Saturday, March 17, 2012

If not to be Competitive, Why Compete?

Over the winter months, I had been approached by two-maybe three players, who were members of the USTA, and invited me to play on their team.  Super Seniors it was called.

I am somewhat at odds with the USTA and the affect it has had on America's Tennis, from it's late arrival towards the younger player, and their silence on the instructional community, such that the USTA doesn't take a stand on "open stance" "Looped backswing" "two-hand versus one-hand backhand, so I had been reluctant to join the USTA, which was a requirement to play.

Further, the warm-up on the courts that I'm seeing called: "Short Ball," in my opinion is a waste of time, because when players are ten to fifteen feet from the net their goal and need is to be volleying "on the fly," not looping forehands and backhands at the net.

When I heard Super Seniors, I thought maybe someone had already taken my idea of demonstrating what tennis should look like, and was running with it, thus I was expecting I would have to work to establish myself, and my game to play with the team.  Man was I wrong!

I had earlier attempted to recruit skilled talented players for a team that would go around locally and demonstrate at local clubs what tennis could be like.  No explanation has been given about why these players I asked didn't desire to commit, so I expect someone will see the possibility.

But the Super Seniors I referred to refers not to the skill level, but the age level of the player.  That has thrown me for a loop.  Players commit to play, but they have other engagements that prevent their availability for practice and matches, so it becomes difficult for a player, let alone a coach, to establish enough camaraderie between players or with the players, to form a compatible team willing to work at tennis and make the sacrifices that create winners.

There are players who use unorthodox strokes, i.e, no backhand; but a lefthand forehand, and a right hand forehand; then there are others who switch because of the difficulty of the shot they are attempting, and though they are competitive at times, there tennis style will always relegate them as someone who plays tennis; but not a Tennis Player per se.

There's a big difference.

Practice, and practice matches, regardless of when and where they are played, or against whom, in preparation for league play, should always  carry over to game day; and when it does not;  Hey! it can affect play,  team morale, and player confidence.

It's competence, confidence and "can do" attitude that makes teams winners.

That's the Talk of the Town from my perspective on Tennis.