RacquetWorld's Newsletter Racquetball Tip of the Month
The Jolly Green Giant’s Holiday Strategy (A Three Part Saga)
For the past few holidays seasons we’ve featured the Jolly Green Giant (JGG) playing Santa Clause in the North Pole Shootout. We’ve discussed strategies based on body types and other interesting tips that each player could use against the other in these two articles, Santa vs The Jolly Green Giant and The Jolly Green Giant’s Revenge.
Racquetball was one of four sports that grew in participation over the past year and the North Pole was no exception. This year’s Shootout has grown to a field of 32 contenders. There’s either eight reindeer or nine as I’m never sure if Rudolf is an original eight member or an add-on ninth reindeer and I can never remember that song. Elves make up the bulk of the draw but like any other creatures that make up the bulk of anything they are usually easily defeated. The seeds once again this year are Santa in red as the top dog and the JGG in green at #2. The third seed is Mrs. Clause who has spent another quite year of training. She’ll be no easy match. You can see her past exploits in one of the best holiday racquetball articles ever written “Milk and Cookies” ...well worth the read or even reread.. (all the sales items mentioned in these past articles are sold out – hey it’s been a year!) The fourth seed to round out the bracket is the notorious Heat Miser who takes the term fireball to a whole new level. Cold Miser is out this year after suffering an injury caused by not properly warming up.
The drawsheet was hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St Nick would soon see it there. While everyone was all nestled all snug in their bed, the JGG formed a game plan in his head. This was by no means only a single match, the Giant would need to play a whole batch. This was to be a grueling five-match event and against weaker players the Giant knew what it meant. (ok, no more rhymes)
The JGG knew he would have to pace himself so that if and when he reached the final match, he had reserves to play his best. First on the list was what serves he should use. The argument to save your arm from the battering that continual drive serves deliver has to be weighed against the longer rallies and additional footwork a lob serve game would create. In the end, with the drive serves as a backup plan, the lob serve game is chosen.
The shot selection he will use in the opening round will also be conservative. The JGG will use more passing shots than outright kills. He’ll let the weaker players make the mistakes by keeping pressure on them by keeping the ball continually in play.
He knows that some of these players have seen Santa beat him in the past. He knows the strategy Santa used and will be prepared to counter any jam attempts into his lanky body by good footwork and stealthy movement. The JGG is ready for his first three matches and will reset his game plan for his specific opponent in the semis.
Many players who face a long road to the finals don’t realize how much each match can wear you down both mentally and physically. Creating a good game plan from the beginning that considers conservation if possible will help in the long run. The JGG knows that when you face lower level players that you should crush them today for all the tomorrows you will ever face them again. He still believes this but has grown up even bigger by realizing that if the crushing today costs him the title tomorrow he may just let it go.
For all of you going back and catching up with the earlier articles, there’s a lot of reading. Part 2 of our saga will continue in two weeks and may even have some holiday specials sprinkled around inside. Until then the JGG wanted me to remind you all to eat your vegetables.
Questions or comment…Pat@Racquetworld.com