Misadventures of Andrew Lenz and a yellow ball

Month: August 2018 (Page 1 of 5)

Good! Gag! Good!

Friday, August 31, 2018 (Court Day #192)

I arrived at Brommer Park a few minutes after 9 a.m.

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Leslie (in white on the right) talking to Dale and his wife. Leslie stopped in to visit for a few minutes before heading out of town to visit a grandchild. Her husband Tim stayed long enough to play for a while though!

I bled for the first time—at least that I ever. John P. hit a shot and the ball hit squarely on the finger knuckle of my paddle hand. Ow.

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Stuart and I had a couple of games against John Connor and Brad. Fun games. Stuart and I won both, the second one 11-5. I was playing well.

I got a game with Dale against Bryan and Binh. Bryan, even lazily playing, played great. I was trying hard to show Bryan that I’d improved—too hard. I was forcing shots, trying impart spin when I shouldn’t have. Dale was patient, but I bet he was getting frustrated with me. I adjusted my game and tried to go back to basics. My play improved, as did our score, but it’s a performance that I’d just as soon forget. Still, it’s such an experience to play with Bryan. It’s all touch and angles with him. It’s the opposite of playing with, say, Brennan, who plays a power game. Bryan, the ball just goes off at an unreachable angle that he isn’t even looking at!

As the session was winding down, Jane was sitting next to CeCe on the grass. I asked Jane if she’d like to play a game. Her eyes lit up and she said yes. So the day wrapped up with a couple of games of Binh against Jane and Olga. Olga played quite well. She’s continuing to get better. Binh is making progress but as a newer player has more time to put in. I learned that Jane helps coach the girl’s tennis team at Santa Cruz High School. I had no idea. Nifty. I had some great shots, missed a few shots, but overall, I played decently in those games.

By 12:45, I was on the road to home, then work.

Number of days on a court: 192
Number of total hours: 530.5

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Rockin’ It with the Blacks!

Thursday, August 30, 2018 (Court Day #191)

I arrived at Skypark in Scotts Valley about 6:45 p.m. While it’s still light at that time, the sun is getting noticeably lower in the sky. Too bad. We’re losing the possibility of playing at Brommer in the evenings since those courts have no lights. Soon, it’ll be only Skypark on Thursday evenings.

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I played a couple of games. In the first, my team won 11-1. The second game ended 11-4, but it wasn’t even that close. I was playing well.

I noticed the Blacks by themselves on a far court dinking—drilling, I figured. I hopped the low court divider and trotted over. I asked to join them and we continued dinking for a bit. Sue walked up and asked if she could join us. We continued to dink as a group for another five minutes or so, then David suggested we go ahead and play. Beth and I—especially Beth—made a special effort hitting more to David. Still, Sue did a good job exceeding expectations in terms of play. She played respectably.

Sue was replaced by Dan for the next two games. What Dan lacks in experience and skill, he makes up in youth, speed, and quick hands. If he sticks with it, he’ll be very good. Those were fun games.

I closed out the evening with three games of Dave Cox and me against the Blacks. We won the first. They won the second. Those were back and forth, contested battles. We then played a tiebreaker game to 7 which Dave and I won. I think Dave would admit that I was the stronger player on our team tonight. I was playing very well. No more slump for me. I belonged in those games. I just hope it’ll last.

I left a few minutes after 9 p.m. A game was still going among some players, but I was done. I’ll be at Brommer in 12 hours for more pickleball!

Tournaments

Eric let me know yesterday that he’s got conflicts for all the upcoming tournaments. I emailed John P. and let him know. I’ll have to see which ones make sense to do and which don’t.

Number of days on a court: 191
Number of total hours: 527

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Playing with the Dean Machine

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 (Court Day #190)

I got to Derby Park at 8:53 a.m. John P. was blowing off the courts since  Dave Allenbaugh was out of town.

The sun broke out early and it would be another busy day with games limited to “9 win by 1”.

I got a few good games and some not as challenging. After one such less challenging game, I turned to Eric, “We should sign up in red.” He nodded then paused and asked, “Who’s here?” “Dean. Stuart.” “Let’s sign up in red.” From there it was all good games. Dean was in a box by himself. I asked him, “May Eric and I join your game?” Dean agreed. We waited a little while for a fourth. Eric asked George and we were set.

We played a couple balanced games of Eric and me against Dean and George. Before the very first serve, Eric said, “We need to engage Dean.” I wholeheartedly agreed. We might get better hitting to George, but we’d definitely do so hitting more to Dean. Dean noticed too. At one point, he turned to George and said, “They’re picking on me.” Though, I guess like two bobcats picking on a lion! Dean was obviously the strongest player, with consistent deep service returns to the corner with backspin. Sometimes deadly, but always hard to return for any advantage.

The games were great. I was very pleased with those opportunities of playing with Dean.

Eric and I did ok. We did make some bad shots, but we did ok. My play is continuing to trend back to my normal level, if not already there.

I had to leave for work at 11:30.

Number of days on a court: 190
Number of total hours: 524.5

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.

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