Keep in mind this was supposed to be a post from before the above tournament post, and I have gone through a lot of changes since then. Originally, I didn't end up posting this due to the negativity of it, but felt it had some merit for other beginner players that might be experiencing people who have the same off-putting culture towards newbs. I just want others to know that many of us are going through the same types of experiences and perhaps we can draw strength from each other when we meet such negative personalities.
--------- from 4/14/2014--------------
So, the other night I went to the club in Arlington, VA (and if any of you are on here, that's fine, because i have nothing to hide). But I came across a very disrespectful player. He was Italian, (from Italy). This man never smiled, and dripped of pure arrogance.
I was trying out my Hallmark Aurora blade to see what I thought of the 1.0mm P-1r.
First off, I told the man that I was a beginner, and this pretty much irritated him right off the bat. As if I was a nuisance to have to be tolerated. He sighed and clearly wanted me to know that he was not happy that I was there. Keep in mind we were the first 2 players at the club. We began to warm up and I noticed he did a lot of very tall loops with side spin and sent everything to my forehand which is the weaker part of my game. So, I flubbed a lot of returns during the warmup, with the unfamiliar rubber, and different paddle.
But that's not the story.
He began to comment very condescendingly:
"Do you even understand spin?"
"What kind of blade is that? Hallmark? Who the hell plays with Hallmark? You need to change your equipment. Nobody uses that brand." I replied, "Yes they do, there are plenty of defensive players that use this brand." To which he replied "WHO?! Huh? Nobody!"
He also smashed a lot during forehand warm ups which to me was very off sides.
I had to keep from attacking him with my fists and not my paddle when he strait up told me that we should play so that he can get to "real" competition. (By this time others had arrived)
He was a jerk, offered no constructive criticism, and was the most arrogant idiot I've spoken to in the TT community in the DC area. I did have some words with him about his attitude, but he offered up no apologies, nor acknowledged that he was being rude.
He was very good, and dispatched me in 3 straight sets. I managed a fairly close 7 to 10 loss but that was the best I could muster. I might have been too pissed off, and perhaps that contributed to my poor performance, but this guy was actually a very high level player. It scorches my tongue to have to admit that. When we were finished he didn't shake my hand, nor offer a thanks. Dejected, i just left the club, and I doubt I'll ever go back. I'm looking around for another club with a culture that is inviting towards teaching and learning. The Potomac Country Table Tennis Club in my experience has been just such a place. We'll see.
Why do these people exist? Why not be an ambassador for the sport?
In my other athletic endeavors I have always been a person who is happy to help newbs, and cast out a friendly smile to anyone trying something new. I rock climb, play hockey, and have played competitive football and never once did I treat a new person like this. Thankfully, I now have a great coach as well as this forum to remind me that not everyone in TT is quite so intolerant.