Adventures of Andrew Lenz and a Yellow Ball

Month: November 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

More Righty & Mini Tournament

Friday, November 22, 2019 (Court Day #324)

My right arm was doing a little better this morning. Though when I pulled the bedspread, I could feel pain, but it wasn’t crippling. I’d be able to play a bit today righty.

I had a dentist appointment at 8 a.m. to take care of a crown that needed to be replaced. I have to go back in a couple of weeks to have it finished up. That appointment wrapped up and I was in my car by 8:50 and on my way to Brommer. I was there a hair early and most of the courts were still vacant.

I played a handful of games left-handed. I’d save my right arm for the challenging games.

I played a game with Rob against Ted and Tony. It was a stronger game, so I played righty. Rob and I won. I was expecting the win to be by a larger margin, but a few of my drop shots didn’t clear the net and I hit a couple of returns long. Rob made a few mistakes himself, but I’ll lay claim to most of the errors.

“You’re playing great. It’s an amazing difference between your left and right,” shared Ted afterward. “It’s impressive that you can come back to playing right-handed at that high level.” Nice to hear.

A man and woman appeared who I didn’t know. Vivian who lives nearby and her friend Steve who lives in San Jose. They signed up in green on the board—the easiest level. No one was signing up in green. Things were winding down. I asked Olga if she’d sign up and play with them if I did. (Ted wasn’t interested, we’d both come off a weaker game.) As a site coordinator, plus being a nice guy, I felt compelled to not leave them hanging. We signed up. I introduced myself to the new faces. Vivian right away said to please give her advice on how to get better. I appreciated that. Olga played with Steve and I played with Vivian. Vivian played better than Steve and that showed in the final score.

Afterward, Vivian said, “I’d hate to see you playing with your right hand!” I broke the news to her, “I play way better right-handed. And I wasn’t really playing that hard in our game.”

I asked Rob the time: “12:24.” It was time for me to go!


So, I didn’t mention this before but on Tuesday this week, I received a group email about a round robin tournament involving eight players using this format:

While the email seemed to assume a prior discussion, I didn’t know anything about it, but I was pleased to be included. It looks like our eight will be:

Me, Tom S., Tom B., Tony, Eric S., (tall) Chris, Steve B., Ted B.

Everyone pony’s up $5. The winner gets $25, 2nd gets $10, 3rd, gets $5. Kind of like a friendly poker game. Each player accumulates points by the score of their game. Such as Team A wins 11-7 over Team B. The players on Team A each add 11 points to their individual totals and Team B each add 7 points to their totals.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the results and see how arrogant I am. (LOL!) Top finisher first:
Steve, Me, Eric, Tony, Chris, Ted, Tom B., Tom S.

I’m debating swapping Eric and me, but I’m going to leave it as is. It depends on the day, I think. And majorly overall, if I can play righty the whole time. If I have to play lefty, then all bets are off and I’ll be near the bottom instead. I typically max out at three, maybe four games playing righty. Pain may become a factor. Maybe it’s good that Tom wants to play the games to 9 instead of 11.

Now, one caveat is the 6-game tournament not 100% fair. For instance, if I’m Player #1 in the Round Robin, I’m never partnered with Player #2. If Player #2 is Steve, I’m at a disadvantage compared to another player who is partnered with Steve. That will skew the results some.

Saturday, November 23, 2019 (No Play)

I don’t know what it is with this year, but I’ve caught all kinds of mild illnesses. I woke up for a stretch last night with sleep-preventing sinus drainage. It kind of makes me wonder if I should keep disinfecting wipes for after pickleball. Though it could just be work and exposure to the public. Dunno.

Regardless of all that. My right elbow is hurting more this morning. That’s expected after playing several games with my dominant hand yesterday.

A back of the envelope mental calculation is that I should hit 1,000 hours of pickleball around court day #350. It’ll be a big milestone.

Number of days on a court: 324
Number of total hours: 910

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

Ouch. A bit too much.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 (Court Day #323)

I arrived at Derby Park at 8:45 to blow off the courts and set up.

