Almost every tennis team I've ever been on, I joined by first becoming a sub. The only team I didn't start out with as a sub was my very first team – it was my neighborhood team and I think it would have violated the deed restrictions for them to have refused me a spot (I was really, really bad).
So, if you want to play league tennis or join any kind of team, being a sub is probably inevitable. Its the best way for a team and its captain to see you play and to see how you get along with other team members. And, in most cases, becoming a sub is as easy as calling a captain up and asking to be added to the sub list. I have seen very, very few teams where someone had to “try out” to become a sub. Most captains are desperately looking for people to make sure they fill all their lines week after week. And even in cases where there is some kind of try out, this usually consists of just hitting with the captain to make sure you're close to the team's level and have the kind of personality that will fit with the team.
Become a sub – this is absolutely the best way to get on a team. And don't consider being a sub to be beneath you. Think about it – you play when you want with who you want because you can always say no. But don't say no. Because today you're a sub, tomorrow you're the reliable sub filling in for the team member who got injured and the next day, you're the great player that the team needs as a regular member. And if you're looking to move to a higher level team, becoming a sub ensures that you'll get the challenging match play you need to make that leap up.
© Kim Selzman 2009
All Rights Reserved