League Play: February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

I try to treat league play like a social practice session, but when I score really poorly, it still feels like a step back. When I get through this mental block, that will represent a significant breakthrough for me on the mental side of the game.


Unfortunately, a nagging injury of mine has resurfaced and that has resulted in two problems: the pain interferes with focusing on my target and I find it difficult to trust my shot when I don't know whether I'll feel pain when I extend my balance arm. The two together represent a significant obstacle for me right now. I've chosen to eliminate on-lane practice for at least 2 weeks while I get back to my stretching and strength program.

I also need to consider some more formal strength training for my upper body, notably all around the shoulders. As luck would have it, there is a gym a 2-minute walk away from home, so I intend to walk in there tomorrow and confirm that it fits my needs.

I injured my left shoulder slowly over time through a combination of poor posture while typing (a common habit for heavy computer users like me) and very probably shrugging every time I put out my left arm for balance to throw a ball. I've since fixed the habits that aggravate the injury, but it hasn't healed. The muscles in the area are in bad shape and I seem to have a nerve compression that hasn't improved in nearly 18 months. Stupidly, when I think it feels better, I stop stretching... until the pain resurfaces and I have to start again. Humans don't handle long-delayed feedback loops very well—the systems thinker in me knows that all too well.

All this is to say that, starting tomorrow, February 4, 2021, I will resume my program of stretching with a little bit of strength training, including working my way back up to 25 push ups. (Yes: real ones, with hands shoulder-width apart and everything!) I have accepted that I will simply need to keep doing this for the rest of my life.


There's not much to say:


I feel very good about the one thing I wanted to focus on during league play tonight: keeping my right shoulder loose throughout my arm swing. When I wasn't falling over in pain from my left shoulder, my arm swing felt very fluid, and at times, my timing felt perfect. I feel confident that when I get the other physical problems under control, this mechanical change will work very well for me.

There were a handful of shots tonight that I truly trusted, that felt good, and that looked good. That gives me something to build on.



Tell me!