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FEED THE DUCKS

BY JIMMY RUSSO

A "DUCK" IS A TERM USED IN THE NEW YORK CITY ONE WALL HANDBALL CIRCLE WHICH MEANS THAT YOU ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING A GOOD HANDBALL PLAYER. THE TERM "DUCK" IS A FRIENDLY INSULT THOUGH , BECAUSE  MOST HANDBALL PLAYERS KNOW EACH OTHER. A "DUCK" IS A C-PLAYER; WHO IS SOMEONE LEARNING THE GAME, OR SOMEONE WHO JUST DOES NOT PLAY WELL. SORRY.  BASICALLY YOU HAVE THREE CATEGORIES: A-PLAYER, B-PLAYER, AND  C-PLAYER. AN A-PLAYER IS A RANKED PLAYER. IF HE DOES NOT PLAY IN NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS HE IS AN UNRANKED A-PLAYER, AND IS WELL KNOWN AND ADMIRED FOR HIS GAME.

BEING AN A-PLAYER MEANS YOU HAVE MAGIC. THESE PLAYERS ARE CALLED "MONSTERS" (VERY STRONG PLAYERS). WHEN YOU SEE THEM YOU MAY EITHER RUN AWAY SO THEY DON'T HUSTLE YOU OR WATCH THEM PLAY LIKE SOME ROCK STAR GROUPIE. IF YOUR LUCKY THEY MAY TEACH YOU SOMETHING, BUT DON'T COUNT ON IT. SOME A-PLAYERS ARE VERY NICE BUT SOME THINK THEY ARE BIGGER THAN THE GAME ITSELF.

A-PLAYERS. YOU DO ALL THE RIGHT THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIME AND YOU DON'T CHOKE WHEN THE PRESSURE IS ON. IN NEW YORK CITY THERE IS ABOUT A DOZEN TOP PLAYERS. THEY USUALLY PLAY IN ALL THE  TOURNAMENTS AND PRACTICE EVERY DAY. SOME OF THE TOP PLAYERS JUST PLAY HANDBALL ALL DAY LONG. WHILE THE MAJORITY OF PLAYERS ARE WORKING 9-5, SOME TOP PLAYERS JUST MAKE THEIR LIVING GOING FROM PARK TO PARK HUSTLING PEOPLE. SOME JUST HAVE NORMAL LIVES BUT ARE NATURALLY GOOD ATHLETES.

B-PLAYERS ARE A STEP OR TWO LOWER THEN A-PLAYERS. BASICALLY THEY ARE VERY COMPETITIVE HANDBALL PLAYERS. A B-PLAYER WILL GIVE YOU A GOOD GAME. MANY B-PLAYERS HAVE BEEN PLAYING THEIR WHOLE LIVES. THEY JUST COULD NOT GET PAST THE WALL TO REACH THE NEXT LEVEL. EITHER AGE BECOMES A FACTOR OR THEY DO NOT HAVE THE WILL INSIDE TO BECOME THE BEST THEY CAN. IN FACT, HANDBALL IS SUCH AN INTERESTING GAME BECAUSE AT ANY GIVEN TIME A WEAKER PLAYER CAN BEAT A STRONGER PLAYER. A GOOD PLAYER CAN SHOW UP UNPREPARED, AND LOSE TO A PLAYER WHO IS  HUNGRIER TO WIN. (OR CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE HIS MONEY, SO HE WILL PLAY HIS HEART OUT.)

C-PLAYERS (DUCKS) AND LOW B-PLAYERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE HANDBALL HUSTLE. GOOD PLAYERS WILL TRY AND CONVINCE YOU TO PLAY THEM FOR MONEY. THEY WILL MAKE YOU THINK THAT IF YOU PLAY THEM YOU WILL BECOME A BETTER PLAYER. DON'T  BELIEVE THIS, PRACTICE WILL MAKE YOU A GREAT PLAYER. IF YOU ARE A GOOD PLAYER ALREADY AND YOU ARE TRYING TO LEARN SOMEONE'S GAME WHO HAS BEATEN YOU, AND THE ONLY WAY TO PLAY HIM BEFORE A TOURNAMENT IS FOR MONEY, THEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE. BUT, I HAVE SEEN PLAYERS WHO CAN'T EVEN HIT THE WALL WITH THE BALL PLAYING FOR MONEY. THE HANDBALL HUSTLER'S WILL COME TO YOUR PARK WITH ALL KIND'S OF DIFFERENT GAMES. THE MOST POPULAR ONE IS THEIR WEAK HAND TO YOUR TWO HANDS. HE WILL PLAY THE WHOLE GAME WITH ONE HAND AND LET YOU USE BOTH OF YOUR  HANDS TO HIT THE BALL. DON'T LET THEM FOOL YOU, THEY ARE VERY SKILLED PROFESSIONALS.

