Friday, May 3, 2024 (Court Day #653)

Ted B. had invited me a few days ago to come play at Derby with a group of guys. They start at 9 a.m., but I arrived at 9:15 a.m. Eric had texted me asking if I was coming. Yes, just moving slowly. It was a partly cloudy morning with the sun peeking through.

Derby

As I walked up to the courts, I was quite surprised. Every single court was being used! Matt Smith, the retired firefighter, was there as was Terry and her husband Gary who are both back from Mexico where they spend the colder months. She said they got back on Sunday and this was her third time out playing since then.

New guy David partnered with Stoehr (“Stair”) against Larry and his wife Jacquie.

I got into mid-skill games today. I was playing pretty well until a little bit past 11 a.m. when I started to fatigue and the lack of breakfast started making itself known.

Grrrr…

There was a game where Eric S. and I played against John P. and Ted. I hit a winner down the sideline. I was looking right down the line and it was unquestionably landed on the middle of the blue line. I even smiled and pointed down to John indicating it was in. I went back to the baseline expecting a sideout. But Ted and John switched places taking a point. I asked, “Did you call my shot out?” They said it was out. Aside from commenting to Eric about it, I didn’t say anything more, but I was quite annoyed. Yes, it’s their call, but I know my shot was in, I had the best view. There may have been an older guy off on the side who made a call for Ted and John. But he wasn’t looking down the line like I was. Yes, it’s only a game, but I was annoyed by the injustice of it all! Eric and I went on to win the next few rallies, but we ended up losing the game. We shouldn’t have lost but we did—I’d take Eric over John or Ted with no question. I don’t think my annoyance was part of the loss . . . while it wasn’t my best game, I was playing better than Eric in this one.

Eric was there for about an hour and a half before he decided to leave. Matt Smith left not long after. Too bad, they were some of of the stronger players there.

In a game against Allen and Rick A., I scored 3 points in a row off of my serves. It can be embarrassing for me . . . it’s hard to explain. I don’t like to stick out. Rick was asking later about my serves, “It hits the ground and speeds up unexpectedly.” I explained that I come up over the back of the ball to apply topspin.

When tapping paddles after a game later in the morning, Stoehr told me, “You’re a pro.” Oh, yeah, I can totally take down Ben Johns whenever I feel like it. NOT! Though once I was warmed up, I did feel that I was the best player there today. I don’t think I’m conceited, though nearly everyone feels that they are better than they truly are. While playing at Skypark or Brommer, I’m often either just one of a number of good players or even second tier.

The rallies today typically didn’t last more than 3–5 shots . . . long rallies may 8 shots. The rare, very long rallies might be 10 shots.

By 12:35 p.m., I was in my car and pulling out to head home. It turned into a really warm day . . . and unusual for me, I had some sweat stains on my T-shirt. It was home, shower, eat, then to work.

Work

Being I work six days a week, I took a little time to finish up the new dry erase board needed for the new club day at Skypark on Saturdays. I had been going fast and my educated guess on the spacing left a slightly larger box for the right column. Oops. Oh, well. That’s what you get for volunteer labor sometimes! But hey, most players are righties anyway, it could be helpful actually.

Lined and receiving coats of Krylon clear dry erase spray.

Evening Dog Walk

I was out walking the dog and took another crack at the USA Pickleball Player Rules Test. Yep. Another 100% score.


Saturday, May 4, 2024 (No Play)

Apparently, there was a controversy this past weekend. A female player fell during a mixed doubles match and a male opponent pegged her with the ball—for a winner—while she was still down. Not very chivalrous, but all’s fair in love, war, and pickleball tournaments! Within the rules, of course. And it was. And it was a relatively light hit, not a full-power slam shot. If he hit the ball near her and it bounced off the court, it could be returned by her partner. The only way to easily guarantee ending the rally to his benefit was to have the ball touch her . . . other than her paddle hand. Tournaments are cutthroat. The weakest player will be targeted. No mercy. It’s all out.

Number of days on a court: 653
Number of total hours: 2,800
Number of paid coaching hours: 31.5

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