Our first episode, Captaining Sucks! was so popular that we’re doing a second episode. We’ve had many people reach out to tell us they were saying “yes!” while listening to us talk to Aileen about how captaining USTA tennis teams can suck in multiple ways.

Captaining Sucks!

Here are some other episodes we’ve recorded about captaining a tennis team (including last week’s episode):

Here’s a complete transcript of our episode with Aileen:

Carolyn: 0:08
Hi, this is Carolyn and I’m here with Erin and this is part two of our episode with Aileen discussing why captaining is so hard. Both Erin and Aileen have captained teams for more than a decade. If you haven’t listened to part one, we hope you go back and listen. But here’s part two.

Erin: 0:25
Let’s talk about flipping courts a little bit, and everybody calls this different. What was the other term, Carolyn, that someone used?

Carolyn: 0:30
Rolling. Are you going to roll courts?

Erin: 0:33
Rolling courts. I don’t even know what that means, but that sounds like bowling or you know, bocce to me or something. But anyway, we call it flipping.

Carolyn: 0:39
Yes, because she said did you roll?

Erin: 0:41
Yes, are they going to roll?

Carolyn: 0:43
Erin: 0:43
We call it flipping. So I was asking Aileen, before we started recording as a captain, if you’re going into a match. So at our 4-0 level and at 3-5, I think everything except 2-5, I think 2-5 plays three courts only, so they play one singles in, two at least in our area I don’t know about every area In our area 2-5s play one court of singles, two courts of doubles and everything above that plays five courts, so two with a caveat, two courts of singles and three courts of doubles, except for now the 40 over, which is only one singles Nonetheless. Do you quote flip? Would you consider flipping, like if you have a really strong singles player and maybe a weaker one, would you maybe flip those two courts and put your stronger one on, let’s say, singles two, hoping that the team you’re playing against is playing straight up to win a singles court, to kind of guarantee nothing’s guaranteed but to hopefully win a singles court, and then, maybe, you know, flip your doubles courts to just try to get two of your doubles courts so that you get three out of the five. And I know other areas count points. I don’t think they do it exactly like us. We’re literally just win the majority of the courts right. So we have to win three out of five courts each week for a team win. So what’s your philosophy on doing that?

Aileen: 1:57
For the most part, I play straight up, and the reason being I feel like it would be that one time that they decided to switch for some reason because odds are, if they’re scared of us, we’re scared of them, kind of thing, or it’s getting tight, you know, in the rankings and it comes down to this match or for whatever reason. Having said that, I do, especially for playoffs and things like that I will look at every team and I will put every person and what court they played and when and I think that happened this last spring for playoffs or no, we didn’t make playoffs For some team I captained that made it playoffs. At some point this last year. I went through there and did that and it’s like, yes, and somebody was telling me you need to switch, you need to flip, you need to flip, and I’m like, yeah, but look, they flipped this time, they flipped that Honestly any and when playoffs come, people could do things that they’ve never done before. So I think if you just play straight up, then your conscious is clear. And not only that, but I have. Sometimes there’s a big disparity in my one, in my two, or my one in my three on doubles courts, and I don’t want anybody to feel like I’m throwing them under the bus Now, having said that, if it is a tight match and I had a team that realized they were a weaker team and came to me and said this is what I think you should do, put us there, then I would probably do that. But I think it would have to come to them and I’ve heard of that done to other captains and things like that and teams. I’ve been available, I’ve been on. People have come up and said I think you need to switch.

Erin: 3:37
Aline and I also talked about, if you like there are some. So what you have to think of as a captain, art. There are some players that just mentally don’t want to be on certain courts, right, some players think they’re really good and they get mad if you put them on three. Some people think they’re really bad and if you put them on one, they just mentally break down and you might think their court one doubles player, you know what. So you have to again, as a captain, you have to constantly also think about people’s mentality and what they think of their own play and where they feel like they should be. And I’m sure you’ve had people say just don’t put me on one, yeah, all the time, and they might be like your. You know your best player, so anyway, that’s. That is really good point. I am one of those people, carolin, that likes to play on one. Because, number one, I feel like I’m gonna get the best tennis. Whether I win or lose, I’m gonna get. You know, if someone’s playing straight up, you’re probably gonna face their toughest play, your opponents toughest players. And two, it takes the pressure off me because I think if I win my court, yeah, me, and if I lose my court, I’m like well, I just played the best person, so you’ll need to clean it up on the rest of the court.

Carolyn: 4:40
So People don’t realize their strength necessarily okay, I have a question what’s your number one pet peeve as a captain, from a player’s perspective, just so that I know what’s your number one pet peeve that people do. Is it not responding? Is it telling you after the fact how you should have done the line up?

Aileen: 4:57
I have one for this you go, it’s saying I’m in when you’re in a group or something, we really want to play together, we really want to play together and then getting the text or the call right afterwards okay, I know I said that, but I’d rather not play with her, I’d rather play with somebody else. Again, multiple times, again, different people, multiple times doesn’t happen in men’s tennis.

Erin: 5:19
Oh, I don’t know what would be my biggest pet peeve. I think just feeling like when I have made lineups and thought them all through and people give me their availability and then I put out a lineup and then they go oh no, I’m not available that day and I’m like yes, and that happens more in makeup matches. Regular season is like but you’ll get if you do a makeup match. It’s a you know you get a rain out and then you say, okay, give me three or four dates that I can then go to the other team, and then you take Half of your day it seems like four hours of your day or something. You’re working with the other captain and you’ve you’ve scheduled the match and then you go back to your team. You’re like, okay, you’re playing, you know these two players at this location on this day, and then someone goes what? I can’t actually play that day. I’m like I feel like I’m being punked, like my head, literally, like emoji, explodes. So that is definitely my number one.

Aileen: 6:11
But having said that, on that, which that’s a whole nother podcast in this area is dealing with rain makeup. Yes, but Sometimes it takes a long time. It’s like, okay, you’ve got your lineup, you think you can play these courts, and you go to the other team and you tell them and then it’s crickets for a little while and 24 hours later you hear from them and by that time you know it’s rain for three days straight. So another team that this person’s playing on his already booked a match and so now you’re out is kind of like, okay, you gotta take it off. Yes, don’t know, it’s tough yeah, yeah. Why, captain sucks. Yeah, that, that part stuff. Yeah, checking courts that’s.

Erin: 6:47
Yeah, you do the best can exactly, we do the best we can.

Aileen: 6:55
For the pay grade.

Carolyn: 6:57
Thank you to all the captains out there listening to Aaron and a link discuss. This has made me very appreciative for all my captains. If any other captains listening have any other pet peeves, please let us know. You can message us on our website, which is second, sir podcast dot com. Thanks so much for listening and hope to see you on the court soon.