It's all Luke and Cheryl's fault. Good friends from our community group on Fridays, reintroduced us to tennis a couple weeks ago. This may or may not be a good thing. I can be a little competitive...actually my diagnostic scoring puts me in the "Uber" category. Mix that with the fact that neither my wife or I have been on a court in a few years, it can get interesting.
Imagine your first time on roller skates and you would get a pretty good picture of how the first set went, stumbling around the court like an inebriated giraffe. They kept saying "love" (in the score) so everything was okay. Did I really get hit with the ball from behind? Was that on purpose? 3-1, Luke and Cheryl.
As we worked our way through three more sets we started to find our rhythm together and fought to a standstill 2-2 in each set. We had a chance to win the last one, but it slipped away. I think they were being generous when they saw the look in my eyes after the first set, the same look you get when the tabs on your kids toys won't quite fit on Christmas Eve.
A few thoughts on playing well with others:
1. The relationship is always more important than the game. The game has a definite end and if you don't get this one right, so will the relationship.
2. We all have different strengths. Knowing this helps you compensate. Everyone is not as good as you are. Ooops! What I mean to say is you (I) have our weaknesses too and if we own that and surround ourselves with people that are good in those areas, we will accomplish a lot more. Leting each person play to their strengths keeps them from getting frustrated when you try to "teach them how to do it right."
3. If you point out the good things your partner does, more frequently than the bad, they work a whole lot harder. Seems obvious, but hard to remember in the heat of the moment.
4. Sometimes it takes a few games for "team" and "mates" to get it together. There is a certain rhythm that has to be found when working with others, as you figure each other out. It can be pretty enduring, but if you are intentional about this process, it creates beautiful music.
5. One game does not make or break a career, but if you see a trend you may want to change the game you are playing. There is a reason Monopoly is not allowed in our house, but that is another story for another day.