Keeping Fit During the Off-Season

July 28th, 2011 by Jackson

Jesse Serna

By Jesse Serna

Physical Trainer & Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Summertime in Stockton is a busy time of the year for racquetball even though there are no tournaments, shootouts, leagues won’t start until the fall, and the IRT’s first Grand Slam of the year is still little over a month away. It is the off season and in Stockton that means up and coming professionals Jose Rojas, David Horn, Jose Diaz, and Jose Serrano are in the midst of serious training to prepare for the 2011-2012 season. The guys are using this time to improve their games through sessions of hard work both on and off the court. During the competitive season it is difficult to make changes to their games and their bodies, so the extra time offered by the off season really needs to be taken advantage of if they are to get better. For players of all abilities, this is the opportunity to improve your game. It takes planning, work and more than a little sacrifice, but when it gets you that one win that you REALLY want (and as racquetball players we all have at least one) it will be worth it!

Make a plan

As the Speed and Strength Coach for the Stockton Pros, I sat down with Coach Dave Ellis and we put together a program for our player’s off season training. Planning is the first part of an off season routine, and this step cannot be underestimated. Sometimes it takes a little assistance during this initial phase. Consulting with your club pro and/or a personal trainer familiar with movement analysis can get this process started. This plan needs to cover how long the program will run, how many hours each week the player has to train and practice, an analysis of what the player needs to improve upon, and how this work will make the player better.

Focus on Weaknesses

What areas on the court are your greatest liabilities? Identify what limits success, and focus on improvement in these areas. If fatigue is a factor, strength and conditioning need to be addressed. Mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination all affect the ability to execute proper foot work and stroke mechanics. Training weaknesses requires letting egos go and being uncomfortable. Working through this discomfort not only improves weaknesses, but trains the mind to be strong in times of struggle (an invaluable racquetball skill)

Play Less

Here is that part where you have to sacrifice. Exchange time that is normally spent playing racquetball, for time spent getting better at racquetball. This is not to say eliminate playing, but don’t play as much. If the temptation is too much, leave all racquets and gear at home. If it is a day you are supposed to drill, get to the club a little earlier than normal. Make getting better, not just playing, the priority.

Work at game speed

To get the most transfer effect from all training and drilling, the work must be done at game speed. Racquetball requires maximal exertion and focus, and training intensity should reflect that reality. That does not mean simply going hard or fast, but producing maximal effort without sacrifice to quality of execution. Relate what you are training specifically to racquetball, while understanding how it improves play to maintain focus and purpose in off season training.

Train Like a Stockton Pro

With so many up and coming players training in Stockton, the local clubs take on a camp feel. These young men identified the value in training together, pushing each other to become better every training session. Two times a week they work together doing plyometrics, agility drills, playing medicine ball tennis, spinning, doing resistance and core training, and at least another two days individually dedicated to strength and conditioning. Three weekly practices conducted by Coach Dave Ellis focus on specific racquetball skill improvement. Not typical summer vacations for a group of college students, but these young men understand that all the off season sweat and effort will pay off all season long. Check in with these pros on the Official Ektelon Facebook page all summer long, and get ideas for your off season program.

Free Training from Home

Visit the Racquetball Warehouse Media Center for free instructional videos covering all of the fundamentals with strength and conditioning coach Jesse Serna, top pro Jose Rojas, and retired top 5 pro John Ellis. You can find videos that cover just about every aspect of the game so you can fine-tune the aspects that will make the biggest difference for you!

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 147 Comments »

Some thoughts about hard work

March 23rd, 2010 by Darrin Schenck

As a coach of countless individuals and now a college team for my fourth season (go ASU!!!) I have always found it interesting how people react when I talk about putting in hard work to obtain results. I have noticed that I typically get one of three reactions:

1. Disappointment–I have actually had people tell me they came to me for lessons to learn short cuts and not have to work so hard to be better. Thanks for the vote of confidence in my level of wizardry, but the fact of the matter is I cannot wave my hands over you and make you an Open player.  If I could do that, I would have charged you a lot more money!  :-)

2. People who humor me–I have had plenty of players who nod their head and go along with what I am saying, only to leave the court that day with no intention of executing what we have discussed.

