What are your superstitious rituals?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by treo, May 24, 2006.

  1. treo

    treo Rookie

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    "A player on a streak has to respect the streak. Because they don't happen very often. If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you ARE!" – Crash Davis in Bull Durham

    Pro athletes have many superstitious rituals that seem strange. Less successful amateurs probably have even stranger ones.

    If I'm winning or playing well I have my superstitious rituals.
    Current rituals:
    If I'm playing a home match I always stop at the Taco Bell and have a 7-layer burrito.
    I use the same racquet until I lose.
    I'll have a home and away shirt that I will wear until I lose.
    Where I park can influence the outcome of the match.

    Previous rituals that worked for a winning streak:
    For morning matches, wake up as late as possible and eat a bagel on the way.
    For evening matches, take a nap before until as late as possible.
    Arriving early.
    Arriving late.
    Playing golf before a match.
     
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  2. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    i wear the same socks...i'll never change it till i lose a match...
     
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  3. katastrof

    katastrof Rookie

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    Im really hoping you wash them between matches.

    How's your eye, by the way?
     
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  4. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    geez~ went to see a doc & it turned out to be fine, just red in the eye . i dun have to be a pirate after all...haha, thanks by the way. ;)

    anyway, forgot to mention that whenever i see a black cat, i will lose a match...the trick is, when i see a black cat,i have to go home, wash my face and go out again...then all the bad luck will go away...
     
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  5. armand

    armand Banned

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    For some reason, I have an uncontrollable urge to avoid stepping on the lines when I walk. It's an unconscious thing and I couldn't step on the lines even if I wanted to.

    I don't know if that's superstitious, but it's definitely paranormal!
     
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  6. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    I need rituals :)
     
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  7. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Superstitions get people killed. Anyone remember the black plague? Superstitious morons in the middle ages believed cats were causing the plague through their alliance with the devil and killed as many cats as they could find. With all those "evil cats" being killed, rats spread the plague around more than ever and you know the rest. Don't be superstitious about anything because if you can't learn from history's idiots, you're even more stupid than they were.
     
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  8. progman_2000

    progman_2000 Rookie

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    I am always inclined to wear the same shirt if I have a win streak going. By the same token, I had a match a coule of weeks ago where I was sucking wind so bad at the end I almost yakked. I just wore that shirt again for the first time last night (I won) :)
     
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  9. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hahahah!! You think you're cool! That's exactly how Ivanovic feels about lines! You copy cat! Haha :mrgreen:
     
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  10. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hey Progman, is your avatar a catfish? :mrgreen:
     
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  11. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hey Jessica, did you know that "mold" was the cuprit of that plague? Haha :mrgreen:

    Gotcha! . . . , Rickson! :mrgreen:
     
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  12. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    And who is the one with "issues"? :rolleyes:

























    Haha, you were mad for a second there! Haha :mrgreen:

    **waits for a reply with the emotionless face included**
     
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  13. katastrof

    katastrof Rookie

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    The weirdocracies in this thread are not really superstitions (at least not in the way you take the word), they are minor cases of OCD -obsessive compulsive disorder-. Every person has them, and they're fine as long as they are not excessive (a serious case would be to believe that someone you love will die unless you restart your computer 7 times every morning... or something like that).

    These things are very common among tennis players, I haven't faced mine yet, but I am expecting a series of compulsive overgrip changes in the very near future.

    So, cut the guys a little slack :)
     
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  14. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Not "quite". You only "try" to sound intelligent by using a "real-life" condition, in an attempt to utilize "science" as a backing to YOUR claim. It's not OCD that's the reason for "most" player's rituals!

    A lot of athletes are taught to go through the rituals, because it is "believed" to aid in "consistency" -- repeating success, not because of OCD!

    Example: On free-throws, basketball players are taught to develop a ritual before attempting to shoot. Usually, they'll repeat to themselves: "nothing but net" and then dribbling the ball x amount of times (actually, as far as I know, they typically say those words in their heads as they are dribbling). The "net" part sort of is believed to force one to develop confidence in thinking: "I WILL get the ball into the hoop! There will be nothing but a swoosh sound. This WILL happen. There is nothing else that will happen.", hence, "Nothing but net".

    Of course, over time, each player will have their own unique ritual established -- one extreme example is Jason Kidd (sp?). The guy does that funny thing where he blows a kiss to the hoop.! :mrgreen: Then there's that annoying thing that Hamilton (the guy from the Detroit Pistons) dribbles the ball twice the normal way, then for the third dribble, he dribbles it to the side of his body! That's funny (and stupid). ^_^

    By going through the same ritual that coicides with the "successfull" shots during practice, it is believed that the body would better repeat the past successful trials, by tapping into the brain's hard-wired memory (sort of like how muscle memory works). AND, more importantly, despite whether or not the body is able to become more consistence by repeating something in the past, by going through a ritual, the mind is allowed to focus on something, the SAME thing everytime (or at least that is the goal!), therefore this would help a person in becoming calm by getting their mind off of the surrounding distractions.

