‘Automatic response’

July 28th, 2011

Hello everyone and welcome back to another fantastic episode of The Thursday Blog. You are going to love today’s episode whether you are reading this for the first time or have just got back from your overseas holiday from the depths of the African jungle 3 weeks early, because when you arrived there you realised they did not have internet access therefore you couldn’t access this blog so you booked the first return flight home.

Well it is late on a Thursday night and I am once again trying to write someone before I fall asleep. I would love to give the allusion that today’s episode is from years of thought, solitude and prayer; but that is definitely not the case. Todays’ episode is straight off the cuff but I am going to tell you a story that I have told lot of people recently, so I have slowly perfected it before it is delivered to you, my wider audience. So rest assured even though this is hastily typed the content has been finely refined. That is enough intro for today’s episode called:

‘Automatic response’

I am trying to learn how to play tennis. I have always liked tennis and have been considered to be ok at it. I can hit the ball back and my serve occasionally goes in no matter how slow it may be. This is the level that myself and a bunch of friends were all at when we got into it 5 years ago. We used to play each week on a tennis court I had access to. We all had various skills but were fairly matched up except for one of our friends who was easily the worst in our group. The funny thing is this really frustrated our friend that he couldn’t play so he set out to learn. 5 years on he is a phenomenal player and can smash every single one of us without trying.

So I decided that I wanted to learn how to play tennis better. I thought the best way would be to work on my weakest part of my game: my serve. It was slow, boring and if the person receiving it was any good they could smash it back without trying. It was like they were playing Wii sports tennis where with just the simple flick of the wrist, the ball flies into the top left corner. So to practice my serves I asked for my birthday present to be a whole bunch of balls and a ball stand. This way I can practice a hundred serves in a session and start to get better. The only problem is, I didn’t have a tennis court.

I don’t know where you are from but in Sydney, tennis courts cost a lot of money to use so I wasn’t going to spend $20 an hour just to practice my serves. Then I had a brain waive, I could use the cricket nets.

For my international friends, cricket is a sport where someone throws a ball at a batsman and they hit it. Similar to baseball except the person throwing the ball can’t bend his arm so they run to the line and “bowl” it overarm. The batter has a flat bat that he hold in his hand with the end touching the ground and he can hit the ball in any direction then start running. See, exactly like baseball……….. except it goes for 5 days.

So a cricket net is a netted rectangle where the bowler and batter can practice. Now here was my brain wave. I measured out how long the box that you serve into is, and I went to the nets and measured out that same distance from the back. Then at that point I tied a rope from one end of the net to the other, at the height of the net. Then I measure how far back the baseline is to stand back on and I have a makeshift court. If I can get the ball over the net, to hit the floor before hitting the back it is a successful serve. All I have to do is measure out the court.

I went to the courts with my tape measure and it was closed and locked up. This was frustrating as I was hoping someone had booked it so it would be unlocked. I returned another day and it was locked again. This was starting to get annoying. It was looking like I had to make a booking and pay $20 just to measure up a tennis court. Then at the peak of my frustration a little voice inside me said “hey child of the eighties, it is called the internet”.

Sure enough there was 40,000 sites containing the information I needed including wikipedia, www.tenniscourtsmeasurements.com, www.servingpracticeinacricketnet.com and www.letstopdanwonderingaroundtenniscourtswithatapemeasure.org

For some random reason my natural reaction was to take matters into my own hand and go measure things myself. But here is the kicker – if the court wasn’t locked I wouldn’t of realised I was doing things the long way. It makes me wonder how many things in life we are dealing with according to our natural reaction, when if we sat back and really thought about it we are choosing the long and harder option.

Something to ponder whilst you

Have Fun.

Dan

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 11:46 pm and is filed under The Main Event!!!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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