THE OTHER GAMES THEY WILL PLAY YOU FOR ARE STRAIGHT UP AND SPOT YOU POINTS. THEIR TWO HANDS AGAINST YOUR TWO HANDS AND THEY WILL GIVE YOU SOME POINTS. IN THIS GAME YOU REALLY   DON'T HAVE A CHANCE UNLESS THEY GIVE YOU POINT GAME. THEY CAN LEAVE YOU ON 0 POINTS IF THEY WANT TOO, BUT  THEY WILL KEEP THE GAME VERY CLOSE, SO IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN. SOME HUSTLER'S WILL THROW THE 1ST GAME, SO YOU WILL GAIN CONFIDENCE, AND THEN PLAY YOU FOR MORE MONEY THE SECOND GAME. THEY WILL ALSO PLAY THESE HANDICAP GAMES. THEY WILL PLAY WITH THERE BACK HANDS ONLY, STRONG HAND ONLY, AND EVERYTHING PAST THE SHORT LINE. THIS MEAN ALL HIS SHOTS MUST LAND PAST THE SHORT LINE. I HAVE EVEN HEARD OF STRANGER GAMES. I HAVE HEARD OF SOMEONE PLAYING THE WHOLE GAME WITH A CHAIR IN ONE HAND. ANOTHER STORY WAS SOME GUY WHO HAD TO HIT THE BALL WITH  A BOOK THE WHOLE GAME. DON'T YOU SEE, THEY WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE MONEY.

DON'T THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY BETTING ON HANDBALL, HUSTLER'S DON'T TAKE A BET THEY CAN'T WIN. JUST KEEP PRACTICING YOUR SHOTS, AND YOU WILL SEE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR GAME. TO BECOME A GOOD PLAYER YOU NEED TO LEARN SOME STRATEGY LIKE IN CHESS. PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING HELPS; ALONG WITH STRENGTH AND SPEED WILL HELP YOUR GAME. ALSO THE KEY TO WINNING IS YOUR ENDURANCE. DO NOT LET THE BETTER PLAYERS GET THE BEST OF YOU.

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THE ACTS OF SOME PLAYERS ARE UNFORTUNATE FOR THE GAME OF HANDBALL. THESE GREAT ATHLETES OF HANDBALL SHOULD BE TRYING TO TEACH THESE "DUCKS". THEY SHOULD "FEED THE DUCKS" NOT DISCOURAGE THEM. FEED THEM INSPIRATION SO THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR GAME OR LIVES. THESE TOP PLAYERS  SHOULD ALSO TRY TO EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO PEOPLE IN INDUSTRIES WHERE SOMEONE CAN HELP THE SPORT BECOME MORE POPULAR; LIKE THE MEDIA, ESPN, MTV, HOLLYWOOD, ETC.

THIS SPORT NEEDS TO CATCH THE ATTENTION OF SOMEONE WITH CREATIVITY AND LOTS OF MONEY. TO PROMOTE ANYTHING THESE DAYS IT TAKES A LOT OF MONEY. WE NEED SOMEONE FAMOUS TO GET INTO THE GAME. WE ALL KNOW ONCE YOU START PLAYING HANDBALL YOU CAN'T STOP. IT IS A VERY ADDICTIVE SPORT; HANDBALL FEVER. LET'S GET SOMEONE FAMOUS HOOKED.

I WILL TELL YOU THIS. IF THIS SPORT WAS RECOGNIZED AS A PRIME TIME SPORT, AND NOT SOME UNDERGROUND STREET SPORT, THESE TOP PLAYERS WOULD BE MILLIONAIRES. THEY ARE THE MOST EXCITING PLAYERS PLAYING THE MOST EXCITING SPORT. IF YOU LIKE TO SEE GREAT VOLLEYS, SERVES, LOBS, PASSING SHOTS, ANGLES, KILLERS, AND ROLLERS. YOU MUST COME TO A TOP TOURNAMENT IN NEW YORK CITY ON YOUR NEXT VACATION. TOO BAD THESE PLAYERS ARE NOT RECOGNIZED.

THEY TEND TO MAKE FRIENDLY WAGES ON THEMSELVES AND WIN SOME MONEY TOURNAMENTS. ALTHOUGH MOST HANDBALL PLAYERS ARE GENTLEMEN. THERE ARE SOME TOP PLAYERS WHO ACT   VERY ARROGANT; WHICH IS FOOLISH, INSTEAD THEY SHOULD BE TEACHING THE LOVE OF THIS GAME. THEY SHOULD USE THEIR TALENT IN A POSITIVE WAY NOT NEGATIVE. IF YOU TAKE THEM OUT OF THE PARK THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH TO OFFER TO SOCIETY, WHICH IS A SHAME.

NEW YORK CITY HANDBALL IS IT. THERE IS NO OTHER GAME LIKE IT. IT'S RAW AND EXCITING. A BALL AND A WALL IS ALL YOU NEED.  YOU WILL FIND GOOD PLAYERS AT MOST POPULAR N.Y.C. PARKS. YOU WILL ALWAYS GET A GOOD GAME AT THE COURTS LOCATED ON WEST 4TH STREET AND 6TH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY. TOURISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WILL STOP AND WATCH YOU PLAY HERE. ANOTHER POPULAR PLACE WHICH HAS MANY COURTS IS AT THE CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK, BROOKLYN, NY. CONEY ISLAND IS THE (MECCA OF HANDBALL) WHERE THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE HELD EVERY YEAR.

COPYRIGHT 2001-------HANDBALLZONE

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