Sunday, June 23, 2024 (Court Day #678)

My daughter Charlotte is home from medical school and my mother-in-law Bonnie is visiting from San Diego, so the two of them were taking my mom to brunch this morning. Since my daughter’s car is small, we traded cars and she took my Toyota Highlander to better fit everyone. You could definitely tell from the metal flowers decorating the air conditioning vents that this was not my car—well, that and the flowery steering wheel sleeve!

The sun was shining and it was already 58°F so I figured it would be a warm day.

I arrived at Derby Park nearly 20 minutes early. A change from last time when I arrived late, at opening time, instead of being early enough to actually open! (That was a first—thankfully!)


Little Linda and Brian played against Brandon and me. We lost 11-7. I was not playing smart pickleball. I found this game frustrating. I was driving shots I should have dropped, I was being sloppy and treating my opponents as if I were playing against very weak players, which I had done earlier in the morning. We should have won this game, and probably would 9 times out of 10.

There was some redemption later when Brian and I beat Hugh and Linda by a huge margin.

Hugh and I played a game against Linda and a regular whose name, I think, is Dave. Dave is shorter with a white ponytail, is more of an intermediate player than a blue level 4.0+. They started out ahead but then once Hugh started getting warmed up a little bit since that earlier first game of his, we had unquestionably won.

Newbie Training

Around 11:30 a.m., a young woman appeared named Natalie. There is also a guy named Jeff who said that he had played a few times. Natalie had never played before. As the site coordinator, it was on me to do the free introduction to the game. Since I had already signed up, I had them watch a game with Hugh and myself against Linda and Brian. Between rallies, I explained the score and what was happening to Natalie and Jeff. Hugh and I were ahead 7-1, then Linda and Brian scored a few points, and then Hugh and I finished them off.

After that game, I checked the time and it was 11:59 p.m. Normally, I’d be leaving right then, but I didn’t want to strand the newbies. I went ahead and got into an instructional game with them. I teamed up with Jeff against Natalie and Linda who joined us. We played a little bit and then JJ took over Linda‘s spot when her game came up. JJ was good giving Natalie tips, it didn’t fall all to me. Even though Natalie was brand new, she was outplaying Jeff, though he had a little bit more experience.

Uh, Can’t Leave!

When I wanted to race off and head home to get ready to teach, there were no site coordinators to be found. Usually there is at least one around. But none meant that I had to get the net taken down, collect all the balls, I put the board away, and get the donations from the jar. It was a mad scramble.

Off to Coaching

I got home at 12:30 p.m. and I didn’t have time to make anything healthy so I ate three chocolate chip cookies while refilling my water bottle and I made some final edits to, then printed, my lesson plan for my Advanced Beginners class today. By the time I was in my daughter’s car and on my way to Skypark, it was 1 p.m. I’ve never been late to teach a class and I hope to never be. I’d rather be thirty minutes early than one minute late.

My daughter’s car was reading 81°F as I drove my way to Scotts Valley. As it was, I was a few minutes early and beat all my students to the court. Even with frequent water breaks, a couple of my students needed to take breaks from the drills and the sun. The courts radiate heat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (No Play)

My wife texted me saying that our dryer was squealing very loudly. Probably a belt issue. Regardless, no pickleball tonight, I get to be an appliance repairman instead!


I found myself torn for this video pitting two 4.0 men against two 5.0 senior women. Root for the 4.0 guys going against the oft (relatively) overrated older female players or the women closer to my age going against the youngsters?

(Some years back, there was a local woman who was 65+ who said she was playing tournaments in womens 4.0. I played regularly against her and I can tell you that she would certainly be 3.0 in men’s sub-60 brackets.)

You’ll have to watch the video to find out who wins!

Number of days on a court: 678
Number of total hours: 2,867.5
Number of paid coaching hours: 46.5

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