|Before the 2005 Nationals, I tried to patiently work my way up the ladder. Nearing the end of the timeline that I had set for my goal, I was frustrated and decided to go after the Big Kahuna. Danny was at the pinnacle, notching his 5th championship. Players felt that if they could beat him, they could retire in peace. He didn't know it, but he was being hunted with the aid of my dvd player, frame by frame. Starting off, I actually didn't feel like I needed to find that much of an edge, maybe one or two points per game. He had beaten me 16-5 in a recent challenge match, but almost all games were 7-5 or 7-6. He just owned me on the important points, but for some reason I had always been able to score on him. I did the Wil method of breaking down your opponent, basically imitate him and become him. I tried to imagine what he saw and what he was thinking on defense. This is probably my best skill in life, being able to imagine what other people are thinking.
A funny thing happened while trying to imitate Danny's defense. I focused on every detail, diagramming my table to show his exact movements. After imitating his movements, I figured out the simple little secret that had eluded me on defense all of these years. This revelation allowed me to get back on UNDERS!! Danny's defensive theories also allowed me to block overs, so the only thing that was left was to block perfect shots. That was Danny's only weakness(who doesn't have this weakness?), was against players that could consistently hit the corners. His offense was usually good enough that a player wouldn't be able to hit enough perfect shots to beat him though. I modified his defense to suit my body positioning, rhythm, and a few improvements.
With all this being said, to defend an opponent, you still have to be able to read their shots, but Danny's defense gave me the structure to block shots efficiently, interfere, and get the puck back. Gone are the days of sitting back in a little 6 inch triangle and waiting for the opponent to flub a shot, or hit right into your mallet. This has been the basis of my success, getting the puck back so that I can outpossession and outshoot my opponents. My offense, while effective, is definitely not efficient. I recently fell asleep watching myself play because the pings of me missing so many shots was really boring.