Odd league scene tonight...thoughts?

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
So we are playing D2 in the 18+ 4.0 league this match against guys that look familiar, but I am not sure. Quick check of them and they are 0/3 team wise, but solid rated players and I don't recognize names. Whatever, right? We are ready to play and while my partner and I are notorious for slow starts, we swear to be more active from the get go! First bumps abound and "let's do this!".

Soooo, down 0/3 :)cautious:) in the first set, we finally gut check and work our way back to even. Serves are our strong point and things are on there. Net play is sketchy AF, but working well enough. We end up ready to break and then serve out the set, but duff the 40/0 lead in the game in a series of focus errors, then lose the next service return game handily. First set we are on the wrong side at 4/6, but feeling ready now.

Second set we click like we knew we would. We jump up 3/0 and on the switch they are serving. About a few serves in, our new singles guy right next to us starts arguing about scores with his opponent. No biggy, but it continues...and continues to get louder...and more aggressive. To the point all other match play is being overshadowed by this scene.

So a bit of background about my partner is, he is a very devote Mormon, tolerant, and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. The guys would not say "poo" if he had a mouthful, but all of a sudden, he can't take it anymore and just starts yelling at OUR player to shut-up, figure it out, and just get on with play to stop disrupting everyone. We start trying to play, but I cant tell my partner is, for all intents and purposes, done. Annoyed. And not on court with me at the moment. Honestly, I am a bit annoyed too. We have ALWAYS been about sportsmanship and this was embarrassing to say the least.

To wrap up things and get to the crux of it, we did not win another game and lost the second 3/6. And all props to our opponents for clinching it in stellar, ace laden fashion even. The one player remembered me from part teams and they were both great guys, but we felt it was just one of those black mark moments for the team overall, but also for us to fall to distraction like that. I took my partner back a few times, said let take depth breaths and see if we can focus, but I kinda could see he was still annoyed. And again, so was I. We just hate seeing that crap representation of our team after all these years.

So the thoughts and question I suppose is, have you ever had these kinds of situations with yourself or partner? Where you able to get focus back, or how did do it if so?

Oh, and my partner just text an apparently at the first practice this new guys was at the other day he was yelling at his partner and others for all kinds of stuff. WTH?
 

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
You have to recenter yourself and/or your partner. The best or easiest way is to bring them back to reality and minimize their frustrations. Go over the score with them and reiterate the positives of your play or the points you've been winning as a team. Remind them of what they are doing good/well. Remind them that you have faith in them to pick it up. Often times you might be just down a break, etc. Remind them that you just need one break and you're back in it. It's about making the wall of despair not so high... if you can reframe the situation as one that is not nearly as bad or as impossible as they seem to think it is... it's amazing how quickly one's attitude and performance can change.

Had a partner the other night who wasn't playing well and was incredibly frustrated with his play. Thought for sure he was going to destroy his racquet or lose his mind. I had to remind him that we were up a set and on serve after just clawing our way back twice in the second set from being broken. Yes, as terrible as it seemed to him... we were still winning.

I always tell my partners to stay aggressive and keep moving fwd no matter how bad they are playing. You have to be aggressive in doubles. That doesn't mean you don't play high percentage tennis, but it's more about your movement, attitude, etc. and getting forward to the net.

One thing I don't recommend is trying tell them what they are doing wrong. Simply talk about what you think you both should be doing as a team and what is working. Try your best to minimize their frustration by showing them that the hurdle to winning isn't as high as they think. For me that's usually the only and best way to calm myself or my partner... outside of just suddenly ripping winners and magically playing better :)
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
My go to strategy for that is first acknowledge the crazyiness you partner is observing, join him, but make it light and funny, like it's only tennis haha (but show you are with him in spirit, but it isn't serious, it's just a silly circus over there) then on the next changeover, start a conversation about anything non-tennis. "did you and the fam go anywhere this summer for vacation", "local sports team blah blah looks good", get creative, just have a conversation for a minute or two about anything non-tennis. Partner's mind was on tennis for awhile, then on the singles guy, start a new frame in his mind and maybe he will accidently refresh himself.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
You have to recenter yourself and/or your partner. The best or easiest way is to bring them back to reality and minimize their frustrations. Go over the score with them and reiterate the positives of your play or the points you've been winning as a team. Remind them of what they are doing good/well. Remind them that you have faith in them to pick it up. Often times you might be just down a break, etc. Remind them that you just need one break and you're back in it. It's about making the wall of despair not so high... if you can reframe the situation as one that is not nearly as bad or as impossible as they seem to think it is... it's amazing how quickly one's attitude and performance can change.

