As a consultant to tennis coaches and players, I often hear that a big concern surrounds women’s teams and league play. Whining, complaining, bickering, pettiness and backstabbing seems to be rampant among this group.
To the extent that it’s true, I hypothesize that most of these middle aged and senior women are often not really athletes and have not participated in competitive sports before. They are social/recreational players who happen to compete on a team in a league. I believe that this lack of experience leads to unrealistic expectations about normal behaviors that occur during competition. These participants become overly sensitive, easily have their feelings hurt, personalize events and feel they should have more control and say over events than they do.
Adding to this is the fact that many times, the “coaches” are often the employees of the team members and their income and jobs are often tied to “not making waves”. As a result, “bad” or “inappropriate” player behaviors are often overlooked or result in only minor consequences.
I welcome thoughts and comments on this subject.