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12/28/07 Happy Birthday to Me.
The Rutgers Winter break is winding down and I managed to do some programming stuff like the audit, a new video section, and some cleaning up, but...it would be great to do this for a living, even a meager one. One of my favorite proverbs states, "Talk doesn't cook rice." So I'll keep executing my plans and learning more stuff in '08. Have a great and safe new year.
I've also had my fill of cookies and other junk. So looking forward to losing some weight and working hard for what's left of the season.
12/16/07 Hit the Focus Wall at the NJO.
The second round in B's was against the #2 seed and I wasted too many points on my returns of his half lob to my backhand. He capitalized time and time again on his third shot opportunities with easy kills in the front court to rake in the points, but every time he played hard I was able to punish him. Lost in straight games, but had my focus.
My last match in the C's went to three games and by then I was looking at my racquet and couldn't form a coherent thought. If my mind where a car, it was sputtering on empty and then just died on the side of the road with the hazards flashing. Afterward, I thought it out and realized I didn't stop at the rest stops and refuelonce. Too many divisions, not enough physical toughness, and not enough energy.
Saturday night for B Doubles, Felix Ruiz and I passed a round by default and we played into the State Singles Champions. On about the second point, my partner pulls a hamstring and he's all but out of commission. My legs were pretty much shot too, but I managed to fire the jets to get one shot in the front court after Aimee Ruiz told me, "You need to be the runner." I helped seal our fate in game one with poor returns and just being out of gas. I should be able to eat defensive serves to my forehand for breakfast! We put up more of a fight in the second game, but we lost.
I think playing more than Doubles and Singles is setting me for failure rather than success. It's kind of a loser's mentality. "I'm just going to lose in the first round anyway, so might as well get more playing time in." So I'm probably going to stick to one singles and one doubles division from now on.
12/06/07 Psyched for the New Jersey Open at Woodbridge
"Experience is harsh teacher, she gives the test first the lesson afterward." Vernon Sanders Law.
So I entered three divisions: B Doubles (w/Felix Ruiz), B Singles, and C Singles. C's was a tough decision, but after seeing a guy who won States C's a couple of years ago again in C's those thoughts quickly evaporated--I want to face him! I hope my focus and skills have improved to finally hold my own in the draw. No guilt (I paid my entry fees), no holding back, and no mercy. Checkout the draws tonight at NJ Racquetball.
11/21/07 Subscription Section Almost Done.
11/21/07 Selling EQP.COM? Maybe for the right offer.
11/11/07 The Guy I Want No One to See.
It happens I guess. I often have a short memory for most things, but I want this picture and I want to focus on things that happened and make sure that they never happen again. I've been placing third or fourth at Hillsborough for a long time, I really wanted to break into the top two this time around. I can take losing, I can't take losing without giving my best.
11/04/07 A Simple Moment
10/19/07 Conflicting Passions
In one of the chapters, Robert wrote "the only difference between an amateur and a professional is the love of the game." I saw the truth to that pretty quickly. For example, I love racquetball, but I'm not ready to go off live tournament to tournament (I'll starve to death), quit my job, and practice for hours and days on end. At 35, I think that ship sailed and I love my family more. I also love to string, write, program computers, web sites, and play video games. There's more than one piece missing from each one and it's hard to be passionate when other needs go unmet.
Anyway working to meet those needs and plan a couple of moves ahead for certain projects. There's always a self-esteem conflict going on, but planning things out helps even the score.
10/19/07 Physical Toughness Suffering Part II. 231 lbs.
10/10/07 The Ultimate Cop-out
9/28/07 All by myself
9/21/07 Good Semester for Racquetball
Bill Serafin always told me that I was in a good position to grow the sport. It's kind of a revoling door, students come in they learn how to play and they eventually move on. My job is not to lament about old friends now gone, but to make new ones and help encourage them to play better racquetball and to have the self-confidence to achieve their goals both on the court and in life.
Sounds corny, I know, but I firmly believe if you quit on a court you're going to quit on other parts of your life as well. Mental Toughness is a skill that permeates all of life. It's also good shot selection practice for me, since they get to a lot of shots and I find msyelf setting up shots a lot more often to break open the court instead of just hitting hard all the time.
9/10/07 Physical Toughness Suffering
For a couple of years, I thought playing racquetball was enough, it's not. I often didn't want to work out because I'll be sore for racquetball, but I should know better. It's time to get back to work. I also saw the benefits of being well rested for a tournament, so gone are the days of "tuning-up" before an event.