3. A glimmer in the eye–this is the player I am looking for.  Someone who looks back at me as if to say “all I needed was a roadmap”.  I am continually impressed how many of the girls at Arizona State fall into this last category.  It has been a lot of fun watching their games develop exponentially just by following the advice of someone who has been there and done that.

I recently attended a public speaking event where Kurt Warner, former quarterback of the AZ Cardinals, shared some great insight to what he thought it took to be a champion.  He relayed a story about Lance Armstrong during a stage in the Tour de France a while ago.  Armstrong came down with a high fever at the end of a stage, right before they were about to enter the mountains. He had an IV all night long, and was very sick for most of the night.  When he awoke the next day, the team was worried Lance would not be able to ride at all, let alone be competitive in this mountain stage. When he looked out the window, he just smiled.  It was miserable out; raining so hard it was coming down sideways.  Lance knew his team was ready for this, more so than any other team. They had done the work beforehand, and knew what it would be like out there today.  They were prepared; they had suffered and they knew they could perform under the worst of conditions.  Needless to say, they went on to win that stage by a large margin, setting themselves up for an easier time during the rest of the event because of this one day.

I make my team suffer, just ask them. My leg workouts after practice are no picnic. Plyometrics, jumprope, hops up the stairs, etc. after a two hour practice is not a lot of fun. Saturdays we run the hill near campus; 20% grade, 100 yards of slippery, rocky terrain that has my heart rate hitting 185+ everytime I do it with them. Why? Because they need to suffer…its the only way.  So that when we go to Intercollegiates and we are in the heat of battle and I look them in the eyes and remind them what they have been through, they’ll remember they are ready.  They have been through tough times, and are prepared for more. They can handle it, and persevere.

Are your ready?  Does your time at the club get you ready for tournaments, or does it simply burn a few calories and let you hang out with your friends?  If that is all you want out of racquetball, that is just fine, enjoy! If you want to be competitive, win matches and even tournaments, get to work.  Schedule drill sessions, practice matches, and fitness training.  Make every second you spend at the club push you forward, and not just let you hold your ground.

You can pick up a copy of one of my books at www.racquetballwarehouse.com and follow the drills, things to practice, and racquetball related workouts. Either Percentage Racquetball or Racquetball 101 will have what you are looking for.  Get to work!   :-)

- Darrin Schenck, ASU Racquetball Coach

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 139 Comments »

2010 – What is your gameplan?

January 20th, 2010 by Ben

What does 2010 hold for you???

I am one of those annoying people who starts their New Year’s Resolutions early, one month early to be exact. I always have planned, written out, and started my plan for next year by December 1st. I know, I know…its irritating, but since my Christmas shopping was also done in advance, why wouldn’t I start my plan for next year right now? No time like the present.

For me, I am in the midst of a heavy lifting program to add some size to my frame before switching over to the stamina and cardio training that I will do soon. I am a big believer in leading by example, so I still do all the workouts with the ASU Racquetball team. I warned everyone on the ASU Racquetball Team before Holiday break that we will begin the workouts starting the first week of practice when returning in January. For those who have been through it before, they know what to expect; for the newbies…it’ll be a surprise to watch a guy twice their age outwork them. A point of pride for me is reminding them that I am in fact twice their age when they are falling behind. In addition to continuing to refine their swings and their strategies on the court, we will be training like animals off the court.

So what am I getting at with all this? HAVE A PLAN. I believe Peter Drucker is quoted as saying “That which gets measured gets done.” He is exactly right; if you come into this year without a plan, or going with the status quo, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. What does your game need?

- Better fitness

- Solid Strategy

- A more consistent backhand

- Efficient Shot Selection

- All of the Above??

If only there were a book that gave some direct examples and a proven game plan for accomplishing this. Oh wait…there is! If Santa did not bring you a copy of Percentage Racquetball or Racquetball 101 for Christmas, get online and order a copy from Racquetball Warehouse. Do it today!

Map out a plan for improvement for 2010; it is the only way you will gain some ground. Your competition is probably doing the same thing, so if you do not get moving you will be left behind. Having forehand issues? It is one of two things: either you are not using correct form, or you are taking high-risk shots that are leading to too many errors. Fix it. You will be making your own life easier if you follow the drills laid out in the book, and saving wear and tear on your arm and the rest of your body as well. Backhand still not where it should be? Get to work. Don’t have a defined game plan for every opponent you face? Study up! Buy the book, read it, learn it, practice it, and start being the person that people dread playing in the next tournament.

