I am a quitter. I admit it. I'm a quitter and I'm leaving one of my tennis teams at the end of this season because I just can't take it anymore.
Now, I am the first person to tell you that a good team player doesn't quit just because she's “unhappy” with the team. A good team player puts the team's success above her individual success. A good team player plays when and where her captain sticks her, no questions asked. That may mean playing with the player no one else wants to play with. That may mean playing the “sacrifice” line. That may mean playing a much lower line than you believe you deserve to be playing. That may mean playing with sub after sub after sub. That may mean playing the late match EVERY SINGLE WEEK. But does it mean playing in the face of ALL of those things?
I think not.
But that's what I've been putting up with on one of my teams and, this past week, I reached my breaking point. And what was it that finally gave me the last push I needed to come to this decision?
This past week, I was once again playing with a sub I had never met before we stepped on court to be partners. She was very sweet but somewhere during the 3rd or 4th game of the match she told me, “I am having a really hard time when I'm up at the net and you come up to the net. I don't know how to play when we're both at the net. It's confusing to me.”
Did I mention we were playing doubles? And she was having problems with both us of being at the net?
We won that match but to say it was a struggle would be a huge understatement. I worked really hard as did my partner (no surprise there). But I just can't keep playing every week with different partners and trying to figure out how my partner plays on top of trying to figure out how my opponents play.
So I'm quitting this team.
And this has not been an easy decision for me to come to. I have really questioned myself – do I have the wrong attitude about all of this? Am I really justified in thinking I should be playing a higher line? Does my captain actually believe I'm so strong that I can win with any old sub she can dig up to stick with me? Is there some secret over-arching strategy in place here to win lines that I am unaware of? Or is there some subtle message I'm being given that I'm not wanted on this team? Am I possibly over-thinking this and veering into some kind of tennis team paranoia?
Guess what? I don't care anymore.
Just to make clear – I know its hard to be a team captain because I've captained several teams. You are constantly balancing winning against keeping your team cohesive and happy. But as far as I can tell, my captain is not the least bit concerned about my happiness. Maybe she cares if I win my line or not but she is making it way too hard for me to do that.
So, to my captain I say – Congratulations! If you hoped to come up with some way to get me to quit because you didn't have the guts to tell me to leave, you have succeeded. Good luck finding another player who shows up every week and plays with subs who apparently are oblivious to the basic strategies of doubles.
Because I quit!