9/01/07 God I missed Racquetball Sooooo Bad!!! The past two weeks have been painful with the gym closed there's been no other recourse except to come home and cut grass. I was saved today by Tina over at Hillsborough who invited me over to play some doubles. Luckily Karen and Jason went to a friend's house for the day, so I savored every moment I played and a strange thing happened. I didn't drop a single game. I partnered up with Ben, John, and Tina and walked away with all W's. There were some close games and some serious come backs, but it just all snapepd into place.
I kept my focus pretty well too. I guess writing the article helped solidfy my mental toughness. Maybe I just got lucky and this was my day to be in the Zone. Any which way it's sliced I'll take it. Nice to see that Tina is Head Sponsored as well, I told her if she needs a partner for Doubles to count me in.
8/26/07 No Racquetball News?
I guess, I also got afraid of writing the wrong thing and offending certain people. Well if I censor what's going on then I lose something more valuable, my integrity. So I lost interest from that regard as well. Keeping people informed is one thing, there's plenty of people doing that, adding something honest and worth reading is a lot more difficult.
So I'm working on some articles. One of them needs to be re-framed a bit or else it'll go on forever and the last thing I want to do is write a book for the web. I want to increase my site traffic to over twenty hits per day. Right now it hovers about ten. I see some jumps after a post in Meet and Play, but if there's nothing new or of value why would they come back?
8/20/07 Two Weeks Off
8/02/07 Serious Focus Breakdown
It made me realize my focus limits and that I still often play lazy (not thinking) and step right into my opponent's game plan. To help, I started reading "Winning Ugly Mental Warfare in Tennis" by Brad Gilbert. So far it's been a fun read and I like Gilbert's writing style. His description of how McEnroe looked when he was losing to Gilbert was priceless. I'll let you know how it turns out and we'll have a rematch next Wednesday.
7/18/07 Want to do something in Flash so bad!!
7/14/07 Never going back.
I couldn't wait to switch back and pretty sure I convinced Mike T. to go out and get a Metallix 190 for himself. At 41 lbs. with Ashaway Power Kill string. I'm very happy with the results.
7/01/07 Change in Plans
6/29/07 Sometimes it's Hard to Accept Critisism
He said I wasn't looking back at my opponent taking his shot. I was floored...I mean, I play with guys who look seem locked on the front wall and they often get hit in the ass for it. To think for a second, I was in that category...shook my ego. Anyway Wednesday I made an effort to focus more on my opponent's shot and to anticipate where the ball is going. I was able to get to more shots and hit offensively most of the time, unfortunately I some times guessed wrong and lost some easy points. Overall both are great habits to keep and thanks to Jon and Mary. Wednesday was great. I was focused, fast, and relaxed enough to hit hard or with control.
6/27/07 What does it mean to be a Professional?
To keep the morale of the Department going downward, they let two people go yesterday saying their positions are being dropped due to budget cuts. The Dept. also has a new director who's rumored to be making about 50% more than the previous one, so it's too easy to infer what happened. One of the people let go has a family memeber with medical issues, so not sure how insurance is going to work for them. I know sometimes there has to be a hard line in business or whatever, but certain trends just seem stupid to me.
I'm sure some hard-liners wouldn't think twice about outsourcing jobs overseas to save a couple of bucks or yelling at people to get more "work" out of them. Yet the funny things is they expect loyalty in return? They get all concerned when it suits their interests.
It's easy to be all high and mighty about it, since I don't have a business per se. It's also easy to think, "I would do things differently..." I seriously would like the chance, seems like a trend to bottom-line everything and forget that people have families they are supporting, etc. I think most people can perform if they are given the tools, the motivation, a clear goal, and ownership of a process. If not, then there's a job or personal problem that needs repair. It's the petty gossip, politics, and distractions that breeds problems and my Dept. is full of them.
5/25/07 Jason's Second Birthday
The road's not often easy, but I do love him and would do anything for him. Battery of pills for the sinius infection are working. Hopefully I'm back to playing next week. Why does he have a pink cake with the words "Welcome home" on it? My Dad is pretty weird, so I have no idea.
5/23/07 Another Sinus Infection
Been playing Quake 2, yes I know it's ten years old, with Marv and we're almost done. Having Leigh and Marv come over for some computer games was always pretty cool. Glad Marv and I are keeping our skills sharp. Of course, there's my best friend Otto who helepd with the Net Party in Intervue Digest. I just need to update my computers to keep him interested..
