Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Well, I didn't fare well point wise in the 7:00 pm ladder and thus should end my very short stay in the top tier. As they say, I was there for just a cup of coffee. I was pretty much humbled: 2-5, 2-5, 0-7. I wasn't too surprised. Not that I lacked confidence but I'm realistic of my skill level at this point. I need to work out kinks in my serve by fixing the arm angle toward impact with the "back scratch" position and more wrist snap. I didn't play too bad....I did lose from being up 40-0 and a deuce game in the 0-7 match. That would have helped to get a few points there, but bottom line I lost to better players, and need to break another barrier in my progress.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
20 degrees this morning. Planned to mountain bike with my friend Dave from work at Case Mtn., Manchester, CT. Started at 8AM and was a bit apprehensive, not knowing the trail and lacking experience. Dave is an expert rider/triathlete and has a new frame he wanted to try, and I'm a rookie just looking for a workout and to not wipe out.....basically. Didn't take long to get the heart pounding and legs working. This trail is supposedly an easy one in comparison to other's in the area but it was enough for my skills. There were a couple of tough downhill, rocky slopes that got me nervous. One time when Dave was out of site, I yelled out to him to let him know I was turning back. I felt like quitting, but walked the bike a bit and got back on. It was a good experience all in all. You need to stay focussed ahead of your path and have confidence in how the bike handles the terrain. Stay back and loose on the downhills. Let the bike do its thing. At the end I felt relief, yet a sense of accomplishment. A great workout as I sweat through 3 layers and my wind breaker, even in that cold! Thanks to Dave for getting me out there and holding back so I can somewhat keep up.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What if we handed out heroin, other hard drugs to those who don't want to or can't quit for free? Sort of legalize it, but control it at the same time. Use designated areas away from the others who don't want to live amongst them. These areas would be supplied with dumpsters of second hand clothes and blankets, etc...old unused warehouse's for shelter and rehab, and container's of basic food needs. This could be funded by less than half the money used to "fight" the war on drugs today. Yes, it would be its own community, just not as underground and dangerous. Take the economy out of it. I would doubt that those who normally wouldn't decide to shoot up heroin for ex. would start just because it was free. They could decide to overdose and die, and their problem and our problem goes away, or they can seek help to quit and try to live a productive life. I'd assume that the muggings, robberies and murders where money was sought for a habit would go away if they could just go to a center and get/do what they need to do ....harsh?...interesting....?!
2-5 Mike (volley/volley/slam and dinks kept me guessing and off-balance)
3-4 Bruce (he was steadier and more confident this night)
5-2 Warren (had longer rallies but still was able to win more points)
I have so much to learn and am afraid I have peaked…gets discouraging…I'm thinking for one thing, I'm not good enough for my racquet yet...
Actually I didn't realize it until later but I was mired in a slump it appeared…since 6-1, 6-1 last week was 2-5, 2-5 and down 1-4 until I struggled to go 8-2 over the next 2 matches to get to respectable….I felt good but still no power in my shots…others can pass shots by me that I can't get to…I don't do that... couldn't take any offensive stands it seemed…missed slams, missed drops…stuff like that….I tried to hit lower and with more velocity which worked until net ball = unforced errors
I moved to top 4 of our 8 member ladder as Ramon moved up and Satish hasn't been playing so not a great accomplishment. The quest moves on.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
"There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure in the outer game." -Tim Gallwey
In every human endeavor there are two arenas of engagement: the outer and the inner. The outer game is played on an external arena to overcome external obstacles to reach an external goal. The inner game takes place within the mind of the player and is played against such obstacles as fear, self-doubt, lapses in focus, and limiting concepts or assumptions. The inner game is played to overcome the self-imposed obstacles that prevent an individual or team from accessing their full potential.
In simple terms the game can be summarized in a formula: Performance = potential-interference, P=p-i. According to this formula, performance can be enhanced either by growing "p" potential or by decreasing "i," interference.
It is impossible to achieve mastery or satisfaction in any endeavor without first developing some degree of mastery of the relatively neglected skills of the inner game. Most of us have experienced days when our self-interference was at a minimum. Whether on a sports field, at work, or in some creative effort, we have all had moments in which our actions flowed from us with a kind of effortless excellence. Athletes have called this state, "playing in the zone." Generally at these times our mind is quiet and focused. But whatever it's called, when we're there, we excel, we learn, and we enjoy ourselves. Unfortunately most of us have also experienced times when everything we do seems difficult. With minds filled with self-criticism, hesitation, and over-analysis, our actions were awkward, mis-timed, and ineffective. Obviously we all would prefer to have more of the first and less of the second.
