A Midwestern Checklist

I just left Champaign and am now in Decatur, Illinois.

I’ve been practicing and living without Horacio for a few days now and…… I miss him. Having him behind me was not only good for the high-quality instagram content, but he would instantly help me if he saw something that wasn’t 100% right. Honestly, now it’s hard for me to detect what exactly is going on if I’m not hitting the ball the way I want. I have a tendency to be really overly self-critical and sometimes I can’t tell if I’m truly not playing the way I want to, or if I’m just in my head too much. The self-doubt is mainly on my forehand, but I’ve been hitting it well recently.

I just also miss his company. He’s such a great person and it was nice just having someone there.

He suggested I write down some notes and review them before and during each session (including matches), which I thought was a great idea. This may be boring for non-tennis people to read, but I want to create a list of everything I’d like to do on every stroke. I feel like creating this list is the first step to nirvana aka moksha aka some dope tennis.

Serve

  • Use legs to go up and not forward
  • Keep right arm of the right side of my body
  • Hit the ball at the highest point
  • After making contact with the ball, land on left foot, then right foot, then split step back.
  • Be confident when stepping up to the line. You don’t have to aim for the lines to get a free point.
  • Don’t rush. Breathe.

Tweener

  • Don’t hit it unless you’re up 6-0 5-0 40-0. You’re terrible at it. Keep practicing.

Forehand

  • Movement is everything. When you don’t hit it the way you want, you’re not set up for the ball. Be deliberate with movement.
  • Swing confidently. Don’t guide the ball and stop halfway. Rip.
  • Imagine 10 balls in a straight line forward. Hit through all ten balls before you come over the ball.
  • Prepare before the balls bounces. Racket out and legs low.

Backhand

  • Move feet big man.

Volleys

  • Move through the ball. Before, after and during.
  • Hands in front.
  • Get low and quick feet dude.
  • Strong follow through.

Tweener

  • Just go for it. You’ll probably make it big dog.

Notes For Competing

  • Focus on footwork intensity. Especially after you break or win a set, keep the intensity
  • Go for your shots with safe targets. Don’t think too much just go for it.
  • Use fast racket head speed like in practice.
  • Hit and recover.
  • Play the present moment. Forget past mistakes.
  • Swing that damn ball to the target . Don’t need to think more than that. Play by instinct.

I have my first qualifying match this Saturday morning.

Lez get it. Lemme know if anyone has some movie recommendations. I just watched No Country For Old Men and it was fuego. It’s as close as I’ll go to watching a scary movie.

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