Your league team is successful and you are going to the sectionals/district playoffs. How many players do you bring with you — and, do they all get to play, even if they are not the “best” players? This is the question that came in from one of my good Newk camp buddies …
Play All or Play the Best?
“George, I have been coaching usta for a few years now with a friend. In our 9.5 combo league we have made it to districts/sectionals. It is now 6 weeks off and we are preparing our best players for that weekend.
We have 6 clear starting players (3 lines with a 5.0 paired with a 4.5).
A 5.0 player that brought on four of the starters onto our 17-person established team is demanding that he get to play at least one match at districts if he goes as the backup.
I and my fellow coach have never encountered this before after many years of coaching. We have always played to win. Since the format is two sets and a 10 point tiebreaker- it is unlikely that our young team (ages-28-45) will get tired. If we are in a battle going into Sunday we would want our best in the deciding match.
Talent wise he is a step down from our starters. But we would like a 5.0 backup.”
What should our response be to this player?”
Mike, That is why we call you “Rambo” at Newk’s… you are highly competitive and will give your all to win a match for the team. But most of the world is not that way. Most of the players play on a team (any team) because they enjoy the competition AND the camaraderie.
Also, in senior tennis, we would never want to go to the districts/sectionals without at least one (or two) players beyond the six. Someone will always get injured.
And, in my opinion, if you are asking someone to give up their weekend and travel with you to the matches, he does deserve to play at least one match.
Other league player opinions?
Larry Turville Update
“Hanging in there from Houston. Didn’t think it would happen with a three-week Chemo, but my hair is starting to go. Hopefully, I have enough left to look respectable. Chemo seemed to work shrinking the tumors some. Radiation to start in a few weeks. I am still playing tennis.”
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