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Honesty Hour: Richardson Wealth Open 15K Tournament Recap

This post was originally sent as an email to my list on March 12th 2024. You can sign up to receive these emails directly here.

It's been a minute since I've popped in with a match recap!

Since my good spell in January (Florida, Tournament of Champions), I've had a bit of a downturn.

I had a really unfortunate knee injury right after my match at ToC where I smashed my kneecap into a metal ladder and suffered a brutal bone bruise that set back back 2 weeks. Unfortunately this was followed up by a resurgence of my chronic hip injury, which reared its ugly head due to poor training management.

I talk a lot about the importance of not doing too much too soon when returning from injury or time off, and unfortunately my excitement got the better of me.

I was able to get my hip right for my next big event in mid/late February, Windy City Open in Chicago, but unfortunately at these big events if you are the lower seed and not sharp enough, you are going to struggle.

This happened to me, and felt that although I was pain-free, I was rusty and unable to keep up the pace needed to put pressure on my opponent.

After Windy City, my hip was a bit touch-and-go, which, combined with some personal issues, certainly affected my preparation for my next event in Vancouver: the Richardson Wealth Open 15K.

I felt a bit of pressure in Vancouver, being the #2 seed and a home favourite. However, I have enough experience not to overthink this and let it get to me. I've been through it before.

Given the topsy turvy form I'd been experiencing recently, I felt I really could have benefitted from an easier match to work my way into the tournament and settle the nerves and feel out the court.

Sometimes the draws go your way- sometimes they don't. I didn't have that chance in Vancouver. I drew a young, aggressive Egyptian (aren't they all?), and narrowly lost out in a close 4-gamer. I really needed just an extra 5-10% to get through, but unfortunately didn't have enough on the day.

I did, however, learn that I needed to counter her attacks by being proactive on the volley to take time away from her. My length was also falling too short, which gave her opportunities to hit deadly boasts and kills from behind me. When I pushed up my T position, I was able to cover these shots, and also volley more, which helped me make the court bigger for my opponent and give myself a better position to attack short as well.

The silver lining: if I had not lost this match, I might not have quite realized the importance of volleying in my game. We tend to overlook what we do well when we win, whether it's a close win or a stomping.

Perspective: I was also aware not to be too harsh on myself. I knew I had a tough draw coming in, and wanted to get the most out of this match- win or lose. I hadn't been training very well leading up to this match, and felt a little lost and quite fatigued most days on court prior.

I know that the good form I reached earlier in the year is there somewhere... I just need to be able to have a good period of time to train and regain it.

Was I disappointed in the result? Yes. However, it made it slightly better being in Vancouver surrounded by a good support system of friends and family. Also, I competed hard the whole match. I could have adjusted my tactics quicker and problem solved better, but I did attempt to. This is a skill in itself which needs to improve.

Next up: I'm now in Calgary for a 20k event, where I'm the #4 seed. Hoping to get some more back-to-back matches in this week and gain a lot from each of them! It's not so much the result I'm focused on as the process, as I know this will help me for the rest of the season.

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