Update: Ladera 12-10-12

Volley King and Marko 6-4, 6-1 vs all the satellite players at Ladera.

How did it go down? Well, after that first set I asked Volley if he remembered one of the guys from the other side saying something before we started.

“He was saying something and you did the right thing not to say anything,” Volley King corroborated.

The second set was more of a roll, although the other guys were by no means easy at any point. Volley King and I played our game. Point-by-point. Good flow. Good racquet tapping. We always get along very positively on the court and off. Lotta mutual admiration. It builds on itself.

Volley King has his name on his own bench over at Rancho. He is Hall of Fame. And he’s always down to hit with me and vice versa all caps three exclamation points

!!!

Serious talk now. Volley King has been a formative and abiding influence for two decades. No one has ever impressed me more with the usefulness of hitting down the middle . Frequently when I hit a winner down the middle, credit goes to Volley King.

Today he added further wisdom, which I took the trouble to write down. The context here is I double faulted a couple times and fluffed a couple overheads.

Nothing tragic.

We were up 4-0 before any topics came up, so when they did, the anesthesia of winning let the information operate on me.

1. Get your serve in the box.

2. Overheads — place them at the “T”

I liked #2 so much I added #3: hit the overhead as hard as you would punch a heavy bag you wanted to jolt.

“Upper cut,” Volley King corroborated, one-two POW-POW.

Yes.

Muy efectivo immediamente.

The Volley King has had my back for years. Some of these satellite players try not to play with me, and some of them say things, but the Volley King will play with me every day.

“You’ve got good hands, he told me. I wrote this all down. It’s prime. Volley King told me, “Don’t be afraid of motherfuckers comin’ at you.”

That’s right Volley King.

Thank you sir.

Thank you for the wins, today and every day since I’ve known you.

Published by MarkGozonsky

Mark Gozonsky is the author of The Gift is to the Giver: Chronicles of a 21st Century Decade (Keppie Usage, 2022). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. Mark’s essay, “Gritty All Day Long,” is anthologized by Norton and featured in Best American Sports Writing. He has been writing since his emergence as a gigantic music nerd in early-1970’s San Antonio, Texas. Stints as a regular commentator on public radio’s Marketplace and Internet 1.0 exec preceded a 20-year run as a public school teacher. Marko’s favorite writing topics include unorthodox pedagogy, well-intended gardening, and the intersection of baseball and urban bicycling. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, where he is working on a new book about his quest to play tennis on every free public court in LA.

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