Archive for August 27, 2007

Blink … and my new style of serve

I played with new serve over the weekend – without any practice – did well.  Only couple of more doubles than usual, which surprised me.  (I had many doubles on Sunday afternoon when I played at a party, after 3 serious hours of playing in the morning – I was so poppped.)  So years ago’s advice actually blossomed, although I never thought of making use of it.

Couple of weeks ago, there’s book review on Gerd Gigerenzer’s Gut Feelings by Catherine Arnst (Business Week 8/20).  It sounds very familiar with a book I read few years ago – Blink.  No coincident, by 3rd paragraph, the reviewers mentioned that Blink‘s author Gladwell drew heavily on Gigerenzer’s research.  Every time when I committed a double fault in tennis, I thought of Blink: we all develope an innate and unconscious rules that govern our negotiation in life – most of those doubles are made when I thought of making it, not I wanted to make it.  Like telling myself, oh no, don’t double fault.  And I was not flexible (or quick) enough to avoid making it.  Is this the thin line distinguish a good player from a great player?  This theory not just applies to tennis.

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Nothing is right

Last Thursday I took my first lesson with Barry.  He’s trying to correct my strokes, not just one, but basically all of them, from forehand to serve.  Shhishe, I’ve been taking lessons on and off over the years, group or private.  None of the coaches tried this hard.  They all say how good I played 🙂 guess not.  I didn’t like it – IF indeed I’m good, than how come I don’t improve much, stagnate at 3.0? Well, I never gone out of my way looking for one that can pick my game either.  Hopefully Barry is the man.  He first worked on my forehand.  My problem is I don’t shift my weight, and hit short, hooves around the serve line, which isn’t good, baseline is the target.  Simon had said it hundred times.  So was Lou, so’s Barry.  After a while, tired of telling me to hit it deep, he said my lacking of power is due to my skinny arms.  Hey, I eat lot of spinach, will it mean that I’ll get my popey’s arm, soon? 🙂

Right before ending of the session, he showed me how to serve .. the right way.  I remembered one of the coaches years ago, who said, “your serve is great, but you should consider adding more varieties, like twist the grip when you’re up 40 love..”  I was lazy, and my serve has always been very dependable with very few double faults.  If I could force errors and gain points here and there, there is very little incentive for me to add anything to my repertoire. 

I told Pumpkin how did I learn to serve when she asked: that for the first few times, I felt totally lost of control and the ballet movement. Ya, the ballerina, the metaphor coined by Gerald at Queens College.  Barry showed me how to do it, which I thought that’s the way I’m doing it. 
“Oh no, you don’t” he replied. 
Geee, now I see the purpose of mandatory continuing education in many industries, to refresh and to improve.  Many things I thought I’m doing it the right way, but after years of doing it, I somehow found a way to do it incorrectly, cutting corners, out of laziness.  Same with swimming.  Once a girl asked me to teach her, did I realize how badly had I been swimming.

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