I forgot to share a few of things.
Unlike two previous slips where I ended up on the ground, I had my first real fall on Monday at Brommer trying to get a shot from Rich. I landed on my right elbow. No bleeding but a scrape and it’s still sore two days later.
And when I played that recent game against Terry Long, he asked if we’d be ok playing with a different ball. He was trying to get used to it since it would be the ball used in an upcoming tournament. We said fine. It was a bit bouncier. Before the first serve, as a test, I dropped it and a typical club ball (made by Onix, I believe) from the same height at the same time and Terry’s came back up a bit more. It was my first time playing a full game with a different ball. I can now totally relate to players online complaining about “such and such ball” being used at a tournament. It does affect one’s game some.
“Good serve” is a comment I hear more and more frequently. I heard it in a number of games on Monday. It’s not so much speed (they aren’t impressively fast) as it is placement. And failed serves are becoming more rare. So, trending up on that front.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 (Court Day #33)
I got up a bit stiff. I took a couple of Advil and headed to Derby Park. I arrived at 9:10 a.m. It would be a warm day.
One of my first games, if not my first, was with Alan against Jennifer (whom I’d never met) and Deana (whom I’d also never met). Before the game, Allan told me that Deana is Jerry Louis’ mixed doubles partner—that tells you something right there! She’s not one that you’d just look at and immediately say, “There’s a strong player.” (Karen Long looks the part, however.) But appearances are deceiving in pickleball. Ya never know! And Deana played well. That first game was rotten for me. An inordinate amount of errant balls. Alan and I were down badly, came back, but lost in the end.
Jennifer, Deana (“Dee-nah”), Jerry, Eric, Karen Long (in teal), Terry Long (in blue). Waiting to play.
Mike is growing on me. Maybe I’m just gettting used to him blurting out his feelings when things go awry. And the fact that he’ll put his hands on his knees and bent over in disgust if you accidentally mess up a serve. But he has learned my name. Maybe I’ve earned a spot as a “regular” in his book. And I’m not always going to be a horrible partner—I do make occasional good shots on the same court as him. He’s maybe not super mobile but he very reliable with drop shots and placement. Not perfect—he occasionally bats one into the net—but consistency and control is aspects of his game to admire.
His big beef when we were partners today was me rushing up to the kitchen when my dropshot was too high and got smacked back at my feet in no-man’s-land. He told me not to do that. But, of course, I did it again a couple shots later. He was frustrated and rightly so. But he does praise good shots too. We did win.
Karen Long and I played against Eric and Mike. Karen makes some amazing shots. Shots you’d expect her not to get, she does. She and I won, though that was no surprise. She covers a lot of others’ errors. If I hit a ball to hit and it got slammed back, she’d return it anyway! Karen is also humble and encouraging. A genuine and nice person.
Things were busy with people lining the fence to play. Games were called to be “play to 9, win by 1”. After an hour, it thinned out and returned to normal scoring.
The last game was visor Geoff and me against Eric’s friend Ted and John P. It was back and forth. There was a strong breeze at my back and I had two serves go long. Geoff also had at least one. I’m getting to the point now where I’m starting to get close to John’s skill level. He still has more experience and may be better at the net. I still manage to drop soft shots into the net. The opponents are back at the baseline and all I have to do it dink it over the net for a winner. But no. I drop it into the net. Don’t get me wrong. I do pull it off now and then, but failure is too often and painful! Funny. I’m not even sure, but I think we lost, but it was very close.
Play wrapped up about 12:20. Long and fun morning.
My pickleball playing will be limited due to travel this month. I’m heading to Anaheim for work on Tuesday, June 6 and will be returning Tuesday, June 13 from Portland, then gone again on June 16 to Ontario, CA and heading back on Sunday, the 18th.
It’ll be weird not playing for a while. BUT, maybe I’ll get to squeeze in a game in Portland. We’ll see. Though I’m not there for me. I’m there for family. Still, I might be able to sneak away for a few hours.
A break may be good for my body. I’m nursing a sore right knee, a sore right ankle, sore hips, sore back, sore right glute . . . none of it is bad enough to keep me from playing, but still it’s a pain. I’ve played six times in eight days. Or you could say 18 hours of play in that timeframe. I suppose that’s what I get for playing hard!
Number of days on a court: 33
Number of total hours: 95