Adventures of Andrew Lenz and a Yellow Ball

Month: August 2018 (Page 2 of 5)

Another Good Day

Sunday, August 26, 2018 (Court Day #189)

My wife woke me up. Ack! My alarm set on my phone hadn’t gone off! Oops, it was set to Monday through Saturday. And the wrong time to boot. Double bad.

As I was driving to the courts, I had a feeling that I hadn’t had before. What if I don’t have the key to the court storage boxes? I reached over to my backpack on the passenger side seat with my right hand, unzipped the main compartment and checked the top pocket. No key. Understandably, I got very concerned. By this point, I would have been very late had I turned around to go home. I figured I’d chance it. I pulled up to the courts, walked in, and people were already waiting. Wayne yelled over, “You have one minute!” I set my backpack on the storage box and hoped against hope that the key had dropped to the bottom of my backpack and not out onto the floor of my bedroom.


I found the key. Yes, it had dropped into the backpack. *whew*

Derby Starts

We had another new person today. And Debbie was back for her second visit though her husband Doug had opted to do disc golf rather than pickleball.

Terry (cut off) and her husband Gary against Bruce and his wife Janet. Karen Long (red) and her husband Terry against Dave D. and Dean. Plus some people in the far court that I can’t make out.

It was another crowded day. Over 45 people showed up. Along with some first-timers. At the end of the day, I told Barrie, a woman who was visiting from Palo Alto and a friend of Mark Creed (Maree’s husband), that she was welcome back anytime. “You are impacted here. You have long wait times.” That was even with us going to “play to 9, win by 1” games.

Today, I played well again. Aside from a disaster of a game that Greg and I had against Oleg and John P.—I think we lost 9-0—I did fine today. Eric and I later beat Oleg and Mark C. 11-2, so I wasn’t playing badly.

Near the end, I played a game of singles. Terry Long was offering little bits of advice between conversation on the bench. I pulled out ahead 4-0, but John caught up, it was pretty even when a couple of players really wanted one more doubles game and we switched to that.


Keys. I need to stop doing backspin when doing deep returns. They far too often just sail out with only insignificant gain when successful. I still need to be more patient during dink battles—going for a drive too early and the ball ends up in the net. (But only once or twice today, better.)


I locked up and left sometime after 1.

Number of days on a court: 189
Number of total hours: 522

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Is Andrew Back?

Friday, August 24, 2018 (Court Day #188)

I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:05 a.m. under foggy skies. It would burn off in the early afternoon.

Mike sits while play starts to gear up at Brommer.

I got in a good game right off the bat and managed nearly all pretty good competitive games. As I was helping put away a net, Jane asked, “Are you still playing?” I told her that I was. (At least I was hoping though things we’re winding down some.) Nex thing I knew I was partner with John Connor against Jane and lefty Steve. Wow. Strong players. The breeze was behind our back and John and I both returned some serves long. It wasn’t a super long game, but challenging and fun. They were all laughing and enjoying the game. John and I lost 11-7. I held my own.

I grabbed by backpack and said my goodbyes. Dave Cox yelled over from all the way across the courts, “Andrew! Got one more?” I pointed at him and gave him the thumbs up. Dave and I were teamed up against Oleg and Dave DiBiase. I sure seemed to be back to my old self. Dave was the one making most of the errors. I wasn’t perfect, I had to apologize a few times, but I played well.

After today, I was happy. I wasn’t mulching quitting pickleball!

I had two positive comments about my serving. Rich (from Palo Alto) told me that my serving has gotten better and that I’m “mixing up” my serves. Unpredictability is good. And Jane exclaimed later, “What are you doing with your serves?”, then went on to say something about the balls not going where they were expected. The answer? Side spin. It makes them curve. Against Steve, I was just mostly hitting straight to his backhand (his right hand) which is a bit odd since I more often serve to a person’s left hand side, but then again, most people are right handed!

Training Session

Mid-morning, Karen Long asked if id seen the flyer posted by the court signup board. I said no, and she said Terry would be doing a workshop. Karen said they’d be mailing it out, but I grabbed my phone and took a photo of it anyway.

By late afternoon, I’d been bundled into the requisite group of four with John P., Eric, and Allan.

Also by late afternoon, my left hip was hurting. It was enough that I was limping a bit. It had stiffened up when I was sitting at my desk for about 20-30 minutes straight. Hopefully, it won’t be a lingering thing. I did opt to play in our softball game tonight. We lost, but it wasn’t due to my play. I got on base and didn’t make any glaring errors in left field. This will likely be my last season of softball after about 17-18 years. Pickleball is calling!

Number of days on a court: 188
Number of total hours: 518.5

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

Hot and Cold

Thursday, August 23, 2018 (Court Day #186)

There are a crazy number of big fires going on in California right now. Yesterday, the sun was red well before sunset. Today, you could see the smoke making the sky hazy and impersonating fog even with the fires hours away.


But the smoke wouldn’t keep me from pickleball.

The USAPA sent out a notice that phase 2 of their new rating system was complete so that more accurate skill ratings were now available. My rating dropped from over 3.5 to 3.336. Eric was raised to 3.352. John P. was lowered to 3.52. Well, I still don’t think they are accurate, but they are closer. John is a good player, but I still believe most of the club would pick Eric or me over John as a partner. Though it is safe to say that John outplayed me on Tuesday night. I was just playing rotten.


I arrived at scotts valley at 6:38 p.m. I left work just after closing but my wife insisted I remove a dead rat from a trap in our backyard before leaving. Beth Black had texted yesterday about drilling and we decided to do some at SV along with some games.

We did some third shot drop drills, then she and Kris took on me and Terry (Laura’s husband). It was a fun game. I played ok.

Beth and I played as partners against some good opponents and kept winning, I was playing very well. Not perfect, but well.

Dan and Sarah were playing along with their friend Dillon. I only played with and against Sarah. She’s getting better—as you’d expect. She’ll be formidable in time.

Tonight, I feel a bit better. I had my dumb shots, but I had some great shots and some very good rallies.

9:18 and we were done.

Number of days on a court: 186
Number of total hours: 515

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

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