So I’m now in a fascinating situation. I’m competing regularly for the first time in my life. Yet I’m injured and playing left handed instead of my preferred hand, my right. My results have been good considering I’m hindered but I’ve really missed playing with my right.
The match I played a few days ago was both frustrating and a blessing. I didn’t win but I learnt. I started with my right hand. I’d been looking forward to getting back to playing with my stronger hand. I felt sure I’d be strong and able to attack where so far I’ve had to defend.
What I found out is that I’ve actually focused so much on my left hand that it’s become my favoured side. Atleast for now until my right hand is fully fit. I’m finding that it’s not just the muscles and coordination of the hand that matter, it’s the whole movement and game behind it. Playing with my right hand I just couldn’t move. When I did get to the shots I played ok but in truth I was holding back because I can’t fully play. I tried every option I could think of but my opponent just had a lovely game perfect for beating me.
Given my previous matches I expected to trouble him more but I didn’t. He just kept coming up with the answers to everything I tried. Then, right at the death I decided to try playing left handed again. All of a sudden. I could move. I got to balls I wasn’t previously getting to and even won a couple of games on the trot. It didn’t affect the result, but it did convince me that I don’t need only my right hand to be fit. I need my body to be used to playing right handed again. I also felt that if I had started with my left then I’d have been competitive. Atleast got a set.
So it actually feels more natural to play left handed than right handed right now. I always felt that could happen 🙂 Now I know it can. Just fascinating.
Playing left handed in competition has been particularly challenging because there has been so much more to think about. Right handed I know my game. What choices to make when and how to handle situations. This is because I know what my right hand will do, but I am only guessing what my left will do. Often it’s good and often it’s bad. I never know what I’m going to get.
It’s also been exciting because I’m getting to a place where I can switch hands as I feel. My right is still the stronger hand when it’s fit but it’s taking a while to heal. So having a backup hand to play with is proving a real benefit. What I have started to do is switch hands between points. Balancing the load but also helping my left hand learn. I literally get to play the shot with my right. See and feel how it’s done. Then try it with my left. It’s a fascinating learning experience. Teaching me so much about myself and given me a new perspective on the game.
It’s just fun seeing where this leads. It’s making the journey very interesting.