Adventures of Andrew Lenz and a Yellow Ball

Month: August 2022 (Page 1 of 5)

Tourney Prep. Claire from SJ. Busy.

Sunday, August 28, 2022 (Court Day #538)

Arrived about 8:50 a.m. at Derby Park to set up. There were about half a dozen players at the far end of the courts. There was a problem. Most of the courts were wet, especially the ones closest to the gate. My home driveway and street were dry—I checked—which is typically a good indicator, but not today. I immediately texted Mark D. and Tony S. to send out a “delay until 10 a.m.” email notice to the club. Mark responded about 15 minutes later saying he couldn’t get into the system to send the notice. At 9:57, Tony responded that he had been “out on a ride”. Needless to say, no notice went out, so I did my best to manage things. At first only, four nets were set up. Later, I allowed the last two nets to be set up, but initially as “dinking only”.


My first game was with newish players Kevin, Isaac, and their friend Corrine. They borrowed club paddles. I played lefty in that game. I’m rustier than I should be playing lefty. It’s good for me to do that now and then. (I didn’t mention it in my last post, but I made a very nice crosscourt dink lefty at Brommer on Friday—the shot would have been very difficult righty, so I switched to get a better angle on it.)

Claire from San Jose

Rick had invited a female player from San Jose, Claire, to play at Derby. And she was rock solid. Fast serves, quick hands, power. I’d take her as a tournament partner in a heartbeat. Rick and Claire beat Ted and me. Later, Jason and I played against Claire and Briana. Briana signed up as advanced but is an intermediate. They got clobbered. I think it ended at 11-2 or 11-1. And we weren’t targeting Briana. I just goes to show how important a partner is.


I trained some newbies . . . a married couple Fatima and Fred, and a woman named Sharon. I explained basic rules and strategy and played two games with them. They were very appreciative. Fatima and Fred had watched instructional videos so caught on quickly. Sharon came in cold and took more reminding as it was all completely new to her.

Jason and I played Charles and Rick and won 11-8.

Derby at 1:11 p.m. Two hold over club games, but not the rest!

As I left at about 1:15 p.m. , every court was full. There were two singles games and four doubles games. Barefoot Terry’s group of women had brought their own net. Three nets were city-owned nets. I asked Rick A. (the Wednesday site coordinator) if he could stow the remaining two nets for me and he agreed. There was a family of five waiting outside the fence for an opportunity to play. I’ve been playing 5 1/2 years and I’ve never seen this happen before. This sport is growing like crazy.

Monday, August 29, 2022 (No Play)

Today, I finally got the SCPC board to provide me access to the email system so I can send out my own club weather delay notices. It was supposed to happen a while ago, but it got bogged down. Now I have an account and I don’t have to wait for someone else. I can do it myself!

Number of days on a court: 538
Number of total hours: 2,452.5

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Golden Pickle & Swiped!

Friday, August 26, 2022 (Court Day #537)

My calf muscle was bothering me for a few days this week. Like a pull or something. I’d be walking around a work, and I’d feel it. But it went away and is feeling fine today.

My mother-in-law is in town from San Diego and I chatted with her a bit before heading to Brommer Park for club play. I parked at 9:15 a.m. and followed Allan K. and Kent into the courts which were all full with additional people waiting.

At one point, I counted all the people waiting . . . 25 players. 8 courts with 4 players each equals 32 players. Plus 25 waiting, so 57 total players. What’s funny is I only recognized maybe half of the players. A lot of new faces.

Golden Pickle

My first game was with Kent. This was a mixed skill game. (During the first hour of club play.) We split up each taking a woman as a partner. Even though I was trying to hit more shots to Kent to make this a more interesting game, it didn’t make much difference. My partner, the first server of the game, never lost her serve. We won 11-0. My first “golden pickle” ever. Pretty boring. I hope I never have another one unless it occurs with all strong players!

Kent and I signed up again and Alan Cable against Dean added their names. It would be Alan and me. Dean had some moments, but wasn’t his usual self. he’s dealing with injuries. and Kent was rusty, after the game, he said he’d only played once in two months.


This morning, the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) sent out a newsletter by email:

Nothing of great importance. They are trying to rebuild their reputation and place in the pickleball world after someone there really ruffled some feathers. What happened exactly is still a bit of a mystery to me.

Focus and Intensity

Somewhere I read about the waving of a finger rallied a pro team to win. While just looking for random pickleball videos to watch on YouTube, I just happened to find that exact game:

At the end of this abbreviated match video, there’s an interview with the winners that explains the motivation.

The motivation factor is a thing for me and why I often play better in tournaments. Focus. If you are forgetting the score in a game, you are not paying close enough attention. In rec play, I’ll sometimes find my mind wandering. It happened today. It’s a bad habit to get into if you want to play your best.

Swiped! Grrr.

Today, I found a wikipedia entry explaining pickleball terms. If you look at the references at the bottom, the #1 site that they pulled a bunch of entries from—they include the first letter for words they copied—is mine:

I’m kind of annoyed. At least they give credit for my copyrighted material that they are, well, copying and posting elsewhere on the internet without my permission.

Did they give up copying after half the alphabet or stopped admitting to it?

I put a lot of work into my article. I had added and continue to add terms as I run across them while playing, watching videos, reading rule books, magazine articles, podcasts, etc.

Saturday, August 27, 2022 (No Play)

Dan Bliss stopped by at my work and dropped off a new dry-erase white board for Derby Park. I need to do the work of adding lines to the board, then I’ll take it to Derby.

Number of days on a court: 537
Number of total hours: 2,448.5

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

Aaron is Getting Better

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 (Court Day #536)

Rick asked yesterday if I could play with him in a tournament on Sunday, September 4. I told him I probably couldn’t, but I’d check. Rick followed up with me this morning saying he already lined up Jason as his partner. That means that Jason’s tournament with me will be his second, not his very first. That’s probably good for our performance, in that he’ll have more experience. Since the annual big highland games in Pleasanton will be the same Labor Day weekend as Rick’s tournament, it’s probably best to keep my weekend clear.

Double Duty

With a pipe band performance coming up in a couple of weeks, I opted to play bagpipes a little bit after work. (It’s a physical instrument and you have to get your time in.) That meant that I wasn’t at Skypark until 7:30 p.m. The pickleball courts were packed with an additional 10 people waiting to get onto a court, and conversely the tennis courts completely empty.

32 playing and 9 plus me waiting!

Tonight was mostly moderate level games without many advanced players. Charles was there as well as Dan the better player, and Matt Smith, as well as Tim—Binh was the only player that I got to play with. Oftentimes, Binh and I would split up in order to make the games more balanced.

Later on, I got some games paired up with Aaron against his friends Matt and Paul. Those were some good games. Aaron has come along way in terms of the level of his play. While I still consider him a weaker 3.0 player, he used to be total cannon fodder, and that is no longer the case. Aaron and I were in a game with Matt and Paul and it undergoing a number of lead changes when the lights clicked off at 9:30. We hung out for about 20 minutes afterwards talking about pickleball.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 (No Play)

I shared the video from Monday with my courtmates from that day. Binh and Charles had the same reaction I did, that the game is much faster in person and we look slow.

Binh broached the possibility of the two of us playing at Nationals in southern California in November. He’s going to check with Shawnté first, I’m second in line. Of course, there are questions about qualifiers as well these days. You used to be able to just sign up. Now, with the growth of the sport, they need to limit the number of competitors.

Number of days on a court: 536
Number of total hours: 2,445.5

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

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