There are many tennis players in the Napa-Solano area, but you may only practice with a small subset of this group. The larger variety of tennis players you practice against, the more you will improve, but how do you get in contact with these people? Sure, you can get their phone numbers and try to arrange something after meeting him or her at a USTA match, or… you could join the Napa-Solano Tennis GroupMe!
If you haven’t heard of it before, GroupMe is a group messaging app that allows you to easily message other groups of people, in this case other groups of tennis players, interested in practicing even if you don’t have their phone numbers. You just need to know names! Other benefits include privacy (your phone number won’t show) and you can start smaller group conversations without notifying everyone. (See below.)
The mission and vision for this group is to create an easier way to practice with and meet new tennis players in our community. The more who join, the better the experience will be.
HOW-TO and BEST PRACTICES
- Download the GroupMe app. You can’t have to to be included in the chats, but I believe you will need it to start your own group chats. (Honestly, even though I like GroupMe, I don’t entirely get it, so feel free to share better instructions or your experience by commenting below.)
- Join the Napa-Solano Tennis GroupMe. In my experience, it is easier to start this process on your phone vs. your desktop.
- Don’t message the whole group when you want to get a practice match going. Start a new group! Here is what I’ve found pretty easy…
- Go to the chat menu (find this menu by clicking on the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner)
- Click on the “+” icon in the upper right-hand corner
- Click on “Start Group”
- Name your new group. I like to name my group with the date, time and place info. For example, “Saturday morning 7.0 mixed double at InShape Vallejo”
- Hit next then type in names or phone numbers. (Note: I have an iPhone, so what you see may be different than what I see, but for me, below where it says “Type a name or a phone number” theres a group of contacts under the header “Recent” and these are all the names of the people in this group which makes it easy.)
- Add a names of the people you are interesting in messaging, hit done.
- Type your message at the bottom of this screen and hit send. Hopefully some of the group you messaged can make your date, time and place, if not, maybe another date and time can work!
- Include your USTA ranking. If you include your USTA ranking in your profile name area e.g. Jane Doe (3.5), you may be invited to practice with others who don’t necessarily know you, but are looking for someone with your qualifications and that could be a good thing. (The downside is I believe it will change for other non-tennis-affiliated GroupMe groups you are a part of.)
- Invite more than you need. Looking for two other people for a certain date and time? Consider inviting more than you need then, when you get the group set, let everyone know.
- Don’t feel like you have to respond. It’s nice to RSVP one way or the other, but if someone doesn’t respond, that most likely means he/she can’t make it.
- You can mute conversations. I believe you can even exit groups if you want. I also believe you can turn off notifications.
- Hide out-of-date group messages. When the date of proposed practice match has passed, swipe left on that conversation to hide it.
- Start experimenting. The more people who join, the easier it will be to find people to practice with.
This is an experiment that many think could be a very easy, fun and effective way to strengthen our individual games, our teams and district as a whole, but there is a learning curve! We can also start groups based on USTA rankings, women’s, men’s, mixed, beginners, the possibilities are endless, but let’s start here first and see how it goes!
PLEASE JOIN IN and feel free to share your likes, dislikes, ideas, instructions, best practices, good experiences etc. via the comment section below!