Why are some people so obsessed with their balls?

TeamOB

Professional
Some people (especially older club players) have such an obsession with (tennis) balls that it gets pretty ridiculous! The other day I was working at the front desk at my club. Some older ladies came in to play a (non-USTA) league match. One of them stopped at the front desk and asked me for some balls for their match. I said that there were some (pretty new) balls in the hoppers out on the courts. This lady looked at me like I just told her to grab balls out of a garbage dumpster. She said: "Oh, no! We can't play with those! There are some boxes of balls for us in the back room." I went back there and got a few cans of balls from a box. When I gave them to her, she gave me the same look again. She said: "Oh no! These are Wilson Practice balls! We play with Pro Penn balls." I was starting to get a bit irritated. I went back and got some cans of Pro Penn balls and gave them to her. She went out to the courts to start playing, but came running back a minute later. She says: "You gave us two cans with the same number!". I'm annoyed as s***. I'm like: "Yeah, do you have a problem with that?". The lady is raging at me: "Of course! What if my ball goes onto the other court? How can we distinguish it from theirs?". It took all my self control to not say: "Exactly! If you can't distinguish them, why do you care which one you get! Besides, I assure you no matter what ball you use, you still won't be able to play worth a crap!" Since this would have probably gotten me fired, I held it back and went to get them another can. But this got me thinking, why do people care about the ball so much? For me, anything yellow, round, felty, and not completely dead is good enough. I play a lot of tournaments at a pretty decent level (4.5-5.0) and I honestly can't tell the difference between different tennis balls. Can you?
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I think most hardcourt balls have gotten more consistent, and more alike each other.
Even just 3 years ago, WilsonChamps flew like bullets, bounced up around tummy high at the baseline on flat serves, and points were mostly short and quick, while the ball went from slick to OK to too fast to dead.
They got better.
Dunlops used to be called Dunrocks, something a hard hitter would choose for control and longer rallies. Lately, Dunlops have evolved towards Penns, which are somewhere between Wilson's speed and Dunlop's heavy slow play.
Tretorns you know, heavier than Dunrocks.
 

cjs

Professional
For me, anything yellow, round, felty, and not completely dead is good enough. I play a lot of tournaments at a pretty decent level (4.5-5.0) and I honestly can't tell the difference between different tennis balls. Can you?
Yes, I can tell the difference. Yes, I have preferences. However, the balls are the same for both you and your opponent.
 

TeamOB

Professional
I can tell a bit of a difference between used and new balls. But I cannot distinguish different brands at all. I am pretty sure that the wear level of the ball has no effect on my level of play (as long as they are not completely dead). I adjust within the first game and then forget all about it. But then, I am very non-picky about stuff like this. Until I was 14, the only tennis I played was with my buddies at the local crappy public courts. We would bike there with only our $20 Walmart racquets (we were too cheap to buy balls). We would then search through the bushes near the courts for whatever stray balls the previous guys had shanked over the fence. Some of them were pretty new, but others had been sitting in the bushes for days or weeks. We would play for hours on crappy courts with crappy racquets and crappy balls. I got used to this, so I really am not picky at all about that kinda stuff.
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
So your the perfect guy NOT to work at a tennis facility.
My first flat serves, the bounce height is easily a foot higher using WilsonChampHardCourt balls over DunlopHDHardCourtChamps.
I would assume there is some speed difference, but that is harder to tell.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, I can tell the difference. Yes, I have preferences. However, the balls are the same for both you and your opponent.
However certain balls favor you more than your opponent. One player might prefer fast/lively balls while the other might prefer a slower, lower bouncing ball. An extra duty ball might favor the latter player more than a regular duty ball.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
High society people tend to be very particular in their ways.

-----------------
The queen decided to test the young girl’s claim of nobility – without saying a word, the queen went to the bedroom, stripped back the bedclothes, and put a single pea in the bottom of the bed. The queen then took 20 mattresses and stacked them on top of the pea and took 20 eiderdown feather beds and piled them on the mattresses. Up on top of all these, the princess was to spend the night.

The next morning, when the girl woke up, the queen asked how she slept. “Oh, very poorly!” she said. “I scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, and now I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!”
------------------

Sounds like you mistreated a true princess!
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
ATP tennis the balls have a short life. What is it, 11 games? But for most of us, the balls can be used for much longer.

