Friday, September 2, 2022 (Court Day #541)
One of my staff called in sick this morning, the one who usually opens the store, so I had to quickly arrange someone else to open so I could go to pickleball. It took a little finagling but I was able to get someone and though it still made me a few minutes late Brommer Park. Parking was easy early on for those like me, but later on there were 57 pickleball players.
As I was hanging up my backpack on the chain link fence, Jason walked over. He said he had been in a game but got someone to take over for him so he could play with me. We went on to spend the next three and a half hours as partners in preparation for our tournament a week from tomorrow.
Mistakes or Strategy
Earlier, Jason and I were playing a game and against Dave Cox and Hugh. We were ahead something like 6-3 or 7-3, but then we imploded. We missed a series of our serves in sequence and hit a number of our service returns out … essentially handing points to Dave and Hugh. We lost that game due to all the unforced errors. After the game, Dave was insisting that the reason we lost the game was their strategy change. After I drove an early winner at Dave, Dave told Hue to target Jason instead of me. Dave is claiming that I had overshown my hand with that early shot and they had adjusted accordingly and therefore won the game. Maybe Dave is right, but I’m of the opinion that he’s mistaken. I really believe it was our series of unforced errors that handed the game away.
Dave said he’s playing in 4.0 next weekend at the Chamisal tournament. I don’t believe that’s the right rating for him. But maybe 60+ will make it easier.
Uh, Nope. Not Yet!
Jason and I signed up on the court reservation board and a man named Richard added his name after ours. I’d never played with Richard and I’d never seen him sign up in red before. I was a little concerned so I walked over and asked him what his rating was in tournaments And he replied that he doesn’t play in tournaments but that he was tired and playing in games where other players couldn’t get the ball back over the net. I told him I understand because the novice players sign up as intermediate, and the immediates sign up at advanced as a result.
Wai rounded out our foursome. The game was very far from challenging. I think they might’ve scored one point but that was it is extremely lopsided in favor of Jason and myself. He and I were a bit more careful signing up in later games. Afterward Richard apologized to me for not giving us a challenging game, but I told him, ”Hey, sometimes you have to try it to know.”
Jackie was there selling pre-ordered club shirts. I asked if mine was there. The volunteer site coordinators get virtually no perks or rewards for all the hours and headaches we deal with. But the board decided to reward us with free club shirts. “Four years and all I get is this lousy T-shirt!” Kidding. Far from that. Truth be told, I appreciate the thought and the shirt! She dug out the shirt labeled for me. Thumbs up!
Tighten Up That Game!
The most educational games of the day were Jason and myself playing against Nolan—who arrived late in the session—and Matt who lives in Seattle but who’s going through a divorce and owns a home in La Selva Beach nearby. (I’d never met Matt before. Super nice. A big African American dude.) Nolan is a solid 4.0 player. Easily. He very rarely missed a shot, has good power, and good placement. Jason and I lost the first game 11-1, lost second game 11-2, and then changed our strategy a little bit and made it much more of a game, We still lost the last game but it was 11-7 and not a total blowout. The key was utilizing the soft game far better and not speeding up the ball at Nolan who has very quick hands and can handle a quick shot.
As I mentioned above, Hugh was there today with his dog Groot. Hugh said he discovered my (this) blog. He was excited and said it really good, he even went back a year and read all the entries. Hugh said he writes local articles for a living—the Good Times, the Register Pajaronian, and others. He asked if I had professional writing experience. Nah, but high praise coming from someone who writes for a living!
At 12:45 I was in my car and heading home to shower, change, eat lunch, and then head to work.
In one game, my right big toe got quite painful with certain motions. That toenail is experiencing some issue. I’m not sure what it is, but I should get it checked out by a doctor sooner or later. When I got home, I trimmed the nail really short, that should help.
I’m heading to the annual Highland games held in Pleasanton tomorrow. It’ll be fun to connect with old friends and enjoy some music and some fish and chips!
Number of days on a court: 541
Number of total hours: 2,459
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