Tennis doesn't build character.......

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Neither. Games in general are a safe, harmless way to experiment with one's behavior without significant consequences to one's life. They are a release and don't necessarily indicate much about how people behave in situations that have actual consequences (though my friend who played on the Bucknell tennis team many years ago played against Jimmy Hoffa when the team made its annual trip to Lewisburg Penitentiary -- and he said Hoffa cheated)
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
OP shamelessly stealing from Heywood Hale Broun.

Neither. Games in general are a safe, harmless way to experiment with one's behavior without significant consequences to one's life. They are a release and don't necessarily indicate much about how people behave in situations that have actual consequences (though my friend who played on the Bucknell tennis team many years ago played against Jimmy Hoffa when the team made its annual trip to Lewisburg Penitentiary -- and he said Hoffa cheated)
But perhaps that very lack of consequences means that our behaviour in such a situation is more revealing of our authentic selves.

Sartre posited that sport or play is the only field of human endeavour where man is truly free, because it is the only environment where we set the rules.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Perhaps the lack of consequences means that our behaviour in such a situation is more revealing of our authentic selves?
But what is "authentic"? Character, I think, is the pattern of behavior we exhibit 99 percent of the time when life has actual consequences and we're called on to make meaningful decisions about how we act. And no, Jean-Paul, we don't generally set the rules in our games of tennis. Sure, everything we do can reveal a little something of our character, but i don't think games are especially indicative.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
A disciplined approach to any endeavor can build character. But a proverb says that "bad company corrupts good character."

When our children were in high school sports, we were careful to keep them under coaches and in play situations that had the tendency to build character rather than corrupt it.

My son's tennis coach emphasized honesty in line calls, hard work, and respect for the game. He didn't permit his players to repeatedly demonstrate character problems without correction. We were blessed to have him as an adult influence in our son's life.

Other coaches, captains, and teammates emphasize other things that are not as big a blessing.
 

Jono123

New User
Personally I think it does. Some show grace under pressure, others blame their partner for their own shortcomings and some even cheat.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
But what is "authentic"? Character, I think, is the pattern of behavior we exhibit 99 percent of the time when life has actual consequences and we're called on to make meaningful decisions about how we act. And no, Jean-Paul, we don't generally set the rules in our games of tennis. Sure, everything we do can reveal a little something of our character, but i don't think games are especially indicative.
When I say authentic I mean it in the existentialist sense.

Sartre would argue that ‘actual consequences’ is another way of saying external pressures that lead people to live in bad faith.

How people act when they are liberated from meaningful consequences is perhaps most indicative of who they really are.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I don't think the consequences in tennis are enough to build character. Can it expose character? I think it reveals a few things about character but not everything.

You can get a sense of a person's altruism, honesty, competitiveness, ego. But you learn nothing of their capacity for love or hate.

And clearly no sense of intelligence. I know some pretty smart guys that play pretty dumb tennis.
 

Swingmaster

Rookie
I don't think the consequences in tennis are enough to build character. Can it expose character? I think it reveals a few things about character but not everything.

You can get a sense of a person's altruism, honesty, competitiveness, ego. But you learn nothing of their capacity for love or hate.

And clearly no sense of intelligence. I know some pretty smart guys that play pretty dumb tennis.
I once told my partner to go to hell. I hated him. But then I hated myself and apologized. Then we won the tournament and ate some barbecue.
 

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame
I’d say unless you play matches or tournaments, it doesn’t expose character. Everybody gets upset they miss a ball but most people aren’t pushed to their character limits and say or do something they normally wouldn’t in a situation something a 60+ member would do, hitting back and forth at 30 mph.
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
You’d have to have been with a person a long time to know if tennis helped build their character, probably coaching them from a kid to adulthood.
 

Arak

Rookie
Tennis, like most western sports, does not have a character building element. Eastern martial arts emphasize that particular aspect. Tennis is an individual sport, the purpose is to win. There are ample opportunities for cheating like medical timeouts, and other tricks that have been discussed on these forums. If anything, tennis teaches you to win at all costs.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
Whether tennis builds character or not is debatable. However, the tennis match that I saw showing the most outstanding character traits was the match between Monfils versus Brown. The most enjoyable tennis match I have ever seen. Both displayed an appreciating honest character,
for the game and each other.

I would rather see this type of character in every professional tennis match.

Shalom
 

1stVolley

Professional
Tennis, like much of life, is simply what you make of it. So, for example, @Arak said that "Tennis, like most western sports, does not have a character building element." On the other hand, @MathGeek pointed to the positive influence of a tennis coach.

