Monday, July 13, 2009

Shadow Stroking

It was the third and final match between Richard Felix and I. Richard’s father was the Battalion Chief of the Dept, They couldn't be more different, however. Chief Felix bore a remarkable resemblance to Humphrey Bogart, he was gruff and straightforward, inclined to growling, sneering, and shouting. Richard was mild tempered and looked like a statue of David.All the women I’d ever seen him around fell in love with him. Including my girls, Mary 10, and Michele, 8.He was dark, but his profile really was perfect. Richard was extremely athletic, his brother was state Tennis Champ, and Richard was his hitting partner.

I was thirty, Richard was 25, he started off his banter by saying, "Well, Old man, This may be the end for you. I am young, and strong, you are old." It was typical monsoon weather. Richard and I kept up a friendly dialogue while we played. For Richard, this was a revenge match. I'd beat him last time, and I won the last couple of points in a way he didn't feel right about.

It was 15 love, I was serving.I powered the serve into the ad court and Richard blocked it back to my forehand.I hit a hard forehand return which only cleared the net by a couple of inches, but was deep anyway, landing just in front of Richard's feet.He slammed it back at my left side, wide.I lunged and felt an incredible pain shooting up from my left foot.I fell on the green cement grasping my foot and moaning.

I'll have to finish the story later.

This is a lesson on shadow stroking, practice for those players that want to retain or refine their play while they are injured.

I did these drills with what turned out to be a torn ligament.

  • Take your racket and stand near your bed or wheelchair.
  • Imagine a tennis ball is coming at you and practice your strokes.
  • Check to see that you are using the proper grip.
  • Practice forehands, checking to see if your follow through is correct.
  • If you are able, bend you knees for imaginary low shots and practice turning your body and uncoiling into the shot, imagining the ball has landed just in from of you and you hit it at waist height.
  • Practice your backhand.
  • If the ball is struck properly the face of the racket will be perpendicular to the net at contact.
  • Practice your serve, (if the ceiling is high enough).
  • Practice releasing the ball rather than tossing it.
  • Practice coordinating the serve with the toss.
  • Don't hit the ball if you are indoors.
  • Halt your service motion at the top of the stroke.

All of these actions create engrams, also known as muscle memory.

The better your technique is here, the better it will be on the court.

Although you cannot keep human emotion completely under control, and you are aware, during a match, where you are, the trends of the competition, how important different points are to you and your opponent, I always tell students, "Concentrate on your technique. Watch the ball. Try to hit each shot a little better, a little more effectively. Players make errors when they are thinking about their opponent, of thinking ahead to the next game or set."

Injury can be a blessing, it allows us to dissect our techniques and perfect them without the distraction of an opponent.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Obama: Born In The USA

It seems like a red herring to most Americans, but here's the birth certificate.
A more important issue is when is the President going to move on freeing American's imprisoned in North Korea.
When is he going to call on Hamas criminals to release Gilad Shalit?

The link below answers any questions re: Obama's Birt Certificate.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Tweets for Gilad Shalit

by Hana Levi Julian

( A community organization has started a grassroots campaign to push the issue of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit's captivity to top of the Internet world using the Twitter social networking mini-blog site.

Tweeters -- as Twitter users refer to themselves -- will use the hashtag #Gilad to remind the world that Shalit's condition and whereabouts remain unknown after three years in the hands of the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped him. A hashtag is a label that Tweeters add to their messages to categorize them and make them more accessible and popular.

A similar worldwide campaign to pass around word of the civil upheaval taking place following disputed recent presidential elections in Iran has been extremely successful. Numerous Iran-related hashtags have been pushed to the top of the search list on Twitter, which is being used by activists around the world to alert others in real-time to alert others of events as they unfold.

Iran as inspiration
Many mainstream media began to take greater notice of the Internet application in the wake of the events in Iran, especially in view of the fact that foreign journalists have been completely banned by the Iranian government from reporting events on the streets of the riot-wracked Islamic nation.

Shalit supporters are now hoping for similar success in raising the world's awareness of the soldier's captivity as he continues to languish in terrorists' hands.

Several thousand bloggers have already begun spreading the word on the worldwide web, with a post that was begun by one of the two key organizers of the campaign, @ASoldiersMother. Her Tweet, as it went out on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, read: "We MUST get #Gilad to the top on Thursday! Spread it using RT (re-Tweet, which means to forward the message –ed.), Facebook, LinkedIn – email. Please Thursday remember #Gilad!"

Shalit was abducted on June 25, 2006 by a team of terrorists during a cross-border attack on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom crossing outside Gaza.

The Hamas terrorists who have been holding him hostage have allowed no one to see or contact him, including representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It is impossible to know whether Shalit is even alive, although Israeli officials have stressed they believe he still is.

"Mention Gilad in school"
Organizers of the #Gilad campaign have asked people who are members on the Twitter network to "please post about Gilad and use the hashtags #Gilad - our goal is to get Gilad to the top of the Trend Tracker. This has been very effective with the Iranian protesters, gaining them tremendous international attention on all major media. Please, let's do the same for Gilad - this Thursday! Tweet for Gilad! You can follow me at @ASoldiersMother or write to me and I can send you an avatar (picture to use on Twitter) that says FREE GILAD - we are asking people to change their avatar for Thursday (one day) for Gilad."

For those outside Israel, the group has urged people in the United States to "please write, phone, or fax your representatives. Elsewhere in the world? Please do the same with your leaders."

Those who are on Facebook or LinkedIn are being asked to email their contacts. "Thursday must be Gilad Awareness Day!" stressed the group. Teachers were asked to "mention Gilad in school. Have your children write letters to government leaders and to Gilad's family."

Others were urged to write to media as well as their local Red Cross office ("ask them what they are doing to see Gilad") and to call in to radio shows and local news programs.