Sim·u·la·tion | ˌsimyəˈlāSH(ə)n


imitation of a situation or process

• the action of pretending; deception: clever simulation that’s good enough to trick you.

  • the production of a computer model of something, especially for the purpose of study: the method was tested by computer simulation | [count noun] a visual simulation of a collision | [as modifier] simulation models will allow researchers to test different strategies.

Think virtual reality, or batting practice, driving range, CPR.

Living on the Atlantic Coast is great … save hurricanes, drunks, and rip tides.  Climate warming causes changes that are more volatile here.  Recently the numbers of drownings has caused alarm.  Particularly rip tides.

At 80 years my surfing days are gone.  Offspring and grandchildren are a different story.

We have done a great job locally.  More awareness, warning, general education, as to how to avoid this lethal reality.

The old coach/granddaddy syndrome caused me to  think about a way to practice how to deal with the strong currents.  And while I watched tapes and read and listened, I wondered.  Could you not create a situation that  trained people in the water.  Every one down here knows the fear, even panic reaction,  that too often takes over.

Knowing I didn’t have all the facts I went to the ‘net.  And found this:


Veterans of the World Series of Poker will tell you that more big money games, or “side games”, are off camera.

Side games show up in various arenas. Several years ago we attended a recreation basketball game my oldest grandson was playing in. First time to see a game for me. However as my son opened the door to the gym we were met by Spider Man. Lingering a moment he, at 5 years old DEMANDED of my son and grandson. “Where’s Lennox?” Lennox was Spider Man’s right hand bower, Son Tee explained. Just watch him. Spider Man was our coaches son. The coach said he wore his Spider Man suit everyday. “Sleeps in it.”

At the next game we took #2 grandson, Lennox ( at 3 and 1/2) along. Watch these guys Son Tee advised. They ranged from 5 to 7 years old and no holds were barred. Whatever their self designed contest required Lennox and Spider Man hung tough. Time out for crying, peeing, and first aid. I couldn’t have been prouder.

Every high school football game has a side game for younger brothers and stout hearted . While all towns differed in 1946 the side games were very similar. Called “tackle the man with the ball” or the unquestioned “smear the queer.” No ball no rules. Maybe a wadded up paper cup and whoever had it was fair game.

As a second grader, I suffered my first permanent injury in Madison, N.C. The Wildcats, on a dirt field, with about ten sixty watt light bulbs, Foot Feynolds (quarerback) led Coach Raymond Cure’s team —featuring Leon Tucker and Lee Anglin. Our game with about twenty kids was on the west end, parallel to the goal post.

Ball ( cup) in my possession, goal not to be felled as long as possible, an unknown lowered his forehead and found my newly minted right front tooth. It almost fell out so I pushed up it with my thumb. Now on the disabled list, I sat in the stands hand to mouth thumb pushing upwards. It stayed in! Might have ushered in the new popular color, charcoal grey, as time went by. As an adult with a little money, I had Dr. Billy Boles cap it and close the natural gap to where it looked pretty good. And served me well for a long time.

As the tooth darkened I told my parents reluctantly what happened. But I begged out of the dental exam. There was hardly any one my Dad’s age that didn’t “come up poor”. His lack of upper teeth age 45 confirmed his back ground. That upper plate in a glass of water scared hell out of me but not as much as our dentist, Dr. McAnnally of nearby Walnut Cove. Nothing has ever generated a fear or pain next that Ballpean hammer of a drill. Nothing. Those who ducked this with the advent of flouride should genuflect daily for that discovery.

Alas the crowned and altered tooth fell to a crust of pizza. Looking like the “what me worry kid a.k.a Alfred E. Neuman, my local Swansboro dentist . Cratg Brown, skillfully drilled and posted me to a new front bumper. The nurse warned me not to bite apples and hard food choices. “This is not a biting tooth. It is a smiling tooth!”

I’m running out of teeth. My left “backuns” are only singular now. And it’s a little shaky.

And on the right my heavy duty, root canal gold cap gave up after thirty years. Dr. Dickie Hogan did the deed for $900. $3 a year i figure. All in all I guess I’m lucky with dentists. Br. Bill Crouch in Elon was good. He didn’t like me calling him Dr. “Ouch” Crouch. Wilson’s Dr.Dwight Johnson caused the least pain, but that was because assistant, Nancy Tyson, was so rough cleaning them you were glad to see Dr. Johnson.

