Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Champs and Chumps

A rose by any other name . . . 
If you are a tennis instructor and you don't know this game yet, shame on you. It's a simple little ditty. Singles or doubles, you make the call. One side is randomly designated 'Champs'; the other, of course, is 'Chumps'. Point is played out. Winner goes (or stays) to Champs side of court; non-winner goes (or stays) to Chumps side. Repeat. Equally good for singles or doubles.

The beauty is in the simplicity. Most levels understand this game easily. There are no tricks or hidden rules. You win the point, you are a Champ. You don't win, you are a Chump. The points usually play out quickly so everyone has plenty of opportunity to win at least once.

Recent trend is to give this activity the kinder, gentler name of Champs and SuperChamps. Theory goes like this: the word 'chump' is demeaning and insulting to some kids. This is the same trend that encourages us to say 'non-winner' instead of 'loser'. I understand and somewhat agree. I find myself saying 'non-winner' more and more often. But my players think Champs and Chumps is just funny-sounding, and I have not witnessed any ill effects from the use of this term so far. In fact, 'Champs and SuperChamps' is a sort of let-down because there doesn't seem to be any disincentive for either. They are fine losing because they are still some kind of champ, even though it may not be SuperChamp. So I will continue using 'Champs and Chumps' until it becomes expedient for me to switch. Meaning, if my boss tells me to stop. :)