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This Blog is So Far Behind

Posted on July 18, 2022 by under Pickleball.    

I’m going to attempt to catch this blog up.. maybe.


Here are a couple of pictures from the Memorial Day cookout/gathering at Seneca Park. I wasn’t part of the planning/organizing because I was out of town for the Middle States Diamond Regional pickleball tournament in St. Louis but I did get back in time and was able to swing by. It looked like there was a great turnout and everyone had a ton of fun!


It was a super windy day but people made the best of it.


I think the best part was that #TeamModel #TeamEurope Jocelyn Devilliers and Patrick Smith (two of our local pickleball pros) came by and played some rec games. It’s always so special when they come around.


These two amazing guys, Jay and Pat, held a clinic at Chicken N Pickle the next day (Tuesday, May 31). I couldn’t go to it since I had already taken time off work the prior week to play in the regional tournament in St. Louis so I felt bad about taking off another day.


It looks like everyone who attended had a great time, though.


The weekend after that was the ICT Classic Pickleball Tournament, which seems like so long ago now that registration for the ICT Fall-out is open. The ICT tournaments are great for pushing your limits. At least for me, I don’t feel significant pressure to medal so I can just play and enjoy myself.


I played 3.5 singles, 4.0 women’s, and 5.0 mixed (don’t ask – lol). I was supposed to play with Judy Nola for women’s and Matt Nola for mixed, so I got both wife and husband; however, Judy had wedding obligations and couldn’t play on Saturday. I picked up Jenny Pinkston who I had met at Chicken N Pickle. She happened to be playing in the Riverside league I was in the day Judy canceled so I asked her and she agreed. I thought we played pretty well together overall. The other teams just played better and cleaner.

Playing 5.0 in mixed was a huge stretch but that’s what Matt wanted to play and I wanted to play with him so I just had to roll with it. Admittedly, it wasn’t terrible. Even though it was my very first tournament at 5.0 level (I think it might have been Matt’s first also), we didn’t feel completely out of place. Also, Matt is super nice and chill and didn’t make me feel bad for not being quite up to that level.

My takeaways from that tournament (and this is actually an observation that I’ve made about myself and pickleball in general):

  • I find that we rise to the occasion. No matter what skill level I end up in, I find that I play at that exact level. So if I’m in 3.0 division, I play just like a 3.0. If I play in 4.0, I play just like a 4.0. When I played 5.0 with Matt, I played my best possible self. Given this, it really doesn’t make sense to play down in skill because it doesn’t bring out your best self. The only way you’ll discover how great you can possibly be is by playing up in skill level. I think others came to this conclusion much faster than me. And, even after knowing this, I still don’t want to skip any steps. I have it in my mind that I need X number of medals (podium finishes) at a certain skill level before I feel like I can move up. I don’t know why my brain works this way (I wish it didn’t), but it just does.
  • At any given skill division, with a very competitive bracket where everyone is of similar skill, it’s ultimately the team that makes the least number of errors that prevails. Granted, there are those times when there are some teams that are leaps and bounds better than the rest of the field — but, removing those outliers — if everyone is entered in the appropriate skill level, it really is anyone’s game and the team that wins is the team that makes the least mistakes that given day. It’s this type of mentality that helps me sleep at night and not take my losses so harshly. You win some, and you lose some, and that’s just the way it goes. I’ll keep working at becoming more consistent but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t medal in my events.


We wore blue that day and, although we went 0 and 2 in our division (which is not a good thing), I wasn’t blue. I was happy for the opportunity to play with my friend Matt (who is always so much fun to play with) and I am eternally grateful to him for believing in me enough to invite me to “play up” with him.


I feel like I’m either winning or I’m learning. And lately it seems I’ve been doing a lot more of the latter but, as a life-long learner who always wants to be better than I was yesterday, I would not have it any other way. It’s helpful when you surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and push you to be the very best you can possibly be. You can keep on “learning” without feeling down or discouraged or doubting yourself.

Winning is fun but getting better is funner – lol, I know it’s supposed to be “more fun” but saying/writing funner is “more fun” to me.

I know I want to catch this blog up and I didn’t get very far this time but, honestly, there’s not enough time in the day. I guess I will have to save the rest of the updates for tomorrow. Until next time, GNG.

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