Thursday, November 29, 2012

Machinations of War:

For three long years, I tirelessly worked with an apprentice when no one else would. Though he was a tad mentally and physically challenged, I dedicated my time and effort to mentor him. I was determined to whip him into shape and help fix his game. We practiced and played in many league matches with varying degrees of success.

I held out great hope that his game would improve, but it never approached the level needed to win consistently against good opponents. With his 50% ground stroke consistency and 10% first serve in percentage, we were doomed. No matter how many balls I poached at the net, we could not overcome his lack of consistency.

The final straw was losing to two bozos who played "old man tennis"... popping up the ball 40 feet high in the air with every stroke. My doubles partner countered with his own slow paced lobs. I barked: "Hit hard and low. Make their fat asses run!" My doubles partner, however, could not shift it into a higher gear. We inevitably lost in the third set, when we should have double bagled them 6-0,6-0. It was then that I decided our partnership was done. I had to dump him.

I called my apprentice and let him know that due to a USTA rating increase, I wanted to play with and against more advanced players. He was disappointed, but said he understood. I reassured him we were still be friends and can hit together before our matches.

A mutual acquaintance texted me upon hearing the news: "You should recognize that he's one of the few people who still consider you a friend just for the sake of being your friend. No strings attached. I've got to believe that's kind of rare."

It made me pause. Did I do the right thing? Was I being a dick? I dedicated THREE YEARS of my life to this individual. While I was putting in the hard work to improve my game, he was seemingly content with a subpar performance. It was not fair that he wasn't doing everything in his power to updgrade his game. It drove me up the wall!

Doubles Team Divorces are always a highly dramatic event that is part of the life of a tennis player. It's a sucky thing to go through, but a necessary component to continue to improve. What's done is done. Keep moving forward.

The machinations of war is upon us. I'm riding this nuke into battle. See you on the other side.

14 Comments:

Blogger Brent said...

Love the pic as always, but the tone of your post leaves something to be desired. Being the fat, uncoordinated kid, I know what that kind of rejection feels like. Great that you want to win, and I can't fault you for wanting a partner with the same zeal, but I hope you were gentle in your "rejection" of him.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

I tried to help his game for THREE FRICKIN YEARS. There was apparently no fix. I failed. He took it in stride and mentioned that he needed to take tennis lessons to get his game back up to snuff. We are going to hit tonight together before our doubles matches.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger TonkaManOR said...

You are a bitch! You're only a 3.5, get over it!

November 30, 2012  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

Did YOU just call me a "bitch"?!

November 30, 2012  
Blogger Blobby said...

I'd be more upset with your 'mutual acquaintence's' remark. Clearly there are strings attached anyways. If the guy is mad because you want to play in a different league setting, he should understand. If he is moaning to a friend who in turn moans to you, it's just immature.

November 30, 2012  
Anonymous Kevin M said...

But that's the point Brett -- you didn't play tennis with him because you enjoyed his company; you didn't even play with him because you enjoyed the game.

You only played with him so you could "help his game" - to make him as determined to win as you are. And since he's not... you drop him like a hot potato.

It's fine that you only want to play with people "your equal" or better. It's obvious that to you, tennis isn't enjoyable in itself; it's just one more way you can "win" at something and thereby feel good about yourself - or, rather, to feel superior to someone else, which you treat as the same thing.

But at least be up front and honest with people in the future. Explain to them that you have no interest in them as people, just as tools to improve your performance and opponents to beat to boost your ego. If you do - at least you won't have to worry about whether people consider you a friend, period.

December 01, 2012  
Blogger Homer said...

So glad to see you riding a giant cock...

December 01, 2012  
Blogger RG said...

Yeah, you were a dick. You could've been just a tad bit more compassionate in your letting him loose.

December 01, 2012  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

When a team loses too many games, they bench or cut players and fire coaches. What I had to do was no different than any other player would have done. The difference here is that I patiently waited 3 years to see if our team would get better. Most would have split up their team after just 3 months of disappointment.

December 01, 2012  
Anonymous Atahualpa said...

I suspect you had to do what you had to do. Just like when your next partner tells you at 46 he can not come 'down' to your level of play and must drop you for some one younger, thinner, faster and prettier on the court. But you will be ok with that, I'm sure. He will only have to do what he must do. You will do fine in the 'senior' league.

December 01, 2012  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

It is the way of the Sith. It would be honorable and acceptable. I would deserve it if I wasn't good enough.

December 01, 2012  
Blogger Nurse P said...

I think I am going to stop reading your blog. And here is why. Either you write these things because
1. You don't really mean them and are just looking for some sort of attention
2. You do mean them
3. You have a personality disorder
4. You are secretly a flaming bottom and this is some sort of attempt to accept that by trying to "macho up" or something.

Either way, you come across like a real douche bag. And, even though for a while now, I have tried to understand this behavior, I am choosing to do what you are doing to your friend. I am firing you.

December 03, 2012  
Blogger Brettcajun said...

You have been threatening to do that for years, NurseP, yet you still come here. That tells me YOU have the personality disorder! ;)

The Real World rewards you for performance and puts in incentives to encourage our best efforts. That is how we get better. In Leagues, the goal is TO WIN.

Otherwise, we are just a bunch of dumbasses hitting "for fun" with no care for developing any real talent. What a waste of time would it be to live in your ideal world.

December 03, 2012  
Anonymous kasser said...

Good and nice post.......

Thanks and regards

March 05, 2013  

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