A local instructor's webb page says that your racket needs to be restrung 4 times a year. Really? His pupils games are that sensitive? I'm sure it has nothing to do with him wanting to get more business restringing rackets. :wink:
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
"4 times a year???"
Most of the guys on the strings and racket sections say they restring after every 6 hours of play, some less.
My SolincoTourBite16 is bordering on 14 months and over 90 hours of play.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Oh, you mean tennis balls. ;)




Yes, there is definitely a noticeable difference between different brands and models of tennis balls. They all play differently. Some are harder, some are softer, some have thicker naps, some have thinner naps, some fuzz up quickly, some have their fuzz wear off quickly, some are brighter in color, some deflate faster than others, some last longer than others, some even bounce differently than others.

So, yes, many people definitely have their own personal preferences in the types of tennis balls they like to play with.
 

cjs

Professional
However certain balls favor you more than your opponent. One player might prefer fast/lively balls while the other might prefer a slower, lower bouncing ball. An extra duty ball might favor the latter player more than a regular duty ball.
True. I prefer fast high bouncing because I hit with lots of topspin. I hate playing with slow or old balls. Also for some reason I get a lot more curve and arc when serving slice using Slazenger balls than any other (not sure why).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
^ I don't get the opportunity to play with Slazenger (Wimbledon) balls very often but they are one of my favorites. The ultra-vis felt is what I like most about them -- my eyesight is not quite a good as I'd like, particularly when it comes to contrast.
 

asimple

Semi-Pro
High society people tend to be very particular in their ways.

Sounds like you mistreated a true princess!
I'm not sure how expecting to get the balls you paid for when signing up (and paying) for a league is princess like. I have to admit I wouldn't appreciate getting attitude from the guy at the front desk even if he had to get up a few times.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
I'm not sure how expecting to get the balls you paid for when signing up (and paying) for a league is princess like. I have to admit I wouldn't appreciate getting attitude from the guy at the front desk even if he had to get up a few times.
I do not disagree. I think there is a disconnect between the OP’s take on the situation and the patron’s. The tale I quoted was just an example of how seemingly minor things can make a big difference.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
it makes a bigger difference for really good players. its harder to hit violent kick serves with dead tennis balls. they dont take spin as well and you have to lower your arch. Other shots are not as effected as much as people think unless they have some massive flaws in their strokes.

For 99% of recreational players they are better off using dead balls anyways.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
^^ That's true too, perhaps the lady wasn't willing to lower her arch in order to hit violent kick serves just because TeamOB was too lazy to get her some decent balls.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
^^ That's true too, perhaps the lady wasn't willing to lower her arch in order to hit violent kick serves just because TeamOB was too lazy to get her some decent balls.
LOL. Most likely she just wanted bright balls to help her eyesight. That or she is just a rich loony woman. Clubs are full of them. thats why male teaching pros are more popular than females.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
LOL. Most likely she just wanted bright balls to help her eyesight. That or she is just a rich loony woman. Clubs are full of them. thats why male teaching pros are more popular than females.
Her parents went to great strides to arrange the best schooling for her as a child and she got into Middlebury College to meet the right husband. She spent her entire life taking care of the family nest in Bridgeport and paid through the nose to arrange her weekly doubles game in her golden years, only to have to face a brat at the front desk who, instead of complimenting her on her latest dress, tells her to go diving into garbage bins if she wants some tennis balls to play with.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
Her parents went to great strides to arrange the best schooling for her as a child and she got into Middlebury College to meet the right husband. She spent her entire life taking care of the family nest in Bridgeport and paid through the nose to arrange her weekly doubles game in her golden years, only to have to face a brat at the front desk who, instead of complimenting her on her latest dress, tells her to go diving into garbage bins if she wants some tennis balls to play with.
so what, lifes hard for everbody. It doesnt change the facts at hand.

the employee tried to accommodate her and it wasnt possible with what was on hand. What would yo u have them do...go behind the counter and make a tennis ball from scratch to the customers specs?

In the end you do what you can to make the customer happy but some people will never be satisfied. The best you could do would be call a few stores and tell her where she can buy them until you get them in the proshop. and that would only be if they are a really nice lady to begin with.

