Tuesday, January 23, 2024 (Court Day #624)

So they say in developing skill, the growth curve is not a straight line. It’s more akin to climbing to the top of a jaggy mountain peak, with high points and low points. And tonight was downright depressing. There were games that I played that were just outright embarrassing. So much so that I had to fight a desire to simply leave and head home. It was awful. On that skill graph, today was a severe drop into a valley.

I hit the white tape of the net at least eight times. I hit a few shots beyond the baseline that otherwise would have been winners. An example of ineptitude, I sped up shot at Paul—crosscourt, how dumb!—but I know he has very fast hands and so he simply ended the rally when I gave him patty cake shots like that.

On the upside, I went out and got some exercise. My serves were strong and reliable. They were also some resets that I made back into the kitchen off of slams.

But overall it was the disaster.


I arrived a few minutes before 7 p.m. The lot was full and I watched a slow moving car that had apparently failed to find a parking spot in the overflow area next to the courts. I ended up parking on the street nearby.

Yup. People waitin’!

I was talking to one of the regulars, and we agreed that we only recognized about half of the people that were there. Pickleball continues to grow like crazy.

My first game was with two UCSC students, Diana and Cait (short for Caitlyn). There is a tall guy named John, a 3.0 player, and he was our fourth. He played with Diana and I played with Cait. Cait was the weakest of the players. I held back in that game and tried not to make the rallies end too quickly.

I was able to get into some better games with Paul, David, and Scott A. I picked Scott as my partner, leaving the two stronger players as my opponents. I wasn’t after balance, I was after the hardest game. Which it was, Scott and I didn’t win a game in this configuration.


Not at to dwell on it, but if I play like this in René and my tournament, it’s over. The good news, is I do tend to play for better during the day than at night and I also play better when it’s not the end of a long day.

I guess one other consideration, although it’s typical for me, is, I didn’t eat dinner before I played tonight, though midway through the evening I did drink the protein drink that I had in my backpack. But I doubt that made any difference, I often play in the mornings without eating since dinner the night before.

I played until right before the lights went out at 9:30 p.m.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to play next.

I woke up in the middle of the night and it occurred to me that I had received the flu vaccine shot about 1 p.m. I wonder if that could have thrown me off at Skypark.


The one really positive occurrence this evening was one of the regulars, a woman, came up to me and said, “I hear that you are a really good coach.” And later, Aud and Shaye came up and they said that they are working on serving deep, returning deep, and the third shot drop that I had them all work on at the Intermediate class that I substituted for last Thursday. At that Intermediate class, I had pointed out to Aud that she might do better standing a little bit more to her left when serving so that she could take more returns with her forehand and less with her backhand or have to adjust less to do so. Little things add up. She shared that she was working on that too.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024 (No Play)

I woke up at 5 a.m. with a mild headache and a slight sore throat. Those symptoms went away over the course of the day, thankfully.

Here’s a fun video of NFL head coaches being quizzed about the “fastest growing sport in America”:

Pickleball continues to get more and more popular.

Number of days on a court: 624
Number of total hours: 2,716.5
Number of paid coaching hours: 14

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