Allen Dronsfield Speaks: I was recently asked by Villager Gail Marineau if I could put on a clinic here in the Villages, Fl. pertaining to strategies.
I told her that I had put on other clinic’s in the Villages and it would be my pleasure to help her out. Gail is a team leader here in the Villages and by way of emails was able to assemble 50 interested players of all ability. Pretty good considering the snowbirds are still up north..
I gave Gail a copy of the quick reference card I have or cheat sheet if you will. This is a reference card that I hand out to as many amateur’s as possible, this card pertains to what shots to make when ahead or behind and whose has the hammer or doesn’t.
Gail had 50 of these made up and handed them out to each person attending the clinic.
The Village courts are not well maintained as far as maintenance, they aren’t swept, blown nor washed and the disc used are not of the quality we are accustom to using.
My first purpose was to let them know that there is basically two types of shuffleboard and that they both have their purpose, recreational and competitive. As most shuffleboard in the Villages is of the recreational nature, I told them that to operate, to play given the local conditions, their strategies are limited, and that we would work on those strategies they can use.
I believe the clinic lasted 2 1/2 hours while I set all four courts up with different scenarios, one with Tampa’s; one with St. Pete’s; one with potential double shots and the fourth with four across the back which they say they use. Unfortunately, most said they really didn’t know why, so I explained the purpose. The people were very attentive and I never heard a peep.
After going over the basics, not really knowing who knew anything or not, I began to simulate shots that they may have seen but didn’t know what to do with. I told them it is quite natural for amateur’s and I did tell them that some of the higher ups may be confused at times in deciding what shots to make.
Most courts in the Villages are inside out, or sidewalk courts, so I showed them how to determine which hide would work best for them. I also threw in a boost for Glen and encouraged them to go to Ace Hardware in this area to purchase his booklet on strategies.
Much time was spent in strategies but I then got into giving them exercises to work on when time permitted. I encouraged them to use anytime they have available, to go to their community courts and work on these exercises. Exercises like setting up your hides and then practice one shot after another getting behind them, shots that many of us have spent hours on.
Though new to them, I briefly discussed charting and how helpful charts can be to us. I did tell them to try and make up some sample charts and what to put on them. I kept that part short as most don’t understand it anyhow.
A great deal more was discussed this day, although I don’t expect many will seek the direction so many of us has chosen but that’s okay also. They all realize there is another world of shuffleboard out there and many asked for my card. I did inform them that pretty much everyone of us playing competitive shuffleboard all started in venues just like their’s, mobile home community’s and the likes.
Much more could be said about how the day went, but there was an interest, and I will from time to time show up at their practice’s and some league play to see how it has helped. It was very rewarding for me personally..
Written by Allen Dronsfield. 2017 08 23.