[tennisbiz] Re: Etiquette, prejudice and line calling
> When my friend, who happened to be one of the few Jewish
> boys in this "waspy" school, objected to some calls, the
> coach was incensed at my FRIEND'S lack of sportsmanship.
> He did not make the team -- and he never bothered trying
> out again. btw, he was one of the best players in the school.
Without knowing much more than was written above, my surprise is in the
actions of the coach. Why was he incensed your friends questioning of the
calls? Was it the manner in which he did it or other personal, political
reasons? In either case, questioning line calls is an obligation of a
player in my opinion. You mentioned in your post that players are different
and yes...they are but the philosophy for questioning line calls does not
have to be different. The ":timid" player finds this to be a good practice
to help build self-reliance and esteem. I know work with players on their
'mental keys" and questioning line calls often comes up in conversation.
It's been my experience that players need to have a format and process for
questioning line calls so the words they use are appropriate and the time
they use them are appropriate. Every player has the right and obligation to
do this. Some players are outright point stealers, some honestly believe
they see the ball out and yet the opponent still has the right and
obligation to put the player on "notice" by appropriately responding at the
Doing so builds confidence and self-reliance in the player questioning the
It's true, we all have the choice in how we respond to things in life and
this is one of those opportunities. Responding appropriately and then
letting it go to refocus on what's important (the next point!) is the key.
Without doing both, a player can remain distracted and unfocused and may
continue to "blame" external events for his/her behavior. This is the seed
of the lesson...to remain true to yourself, stay on task and focus on what
YOU need to do to be successful on the court. If poor line calls (whether
true or perceived) are handled properly, a player can move on more
effectively. It's when they are not handled properly that a player carries
the frustration with him/her causing poor focus and possibly confidence too.
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Received on Tue May 06 2003 - 15:13:32 CDT