Monday, April 28, 2008

Choose Your Balls Wisely

I love the ritual, seen in televised tennis tournaments, in which the serving player gets three balls from a ballboy or ballgirl, examines them briefly and drops one.

The player is looking for the freshest balls with the least dirt and most even fuzz, since those are expected to be most reliably obedient to the power of his or her racquet, but ultimately it's a reminder of the importance of choice. Every moment in the next point will involve options in rotation, stroke, steps to the ball and shot placement.

Ball selection is in some ways the simplest part of that process, but it sets the player up for the choices to come (and provides the awkward bulge in the pocket or under the tennis skirt during the first serve) and begins a sequence of concentration.

Which I suppose is what I do by starting out my weekdays deciding what to write about here. Some days, I'm the one with fuzz.

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