Also saw 'Blood Diamond'. Very graphic and violent but well acted. Great story of determination against painful odds. Three stars.
Finished book 'Joe Dimaggio - A Heroes Life' and will start 'The Great Bridge - Making of the Brooklyn Bridge'
Played good defense and was able to "force" opponent to make the first mistake. Hit deep and was quick to balls, but on occasion gave up on some that I need to play out totally. This is in my head (just wishing it goes out....what kind of crap is that)! Many close balls near lines. Needed these points in the league as I was down in the bottom half. My goal is to beat Frank the slice meister. My racquet has helped me improve my touch game but lack of power hurts my offense. May need looser strings. I need to stand up closer against the slower serves. I need to be confident to keep ball in and put wide past opponent. Need a low backhand slice as change of pace. My overall record is 40-44. My record against subs is 7-21.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Add low slice/chip and charge.
Need more pop/kick on 2nd serve. Leave feet.
Combat the slice/spin meister with own return slices. Put more pressure on their slice/short return with deep balls. Add serve/volley and lobs to change pace.
If opponent can't rally long and makes unforced errors early, then play defense and wait him out to win points.
Continue to serve/volley when appropriate.
Be mentally tough and rely on Self 2. Self 1 should shut up during matches.
- Serve with greater speed, scoring more points, and getting more aces.
- Return balls harder – putting them out of reach of your opponent
- Drive more balls to the far corner from anywhere on the court.
- Return balls that, in the past, have been just outside your reach.
- Deliver crushing backhand returns.
- Make your opponent chase more balls, for a change.
- Deliver strong returns, both forehand and backhand, even when playing deep.
- Smash low drives just over the net.
- Make strong cross-court returns, even if off balance.
- Approach the net faster.
- Have more confidence on the court.
- Feel stronger and not tire as quickly.
- Cover more of the court to get to more balls.
- Get to more balls quicker and setup for the shot.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Faced an old friend and 2 new subs. I was happy with my overall play. Feeling some confidence. Moving the ball around and sustaining a consistent first serve. Serve still needs a lot of work. More spin and a bit more speed. 2nd serve needs more aggressive snap and pop. Faced a vicious 1st serve in game 2 but was not consistent. He had a lot of back spin in which I can detect, get to the spot, set my feet and anticipate the ball fluttering there to be hit. Forced many errors on his side. Played great defense, getting balls over where I don't think they were expected, causing some pressure. 1-6 game was against a guy with spin serve and drop shots all over. I need to adjust for this game...anticipate and lob over to get him out of position.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Spin is simply a matter of the strings brushing against the ball. For topspin the racket face brushes up because you're swinging low to high.
The controversy centers around the use, or non-use, of the wrist. Is the wrist in a fixed position for both backswing and forward swing, or does it move? Does the rollover action contribute to topspin, is pronation involved?
The status quo always cops out by saying pro A hits the ball a ton because he does use his wrist/rolls over/pronates but that you shouldn't. ... keep the arm and wrist fixed throughout backswing and forward swing to "minimize every possible chance for error." Condescending, isn't it.PRONATION
..believe in you, in your human body.
The "use of the wrist" back then is what we call pronation today. The establishment didn't grasp it then, and still doesn't now. It's not wrist, it's pronation. Hallelujah.
Pronation means rotating the hand or forearm counter clockwise, so the palm faces forward, then downward, or, in the extreme, back.
...your job is to keep your racket face vertically against the ball as you brush up low to high. How can you do this when the ball's tweaking the racket face? You can plan to apply a counter force.
Pronation applies an active counter force to prevent the racket face from tweaking at contact.Adding wrist flexibility and pronation with an arm that is flexible throughout the swing creates the proverbial cannon.
Lay the wrist back to start, keep it strong and vow not to flop it, and you'll naturally access it during the motion. ... you'll hit the ball out in the beginning, that's expected, like what happened when you first hit the gas pedal on a car. But you can handle it. And pronation? Just simply roll the racket or the hand into the ball on the forward upward swing, that's all. Counter the ball, don't ever try to keep the wrist or arm fixed.