I did not achieve the things I did by sitting back and waiting for them to come to me, I went after them. I sought help, practiced, and worked diligently to streamline my game and increase my fitness so that I could be the best competitor I could be. All it takes is the right plan and hard work…GET TO IT!!!

Darrin Schenck

ASU Head Racquetball Coach

Author—Percentage Racquetball and Racquetball 101

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 131 Comments »

US Open — 2009 and a Practice Drill

November 4th, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

Well, another calendar year is almost in the books.  I know this since I, like a lot of racquetball players out there keep track of time by the yearly tournament schedule.  National Doubles means I need to buy a Valentines Day present, the Amateur Nationals in Houston means summer is here, and of course the US Open in Memphis means that the holiday season is almost upon us.

So whether you attended the event in person or watched on line, once again we were treated to the best of the best our sport has to offer.  Kane is still the man…and the gap does not seem to be closing.   Despite winning close first games against Jose Rojas in the quarters and Huzcek in the finals, most of the games he won were not closely contested.  Rhonda Rajisch squeaked past last years Women’s Champ Paola Longoria to add to her list of titles.   This rivalry should keep us entertained for years to come; makes me wonder who can step up on the Men’s side to challenge Kane.  Any takers?

So what can we learn from watching these top players play the game in one of the sports biggest venues?  Do me and yourself a huge favor and repeat after me:

“I am not Kane Waselenchuk (or Rhonda Rajisch) ”

Why do I want to hear you say this?  Because I want you to be a better player than you already are.  Sounds contradictory, I know.  However, unless you are a really late bloomer, you do not have the athletic ability of the top men and women pros.  I am sorry to be the one to break this news to you, but it is true.

So with this in mind, I want to encourage you to build a better, more stable game plan than you witness at the US Open.  The top pros rarely miss, and they have the skill foundation to hit winners from every position on the court.  They have done the work, and build the base to be able to play like this.  You will be far better off implementing a more conservative game plan and allowing your opponent to be the one to take low percentage shots, making a few of them but not enough to win.

The first thing I preach to my students when we get to the discussion about shot selection is to use all of the court behind your opponent.  A large majority of the shots you take are when your opponent is set up in center court.  Don’t try to hit a kill or a splat in front of someone who is planted in center court looking to cover this shot.  The one you make might look cool, but the six you miss are hurting you far more than one good shot gains.  Yes, I am talking to you.  :-)    HIT PASSES…please!  It drives me crazy to sit and watch people miss easy, wide open opportunities to end rallies and win points because they are choosing the wrong shot.

PRACTICE DRILL—-When you are practicing, put your bag against the front wall about 12″ to 18″ away from the right wall. (BTW…remove any breakable items from the side of the bag that you will be pelting with forehands) Stand at the five foot line.  Now drop and hit 20 forehands (for you righties) and see how many times you can hit the ball down the line without hitting your bag.  Now back up to 38′ deep and do the same.  If your number is less than 70% from either position, you need more practice.  Do the same thing on the backhand side as well.

What is the purpose of the bag?  It will teach you to hit the ball higher (less risk) and make it travel deeper into the court, resulting in a pass.  Your shot should land around the service line on the first bounce and the second bounce before the back wall (or hit very low on the back wall)  This is the most difficult shot for your opponent to defend, and it will make your job of winning rallies far easier.  Want to up the difficulty?  Feed yourself a shot and then hit down the line, count and measure your results.

This drill is more difficult than you think, but it will hopefully ingrain this shot into your game and when you play this should become your shot of choice.  It makes your opponent cover the most court, and is easier for you to execute.  You have roughly 250 square feet behind your opponent (who is set in center court) and about 50 square feet in front of them to make the ball bounce the second time.  Which do you think is easier???

For more information, please purchase either Racquetball 101 or Percentage Racquetball from Racquetball Warehouse‘s site and start playing the easy way!

