What I'm about to admit probably deserves a mock up of a twelve step program.
"Hi, my name is Jake, and I was once a backboard".
I don't think I would have admitted that a year ago. I didn't think of myself as one of those people. I played many of those people and they annoyed the hell out of me with all of those ridiculously high lobs. I guess I didn't think of myself as a backboard because I always had a solid enough shot, and my placement was pretty damned good(I have always been able to tell, 98% of the time, if the shot is going out or not. Always hits that back corner and causes errors).
But after playing the final in the Kennworth tournament, I saw what I once was, and never want to be again.
Tied at 2-2 in the final, my opponent(Igor Orlanov) and I had a REAL long rally. It lasted a couple of minutes, and it ended at 78 shots when I chased down a forehand in the corner and hit my own for a winner. In one case, it was fun to win that sucker. In another, I was kind of discouraged. With all of the progress I have made with my game over the last 18 months or so, I came to the sobering conclusion that I was that person I hated the most.
So now that I think about it, maybe losing 6-4 6-4 in the final probably isn't so bad after all, even if I would've loved the 150 points. Maybe it's the old me that lost, and that old me lost matches I never should have, even when he won matches he never should have in the first place.
To prove that point, I went to the park on Friday to shoot the final part of the trailer. Christoph and I even had a little match, and I did something that I believe put the old me to rest. Christoph serves this beautiful slice serve right to my forehand side. Instead of just getting the ball in like I did in the past, I zinged a beautiful forehand right down the line.
And with that, I believe I put the old me to rest.
RIP: Pusher Backboard. You wore out your welcome.