It was a mix of happiness and frustration today.

I’ve been continuing to play lefty for easier games and righty for harder games.

George and I signed up in red. Dean and Charles added their names. I wanted to play against Dean but also wanted the most balanced teams so I walked toward Charles. Dean wasn’t hitting his “you’re not a strong player” serves—he was hitting them low and hard. Charles and I each returned several into the net. We simply weren’t used to seeing serves that fast. It was fantastic to be exposed to those. I know it wasn’t as fun for Dean since there was less play as a result. Dean and George won handily. I made a few good shots and one got a compliment from Dean.

Later, I had a game with Grita against Charles and Shawnte. During some net play, Charles smacked a hard volley, and I took it with my backhand while playing righty. That hurt. Enough that I switched to lefty . . . that didn’t quite work out as Grita let the next shot down the middle go thinking I’d get it with my right hand. Oops. I switched back to righty. We lost, but I was “past my expiration date” in that game.

I closed out my time at 1:05.

I went home, and iced my elbow while watching the Oakland Raiders beat the Cincinnati Bengals to improve to 6-4. The 49ers won too, which is always good for the greater extended Bay Area.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 (No Play)

Today, I learned that Barney McCallum, the last living founder of Pickleball, passed at home two days ago on Monday, November 18, 2019. He was 93 years old. He lived in Seattle. Too bad. Not that he lived in Seattle—though it’s cold and overcast a lot—but that it was his time to leave us. At least he got to see his new sport explode in recent years.
Vintage photo of Barney from

It was too busy at work to play today. Hopefully, Friday morning will work out.

Yesterday, we were moving a lot of somewhat heavy boxes from a delivery of four pallets of drawing/sketch books. That’s taken a toll on my tennis elbow. Had I known, I would have brought a forearm band.

Thursday, November 21, 2019 (No play)

I don’t watch much live TV other than sports, but a photo is circulating today online about a question that appeared on Jeopardy last night:

Yes, the answer is pickleball. (Ok, to preempt you Jeopardy nerds, sure, it’s the “question”!) It’s great to get the exposure for our sport on National television.

Number of days on a court: 323
Number of total hours: 906.5

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

Switch Hitter

Friday, November 15, 2019 (Court Day #322)

I had to stop by my work to do something, so I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:15 instead of opening time of 9:00.

The courts were, as you might expect, all in use. Though one was just two guys warming up. That’s where I ended up. James—who’s a really strong player—and I played against tall Chris and a man named Bill (not the regular Bill at Derby). James covered a lot of my mistakes playing lefty and we won. It’s was 75% James and 25% me.

As I told Grita, as the morning rolled on, I was playing most of the games lefty. I said, if I felt the game was more challenging, I would play righty. Up to that point, I’d only played one game righty. Grita and I played a game. We had a couple of weaker players with us, whom we split between us, and I played lefty. If Grita was offended, she didn’t say anything. My partner and I lost by a point, I think.

Over the course of the session, I played three games righty. The rest we all lefty.

I played better righty, but I had frustrated moments playing righty too. Playing righty, I do play better but I expect perfection from myself. I did hit a few returns long righty. On the positive side, I had two serving aces. (Spin serve from the even service court that bounced in the front left corner and curved out.)

There were two hits of particular note.

One was when I jumped up and backward and successful stretched up and returned a lob left-handed. This brings back a memory when Eric S. and I were playing 1 1/2 to 2 years ago when I switched hands to hit a high shot over the middle and the ball flew completely wild far off to the right right. Eric, amused, had asked, “Did you hit that with your left hand?” “Uh—yeah.” Not the best plan at the time. Fast forward to now and I successfully hit a much more difficult shot over the middle lefty.

The second notable shot was me hitting a backhand topspin shot while at the net left-handed. I don’t know if I’ve even ever hit this type of shot right-handed. Nutty.

I left at 12:22. Home, then work.

Number of days on a court: 322
Number of total hours: 902.5

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

« Older posts

© 2024 Pickleball Journey

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Pickleball Journey