Had a partner the other night who wasn't playing well and was incredibly frustrated with his play. Thought for sure he was going to destroy his racquet or lose his mind. I had to remind him that we were up a set and on serve after just clawing our way back twice in the second set from being broken. Yes, as terrible as it seemed to him... we were still winning.

I always tell my partners to stay aggressive and keep moving fwd no matter how bad they are playing. You have to be aggressive in doubles. That doesn't mean you don't play high percentage tennis, but it's more about your movement, attitude, etc. and getting forward to the net.

One thing I don't recommend is trying tell them what they are doing wrong. Simply talk about what you think you both should be doing as a team and what is working. Try your best to minimize their frustration by showing them that the hurdle to winning isn't as high as they think. For me that's usually the only and best way to calm myself or my partner... outside of just suddenly ripping winners and magically playing better :)
I tried a bit of that, but I guess in some cases there is no coming back. The melee was happening right as he was serving, which up to this point in the match had been solid. He proceeded to DF twice, miss an easy return, and then I totally whiffed an easy volley. We walked to the bench and he slumped down. I said, "We are still up a break man and just have to take a deep breath to get back in the flow". Well, that didn't really change things so al I could do is be supportive at the point and kinda accept the momentum change. Was tough! And we needed us to win for the team win, but with our loss we went down 2/3.

Thanks! Can definitely try to find ways to build as you mention.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
My go to strategy for that is first acknowledge the crazyiness you partner is observing, join him, but make it light and funny, like it's only tennis haha (but show you are with him in spirit, but it isn't serious, it's just a silly circus over there) then on the next changeover, start a conversation about anything non-tennis. "did you and the fam go anywhere this summer for vacation", "local sports team blah blah looks good", get creative, just have a conversation for a minute or two about anything non-tennis. Partner's mind was on tennis for awhile, then on the singles guy, start a new frame in his mind and maybe he will accidently refresh himself.

Yeah, good points. I don't think I was as much help as I could have been since I was a bit slighted about the scene myself. Maybe others can sympathize, but having been around leagues for over a decade, played on teams that were great people first and good players second, having that kind of thing attributed to us in any way just did not sit well. I know I did try to add a bit of lightheartedness and redirect things, but I am sure I could have done more had been better focused myself!

Thank you.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I get killed by these distractions.

My main hitting partner refuses to accept my line calls and the one time I had him down 4-1 he lost his mind when I called the score and refused to believe it.

Wherever he questions my integrity on the court I just get "done". It sucks all the fun out and breaks my focus completely. So I unfortunately don't have anything to add, just empathy.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I get killed by these distractions.

My main hitting partner refuses to accept my line calls and the one time I had him down 4-1 he lost his mind when I called the score and refused to believe it.

Wherever he questions my integrity on the court I just get "done". It sucks all the fun out and breaks my focus completely. So I unfortunately don't have anything to add, just empathy.

Yup. We had actually had a score miscalled in our match in the first set. They said duece, and I just said, "Hold up guys. I only remember one point you got, the one just long, and I know we at least had two on the ball he hit that was actually going out and the double fault. We you are it is either 40-15 us and I missed another point we got, or 30-30 and I missed another point you got". We discussed it for like two seconds and it was done.

When our teammate blew up our opponents actually chuckled and said, "only took us like a minute".

More me venting a bit, but appreciate both support and suggestion so appreciate the empathy!
 

RobS

Rookie
Sounds like your partner, with good reason, was bothered by the new guy to begin with and his behavior during the matches was the tipping point. It's always going to be difficult if not impossible to reset if something happens that you can't immediately resolve or just 'forget about'. It takes something pretty extreme to reset the tone if even possible. I played in a doubles match this summer where we had an incident on our court that really shook my partner up. Our opponent called a short angled shot out, which it probably was, and then proceeded to rip a forehand that drilled me at fairly close range. It wasn't exactly a bang bang play as I had a second to let up and lower my defenses so to speak. I immediately told myself not to react and just move on so it didn't ruin my evening but my partner was really mad. I wasn't exactly happy about it but I didn't think the guy was actually trying to hit me. Just a careless decision. My partner couldn't put a ball in the court for the following few games.. At a change over I told my partner to get ready because the next time we were at close range, I was going to make a swinging volley and let my racquet fly. His entire demeanor changed. He gave me a shocked, concerned stare and I just broke out laughing and so did he when he realized I was kidding. That was his reset moment and I don't think anything else I could have said would have snapped him out of his funk. As a sidebar, the guy that hit me left quickly after the match instead of hanging out for a customary beer or two. He tracks my cell # down somehow and calls me the next day. Not a text, an actual phone call. He apologized about what happened and further apologized about leaving after the match saying he was mortified. Turned out to be a solid guy and we've hit and played a few times since.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
So we are playing D2 in the 18+ 4.0 league this match against guys that look familiar, but I am not sure. Quick check of them and they are 0/3 team wise, but solid rated players and I don't recognize names. Whatever, right? We are ready to play and while my partner and I are notorious for slow starts, we swear to be more active from the get go! First bumps abound and "let's do this!".