    So there! It not because of OCD, my child! :mrgreen:
     
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  15. armand

    armand Banned

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    Ana Ivanovic does this? I didn't know that, where did you hear it? Anyway, why would I copy her, when I could copy much better or players?

    And like I said, it's an uncontrollable urge, a subconscious thing.
     
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  16. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    YESS. She does that. She also dribbles the ball the same amount of times, every time.

    And about the other part, where is your sarcasm detector? :mrgreen:

    P.S. I think you may have OCD.
     
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  17. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Why do I believe in my superstitious rituals? Because i believe they will give me good luck. Here is another memorable movie quote from Woody Allen's "Match Point" last year:

    The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are often afraid to realize how much of an impact luck plays. There are moments in a tennis match where the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, remains in mid-air. With a litte luck, the ball goes over, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.

    Much of tennis is mental and if you have a ritual that may seem illogical, but it gives you the mental edge because you believe in it and will make you play better and give you good luck. And luck is very important in the game of tennis. Think of all the one-time slam wonders who had very lucky two weeks with the draw, bounces, calls etc.
     
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  18. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hey Mr OP, I would NOT classify your "rituals" as "normal/inexcessive"! I think that you have OCD.

    Your beliefs are very odd. :mrgreen:
     
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  19. katastrof

    katastrof Rookie

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    All right, kiddo, I'll try to "finesse" the lines between what you are saying and what I have previously mentioned. (does that sound intelligent, by the way? lol. :)

    Your example about the free throw is good, and everything you say about those rituals are correct. Very similarly, anyone who has tried to have a decent serve in tennis knows the value of going through the same prepatory motion each and every time. Most bounce the ball with left hand a couple of times, or something like that.

    If you read the above posts, though, you'll see that what these people do has nothing to do with the "value of repetition" you mention. C'mon, explain to me the added "consistency" by wearing the same sock each match, the effect of seing a black cat, having to use the same color overgrip with the court surface ... and so on. These are nothing but compulsive obsessions. They surely have an effect on the game, and it is simple to see why, but let's not turn this into a psychology essay.

    By calling them "minor cases of OCD", I do not mean that these people are sick, nor the behaviour is pathological. Everybody has their share of obsessions, and they most resemble, yes, Obsessive compulsive behavior.

    Seems to me that you just learned all these stuff about consistent repetitions, and obsessively wanted to "sell" it to the rest of us. (does this come out a little harsch.. let's put a smiley at the end if it is. here :) and one more, there :mrgreen: .

    Lighten up, kiddo. (I'm out of smileys)
     
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  20. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    The thing is, I don't believe in "luck"!

    If something goes my way, in my favor, sure I will say that it is luck.

    Like for instance, if I were bowling and then nine pins came down, but then 4 seconds later, the tenth pin FINALLy tumbles over for a complete "strike", I will say out: "wow, that was luck!" That doesn't mean that I was implying that some "magical" power was the cause for that tenth pin falling down!

    In that case, what I meant by "luck" was: it was due to probablitly, not some mystical force!

    You seem to believe in a mystical force playing a role in luck, as if luck favors certain people, or when people perform certain things. I don't believe in that.

    :mrgreen:
     
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  21. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    I KNOW that those people are weird. Actually, there are ONLY a few! I bet most of the others were only kidding! :mrgreen:
     
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  22. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    I have a bad case of OCD so the list is long. But OCD and superstitions are totally different things. OCD is doing something without reason while doing something because of a superstition usually has some kind of fear associated with it..
     
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  23. MegacedU

    MegacedU Professional

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    I paint my nails the night before and scratch my ankles before each of my serves.
     
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  24. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    No I did not just learn this and wanted to "sell" it to you people. Haha, that's what I was originally insinuating that YOU were doing, because you brought up the subject in the first place! Haha ^_^
     
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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    For some reason, I like to pass gas when I walk near my opponents bag.
     
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  26. katastrof

    katastrof Rookie

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    I think most people who play tennis, one way or another, have some of these. No biggie.
    I threw in the OCD business as a way of pointing out to Rickson that these are "normal" things everybody might end up doing. Nothing to be scared of, like witchcraft and the like.
     
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  27. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    I think that is evidently clear now, after Katastrof and I posted. Thanks for reacknoledging the fact though, as this info should be useful for the OP, Treo, because I really care, honestly. :mrgreen:
     
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  28. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hahah :mrgreen: At least that is "normal" behavior!!!!! AHAHAH :mrgreen:
     
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  29. Nuke

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    Most of my "superstitious rituals" actually have some practical bit of reasoning behind them:

    Bounce the ball three or four times before serving (which slows me down so I can think ahead about what I want to do with my next serve).

    Always grip the racquet with the same side up (because my topspin pushes the main strings down a bit, and if I alternated which side I held the racquet, then they'd saw back and forth every time I changed, which would eat the strings).

    Never use the same ball twice in a row (which is just an easy way to make sure they all wear out at the same rate).
     
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  30. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Yeah, don't worry. You're alright! =_=
     
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  31. katastrof

    katastrof Rookie

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    OK. I remember one of mine now. If I hit a good shot, I'd like to keep playing with the same ball. If I mishit & the ball comes right in front on my feet, I'll usually slide it back to the fence and get a new ball. I don't do this all the time, only on bad hitting days.

