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TLOG #4 - Thursday September 28, 2006
Ode to Our Captains

Let’s face it.  We wouldn’t be going to nationals, if it weren’t for the hard work of our captains.  At first glance, being captain of a state league tennis team sounds great.  You start off by calling a few friends and recruiting them to be on your team.  Maybe you practice a little before the season starts.  Then you give everyone a few dates to play and arrange for snacks to be provided after your matches.  Sounds easy—right??

Well to be a GOOD captain, it’s a lot more complicated than that.  Team goals may be different.  Some people are just looking for some exercise and a night out with the girls.  If your goal is to be competitive, you might need to recruit a little bit.  You might need to find a few new players, but you also want to be loyal to the old ones.   Thanks, captains, for getting us together!

Then there are all the crazy logistics.  Who is going to reserve the courts for the matches?  Is it raining enough to move the match indoors, or should we wait and see if it dries up?  Can we find indoor courts at the last minute?  How much money do we owe for tennis balls?  Who is going to give up their tickets to the banquet since we have 15 people on our team and only 8 tickets?  How many hotel rooms do we need for nationals?  What time do you want to meet for practice?  Thanks, captains, for handling all the details!

Once our team goal was set, our captains had to figure out how to achieve it.  Who is going to play together?  How do you play everyone fairly AND win each match?  Do you stack or not stack?  Will one player’s slice throw off the opponent’s power, or do we pit our power player against power?  Ultimately, somebody has to make the decisions.  Thanks, captains, for making the tough decisions for us!

And what about all the unpredictable things that will, predictably happen, in a summer?  We had one wedding.  We had injuries that sidelined a couple players for weeks.  Throw in a pregnancy (or maybe 2), weddings to attend, retirement parties to host, summer vacations… and scheduling becomes a true nightmare.  Thanks, captains, for being flexible!

Let’s not forget all the emotion that goes into playing team tennis, particularly on a women’s team.  We all want to play.  We all want to win and to contribute to a team victory.  In tennis, there are days you play well and days that you don’t.  No one wants to be responsible for the team losing a match.  Yet, it is only a game.  Thanks, captains, for keeping it in perspective while having a wonderful time.

Trish and Laura, we are grateful!  Now let’s go get ‘em!

Beth Horneffer
September 28, 2006

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