I dont see the big dilemma. the Brat at the front desk is not a miracle worker.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
so what, lifes hard for everbody. It doesnt change the facts at hand.

the employee tried to accommodate her and it wasnt possible with what was on hand. What would yo u have them do...go behind the counter and make a tennis ball from scratch to the customers specs?

In the end you do what you can to make the customer happy but some people will never be satisfied. The best you could do would be call a few stores and tell her where she can buy them until you get them in the proshop. and that would only be if they are a really nice lady to begin with.

I dont see the big dilemma. the Brat at the front desk is not a miracle worker.
He had the ProPenns stocked in the backroom the whole time and he knew it.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
He had the ProPenns stocked in the backroom the whole time and he knew it.
sorry I missed that. reading too many threads tonight.

Now i say just give her the balls to get her out of the proshop.

Its kind of funny though. The OP has a funny sense of humor.

Make sure those water coolers have fresh Ice in them!..LOL
 

samarai

Semi-Pro
dammit the lady paid for the balls, give it to her. The lady asked for some balls for a match and u told her to go get some out of a practice bin. it all went downhill from there.
 

TeamOB

Professional
Yeah, it is pretty funny! I would understand if this was a USTA 4.5 or 5.0 match. Then it would be understandable to want new balls (even then, I don't think it's that big of a deal to have to check the ball numbers and everything). But when some old ladies are pestering you about the balls to play their weekly non-USTA doubles league, it's kinda excessive. They are definitely taking themselves (and their balls) way too seriously.
 
I'm not sure how expecting to get the balls you paid for when signing up (and paying) for a league is princess like. I have to admit I wouldn't appreciate getting attitude from the guy at the front desk even if he had to get up a few times.

I agree with you. I think there is no reason for OP to judge the necessity to play with new balls based on the 2 ladies level of play. If they paid for new balls to play in the league at an expensive club, then they were perfectly fine in asking for those particular new balls. I don't quite understand why people have a condescending attitude towards players below their playing ability. Lets assume the OP is really 4.5-5.0, a player who plays at the 6.0 level on the tour can have the same attitude towards him. Its all relative, and we should never judge other people's requirements based on their playing level.
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
You work at the front desk, a club member asks for tennis balls for their match and you direct them to a coaches basket out on the court. It doesn't matter how new they are. Its unprofessional and giving them practice labeled balls is pretty bad as well. Doesn't look like you like your job, I would of b*tched you out.

You're failing at basic club professionalism and come on here to complain about members. Quite entertaining.
 

arche3

Banned
Isn't this the same op that complained he hit the ball over the fence in 3rd set tie break then received penalty but thought the opponent was wrong to take the point penalty?
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
Most likely made up troll threads. Getting a bit obvious and/or someone is bored and looking for attention. Its the Trophy Generation after all.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
You work at the front desk, a club member asks for tennis balls for their match and you direct them to a coaches basket out on the court. It doesn't matter how new they are. Its unprofessional and giving them practice labeled balls is pretty bad as well. Doesn't look like you like your job, I would of b*tched you out.

You're failing at basic club professionalism and come on here to complain about members. Quite entertaining.
Gotta agree. And yes, I can DEFINATELY tell the difference between new balls and used balls out of the hopper. I think our club weeds through the hopper balls once a year! So they are basically fuzz less and flat...oh, but they still bounce so they must be ok!

If the OP told me or anyone in our club league to just use balls out of the hopper... I'm going to the club pro or owner to complain.... and I am 100% sure the club pros or the owners would not be happy with the OP... no matter what the OP thinks or how he argues it.

OP- I of course don't know about your club, but at ours (and it is not a fancy pants club by any stretch), it is in the contract (yes, there is a contract) that our club league is supplied a new can for each of the 4 courts in use. It's part of what we paid for. It isn't negotiable. And our front desk people know to check the ball numbers when they hand out the cans. Pretty simple stuff considering the people you are p*ssing off are paying for your wages.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
Most likely made up troll threads. Getting a bit obvious and/or someone is bored and looking for attention. Its the Trophy Generation after all.
You know, I had never heard of "The Trophy Generation"... so I looked it up. This is part of a piece from the Wall Street Journal-



Managing the Trophy Generation




By
Erin White


Updated Oct. 8, 2008 11:52 a.m. ET

Marcus Buckingham, consultant and co-author of "First, Break All the Rules," advises managers how to run companies better. Now he's also doling out advice to the youngest members of the workforce; 20-something members of Generation Y; in a new book called "The Truth About You." He believes he's uncovered a few myths about these young workers. He spoke with The Journal's Erin White about why the conventional wisdom on Gen Y is wrong and what that means for managers. Here are edited excerpts:

What are the biggest myths out there about Generation Y?