Eating is tricky now. With only a sore side, a gold capped one too far gone to save, and smiley, I have to think hard to locate food with a chewable remainder. Quite a contest. A side game.

“…a man should shed his (‘testicles’) and keep his teeth. hell, he NEEDS his teeth!” (Country’s uncle, Roma Boykin)


The days sure have become very similar. There is a moment that is apparent , quite easy to recognize. Actually it’s symptoms are pre-virus. My wife starts throwing things at me.

That is the day we ride. Now. No restaurants, movies, friends over, flights, shopping. But you can drive. Where matters not.

Yesterday was it. Early rise and off to anywhere. Then “..,let’s go ride the ferry to Oriental.” (NC). Agreement is non-negotiable.

Ordinarily we read gas prices aloud. Political signs were the big item this time. Most of these are about the same size and red, white and blue. Imagine.

Oriental had a large number with both parties represented. Next one to be counted looked similarly flag like. As it became readable we both laughed out loud:




I watched both conventions. The Republican show left several impressions:

  1. Few masks and no real spacing.
  2. . Reminded me of cult behavior. Think Jim Jones, Guyana, and 900 lemming.
  3. But the real base, or true cult members weren’t there. The KKK, QNON, White Supremacists, Hell’s Angels,etc. weren’t the cats given the front row seats. Or at least they didn’t wear their suits and hoods.
  4. Didn’t see Mary Lea Trump or Maryanne Trump’s speeches.
  5. One positive: Melania’s second attempt wasn’t Michelle #2.

At least Trump doesn’t stutter, or his speech would have lasted 5 hours.




In 2008 Barack Obama’s success was credited, in no small part, to the campaign’s use of “social media.”

2020 has seen the fact emerge that there is a camera everywhere. Personal phones to professionals. The amount of footage is staggering. The old saying of “don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to see in the newspaper” now includes actions.

There is no shortage of such in the political arena. The president and cronies have put it out there for everyone.

Visual evidence daily. The crap is out of the bull.

Brian Stetler’s book, HOAX, DONALD TRUMP, FOX NEWS, AND THE DANGEROUS DISTORTION OF TRUTH records the staggering times Trump, et. al. use the word, hoax.

The most damning use was in regard, early on, to the virus. Combine the film of all the mistakes and oversights, and then contend that his actions prevented American deaths is chilling. Do not let him contend that his actions did not cause the large percentage of the soon to be 200,000 American deaths between the “hoax ” rants, and the flip-flop “oops”, or “nevermind!”

‘Want a real hoax? “W” Bush and gang began this hoax with a war, or two. Wrote them off the books. Lost control of the economy and led America from a budget surplus to the trillions we now have no idea to repay. The kicker is that Obama did the heavy lifting to begin to turn it all. Here is a football comparison. When coaches take over a 0-10 program they are given about four years. “W” left us 2-8, 1-9, 0-10. In our business if you see a JET-JOB (a team goes from 1-9 to 7-3 in one year) somebody is probably cheating. The Obama Administration did it right and the foundation for steady improvement was handed to Trump. His reaction? Within literally weeks he started the “I the greatest ever”” daily.

News flash for non-coaches: If you are handed a 7/3 team, win the first three and lose the next seven—–? (NFL–NOT FOR LONG).

GOP-YOU GOTTA COUNT THOSE LOSSES. NO EXCUSES. ADIOS. 2018 numbers don’t matter. 200,000 is a real number. Unemployment today, GNP- today, etc.

Tons of video. Books about all the lies (one cites more than 3000 and it was published before the virus), blood, money and treasure, esteem.

Hard to cover it all. Can’t begin to begin to address the “I AM THE BLACK MESSIAH” hoax. Wow.

It is the Democrat’s campaign’s task to use it effectively. Don’t let them “p” on your leg and tell you its raining”.


