Sunday, April 25, 2010

My second trophy

Patrice and I won the Moorland tournament we played in this weekend!

On Friday night, I followed my usual pre-match routine and ate chicken tacos from Qdoba for dinner. Typically I eat Qdoba on the day of the match itself, but that wasn’t really feasible because we were scheduled for two morning matches.

Patrice’s pre-match consumption: a burger and some gin and tonics. She did say that the sugar woke her up in the middle of the night. But she’s never deterred by physical stuff. (She had the flu the night before our last tournament.)

We won our Saturday morning match in straight sets. During our post-match debrief, we talked about what I learned on Friday. At the high-interest day, I had lunch with Kevin, who was teaching a session on NASCAR racing. He also coaches volleyball, and he shared some of his philosophy.

What he said also applies to tennis. There are five things you can control:

1. Attitude.
2. Communication.
3. Conditioning.
4. Effort.
5. The serve.

So Patrice and I talked about those things. Which was helpful for me, because we relied on all of them to win our second match.

The team we played: hard hitters who made very few unforced errors. They were also unafraid to take low-percentage shots. We tried to stay calm through some very long rallies and not fixate on our mistakes. That was tough — oh, the regret of a failed shot at a critical time. But who among us hasn't made that mistake? At one point, after a game we lost where I had made many mistakes, I thought, "Game over." But not in a bad way. Just, "That game is over. Done. Move on."

Somehow we stayed in it: 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Another great weekend of tennis.

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