    I noticed Ivanisevic had the same obsession. After a great serve that his opponent hits into the net, he'd follow the ballboy to get & serve again with the same one.
     
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  32. armand

    armand Banned

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    OMS, tonight I noticed that I have to bounce the ball a certain number of times too! I'm not certain what the number is, just that I get to a rythm, and serve. I couldn't believe it and I froze when I realized it. Bizarre!

    Guess my sarcasm detector is deactivated due to brain resources being diverted to OCD functions.

    I think I only have OCD in tennis. I hope...
     
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  33. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I bounce the ball behind my back (a la basketball), before my usual bounces, everytime I'm about to serve.

    I take it out of the right pocket, (if that time I'm wearing the shorts WITH pockets), with the right hand, and bounce it behind the back to my left hand, and then, the regular bounces...
     
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  34. Woodstock_Tennis

    Woodstock_Tennis Rookie

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    Before every serve I have to dribble the ball three times off the racquet.
     
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  35. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    My ritual is to just keep on winning. Keep beating the guy or else you will lose. Makes perfect sense to me.
     
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  36. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Wade Boggs ate chicken before every game and Micheal Jordan wore his lucky North Carolina shorts under his Bulls shorts at each game.
     
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  37. Fatmike

    Fatmike Semi-Pro

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    I don't walk on the lines between points....

    I think that it is stupid but I can't help it....

    Sometimes when evreything goes wrong, I deliberatly walk on the lines....

    ah.....
     
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  38. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Some of you people are ... strange.

    My superstition is valid: I pick my nose before shaking hands with my new opponent. He sees me cram my finger up to the second knuckle, gets grossed-out, (usually) will refuse to shake ... and I immediately have psychological advantage.

    Try it...!

    - KK
     
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  39. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Hahhaah you are so funny Mr Moderator *cough cough* umm. . . I mean KK! :D

    I undertand all the bouncing the ball thing, but what the hell is the deal with the "avoid walking on the lines thing"??? I know Ivanovic does it, but why is it that EVERYONE does it? It's not even a common behavior that people spread to one another (for instance, Adely thinks that it is just him, his subconscious behavior that's the reason behind the habit). I want to know! Is it a common trend that people pick up from each other? :neutral:
     
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  40. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    Remind me to never play with KK should we hold a TW tournament :)
     
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  41. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    i suggest that ppl playing him should wear gloves...
     
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  42. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I'd just give you a fist and there goes your advantage. If you pick your nose and put the dried up mucus on your knuckles, I'll just give you an elbow. See? You don't have enough spots on your body to win the advantage.
     
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  43. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Rickson, just kick him in the NUTS!!!!! LMAO :mrgreen:

    Oh, wait, what nuts??? AHAHHAAH :D


    (I don't care anymore. I've already been blacklisted by Mr Moderator. :mrgreen: )
     
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  44. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    A kick in the nuts isn't exactly a friendly greeting. Gilbert fists everyone he sees and baseball players elbow each other. A handshake isn't the only greeting unless you're on some sort of interview.
     
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  45. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    AHa! :D I thought you originally were saying that you would "fist him" or "elbow" him, as in "beating him up" for getting boogers all over you (or attempting to do so). That's why I suggested to kick him in the jewels, just for fun, for him being gross. :mrgreen:
     
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  46. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Damn! And I thought I was a violent guy. Your mind's in the gutter, beast.
     
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  47. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    No. I'm not that violent. :mrgreen:
     
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  48. soyelmocano

    soyelmocano Rookie

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    Personally, I bounce the ball the same number of times before serving while gently shifting my weight between the front and rear foot. I do breathing while bouncing. Total of seven but not exactly sure how many counts for inhale/exhale without actually bouncing a ball to serve. More bounces on exhales than inhales. The seven has nothing to do with lucky number, it just worked out to that with the breathing.

    Does several things:
    1) Forces you not to rush too much
    2) Relaxes the body (and catch your breath sometimes) and mind.
    3) Let's you visualize where you want the serve to go.
    4) Last breath in as ball is about to go up so as to exhale during serve.
    5) Last weight shift goes back in order to go up/forward while serving.

    Playing volleyball (couldn't bounce in sand) indoors, people started to count as I bounced hoping to disrupt me (not tournament but twice a week college pickup), but soon found that it didn't work.
     
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  49. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    I just get really ticked off when I have to play against people like YOU, the ones that take their sweet-arse time.

    If you were playing against me, none of those things would make any significant difference! Mind as well hurry on up and lose quickly so that you can be home sooner, having more time to nurture your pain!














    :mrgreen:
     
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  50. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Here's my list:
    Only call score on even points.
    On even points forehand gets smooth side of strings, reverse on odd points.
    Will drive the same car to matches until I lose.
    Always defer if I win the spin.
    If my opponent wins a point, I consider that his lucky ball, so I try not to let him play it.
    Never play more than 2 points with the same balls on my serve. (Try to change on the deuce side.)
     
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