The conventional wisdom is that they're entitled, but actually it's not true. This is a deeply anxious and insecure generation. Deep down these guys have no real understanding of what it takes to perform. On the surface they look self confident because they waltz into the workplace and say, "I've been working now six weeks in a row, where's my promotion?" Deep down they know that they don't actually know what it takes to win. They've been motivated and rewarded to participate, not to win -- they've got trophies to participate.


[Also] this is a group that craves contact. They crave face-time. This is going to be a problem for companies. You've got to put them in very small groups. They desperately need their friends. Big impersonal companies who put together virtual teams for this generation -- they're a joke. Companies can mistake tech [savvy] for "I don't need contact." These guys need contact way more than Gen Xers do.
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
Trophy Generation is the current generation of kids who don't work for anything really, and think they are entitled to everything. Play sports and receiving a ribbon or trophy or medal for just showing up, playing soccer or baseball and not counting goals or the score. No one wins or loses, so no one gets their feelings hurt.
 
Trophy Generation is the current generation of kids who don't work for anything really, and think they are entitled to everything. Play sports and receiving a ribbon or trophy or medal for just showing up, playing soccer or baseball and not counting goals or the score. No one wins or loses, so no one gets their feelings hurt.
Any real evidence or just stereotyping?
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
Any real evidence or just stereotyping?
Yup, just look around. There's also the Look At Me Generation. Obsession over social media, photo everything and anything, post about anything etc. to get noticed but then again grown ups do this as well, especially bored middle aged women.

I took this thread off topic, but oh well its not like the original topic was worthwhile :-D
 

TeamOB

Professional
It's just that I'm used to playing with whatever ball I can find. I grew up playing on crappy courts with crappy balls. Even know, I practice with whatever balls the club has in the baskets (which are replaced like every 6 months). I honestly would not mind in the least if I had to play tournament or league matches with used balls. It's just what I'm used to. I just recently started working this job and was honestly kinda shocked by how picky the older members are about balls. It really surprised me that they think it's such a big deal when me and my buddies couldn't care less.
 

TeamOB

Professional
Most likely made up troll threads. Getting a bit obvious and/or someone is bored and looking for attention. Its the Trophy Generation after all.
Trophy Generation my @$$! I'm a lot of things, but not an entitled brat! I am a son of two immigrants, growing up in a run-down inner city hood in Pittsburgh. Until I was 14 I only hit with my buddies at some local public courts. After that, I worked 2 jobs so that I could afford to train at a club and play tournaments. My parents couldn't afford the cost of club membership or lessons, so I had to put up most of the cash for my tennis. Besides working 2 jobs, training and playing tournaments, I did well enough in school to be headed to Harvard this fall. You don't do that by being an entitled brat, you do that by working your frickin @$$ off! Am I an attention wh*re? Maybe. An entitled brat? No frickin way!
 
Some people (especially older club players) have such an obsession with (tennis) balls that it gets pretty ridiculous! The other day I was working at the front desk at my club. Some older ladies came in to play a (non-USTA) league match. One of them stopped at the front desk and asked me for some balls for their match. I said that there were some (pretty new) balls in the hoppers out on the courts. This lady looked at me like I just told her to grab balls out of a garbage dumpster. She said: "Oh, no! We can't play with those! There are some boxes of balls for us in the back room." I went back there and got a few cans of balls from a box. When I gave them to her, she gave me the same look again. She said: "Oh no! These are Wilson Practice balls! We play with Pro Penn balls." I was starting to get a bit irritated. I went back and got some cans of Pro Penn balls and gave them to her. She went out to the courts to start playing, but came running back a minute later. She says: "You gave us two cans with the same number!". I'm annoyed as s***. I'm like: "Yeah, do you have a problem with that?". The lady is raging at me: "Of course! What if my ball goes onto the other court? How can we distinguish it from theirs?". It took all my self control to not say: "Exactly! If you can't distinguish them, why do you care which one you get! Besides, I assure you no matter what ball you use, you still won't be able to play worth a crap!" Since this would have probably gotten me fired, I held it back and went to get them another can. But this got me thinking, why do people care about the ball so much? For me, anything yellow, round, felty, and not completely dead is good enough. I play a lot of tournaments at a pretty decent level (4.5-5.0) and I honestly can't tell the difference between different tennis balls. Can you?
It sounds like you were not properly trained for your job. Plus you come across as a jerk, which may or may not be true.
 

