Marching on the spot

There is room for optimism

If February was all about getting back to competition and preparing for the season ahead. March has been like sitting in a draughty wet waiting room waiting for a delayed train to arrive. 

Yes, there has been actual competition and two more colds just to take the edge off and disrupt momentum. Entered the month with a cold and leaving the month with a cold. 

The matches. Played 8, won 3 and lost 5. Three of the losses were in a one day tournament in Taunton. The ages of my three opponents added together still did not add up to my age. No complaints here as I went for the matchplay and the competition as there was nothing else around. 

How to summarise? What I really want to know is whether the hard work is paying off? 

Maybe everyone has struggled in March as practice partners have themselves been indisposed. The common cold, has been, well common as well as knees, backs, ankles and more general aches and pains have kept people from practice. 

My own aches and pains have been pretty minor. The elbow pain seems to be easing. I should remember I have new rackets and maybe it is just taking time to adjust, as well as find the right strings for playability and good elbow health. 

There is room for optimism. Though the demons of lack of concentration are still not far away. A little more ruthlessness would do no harm. It seems there is a deep down instinct when things are going well or when presented with an easy shot to overcomplicate things and try something typically low percentage. 

I sometimes can envisage looking down on myself and shake my head at the ridiculous shot just attempted. Asking the on court me, why did you play that shot? The on court me looks blank, shrugs his shoulders and moves on. It is obviously something deep in my psyche. I hope to leave it behind in March. 

If March was a bit of  a false start then April, with lighter nights and hopefully better weather offers further competition opportunities. 

Gathering my thoughts and assessing the situation. Maybe my game is not as far advanced overall as I had hoped but there are signs of improvement. The one stand out thing to take forward on court is to have a purpose for every shot. 

Time to pack for the first ITF of the year. After a spring clean there are still plenty of shirts to choose from in the kit drawer. I choose a good selection. Always packing optimistically, just in case. 

And it is with that optimism I step forward into April 

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