Soooo, down 0/3 :)cautious:) in the first set, we finally gut check and work our way back to even. Serves are our strong point and things are on there. Net play is sketchy AF, but working well enough. We end up ready to break and then serve out the set, but duff the 40/0 lead in the game in a series of focus errors, then lose the next service return game handily. First set we are on the wrong side at 4/6, but feeling ready now.

Second set we click like we knew we would. We jump up 3/0 and on the switch they are serving. About a few serves in, our new singles guy right next to us starts arguing about scores with his opponent. No biggy, but it continues...and continues to get louder...and more aggressive. To the point all other match play is being overshadowed by this scene.

So a bit of background about my partner is, he is a very devote Mormon, tolerant, and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. The guys would not say "poo" if he had a mouthful, but all of a sudden, he can't take it anymore and just starts yelling at OUR player to shut-up, figure it out, and just get on with play to stop disrupting everyone. We start trying to play, but I cant tell my partner is, for all intents and purposes, done. Annoyed. And not on court with me at the moment. Honestly, I am a bit annoyed too. We have ALWAYS been about sportsmanship and this was embarrassing to say the least.

To wrap up things and get to the crux of it, we did not win another game and lost the second 3/6. And all props to our opponents for clinching it in stellar, ace laden fashion even. The one player remembered me from part teams and they were both great guys, but we felt it was just one of those black mark moments for the team overall, but also for us to fall to distraction like that. I took my partner back a few times, said let take depth breaths and see if we can focus, but I kinda could see he was still annoyed. And again, so was I. We just hate seeing that crap representation of our team after all these years.

So the thoughts and question I suppose is, have you ever had these kinds of situations with yourself or partner? Where you able to get focus back, or how did do it if so?

Oh, and my partner just text an apparently at the first practice this new guys was at the other day he was yelling at his partner and others for all kinds of stuff. WTH?
Everyone has a breaking point and your partner apparently reached his. Perhaps the new guy just gets under your partner's skin. Everyone has at least one bete noir.

You did the rational thing and tried to get him back on track but you can only do so much. No magic formula. Humor seems to work the best for me.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
Just because someone is on your rec tennis team that does not mean you are vouching for their character or sanity. It seems your opponents were able to observe the spectacle and not let it bother them. If they have played long enough they likely had bad apples on their own team as well. (I’m not sure but were both players acting poorly or just the guy on your team?). It sounds like your friend was frustrated that he could not immediately control how this other teammate was acting and that this teammate’s behavior might somehow effect his own reputation or that of his team. He made it worse by trying to control the other player’s behavior. IMO the better choice would have been to immediately recognize it is not within his control and move on. Let go of what is outside of your control and focus on what is within your control.
 
About a few serves in, our new singles guy right next to us starts arguing about scores with his opponent. No biggy, but it continues...and continues to get louder...and more aggressive. To the point all other match play is being overshadowed by this scene.
...he can't take it anymore and just starts yelling at OUR player to shut-up, figure it out, and just get on with play to stop disrupting everyone.
...it was just one of those black mark moments for the team overall,
We just hate seeing that crap representation of our team after all these years.
..at the first practice this new guys was at the other day he was yelling at his partner and others for all kinds of stuff. WTH?
So is "new guy" going to remain on the team?
 

CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
Yup. We had actually had a score miscalled in our match in the first set. They said duece, and I just said, "Hold up guys. I only remember one point you got, the one just long, and I know we at least had two on the ball he hit that was actually going out and the double fault. We you are it is either 40-15 us and I missed another point we got, or 30-30 and I missed another point you got". We discussed it for like two seconds and it was done.

When our teammate blew up our opponents actually chuckled and said, "only took us like a minute".

More me venting a bit, but appreciate both support and suggestion so appreciate the empathy!
In my experience, some players will announce the score as "Deuce" at 30-all.

I used to play in a group with a guy that would do that every time he was serving at 30-all.

It was very confusing.

It's always worth it to clarify, if you have any questions about the score.
 
In my experience, some players will announce the score as "Deuce" at 30-all.

I used to play in a group with a guy that would do that every time he was serving at 30-all.

It was very confusing.

It's always worth it to clarify, if you have any questions about the score.
Yes--the guy who does this is usually the same one who hasn't opened a can of balls in 7 years too !
 

