ALTA Division Champions!

Me and Linda at the net

Me and Linda at the net

Our Pangborn Mixed Doubles team won our Division yesterday! We only won 2 of our 5 matches, but that was all we needed because of the lead we had going into the week. It has been a few years since I’ve been on a team that won a division so I’m happy we got it done.

Next week we start the playoffs. Every ALTA team I’ve been on that has made the playoffs has lost in the first round, so I hope we can win at least one match. As I write this, I’m starting to sense a theme: I’ve not played on many winning teams. Perhaps that says something about my playing ability? I choose to blame it on the tough luck of the teams I’ve been on.

What I like about the Pangborn team is that although we like to compete and win, we don’t take it too seriously. We have fun and are good sports, win or lose. A few years ago I played on an excellent A-level mixed doubles team that won its division but I didn’t enjoy it since several of the players on the team were jerks who took things WAY too seriously. Most of the people on the team were cool but there were about 4 or 5 who would routinely get into nasty arguments with the opponents or do things like slam racquets or balls around like spoiled brats. It was embarrassing to be associated with those guys (and gals). Even though I knew they had a chance at the city championship the next season because the roster was so stacked, I opted out because I didn’t want to play with that group any more. Sure enough, they won the city championships (they might argue, because I wasn’t there!).

Maybe it takes a win-at-all-costs type of team attitude to win an ALTA city championship. I hope not. Who knows, maybe our Pangborn team will get hot in the playoffs and make a run. Either way, we’ll have a good time.

Coach Steve explains how it should be done.

Coach Steve explains how it should be done.

Pete's backhand looks like James Blake's.

Pete's backhand looks like James Blake's.

Mike and Sheila on the attack.

Mike and Sheila on the attack.

It looks like I'm almost catching air. Actually I Photo-shopped it a little.

It looks like I'm almost catching air. Actually I Photo-shopped it a little.


~ by jonwbecker on February 16, 2009.

4 Responses to “ALTA Division Champions!”

  1. Jon, congrats on your team’s success (to update you, they won the first round, people!). Congrats too for doing it while continuing to demonstrate good sportsmanship. Some people might say, oh, it’s just a little ALTA league, but this is where it starts, as kids watch and learn and pick up both bad attitudes and bad habits. So rock on with your bad self!

    • We’ve won two rounds so now we’re in the semifinals. Got a tough match this Saturday. Even if we lose, this has been the most successful ALTA season I’ve been a part of, and certainly one of the most enjoyable. As for bad sportsmanship, I must admit there are a few things I’ve done or said during in the heat of a tense match that afterward I was not proud of. Later when the match is over, I think, “Why was I such an ass?” I’ve tried to learn from those embarrassing experiences and control my temper. I can’t remember the last time I argued over a bad call–I just accept them and move on. Ninety percent of league tennis players are pretty cool and laid back and don’t take things too seriously, but there’s a certain group that act like jerks every match and don’t seem to feel any shame afterwards. McEnroe and Connors were classic cases at the pro level—the difference between those types and most folks is they think the crime of their perceived injustice justifies their inappropriate reaction. If W played tennis, I’ll bet he’d play that way.

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  3. Our team not only won the division, we had a great run in the playoffs. We won three tough matches in a row, with several come-from-behind, gutsy victories to make it to the City Finals. Unfortunately we lost there 3-0 to a great team, but we had an awesome and very fun season. Nobody would have expected our team to win the division, much less go to the City Finals based on our results the previous season when we finished middle of the pack. We won the smaller City Finalist ALTA plates. I call it an ashtray.

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