Tuesday, September 28, 2017 (Off Day)

My copy of Pickleball Magazine appeared in the last few days. I finally got a few minutes to open it yesterday at lunch time while I was throwing the ball for the dog. I didn’t know I was going to get a hard copy. That’s a good thing since I got a digital version by email from the USAPA some weeks ago but I only got through the first 10 pages or so. There’s something to be said for print that is tangible and you can hold in your hand!


Inside was an article mentioning local player Ray Pereyra who was off in Detroit over the summer to coach kids at the Junior Olympic Games. How do  you like that? Nifty.

rayARticle-temp

 

Friday, September 29, 2017 (Court Day #75)

I arrived at Brommer at 9:10 a.m. and there was already a couple of games in progress and folks milling around waiting to get started.

One of the first games was Sandra and me against Alan and Kirsten. I didn’t make a single mistake until we were leading 8-4. Then I made one. Dunno, maybe hit a drop shot into the net or something, but it was a good performance. Sandra and I won that game.

Another was Beth Black and me against Kirsten and Lora. We played with hard ball. “Is that ok, Andrew?”, Beth asked. I said sure. I should play with that ball all the time if I play like that. I did make a few mistakes but I—as Kirsten said after—was “on fire”. I played very well. Beth and I handily won.

There was a funny moment in that game where Beth told me, “Nice try” after my crosscourt shot with us all at the net. Except the ball hadn’t landed yet and it landed in! We went on to win the point.

I played an assortment of games and saw that Eric’s game had shifted to the last court means that they’d been going for a while and would likely be ending soon. Well, it still ran another 10 minutes. I signed Eric and me onto a schedule square so we could get some additional time as partners before the tournament next month. Once he got done, we were set to play together, which we did.

Of note, we played a game against Chuck and a new woman, Uli. Uli has lots of tennis background and is pretty decent even as a beginner. Eric and won that one as expect. One one point, I served right to left, Chuck returned it crosscourt, it returned it sharp left and it left an opening between Chuck and Uli. Eric took full advantage and hit it for a winner right between. “I was hoping you’d do that,” I told Eric, “that’s how it supposed to work, teamwork.” (Not that we different agendas or aren’t normally strategic, it was just such a great example.)

Later on, Eric and I played a game against Mark (Maree’s husband) and Chuck. It was a challenging and balanced game that stayed close the whole time. We won 11-9.

I had a first today in that game. I thwarted an around-the-post shot. There was an angled shot. Mark moved off to his left to hit it and he was outside the post when he made contact with the ball. It was coming back to our side. But I had tracked with Mark. Instead of a winner, I volleyed the ball back over the net into their court. Eric liked that.

The last game of the day was Eric and me against Chuck and John Connors. John is a medal-winning tournament 4.0 player and it shows. While it was a valiant battle, Eric and I lost 11-6.

I had what I am almost certain was an around-the-post service return in that game. It happened so fast. John has very strong serves that he gets with a running start. He had one that was angled and shallow from his right to my right. I had to madly scramble and I barely got to it. I remember my return sailing very low as a passing shot down their sideline. I don’t think it went over the net—though it may have, but I think not. Chuck had no chance. That was a crazy point.

I pulled out of the parking lot at 12:22 p.m. I’d call today an “up” day. I had my moments of dumb shots, but overall, not bad. Today does want me to work more on making my serve faster. One such attempt resulted in the ball going long. Practice!

Los Gatos Tournament

The tournament came up in conversation and Tom S. (John P.’s partner) that he was told after he registered that it was full and he was on the waiting list. We’ll have to see how that plays out with John P.! Stuart said he hadn’t registered because he couldn’t find a partner. Oh, and kudos to Eric. When it came up that Eric was to be my partner in the tournament, two separate people said, “Good player.” Good for Eric—and good for me!

Number of days on a court: 75
Number of total hours: 216

Click here to start at the beginning of this blog: PickleballJourney