Sunday, May 19, 2024 (Court Day #663)

Unlike yesterday morning, which was a bit misty and wet and threatened to delay club play at Skypark, today, while overcast and rather chilly, was dry as I drove to Derby Park. My nose was noticeably cold, even in my car.

My right knee has been bugging me. I could feel it mildly aching while walking around this morning. I generally wear a knee brace (that Ted gave me) when I play, though I don’t always. But, today, there was no question if I was going to wear it or not—100% yes!

Found Paddle

On Thursday night, as I walked near the courts at Skypark, I found a really nice paddle on the ground next to the path. It had “Kiki” written on it along with a phone number. I meant to call on Friday morning, but I got overwhelmed and completely forgot about it until late last night. I texted the number this morning and we’ll see if I can get this paddle reunited with its owner.


I arrived at Derby Park about 15 minutes before opening time and got about setting up. There were a few players there knocking a ball around.

Lead Tape

My right wrist was very mildly hurting with specific shots, but it didn’t bother all that much today. I got off to a slow start, missing some shots. Later in the day, I realized that I’d added lead tape to the two lower corners of my new Gearbox paddle. This increases the sweet spot some, but also adds just a little bit of power . . . not that I need more power with this paddle.


With no 4.0+ players there, I signed up in red. In my first red—advanced—game, I end up switching to left-handed to make the game more balanced. I was partnered with Lester and we were at 7–0 in that game. It was played to 9, win by 1. I think we lost, but it’s good practice to play some lefty now and then.

Some strong players appeared later, but it didn’t work out for me to play with them. Colleen came and Adrian appeared for the first time in a long time. Mark G. was there and I did get to play in a game with him but he was always partnered with a weak player.

There were about 50 people so we had long waits between games. Some players gave up and left.

Jeff was there with his brother Scott. (They look quite alike!) Scott has been coming with Jeff on Sunday for the past month or so.


I trained three newbies today: Sean, Scotia, and Fernanda. Sean said he was the #1 pickleball player as a sophomore in high school but it has been 10 years since he’s played. They were an appreciative group.

AWOL Phone

One of the players left his phone on the bench, and when he went back, it was gone. I would hope none of the players intentionally took it and, instead, it was simply picked up an error.

I left Derby Park at 12:20 p.m. I’ll be teaching at Willowbrook this afternoon.

The Wife

My wife Kristen is amusing. Today, for my class, she had purchased a new floral pickleball sling bag.

Kristen’s new bag purchase

You have to be fashionable, right? Ha ha!

Monday, May 20, 2024 (No Play)

My activity today while making and eating my lunch. Ben Johns and his brother Colin were placed into a match against two 5.0 players. Normally, this would be a wipeout, but this was not a normal match. This was an exhibition arranged by Zane Navartil for the benefit of his YouTube viewers. The challenge placed on the Johns brothers was to play . . . left handed. Yes, they are both righties.


I broke the pair of sunglasses I keep in my car. They inexplicably snapped near the nose. Don’t ask me why. I decided to stop by Ross on my way back to work from lunch to get a new pair. Since I was there anyway, I looked at shoes—and found a pair of Fila court shoes in my size for just $19, woo!—and aside from two pairs of cheap sunglasses, I stopped to see if they had any pickleball gear in their sports section. Surprise! They did. They had a Reebok paddle for $19.

A good price on this paddle at $19.99, but it’s not for me!

The paddle face was relatively smooth compared to my Gearbox or Players Rogue 2 paddles or I might have been tempted to get it for my family.

French Open gets pickleball

In a week, tennis fans will gather in Paris to witness the French Open. But there is a new twist…

Here’s an article about it:

Wife Pains

My wife Kristen was complaining today about pain in her upper leg and glute muscle from pickleball. Ah, well. One has to expect that when you start using your muscles in new ways.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 (No Play)

I’m in New Mexico for about 36 hours to help my daughter move her apartment belongings into storage. I few out today. I was surfing Facebook pickleball groups and a circuitous course brought me to this video:

It was recommended as a drill for newer players. While they did say it was windy, I question their dink targeting skills. I’m tempted to try this when I get home a see if I’m as much better as I think I am.

Number of days on a court: 663
Number of total hours: 2,827
Number of paid coaching hours: 36

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