Well, for me personally, tennis does build character because I specifically work on directing my competitive drive into confronting the pressure of a match and trying to control getting tight. This is a matter of character building, of building a type of courage if you will. However, there are many who just regard tennis as good exercise or an opportunity for socializing. In these cases there is obviously no character building.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Tennis, like much of life, is simply what you make of it. So, for example, @Arak said that "Tennis, like most western sports, does not have a character building element." On the other hand, @MathGeek pointed to the positive influence of a tennis coach.

Well, for me personally, tennis does build character because I specifically work on directing my competitive drive into confronting the pressure of a match and trying to control getting tight. This is a matter of character building, of building a type of courage if you will. However, there are many who just regard tennis as good exercise or an opportunity for socializing. In these cases there is obviously no character building.
For many people building social skills is a necessary part of building good character.

I guess one could say that tennis will contribute to building a character but it doesn't necessarily build a strong and good character. You can come away from singles tennis as a pretty narcissistic, self absorbed, petulant, dishonest person if all you focus on is winning.
 

1stVolley

Professional
For many people building social skills is a necessary part of building good character.

I guess one could say that tennis will contribute to building a character but it doesn't necessarily build a strong and good character. You can come away from singles tennis as a pretty narcissistic, self absorbed, petulant, dishonest person if all you focus on is winning.
Yes, socializing can contribute to building character but I was using tennis socializing as simply a social event for people who already have enjoyed the character building of socializing. And, yes, a strong competitive drive put into a tennis singles environment can have negative effects. It can also have positive ones if you regard your opponent as someone who opposes you to bring out the best you have to offer, both in tennis skills and in good sportsmanship. It's all about what you choose to make of it.

BTW when you wish to highlight something in a quote that the author didn't highlight, please follow the custom and indicate that the emphasis is yours. I didn't bold "opportunity for socializing" and it reads a bit odd since there was nothing in the context of my post that would imply there was something special about the opportunity to socialize. Not a big deal here but in some different occasion it could amount to something more. :)
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
Exposes character initially and then builds character as the player learns to deal with emotions, situations and can problem solve.

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
BTW when you wish to highlight something in a quote that the author didn't highlight, please follow the custom and indicate that the emphasis is yours. I didn't bold "opportunity for socializing" and it reads a bit odd since there was nothing in the context of my post that would imply there was something special about the opportunity to socialize. Not a big deal here but in some different occasion it could amount to something more. :)
I bolded that to indicate what part of the comment I was responding to. Would you prefer a text color change or italics? I don't know how to otherwise indicate that the emphasis is mine other than saying "emphasis mine" which seems like something you do in journalism not on a message board. Never seen anyone type that in all the messages I've read on this board.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Whether tennis builds character or not is debatable. However, the tennis match that I saw showing the most outstanding character traits was the match between Monfils versus Brown. The most enjoyable tennis match I have ever seen. Both displayed an appreciating honest character,
for the game and each other.

I would rather see this type of character in every professional tennis match.

Shalom
What exactly was special about their behavior, considering that they are both clownish characters and unable to win a Slam?

I hope you are not confusing a made-up facade of cheerful losing with genuine character traits?
 

1stVolley

Professional
I bolded that to indicate what part of the comment I was responding to. Would you prefer a text color change or italics? I don't know how to otherwise indicate that the emphasis is mine other than saying "emphasis mine" which seems like something you do in journalism not on a message board. Never seen anyone type that in all the messages I've read on this board.
My understanding is that "emphasis is mine" is the standard way of expressing that you've singled out something in the original quote that you wish to draw the reader's attention to.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
My understanding is that "emphasis is mine" is the standard way of expressing that you've singled out something in the original quote that you wish to draw the reader's attention to.
I think most people just break up the quotes and respond to those parts individually. But I was on my phone and being lazy. My apologies for the confusion.
 
Whether tennis builds character or not is debatable. However, the tennis match that I saw showing the most outstanding character traits was the match between Monfils versus Brown. The most enjoyable tennis match I have ever seen. Both displayed an appreciating honest character,
for the game and each other.

I would rather see this type of character in every professional tennis match.

Shalom
There was a match when Smyczek was possibly on the verge of upsetting Nadal and someone yelled something as Nadal hit his serve [I think it was a first serve] and Nadal missed and Smyczek told the ump to give Nadal a first serve. Classy.

Another match, Cilic v Del Potro, Cilic hit a first serve that hit a ball kid behind Delpo, who stopped to make sure the kid was OK and then told the ump to give Cilic a first serve [which Cilic declined].

 
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