HelenCH

Rookie
So you are saying that your partner got distracted with a scene on the next court and upset to the point he lost his focus? I have seen people getting visibly shaken over some bad line calls or unnecessary arguments on their court and completely folding, so I can totally imagine that some may even be affected by whatever is happening next door, despite having no part in it and having no responsibility for anyone else's behaviour or actions. It is what it is. Better luck next time.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like your partner, with good reason, was bothered by the new guy to begin with and his behavior during the matches was the tipping point. It's always going to be difficult if not impossible to reset if something happens that you can't immediately resolve or just 'forget about'. It takes something pretty extreme to reset the tone if even possible. I played in a doubles match this summer where we had an incident on our court that really shook my partner up. Our opponent called a short angled shot out, which it probably was, and then proceeded to rip a forehand that drilled me at fairly close range. It wasn't exactly a bang bang play as I had a second to let up and lower my defenses so to speak. I immediately told myself not to react and just move on so it didn't ruin my evening but my partner was really mad. I wasn't exactly happy about it but I didn't think the guy was actually trying to hit me. Just a careless decision. My partner couldn't put a ball in the court for the following few games.. At a change over I told my partner to get ready because the next time we were at close range, I was going to make a swinging volley and let my racquet fly. His entire demeanor changed. He gave me a shocked, concerned stare and I just broke out laughing and so did he when he realized I was kidding. That was his reset moment and I don't think anything else I could have said would have snapped him out of his funk. As a sidebar, the guy that hit me left quickly after the match instead of hanging out for a customary beer or two. He tracks my cell # down somehow and calls me the next day. Not a text, an actual phone call. He apologized about what happened and further apologized about leaving after the match saying he was mortified. Turned out to be a solid guy and we've hit and played a few times since.
lol. Thanks for the story.

This was the first time I had EVER seen him get actually angry at anything, not just annoyed so probably past the point of return. We did make sure to finish as best we could and be as cordial after as always. But like your guy, he told me he was just bailing because he didn't even want to talk to anyone. He sent me a quick text the next morning, we talked, all is good and plenty of play left in the season. We were playing two high ranked opponents too, so I am certainly not taking anything away from them in their win, but talking only about our own level of play.

Cheers.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Everyone has a breaking point and your partner apparently reached his. Perhaps the new guy just gets under your partner's skin. Everyone has at least one bete noir.

You did the rational thing and tried to get him back on track but you can only do so much. No magic formula. Humor seems to work the best for me.

He is definitely not a fan of the new guy. We will have to see if the new guy stays though because we are a pretty tight knit group and want to keep whatever good will and sportsmanship as a team we have, not to be ruined by one guy. Cheers! Thanks for the comments.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Just because someone is on your rec tennis team that does not mean you are vouching for their character or sanity. It seems your opponents were able to observe the spectacle and not let it bother them. If they have played long enough they likely had bad apples on their own team as well. (I’m not sure but were both players acting poorly or just the guy on your team?). It sounds like your friend was frustrated that he could not immediately control how this other teammate was acting and that this teammate’s behavior might somehow effect his own reputation or that of his team. He made it worse by trying to control the other player’s behavior. IMO the better choice would have been to immediately recognize it is not within his control and move on. Let go of what is outside of your control and focus on what is within your control.

It wasn't immediacy at all. It was after a good 5 minutes of him continuing to yell and argue, as loud as possible, with some pretty bad slights, while we were trying to serve, that my partner popped. And the fact he kept saying, well fine, let's just play...and THEN started again. I don't blame him.

But we do believe as a team character and sportsmanship matters. The new guys absolutely killed and got the W like 6/1 6/0, but that is severly diminished for us. Maybe other folks don't care, and we have plenty of teams we play were they will totally acknowledge one of their players is an a-hole, but they don't care enough to change him out. For us, we do.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
So is "new guy" going to remain on the team?

Remains to be seen. I think we can give some benefit of doubt and let him know that wasn't in line with what are about, and see how it goes. I played him singles and had an amazing physical match like I hadn't had. He can be a bit abrasiveness, but I dunno. Worth talking about.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
In my experience, some players will announce the score as "Deuce" at 30-all.

I used to play in a group with a guy that would do that every time he was serving at 30-all.

It was very confusing.

It's always worth it to clarify, if you have any questions about the score.

Yeah, more times than not I am confused so I do it to keep myself in check, but we all kinda stopped and started recounting because no one was sure. He might have meant 30/30, I dunno, but it ended up being a short recount and then we played.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Oh, and I was out of town so just trying to make sure I caught up with everyone commenting. Thanks all.
 
Top