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Thursday, May 3, 2018

When to Use a Timeout (Part 1)

When you can't play, stop...

DJ Howard has written a couple of tips about the use of timeouts. Last week, I posted his second tip and promised to come back to the first. His first tip is shown below.

DJ's weekly tip:

Use your timeouts wisely.

There are a number of reasons why you may want to use a timeout. The main thing is that you actually THINK about using your timeouts because you really want to use them wisely, not carelessly.

P.S. I will be discussing many of these options in the coming weeks, so I kindly ask that you not inundate this post with all kinds of ideas as to when to use a timeout. That isn't the point. I'm sure y'all have great ideas. But since this is my post, you just calm yo'self down and comment only on this particular situation. Thanks! Y'all are too kind. 

ONE reason for calling timeout:

You feel poorly.

This one may seem obvious, but call a timeout if you or your teammate is feeling poorly for any reason after a point has been played. Maybe you're out of breath after a long point in which you ran a lot. Maybe your teammate accidentally hit you on the thumb with their paddle trying to poach (happened to me about three times too often, and I'm not naming names but he knows who he is and I have scars to prove it). Maybe you tweaked your ankle or feel a cramp coming on - Note: this is different than an injury timeout - and need a brief moment to recover. Maybe you just feel "off" or need a cool drink cuz it's hot outside. If you're not feeling well enough to start the next point right away, call timeout and give yourself a moment.

This happened to me in my recent tournament in Arizona at the Grand Canyon State Games. Steve Wong, great guy and great player (I hate him for this) that he is, decided to poach on a ball that hung up in the air off a return by my super sweet (put me in danger) mixed teammate who also shall remain nameless to protect the (not so) innocent. Steve smashed the ball hard and I tried to block the ball but it clipped the edge of my paddle and tagged me good (I felt like throwing up). I leaned over to catch my breath and seriously wanted to call timeout (I was too embarrassed), but Steve (who obviously understood what I was going thru, bless him) gave me a moment to recover, saving me from having to call the timeout (all is forgiven, buddy). But I easily COULD have called timeout to allow myself time recover if Steve hadn't been quite so gracious.

So think about it. If you need some extra time to feel better, don't presume upon your opponents to give you extra time. Use a timeout. It could be time well spent.

Til next time, keep reppin'! (But call timeout if you don't feel well.)

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