The most significant lesson a tennis teacher can impart is to have his
pupils “watch the ball” properly. Reams have been written on how to
do this and what benefits will accrue. What then, are the other most
important fundamental ideas in tennis ground stroke instruction and
when do these ideas incorporate themselves?Tennis teachers adopt “nutshell” approaches to express their major
concerns and ideas. Some ideas suit some teachers and pupils more
effectively than others. Gallway’s Inner Tennis is essentially a method book
on “watching the ball” and watching yourself. Welby Van Horn’s major ideas
for beginners are balance, grips, strokes, and strategy. Dennis Van Der
Meer has used understanding the bounce of the ball as a core thought. Jim
Leighton, author of Inside Tennis, emphasized the “gun barrel approach”
and understanding the hitting zone as central ideas. All are bona fide
timesavers in tennis instruction, as are many other valid thoughts.
The following is a brief list, with comments, on the major ideas a tennis
instructor should convey to pupils. Certainly there are other important
ideas, and the level of the player must be considered, but let’s focus on
these major objectives.
• Watch the ball. Many great players have developed themselves with
little or no instruction simply by following this suggestion. Trust your
own mechanism.
• Establish a target. Someone defined tennis as the ability to “hit a
moving target while under stress.” You must “watch the ball” but you
must also have a mental target of where your shot is to go. This is
concentration in tennis. “Look at the ball; where does it go” is an
appropriate oversimplification for advising players. Also, which of
these ideas (ball or target) comes first is a chicken or the egg
argument of some relevance.
• Tracking the ball to the “hit spot.” This is basically movement in
the game. Proper strokes are dictated by proper position. Once the
ball is out of the hit zone even great players have trouble. (Lousy
hit spots dictate lousy strokes!) Once the player establishes where his
shot will be (forehand or backhand) his task becomes tracking that
ball to the appropriate “hit spot.” The human mechanisms: use your
eyes to track the ball and your brain to relay the message to your feet
and legs. This makes movement, i.e., speed, quickness,
and conditioning, essential.
• Adjusting to the descending ball. Certainly the ability to hit in the
rise is important, as is learning to handle shoulder-high balls, but
fundamental hit spots for beginners should be thigh-to-waist high,
and the ball should be descending. Not only is this area the power
zone, but also it encourages low-to-high strokes. The player must
use movement to place himself so the opponent’s shot descends
into his appropriate “hit spot.” Keeping the descending ball in the
perfect “hit spot” makes his strokes much more simple and is underestimated in its ability to eliminate frustration from the
beginner’s game.
• Utilize proper grips. Proper grip is essential from the outset. There
are a variety of proper grips but certainly traditional information
(eastern forehand, proper backhand, etc.) should be part of the
teacher’s basic craft.
• Get your racquet back properly. This must be one of the tennis
teacher’s most often repeated phrases. Early preparation of the
racquet is one of the real clues in tennis. Jack Barnaby in Racquet
Work said these “nutshells”: prepare your racquet, prepare yourself,
and watch the ball. Certainly there is an interrelationship between
early racquet preparation and the speed and effectiveness of
the player.
• Firm wrists in the hit zones. The ability to keep the wrists firm
through the ground stroke hit zones can be likened to the need for a
golfer keeping his lead arm straight. Without firm wrists all kinds of
wrinkles can mess up fundamental shots. Often, poor position on the
ball is the reason for faulty wrist movements. Perhaps Mr. Leighton’s
Inside Tennis has the best statement on “pressed wrists” and the “gun
barrel approach” to the hitting zone.
• Proper finish, or follow through. After the wrists have gone
through the hit zone, the hips and shoulders should turn farther, and
the racquet should be lifted to a firm, high ending. The teacher can
emphasize this fundamental by requiring pupils to “freeze” at the end
of their shots to self-diagnose their shots.
• Return to ready. Beginning players should understand that every
ground stroke varies and to cope with the upcoming variation they
must finish the current shot and regroup their concentration and
head for the best defensive position they can ascertain, generally
near the middle of the baseline. Here again, the player is dependent
on his legs for movement, and he must understand that this is the
point at which he must work hardest in tennis.
• Recycle the process. The player now must be ready to repeat the
above outlined fundamental on either side, for as many times as
needed to win the point. Each shot is similar to, but independent of,
the other. The player must be aware that consistency in shot
production is the major strategy in tennis. The player must also be
committed to repeating the process without error for as many times
as necessary to win the point.


