Saturday, May 27, 2017 (Court Day #30)

I got out to Skypark at about 9:20 a.m. Looking through the fence pasted the tennis players, the pickleball courts were empty. “Is there no pickleball today for some reason?” I walked on regardless and was rewarded with spotting a court in use. 20 minutes late and just one game going? Weird. Walking around the far end to the entrance, I found Sheryl warming up with a woman I’d never seen before, Judy. I learned later that Judy was 82. Kudos to her for being out getting exercise. She didn’t move much or fast, but won some points on the morning. I asked Sheryl about playing and she said there was a signin sheet and an envelope by the gate nearest the parking lot. I had a $5 bill and not four $1 bills, so that’s what I stuffed into the envelope. (Honor system.) The signin sheet had a column for “punch card”. I’ll have to ask about that next time.

Four things of note.

1) Jerry Louis got three of his future students together for a game. Students taking his class next month. Eric, John P., and me. Jerry wanted to observe and taylor the class to his students’ needs. Jerry and I took on the others. We beat them pretty solidly, something like 11-6. I played a good game. Only missing one to two shots to being just lame. Jerry plays exceptionally well, making diffulct shots reliably and consistently.

Jerry shared that I’m being “lazy” and not getting up to the net fast enough. He also had made notes about “social play – strong/weak”. He said when playing a social game, take advantage of the opportunity of a very strong player and get them into the game so you can learn. Don’t always hit to the weaker player unless it’s a tournament. I told him that in our earlier game of Sheryl and me versus he and 82-year-old Judy, it wasn’t so much a matter of me thinking of “not hitting it to Jerry” but of Judy opening up herself for the natural winner shot that you take automatically. Sheryl and I made a specific effort later in the game to intentionally hit it to Jerry at every opportunity and I confirmed his suspicion of that.

2) Later, Terri and I played Jerry and Mara. Right before we started, I overheard Jerry saying to Mara, “…and they are both good players.” Yes, Jerry Louis said I am a good player! Great!

3) No matter how many times you try hitting backspin on a high arcing deep shot, it is almost guaranteed to sail long. It doesn’t gain you enough advantage, don’t try it. I learned the hard way!

4) By the time the last game rolled around, finishing at 12:15, I was beat. BEAT. As in willing myself to finish the game. It was warm and today was my third day playing in four days.

Oh, and I’ve been working harder on making every serve in. I think I missed just one all morning. I didn’t get any aces—made a few harder—but hitting it into the net or outside the service court is a wasted opportunity.

And, one more thing. The last game was Larry and me versus visor Geoff and Terri. In the game, Geoff turned to Terri, smiled in frustration and said, “I just made the best serve I can do and he still returned it. What’s the point?” It was the hardest return I had to make all day—he puts some good spin on the ball. Not as hard as one last night against Terry and his wife Laura, that was the hardest of all time that I actually managed to get back over the net. I have to admit, I shocked myself on that one last night. Geoff’s was one tier down, but still tricky.

The courts there did fill up over the morning, I think there were five going at one point. Also at one point John and I were looking for partners for a game and eight women were over at the bench with two courts open! Let’s play, people! (We did get two to join us!)

Ok. Back out tomorrow morning. I’m a glutton for punishment!

Number of days on a court: 30
Number of total hours: 86