ijgill

New User
only time my son is picky about his *tennis balls* (he's 10 keep in mind lol- must qualify as *tennis balls*) is when he was handed the nastiest set of obviously pilled green dot balls. Green dots on clay are bad enough, horribly used ones are atrocious. We literally stare at the turney director (between the puffs of clay that rose up) when handed the *tennis balls*. Horrible courts, not watered, white bleaching through. Disgrace. lol Otherwise, my son is not picky lol He did get valuable sliding experience that weekend though haha
 

samarai

Semi-Pro
U work at the front desk, your job is to assist club members, if they want new balls as part of league play give it to them. Same as if u were a waiter in a restaurant, the customer is always right. What u and your friends play with is of no concern.
 

chrisberchris

Semi-Pro
The only thing that matters to me is
1. New balls for a match
2. The proper balls for the proper court. No clay balls for hardcourt and vice versa
 

TennisCJC

Legend
It's just that I'm used to playing with whatever ball I can find. I grew up playing on crappy courts with crappy balls. Even know, I practice with whatever balls the club has in the baskets (which are replaced like every 6 months). I honestly would not mind in the least if I had to play tournament or league matches with used balls. It's just what I'm used to. I just recently started working this job and was honestly kinda shocked by how picky the older members are about balls. It really surprised me that they think it's such a big deal when me and my buddies couldn't care less.
Good for you. But, you are in the minority.

I see nothing wrong with what she did and you should be happy to comply. If you are content to pick a few balls out of the hopper for league matches, then you are in the minority.

I can tell the difference in balls. I am fine with a new can of any non-practice ball except for Dunlop. Penn, Pro Penn, Wilson, USO Wilson, Prince are all good but Dunlop balls play like rocks and lose their fuzz quickly. Prince Tour balls keep their fuzz and bounce for a long time and are my favorite but I will not buy them because they are $4 per can since the Prince company re-org.

I will practice will used balls but usually open a can even for practice.
 

mbm0912

Hall of Fame
Some people (especially older club players) have such an obsession with (tennis) balls that it gets pretty ridiculous! The other day I was working at the front desk at my club. Some older ladies came in to play a (non-USTA) league match. One of them stopped at the front desk and asked me for some balls for their match. I said that there were some (pretty new) balls in the hoppers out on the courts. This lady looked at me like I just told her to grab balls out of a garbage dumpster. She said: "Oh, no! We can't play with those! There are some boxes of balls for us in the back room." I went back there and got a few cans of balls from a box. When I gave them to her, she gave me the same look again. She said: "Oh no! These are Wilson Practice balls! We play with Pro Penn balls." I was starting to get a bit irritated. I went back and got some cans of Pro Penn balls and gave them to her. She went out to the courts to start playing, but came running back a minute later. She says: "You gave us two cans with the same number!". I'm annoyed as s***. I'm like: "Yeah, do you have a problem with that?". The lady is raging at me: "Of course! What if my ball goes onto the other court? How can we distinguish it from theirs?". It took all my self control to not say: "Exactly! If you can't distinguish them, why do you care which one you get! Besides, I assure you no matter what ball you use, you still won't be able to play worth a crap!" Since this would have probably gotten me fired, I held it back and went to get them another can. But this got me thinking, why do people care about the ball so much? For me, anything yellow, round, felty, and not completely dead is good enough. I play a lot of tournaments at a pretty decent level (4.5-5.0) and I honestly can't tell the difference between different tennis balls. Can you?
I don't care what the brand is. I've actually been hitting with Tourna pressureless lately. I WILL NOT however hit with pressurized balls that are even somewhat dead. That really ****es me off.

I would have probably been very sarcastic with the women you dealt with.
 
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