5/02/07 I guess I have grown as a Player
It was an interesting comparison. I can see I had a better understanding of the game and was also stronger in my serve consistency, court position, and shot selection. I can see problems in his relocation out of the service box, his pendulum serve, not bending his knees (my problem too), hitting shots too hard. Anyway I didn't beat him every game, but I saw his weaknesses and offered some advice. Overall, I'm glad I did it. Normally I'm on bottom rung, so nice to see I climbed up a few.
4/19/07 A Thursday night at Cook!
4/15/07 Racquetball News Posted!
To that end, I started using a CPAP (Constant Postivie Airway Pressure) machine for my sleep apnea. Also attacked my spending and got rid of some channels from cable, redundant phone line, calling features I don't need. Anyway I hope you like the upcoming changes around here and thanks for your support.
3/28/07 Why did I play bad at Busch? That damn "Running Joe" Strategy!
Alex told me in the locker room about a strategy he named "Running Joe!" Basically a variation of his attrition strategy that has paid off against other opponents. The name pretty much says it all. Hit shots to get me deep and then work the front court, so I need to run up. Gotta say it works and it helps keep me running at full tilt most of the time. But the brick wall is coming up fast. Don't know how much I can dig up. I have at least ten years on him, so if another challenge does come. I hope Intramural Soccer and other stuff got him tired too.
3/15/07 Over did it.
2/24/07 What am I doing?
A guy I play racquetball with asked me recently if I wanted to do some web work on the side. I said sure. He asked me how much I wanted. I said as much as possible. Somehow it came up that I would do better work for more pay. I guess, he was taken aback like I would do shoddy work for low pay--definetely not. If he wants my A game, I expect an A level rate. Hell, I don't often bring my "A game" for my own stuff or even work.
With the end of the NJRF, the time is right for a reassessment of my time and to put some things out on the table. I'm in favor of helping the NJAR, but we don't have the friendship I had with the NJRF under Bill Serafin. Anyway I love racquetball and do plan to support it, but I need to pursue things that'll also help my family out as well.
1/17/07 My Ultimate Weakness…Focus.
Often I sit down at my computer to work on a project and my attention is interrupted, thoughts of doing something else come into play, and the time I allocated to the task is wasted. I play an opponent and my mind is not focused, it’s almost like a dial tone, I react to things and take shots that just setting my opponent up time and time again. I don’t move to return serve or cover a shot. There’s a disconnect between what I’m doing and what else I should be doing. Finally, whatever time I have with my family is often polluted by other things I haven’t done yet. Easily to realize how this is impacting my life, my goals, my sport, and my relationships.
Anyway so I’ve been focusing myself on my tasks and not allowing my mind to wander so much. I think yesterday while playing racquetball I turned to the back wall to catch my breath and think. I forced myself while looking at my strings, “Think about the game. What do I need to do?” Sometimes it worked and I think the effort is better than the dial tone I normally have.
There was one serve return which was a lob that came off the right wall into my backhand. It was slow enough for me to say, “What’s the shot? Pinch!” To my surprise the pinch came out exactly and my opponent was out of position and missed it. I used to write a great deal and I miss the focus I used to have. So I’m going to work to get it back.
Funny thing is when I looked back at my CAP (Competative Adjective Profile) from 2003 in the New Mental Toughness for Sports Book. Under Focus...I had a +9 out of +10 as a self-rating. Wow! I should go on America Idol and get knocked down a few pegs. It should be one of my weakest, would say +4 or even lower.
Also believe that Dario Mas--Cuban Hall of Fame Racquetball Player and founder of DARA from Delaware--told me the same thing once "keep focused".
12/29/06 One Golden Day is better than None
I'm going to miss using XML/XSLT and the idea of using classes in ASPX really sounded cool, but I want this up early next year and I already have a pretty solid member area that I can build on in PHP. MySQL is pretty easy to use from within PHP, so I'm not settling on everything. Anyway look forward to having something done by 1/2/07. You guys might be surprised by an actual deadline. I've wasted a lot of time being unprepared, unfocused, and being pulled in too many directions to count. So one direction, one target, and one deadline. I listened to a webinar about the "Power of an Hour" by Dave Lakham. I ordered his book and look forward to really implementing it. I need some serious goal setting help. Happy New Year!
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