It’s a new tennis season and N has a tennis team again. Just about. Last year, we didn’t have enough players for a mini orange team, but this year we’ve managed to scrabble around and find enough players for a full team, plus 1 extra. I’m excited because I was asked to be team captain again.
I loved being captain for mini reds, and I suppose I’ve always been involved since school in being sports captain. For squash and tennis at 6th form, squash club president and team captain at uni, then involved with the squash team after starting work. I just like being involved. Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up being a project manager because I like getting everyone organised.
As a tennis captain my role is pretty simple:
- Organise the team
- Agree match times at home and with opposing team captain
- Book courts for home matches
- Collect in the team names and tennis numbers
- Ensure we’ve got people to support the players in scoring
- Set up the courts on the day
- (usually make sure drinks and refreshments are available).
- Currently — make sure everyone’s used hand sanitiser before going on court, cleaning equipment afterwards
- Taking down scores
- Submitting results online if we win.
The most frantic and worrying part beforehand is getting enough players to be available. For us it’s easy because N only plays one sport. If tennis clashes with anything else, mostly he’ll choose tennis. But most other children do other sports on weekends, so it’s coordinating whether they can play or not and trying to find replacements. We can play with fewer people but it gets confusing over who’s playing and not, trying to arrange players who’ll play again as a friendly to make up numbers etc.
Once the teams and matches are confirmed, the worst part is being on rain watch. You have to make a call on whether the rain will stop in time, allowing for visitors to have up to an hour drive to get to you. And then thinking when you can play rained off matches. It’s definitely a nervy time having to make the call. Luckily I’ve only had to do it once, and I made the right choice holding out for the match to play.
The new season and a new team
Since we played in mini reds, some people left tennis. Others decided they don’t want to play matches. And the club has done more to get juniors playing. It means we’ve now got a very different team. N and his friend are still in the team but the others are all new. One’s trained a while but not been in a team before. And after years of trying to find girls to play, we now have 2 who are keen to play for the team. Both have never played matches before.
Our division also strangely has A teams playing from other clubs. Rather than the B or C teams we would usually have played. So we’re expecting this to be about experience before many of the team have to move up to mini green age group next year.