Thursday, May 25, 2023. (Court Day #598)

I had signed up to volunteer who is helping run Santa Cruz Pickleball Club workshop this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Derby Park. I left work about 2:45 p.m., ran home, ate some food, changed, and then raced down to the courts.

There were some people milling around plus a few games going when I arrived. Todd Murphy was the instructor for the session. This group of students were intermediates with some beginners.

Drill #1

There was no initial drill guidance for the court leaders—junior instructors, whatever you want to call us! Todd gave a brief, informal talk to all the attendees explaining and demonstrating the first drill, which was dinking straight ahead with a partner, followed by a crosscourt dinking. After a few minutes of crosscourt dinking, we switched to a game of Dingle. (I had to ask Nolan what this game was called since I couldn’t remember!) That’s the game where four players are dinking crosscourt, and once one of the balls is no longer in play, someone yells, “Dingle”, and then the point is played out in a normal game fashion. We did that for quite a length of time.

Drill #2

Todd got everybody together and then we split off for the next drill. This was drop shots with one person at the net hitting the ball back to the person remaining at baseline. After a little bit, the two players swapped places.

Drill #3

When our second break where he explained the final drill, which was one partner, driving the ball at the other, who is on the opposite side at the kitchen line. The goal of the person at the kitchen put the drive the ball back to the person at the baseline. Like the previous drills, the partners change places and then repeated the drill. The burners change places numerous times during the course of this trail.

There wasn’t a group announcement but after the driving drill, Todd told each court to transition to games. There was no formal closure and so people wandered off when they no longer wanted to play.

End Games

I got into a game with a shorter woman with closely cropped hair named Lou against Pauly and a woman—who I don’t believe I’ve ever met before—named Rachel. Rachel obviously had a strong tennis background, I should hit good drives, drives with a lot of topspin, and a wicked overhead slam driving the ball angled off the court. Also, given the opportunity with their opponents back, Rachel would gently angle short shots off the court for a winner.

We played three games. Lou and I lost the first two games but won the third game. I was the strongest player and Lou was the weakest player. Those were entertaining games. When we were done, I asked Rachel if she wanted a couple of tips and she said “yes”, so I shared them with her . . . the most important of which is making sure to come up to the NVZ. She had a habit of staying back towards baseline . . . a common tennis habit.

At about 6:30 p.m., I left Derby Park. I believe there was one game still going, but I was heading to Skypark!


I made a quick pitstop at home since it was more or less on the way and—like anyone else—I try to avoid public Port-a-Pottys. Today was my wife’s last day of teaching 1st grade, but only some administrative meetings to participate in tomorrow at school. I found her in the spa in the backyard with a glass of wine and a book. She definitely deserves it! I told her what I was up to and off I went!


I was parked and was walking onto the courts at Skypark about 6:55 p.m.

Joe goes back as partner Matt looks on. Tim F. and Nate on the far side.

Since I was the odd man out. When David and Minori arrived, I unlocked the storage bin and we got out a net and set it up. Right after we set it up, one of the strong games finished and I managed to weasel my way in. I played with Matt against the two Tim‘s. Matt and I got our butts kicked in both games we were playing against them. Tim H. was playing very, very well.

Pretty much the entire run of games tonight were solid with good players.

Friday, May 26, 2023 (No Play)

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and my right wrist was aching significantly. After about an hour, I got back to sleep and when I woke up to start my day, it was relegated to just a mild ache.

Number of days on a court: 598
Number of total hours: 2,633.5
Number of paid coaching hours: 2

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