You are working on your tennis game and trying to get better; and then a chance to team up with “one of the better players” comes up. Do you take the opportunity or stick with your regular partner?
Two Sides to the Coin
Whether it is just for a match, a USTA league pairing or tournament play, obviously, there are arguments on both sides of this issue…
On the one side is the friendship and comfort level you have built up playing with someone who is probably a friend. Their feelings and other opportunities need to be taken into consideration.
Then on the other side, there is the chance to try to improve your own game by playing with someone better than yourself.
Consider Skills Pairings
Other than pure people considerations, there can be other factors involved such as how you match up with your current or potentially new partner.
- Are you a righty and is your new partner a lefty, which can give you a real tactical advantage?
- Are you a steady player and your new partner an aggressive attacking player?
- Are you slowing down and your new partner can be “the designated runner”?
I had this situation about three years ago when my hip was failing and ultimately replaced. My mobility was significantly impaired and needed a tournament partner who could cover two thirds of the court. And thus my pairing with speedy Noble Hendrix.
A little earlier in the calendar, I also had the opportunity to play a couple of tournaments with former touring pro (and one of the great guys in the senior circuit) Hank Irvine. I jumped at the chance!
When you are making a switch, you should really be clear with your old partner. I have not always done a good job on this and it created some unnecessary friction.
And now, with my slow recovery, it is good there are not a lot of tournaments for a partner to have to make a choice about me!
How about YOU … stick with the friend or take a new opportunity?
While I had hoped to be swinging a racquet two months after the triple bypasses, it does not look like that will be happening. My heart functions are excellent and the lung fluid problem is minimal at this point. But the other problems – primarily extending from my insomnia – of loss of appetite, weight, and conditioning are still taking their tolls.
But, I am forcing down protein every day and my weight has crept back up from a low of 133.8 to 138.2 in the last week or so. And I have restarted my own stretching/yoga and upper body exercises, along with my walking campaign.
The progress is very slow; but if I can see something every day, that motivates me along. Thanks to all those who follow, care, and share encouragement.
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!