Sunday, October 29, 2017 (Court Day #89)

I arrived at Derby Park at 8:45, unlocked the bins and promptly got to work blowing off the courts. Wayne was the first arriver and helped set up a net. The first game was Mike and Tom S. against me and Wayne. I think we lost, but it wasn’t bad.

The second game, we rotated around. Mike and I won against Tom and Wayne, but it was harder than I was expecting. I had to still get warmed up and calibrated.

I got a compliment from Marianne mid morning after I’d played with her against Grita and (female) Terry. I signed up on the board in green (intermediate) and she said, “You aren’t intermediate! You are advanced!” I told her, “It depends on where I am. Here, maybe. Brommer, definitely not!” I remember hearing Terry Long say that in our club, “Advanced” is considered 4.0 and above. I am not a 4.0.

I had a new experience today, a ball flying very face directly at my face! Grita had rocketed a forehand. The ball was going to hit me smack in the left eye–it was just getting bigger and bigger! I got my paddle up and blocked it. The ball flew up somewhere and she won the point. There was no way I was going to do much with that one, it was just self-preservation!

Oleg and I took on Eric and Rolando. I was expecting an easier game, but Oleg and I still won 11-5 or something. Eric and I are fairly evenly matched (though I’d give him the edge) and Oleg (former open tennis player) is far better than Rolando. Rolando is getting better, but still is learning pickleball.

Jeff, the newish tennis guy, who’s appeared a few times now, played a game with me against Stuart and Christina. Christina is a weaker intermediate player. Stuart missed a shot here and there himself, but explained that he didn’t have his regular paddle. Jeff and I won something like 11-5.

Given, the state of the courts, we ended up playing as a group again. This time, I told Christina that I’d play with her against Stuart and Jeff. Stuart swapped for a different paddle, though still not his own. At one point, we were leading 6-2. “You are on fire!”, my partner said. Christina was figuring out the proper paddle position while at the net, as a matter of fact, after the first game, Stuart had giving her some instruction about that. It’ll come with time. We eventually lost 11-9. Their winning point came from me slamming a ball down into our own side of the net. “You didn’t have to hit it hard, you had me!”, said Stuart. Yes, placement over power. Something I’d told Rolando several times in a few games this morning.

Something I’ve heard before, but not for a while, was from Christina. “You are fun to play with!” I’d just made a great shot. I also wasn’t repeatedly correcting her when she made mistakes. We all make mistakes. I never try to give the same advice more than once in a game. And only if I know the person is a rank beginner. Otherwise, I usually just keep quiet or I might offer a subtle suggestion. But, hey, I’m still learning too!

I played fairly well today. But the competition wasn’t as strong. Brommer has the tougher crowd, generally. The Longs were here, but they played with the Blacks and Stuart and maybe Dean before he left. The only “red” i played against was Stuart in those two games. But even intermediate level games are opportunities to improve.

Play wrapped up about 12:45 and I locked up and was in my car at 12:53. Home to watch the recording of the Raiders losing badly to the Buffalo Bills. Not that I knew the result in advanced but painful!

Number of days on a court: 89
Number of total hours: 251

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