Friday, September 19, 2014

I hate playing I love it...I hate

I am playing in a tennis tournament tomorrow morning. For the past couple of years, I have been only playing doubles. I'm not at my singles weight is what I tell people but I actually just get too frustrated and pissed at myself because I don't get the chance to play enough for practice.

The weight really doesn't matter to me but that's just the 'joke' I use. I would like to lose a few twenty pounds just to be a little more light on my feet but I don't know if that will happen anytime soon.

Truth is, I suck at tennis. I've lost that competitive edge that I used to have. It sucks to be the nice guy across the net but I can't help it. I'm damaged goods.

Okay, I really don't suck. I just lack getting enough practice to be more consistent with my awesome shots! Once a week on a Saturday morning is not going to help me hone my shots. Of course, some of the guys I play with play 2-3 times a week and they really aren't any better when I come back after a couple of weeks or more between playing. It's sad for them (in my eyes) but also anger for me because I know I have the potential to be better than I am...if only I had more time to practice and/or persons to practice with.

I used to play singles at least 1-2 times a week with a neighbor friend. It was good practice just to get out and hit the ball. I am always better than him because most of the time when he would win a point, game, set or match, it was because I lost it from stupid shots and errors rather than him kicking my ass.

I lack consistent focus. Winning just stopped becoming the highest priority when I played. I was just glad to get out and hit. To have fun and enjoy the interactions with friends.

But then came leagues and tournaments. It was tough to change my mental game. Many times I didn't and I'd lose. Most of the time I'd take the first set. I then would let up because in my mind I had already won. I would know I could beat the guy so I wouldn't really have to do it because it was already a given. So, I'd lose the second set and usually the third if I didn't pressure myself mentally to pay the fuck attention and win the damn match. Worst is when I'd be up something like 5-1, 5-2, 5-3. I'd have one more game to win and I knew it could be done but I'd become unfocused and then I'd be at 5-5, 6-5 or even worse lose the set 7-5. I'd be mildly upset but, again, I'd be happy to have been able to play and have a fairly decent match even with the brain farts!

I only bring all this up because in my tournament tomorrow I am playing singles. I didn't tell my doubles partner that I also registered for singles. I didn't want him to get stressed out about my possible fatigue from playing possibly two matches before our first doubles match. I play at 8 a.m. and win or lose I play again at 10 or 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. will be our first doubles match.

I'm a little nervous...okay, a lot. I haven't played singles competitively in a long time. I mean there was the times with my neighbor friend but that really wasn't for any prize...just kind of bragging rights until next time. To top things off, I'm going to play this very consistent Asian guy that I've hit with on other days and even played a few doubles matches against with my doubles partner. I saw Asian guy a week or two ago and asked if he was going to play singles in this tournament. He said he probably was as the registration deadline was that Sunday by midnight. I joked with him and said I might play just to see him in the finals. Well, karma really likes to fuck with me so I'll be seeing him in the first match.

Again, he's not technically better than I am. He's just more consistent and he just happened to win this tournament, as well as a few others, in the men's 4.0 singles.

I am trying to prepare mentally now and hopefully that will automatically or at least help translate to me physically tomorrow morning. Our match is at 8 a.m. which means I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready, maybe get a light breakfast and leave to get to the city it's being hosted in about 25 miles away.

All good times ahead. If I lose, I can chalk it up to experience, I guess. I don't like to waste $25 but I guess it'll help me know where I stand. I'll be happy to be a 6-4, 6-4 loss but would be even happier if I pull off the reverse for the win.

We'll see. At least I know that I get to play in a consolation bracket if I lose and still have my doubles match to play.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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