. Like baseball. If it’s a casual practice, let’s chat it up. Post match? Im much more friendly and love talking tennis.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
I don't mind the chatter so much. People who love tennis want to talk about it. No big deal its easy to tune out, or just talk about gear, as its a pretty neutral topic.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
They are probably just trying to make conversation and the only thing they know that you share in common is tennis. You are forgetting that it is just a ladder match, not USTA sectionals or something. Just lighten up and have fun, maybe make a new acquaintance or friend.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
They are probably just trying to make conversation and the only thing they know that you share in common is tennis. You are forgetting that it is just a ladder match, not USTA sectionals or something. Just lighten up and have fun, maybe make a new acquaintance or friend.
This right here, people just want to be amicable and the one thing they can rely on is tennis, it's much better than talk about the weather.
 

SeeItHitIt

Semi-Pro
I get where the OP is coming from. I don’t care (about the latest health tip involving nano-beta kerosine crackers) they picked up from Brad between sets at RG, either. I guess I try to make light of the fact that playing social/Club/rec tennis is something we pursue for a lot of reasons but seriously, ‘good’ tennis isn’t one of them. Different strokes for different folks I guess (literally). You’ll meet the same people on the driving range (if you’re not careful!).
 

Badmrfrosty

Rookie
Well this has been really interesting. I was expecting a completely different responses more along the lines of

"Yeah self centered a**hats are the worst like people who rush from the back rows of a plane when it lands"
"Or like the guy who rides on the shoulder to cut in front of people when there is an accident on the highway"
"Or guy at party that can't take a hint and keeps rambling on about himself"
"Or people that don't pick up their dog sh**"
"Let me tell you about the time I met this Pyschopath"

Apparently, few people agree with me. My main contention is these people think "talking = social". I even gave some examples of things to say that don't involve only yourself. I think content matters and only talking about yourself with strangers is gauche at best. Granted if I know you it is different. I always responded politely and smiled and tried to make them feel comfortable. I just think they are all complete narcissists or social outcasts.

The work training example had me rolling, btw. That is also slightly depressing.

Maybe tennis is too close to the heart for many people.

Let's imagine you are playing on a competitive monopoly ladder and two STRANGERS just meet for first time and player A constantly talks about THEIR strategy. It what world is this being social. I'll definitely be skipping those parties.

"I can't believe you got that monopoly that was dumb"
"I really hope I roll a 7 so I skip your monopolies"
"Yes I just got a get out of jail free card"
"If I roll a 5 I'll have 3 monopolies!"
"Can you believe you are the first person I beat at monopoly?"

Anyway maybe it doesn't make a difference.

Thanks for everyone for their responses. It was very enlighting. Also @PK6 good luck on not becoming a Pharaoh... bwhahahahaha. Priceless.
 

TennisDawg

Professional
There should be some type of interaction besides out, wide, long, 40-15, add, deuce. So long as it’s not deliberate distraction. It should be sort of social. It’s probably the normal banter about the game you both like. I’m not sure maybe you could lighten up a bit. I mean or else use a backboard or ball machine. Just solo it.
 

Badmrfrosty

Rookie
I'm starting to realize people only read like 1 out of 10 words you type. I haven't figured out if it is every tenth word, completely random or other pattern, but definitely not more than 1 out of 10.
 
I'd disagree this isn't a talk or socializing thing. It's narcissism or social ineptitude. At least when at parties you can excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or refresh your drink. Here are some example's of things normal people do when socializing in tennis with strangers.

"Hey so why did you join this ladder?"
"Glad we are getting to play today as I think it is going to rain all next week."
"Are you watching any of the French Open?"
"Do you play in any other leagues"
"How long have you lived here"
"How long have you been playing tennis"
"You have a great serve"
"Oh you have a wilson clash, I've wanted to try it how is it?"
Maybe because most of those conversations are boring to them. Maybe because everyone is different and analyzing your game or their own game is way more interesting to them than asking how long they've lived here or how long they've been playing tennis or why they joined the ladder. Some people hate small talk like that because it's pointless and mundane. OTOH, some people love small talk because it's enjoyable and relaxing. Simply put you just don't mesh with your last three opponents' personalities, but I highly doubt they're narcissistic. They probably would have loved to listen to your input, but you weren't into it.
 
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