How ironic that the day after I posted the “Just A Lucky Shot?” piece, I came up against the two “luckiest” ladies I've played in a long, long time.
From the time we started warming up, I kept telling my partner how dang sloppy they were. Both of them had terrible form and seemed completely unfocused. They were laughing and chatting throughout the warm-up and right into the match.
Now, I'm not saying I assumed we would win. I never assume I will win. I have had my butt kicked by plenty of ladies who were a lot older than me, a lot heavier than me and wore a lot more braces and devices than I will ever even figure out how to use. But I did believe we would PROBABLY win if we just worked hard and played aggressively.
And then the lucky shots started. I would hit a “winner” and the tall one would somehow stretch and reach it and get it back. I would slam an overhead and the chatty one would run back and just barely catch the ball on the bounce. My partner would hit hard, deep returns, and somehow, some way, our opponents kept getting them back.
At first, I told my partner, “Don't worry. That was just a lucky shot.” But by about lucky shot number 12, I had to finally admit that not only were these ladies getting a whole bunch of lucky shots, I was getting beaten by these lucky shots!
Our opponents never stopped giggling. Their form never improved. But they kept hitting those weird, “I can't believe she got to that” shots, and in the end, they beat us. Not by a lot. But they beat us just the same.
So the first lesson I learned is actually the lesson I was trying to teach in my “Just A Lucky Shot?” post – don't be embarrassed when you win points with those seemingly lucky shots. You're doing something right and you can even win a match with those.
And the second lesson? Watch out for those sloppy, laughing, unfocused players who just keep hitting lucky shots!
© Kim Selzman 2010
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