The Pro’s Perspective – Vol. 1

September 28th, 2010 by Ben

Racquetball Warehouse Sponsors 4 players on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and 1 player on the Women’s Professional Racquetball Tour (WPRO). In this series we let you into a glimpse of their lives, impressions, challenges and victories throughout their careers as professional athletes. Our sponsored players are:

Rocky Carson – IRT #2 – http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/proplayer2.html?ccode=CARSON
Ben Croft – IRT #3 – http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/proplayer2.html?ccode=BCROFT
Chris Crowther – IRT #5 – http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/proplayer2.html?ccode=CROWTHER
Jose Rojas – IRT #10 – http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/proplayer2.html?ccode=JROJAS
Rhonda Rajsich – WPRO #2 – WPRO Pro Player Gallery coming soon..

The IRT Season started with a Tier 1 event on September 9 in Kansas City, followed immediately after by the first Grand Slam event of the season in Cali, Colombia September 15-19. Let’s hear what a few of our players have to say about the season kick-off:

Rocky Carson
Getting ready for KC I was really excited to get the season started. After getting there, the weekend was really a great time. As for my play, I played solid getting to the finals. But as for my body, I really felt beat up going into the semis. Fortunately, I got through but could not quite pull out a victory in the finals. The parties and the venue were really enjoyable and made for a great way to start the season. It was also nice to see the IRTNetwork.com back to broadcasting us pros and hearing all the RB fans thoughts on the weekend from what they saw from the network.

Cali, Columbia was one of the greatest experiences for myself as a player on the IRT and also for the IRT in itself. Having our first grand slam of the year this early in the season can put a lot of pressure on us to be ready for the beginning of the season. As far as my play, I didn’t have a great tourney and lost in the quarters. Even though I was quite disappointed in my play and results for the weekend, I got to still witness Chris Chrowther’s epic comeback facing 6 match points in the semis, to making it to his first finals of his career. To see him make it to his first final, and know how much it meant to him was not only emotional for him but for myself as well, being that I have known him about as long as I can remember and how much this would mean to his dad (Jack). It was also just a great reminder to me on how fortunate I have been to have the success I have had in my career. The venue was so cool, being that the courts were outside and just covered with a roof, I loved it. The only problem was I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. I also spent some time doing some color commentary with the IRTNetwork.com. It is really enjoyable seeing John Scott and Pablo from the IRTNetwork.com make the IRT possible for everyone to enjoy.
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Get a Grip on the Right Glove for You

September 20th, 2010 by Ben

by Jeff Kettering

About the Play Test

During this test, I tried 9 different gloves from 6 different companies. One thing I found is there is definitely a difference between gloves. Although most of them got the job done, I noticed quite a bit of difference between several of the gloves, and some felt much better to play with than others. During this testing period, each glove was used for a minimum of 5 games and I tend to be a person that changes gloves after every game. Also, all of the gloves were tested using a Python Rubber Grip. I tend not to dive much, so dive padding or any other protection of the fingers did not get tested.

***As a general comment Ektelon gloves tend to run larger than all the other gloves. All the gloves tested were size large, with the exception of the Ektelon gloves, which were mediums.***

Ektelon Cool Max Ice

This glove out of the case fits extremely well. It is quite a bit thinner than the other gloves, but the extra added grip on the palm makes up for the thinness of the glove. This glove is tackier than most of the gloves that were used, did not stretch after several games played and breathability was good. For a thin leather glove, this one is great. I did get some irritation on my hands after several games with this glove on, which I believe was due to the thinness of the leather and the rough rubber grip. Overall, a very good glove.

coolmax

Ektelon O3

This glove right out of the package was one of my favorite gloves I used. The fit was great (size M) and the thicker leather was enough to give the hand the extra protection. The leather on the palm was durable and gripped very well. My hand did tend to sweat more in this glove than others and that is more than likely due to the thick leather and added material on the top of the glove. The only downfall I found on this glove was that after a few games it did tend to stretch out a little. I would strongly suggest when buying/ordering this glove that you buy at least one size smaller than you would in other gloves.

o3

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The Collegiate Corner w/ Coach Schenck – Vol. 1

September 10th, 2010 by Ben

‘Tis the season….

College Racquetball season that is!!!

As the coach for the Arizona State University teams, I try to recruit players as soon as I can into our program.  Any time I see a girl on a racquetball court that displays the slightest bit of potential, I go talk to her.  I truly believe that I can teach any marginally athletic girl to be good enough to make our team’s #6 position within six months.  In the four years I have been coaching here at ASU, I typically have at least one girl who has never really played racquetball before the start of the school year not only make the team, but fare well at the Intercollegiate Championships.

As for the Guy’s side, I have been fortunate to have a good crop of players from the start.  There is usually three times more guys than girls, so recruiting male players is much easier.  Again, any athletic guy I can get up to speed pretty quickly, provided they listen to my instruction (the girls listen much better!)  :-)

My best advice to coaches and players out there who are starting out the college racquetball season with some new talent:  start slow!

I make a habit of focusing on only one thing at a time.  We typically have practice for two hours twice a week.  I will work on just forehands for at least the first practice.  We will do drop and hit forehands, and then work our way towards me hitting shot to them and the players hitting shots straight in.  I really focus on starting with the correct grip and with the players arm already back and in position to only swing forward.  I always do my best to remove any loop to a player’s swing as soon as possible.

Once the players can consistently make contact with the ball, then I have them focus on watching the label on the ball, and making contact right in the exact middle of their stance.  With the correct grip, this should make the shot go straight in and straight back to the player.  If they can catch their shot when it comes back to them without moving their feet I consider that a good shot.

forehand-position

At the end of the first hour we move on to serves and serve returns, but with a caveat.  I only teach them to serve to the forehand to start with.  This allows the players to quickly get the hang of putting the ball in play and also teaching another player to return the serve as part of the same exercise.  Now I can step off the court and let them trade off helping each other practice these two separate skills at the same time.

Next installment….the secret to teaching the proper backhand.

Find out all this and more in my book Racquetball 101 available through Racquetball Warehouse.

Darrin Schenck
ASU Racquetball Head Coach
Author: Racquetball 101 and
Percentage Racquetball
Ektelon Collegiate Director

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