Twice the fun?
Thursday, September 26, 2019
I've signed up for a pickleball tournament in mid-October where I'm going to play singles on Friday and doubles on Saturday. With that in mind, after the Tigers last home game today (which predictably ended in defeat), I went and joined a couple of friends playing singles in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit that lies on the path home. A random guy showed up and asked to play, and was cool enough to indulge us when we stuck to doing the singles thing.
A pickleball court is the same size as a badminton court, meaning it's about a third the size of a tennis court. You can get a good workout playing doubles, so imagine how good a workout doing singles might be. Let's just say after a couple of hours of that, I might be sore tomorrow.
Which makes me wonder about the tournament, where the singles portion will be played on a Friday afternoon, and the doubles will start early on Saturday. That might not bode well for the Saturday matches, but I guess we'll have to see.
Thing about singles, I am wildly inconsistent. We were playing games up to 7 rather than 11, because we expected to have one guy waiting to play, until our random friend showed up. Still played 10 or 11 games of that, 5 apiece against each of my friends, and then one last one as the light faded. Against one guy, I won the first 5 easily, as I'm generally a better player than he is. But that last match, he started keeping the ball in play, and putting the pressure on until I screwed up, and he totally earned that victory.
Versus the other guy, he won the first two games we played relatively easily, because I kept dumping shots into the net, a whole bunch of frustrating unforced errors. I made a tweak and just started trying to keep the ball in play, and managed to win the next couple of games pretty easily. But then the 5th game we played, he shot out to a 6-0 lead, keeping the pressure on my backhand, my far weaker side. Instead of trying to play safe so as not to give up the 7th and winning point, I went aggressive, thinking, if I go down, I'll go down fighting. And I totally turned that game around, rattling off 8 straight points to win.
Weird thing is, I really haven't played enough singles pickleball to know what my true persona is. I have done that go down by 5 or 6 points and then storm back to win thing against multiple people before. But I've also taken, and then squandered a huge lead, too. I think I need to strive for consistency, so I don't put myself in that deficit situation, or if I find myself ahead, I don't give up the good leads, and undo all I did to get there.
Singles pickleball is fun because you get to hit every shot, instead of seeing half the action. But it's also exhausting. I expect I'll sleep well tonight.