Dixon his own right-hand man
Bang. Ryan Dixon pops a serve right-handed. In the blink of an eye, he switches the racket to his left hand and plays on.
Sound strange? It doesn’t look it. Dixon does it very naturally.
Dixon competed in the 22nd annual Emma Hubbs Tennis
Classic alongside doubles partner John Brechon in the 18-under boys division on Thursday evening at Page Park in Dixon.
Brechon and Dixon will both be juniors at Dixon High School.
Dixon tried to play tennis strictly right-handed to begin with.
“I tried playing and serving right-handed,” he said. “The serving kind of worked out, but I just couldn’t play right-handed. I gave it like 20 minutes, then I was like, ‘Why not try left-handed?’ And, I did better left-handed.”
On the tennis court, Dixon is so fluid with his transition from left- to right-handed, some don’t notice.
“Half the people don’t even realize that I play left-handed and serve right,” he said.
Is Dixon ambidextrous? Well, sort of.
“I do a lot of stuff both left-handed and right-handed,” Dixon said. “People always ask, ‘How do you do that?’ I think it’s more interesting to try both ways than just one way every time. That can get kind of boring.”
He writes, throws and bats, shoots a basketball, and golfs right-handed. He eats and plays ping pong and pool left-handed, and he kicks left-footed.
The main thing he can do relatively equally with both hands is bowl.
“My average was 200 this past season in high school, and that’s right-handed,” Dixon said. “I can bowl like 185 left-handed. So, I’m pretty even with that.”
He doesn’t get the chance to dabble with bowling left-handed in high school.
“During the season, you have to finish with the hand you start with,” Dixon said.
Dixon and his mixed-up ways have a special place in my heart. I’m not dissimilar to him. I throw, shoot the basketball and play pool left-handed, and I kick left-footed. Virtually everything else, I do right-handed. The strangest thing to me about my own abilities is that I throw left-handed but play tennis right-handed. A tennis serve and throwing are pretty similar motions, but I can’t do either the other way.
Dixon only competes in tennis recreationally. His competitive sports are baseball, bowling and golf. In baseball, he’s an infielder and pitcher.
“My dad tried getting me to throw and hit left-handed, but I’d always revert back,” Dixon said. “I can hit left-handed, but not if somebody is throwing in the 80s.”
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