Jun

1

Tennis shoesSince my high school tennis team wasn't very good, it wasn't supported from the school. I had no problem with that, as I still got first dibs on the courts right after school. We'd play a few sets until it got dark and the lights were turned on. This is when the guys in their 20s and 30s would come in and chase us off our home court. I'd sit and watch the games of the older guys, and would carefully analyze their games, strategies, and moves. I spent quite a bit of time watching a guy who would show up at our court, an NBA player who played for the 76ers, and later became a head coach until retiring last year. He would show up every night at the game with his buddies, and they put on a heck of a show. They were power hitters, who tried keep a fast, hard game going. Unfortunately, the volleys didn't last too long, most balls ending in the net. The NBA player was the best of the three, as he had a serve similar to Rod Laver's: very fast, straight, and deadly. He also had the worst backhand I ever saw, and took great pains to protect it. After I thought I had made his game, and Achilles heel dialed in, I waited until he was finished with his buddies, then offered to play him for a crisp picture of Franklin, two out of three sets. He was amazed that a 16 year old kid would offer to challenge him to a match, and for big money in 1972. He thought it would be like stealing candy from babies. When I stepped up to the baseline, I answered his serve with a nice, slow dink shot to the corner of the baseline of his weak backhand. He had little control over that shot, and I was able to put it away. Since his game was speed and power with nice forehand ground strokes, I answered with slowness, dink shots, lobs, and hitting crosscourt keeping him running. I maneuvered him into the corner numerous times, where his weak backhand could only get the ball right up to the net, where continuously I put the ball away. By the end of the first set, with me up 5-1, his emotions took over, and I then owned him for the match. Needless to say, I ended teaching him a lesson, that one can play one game well, but it is the rare person who can play all games well. He politely settled with me after the match and was impressed that a 16 year old kid with a Davis racket could soundly beat his power game. Actually, he beat himself bloody. In the markets, one can employ similar defenses, by playing at a different speed, using arcane strategies,deception, and confusing the opponents. I learned that scouting my opponent gave me a huge edge, despite the fact the NBA player was a better technical tennis player and athlete than I was. A weak market player can lie in wait for months until a slam-dunk edge opportunity presents itself. The weak market player who's right can then attack when the conditions least expect it, and bring down a larger player. Big players often are only capable of one game, the one they play well. It's the variants of the same game that kills them.

I wouldn't have been able to step into the court had I not spent many, many, years of practice, as practice is the most important part for learning and keeping any skill.

If there are parallels between tennis and the markets, then by default, there should be parallels between tennis and checkers, or chess. I'd be interested hearing readers' thoughts.


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