Sunday, January 2, 2022 (Court Day #450)

My son Nicholas is flying out tonight back to grad school, but when I asked, he wanted to come play this morning. Last night, I asked Eric S. if he’d be willing to close up the courts for me.

It was a chilly but sunny morning. After I had unlocked the storage bins at 8:45, a woman walked up. She introduced herself as Mary Kay and said she was new. It turns out that she’d played a few times previously very recently but this was her first time to Derby.

Nicholas helped blow off the courts. As I set up, Mary Kay helped carry out some nets.


Nicholas and I had our first game with Allison and a woman, I think her name was Kim. Allison has been at it a couple of years—a weaker intermediate player—and Kim is pretty new. As the game went on, being that this was Nicholas’ second time out in two years, I patiently offered tips between some points. I could tell Nicholas was getting frustrated. I had violated a guideline. That is, before offering advice, always ask permission first. As it was, between Nicholas being tired—lack of sleep—and my frequent unsolicited advice, he got grumpy. It was probably good that skill-level play arrived at 10 a.m. and split us onto different courts. He said things went fine.

As the morning went on, I felt that I wasn’t playing that well. Too many mistakes for my taste.


Last game, Rick and I played against Eric and George. I was expecting to lose, but Rick played well and I played extremely well. We won 9-1. (Given the big group, I’d told everyone to play to 9.) One shot in particular, there were a series of slams from George and Eric at the net with Rick and I back midcourt to backcourt. George then attempted to hit it off the court, slamming the ball near the sideline off to my left. I planted, connected with the ball with my backhand, drove the ball low over the center the net. It was returned, but not slammed and a few shots later, Rick and I had won the rally. It was a really nice shot on my part. It’s those that help get you to being a 4.0+ player. I’m not consistent enough to be there yet.

With things to do, when 11:30 arrived, Nicholas and I were on the road and I left Eric—as arranged—to take over my role as site coordinator.

What did I learn?

Always ask players for permission before giving advice—even your own immediate family!


No tennis elbow. Hanging in there!

Number of days on a court: 450
Number of total hours: 2,183.5

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