The most irrefutable physical law in tennis is that “the ball will be
directed where you point the racquet at the moment the strings meet the
ball.” This sounds simple enough, but it is a fundamental that is often
overlooked by a beginner who is trying to think of ten things at once.
As a tennis instructor, one can heighten the class’s attention with the
mere suggestion of the proper backhand grip discussion. Almost
immediately, pupils will pick up their racquets and search for this mystic
grip that will cure their frustrating backhand problem. While no grip will
atone for poor position or improper hit spot, an understanding that grip
change reinforces wrist strength is essential.
No matter how one explains this necessity, students have a period in
when the decisions concerning which way and how much the hands turn
are confusing. The same is true of all grips when one progresses to the
point that all strokes have been explained. To cope with this indecision, a
teacher can facilitate grip change understanding by having students check
their grips in the various hit spots.
Thus constant concentration. It is like a golfer putting; he must watch the
ball but intensely concentrate on the cup. Only tennis players move too!
While this seems obvious to parents, juniors may neither understand it,
nor understand how it breaks down under pressure or adversity. Perhaps
beginners would do well to concentrate on only one target. If nine of ten
players are right-handers and the majority of these are weaker on the
backhand side, then concentrating on this target alone makes a junior
strategically sound up to a surprisingly high level.
If tennis is the “ability to hit a changing target while moving and under
stress,” then moving and concentrating are the core of the game.
Parents—you are right, but you need to explain yourselves!Most beginners tend to check their grips in the ready, or waiting, position. By checking grips in the hit spot a beginner can immediately relate grips and their relationship to “the most irrefutable physical law in tennis.” One also can more easily ascertain the value of proper grip to
wrist reinforcement.


A teacher of sports skills soon realizes tasks include:
• Having a concept of what the skill looks like when correctly executed
• Seeing where others are going wrong
• Correcting execution
• Leading through a proper program to eventual proper execution on
a reflex, or match, basis
Tennis is no exception. A good teacher will set up enough practice balls
so errors are corrected. This is a main task, and good teachers, pros, and
coaches work doggedly at it. There are some common misconceptions on
the part of pupils however. Perhaps it is worthwhile to examine a few of
these. First, no teacher can tell a player how to play. He can only teach the
player how to practice. It’s like a person taking piano lessons and never
touching the keys–the student simply cannot learn without actual practice
on the piano.
Some people conceive of tennis as lessons. Tennis is play. As a city tennis
director I observed people repeatedly taking beginners’ lessons from one
year to the next. When I ask them how they have done since last year they
often reply “oh, I haven’t played since the lessons,” or “I could never find
anyone to play with.”
These people haven’t understood a basic fact regarding improving one’s
tennis game: you are dependent on other people. There are some ways
to overcome this fact, namely lessons, ball machines, backboard practice,
racks of shag or practice balls – yet no one avoids the inevitable. You must
have someone you can count on to play or practice with. Often you hear “I
like to play with better people,” and perhaps to play with an equal is best.
But to play with anyone is better than not playing at all.
Often the most natural practice possibilities, i.e., family member, friends,
neighbors, or rivals, are somehow eliminated because of various reasons.
“Oh, I can’t play with my father, he shouts at me all the time,” is one excuse.
“I can’t stand to lose to her” is another. “I can’t count on them to be there
on time,” or “to play hard when they come” is frequent. At this point I think
the player should have a “heart-to-heart” with their potential practice partner. The gist of which would conclude: “Look, I need you to get better,
and I know you want the same. Let’s set a regular time, keep our mouths
shut, and promise each other we’ll work as hard as we can while we’re on
the court. Also we’ll swap practice hits on an equal basis.”
“Swap practice hits?” What does this mean? It means that if you are,
and have, a dependable friend, you can set up the practice balls rather
than pay a pro a fee for such service (or fail to practice because of an
absent coach). This agreement has enormous potential for specific shot
improvement, yet will go awry quickly unless each person is conscientious
about hitting his share of the set ups. It also helps players to make note
of their weak shots and their friend’s weak shots during play. A sincere
effort must be made by the players to set up the practice balls realistically.
(Communication helps here!) Again, it helps to “blend” shots that go
together naturally. For example, player one practices serving at the
backhand while player two practices his backhand return. Next the
players reverse roles. Drills can be fit together in a limitless number of
patterns and shots, yet some are time honored and should be emphasized.
Even coaching college men who were quite talented, one had to sell
the players on the value of drilling and their dependency on each other
to practice properly. Of course, more than two can practice together. A
coach would never allow absenteeism, tardiness, or the “I just don’t feel
like practicing hard today” excuse. For player A to improve, player B must
extend himself. The entire team’s improvement is dependent on each
member’s maximum effort to extend their teammate into improvement.
A sack or rack or bag of practice balls is a common sight around
tennis courts today. Surely you should hit “tons” of practice services. You
can bounce hit, backboard practice, and work on the ball machine. You can
take lessons from the best, but to really improve, friend, you need a friend!