Darrin Schenck

Head Coach–ASU Racquetball

Former IRT Touring Pro

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 844 Comments »

A lesson learned from tennis

September 29th, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

Today in the sports headlines you may have noticed there was a new record for the number of aces during one tennis match. Ivo Karlovic of Croatia bombed an amazing 78 aces in a Davis Cup match lasting a whopping 4 hours and 59 minutes and LOST THE MATCH!!!!  Seventy-eight aces is the equivalent of 13 games worth of points and yet he lost the match…staggering. But what can be gleaned from this?

(***by the way…do you know the two players involved in the longest Davis Cup match in history? Hint: one of them was from the USA)

Radek Stepanek fought his way through a blizzard of aces from his opponent, but he never gave up.  He battled for the pride and respect of his country, and of course for himself.  This match featured two men who are not household names in this country, or in most of the tennis world unless you are a dedicated tennis fan (which I am).  However, in this glorious moment, they each made history.   They were as prepared as they could possibly be, and seized the opportunity to shine.  My question is…How ready are you for your big time?

When you face a player with a huge serve, what can you do?   One of my first suggestions is…don’t panic!  A lot of players that have a huge strength such as a strong drive serve also have a complimentary weakness that can be exploited.  In the case of Ivo Karlovic, he is about 6′ 8″ and is known for not being very fleet of foot.  That was a nice way of saying he is really slow.   So, on the returns that did go back into play, Stepanek did have the advantage.

If you can manage to get a serve back into play, you might have a good chance of winning some rallies.  When facing a big serve, do your best to disrupt the server’s rhythm.  Most players who have a big serve want to get into a groove, and that typically is a fast pace of play.  By using the 10 seconds between rallies to your advantage, you can slow a player down and still be within the rules.  By making them wait before each and every serve, you greatly increase your chances of them making errors on their serve.  Disrupting a players’ service rhythm can be the difference between taking a beating and having a shot at winning.

Again, as I have stated in my book over and over, and also in previous blog posts, be conservative on the return of serve.  When you do get a look at a return, the last thing you want to do is to dump it into the floor going for too much.  Hit passes on your return when given a chance for an offensive return, and go to the ceiling whenever you are not completely set up.  Hitting a ceiling ball as a return is a good strategy against almost everyone you play, but especially against someone who is drive serving.  The reason is that they have a lot of ground to cover after hitting that serve to retrieve your ceiling ball return.

Most big servers are also people who are aggressive shooters, and therefore prone to mistakes.  By getting them deep into the court, and making them run to cover every ball you put in play, you greatly improve your chances of winning that match.  Because a drive serve leaves you so far forward in the court when you follow through, the server will usually arrive late to the ceiling ball return.  This increases the odds of an error from them, and also makes them expend a lot of energy.

After 5 hours of Davis Cup tennis, Radek Stepanek was able to win by grinding out rallies and never giving up hope.  You can do the same thing on the racquetball court as well.  Neutralize the big serve by making the server wait and disrupting their rhythm, then be conservative on your returns.  Make the server earn every rally by covering the most court on every rally.  Drain their energy by making them work hard to win rallies, and this will increase the chances of them making some service errors and giving you a shot at winning the match.

You can buy the full book versions of my return of serve strategy and more in Racquetball 101 and Percentage Racquetball from the Racquetball Warehouse website.

***The longest Davis Cup Tennis match in history was between John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, and it lasted 6 hours and 22 minutes.

by Darrin Schenck

ASU Racquetball Head Coach

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 166 Comments »

What is your game plan?

August 3rd, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

I wanted to address the subject that I think a lot of people do not spend nearly enough time thinking about.  The game of racquetball is unfortunately riddled with examples of poor shot selection from the top players in the world on down to the league and recreational players at your club.  There is a perfect example of this, one of the top 8 players in the world who has become infamous for one shot from deep in the court, and his repetition with this shot.  I don’t want to name any names, but everyone knows that when this player gets a set up what shot he is going to hit.  This means that his opponents obviously know as well, and are looking to cover that shot in particular.  This puts so much pressure on him to execute that shot PERFECTLY in order to make it work.  The problem is that some tournaments he makes a large majority of those shots, and it reinforces this thought process.  For the rest of us who don’t have Shane Vanderson’s world class athletic ability, it is really a bad idea to try to win with a game plan such as this.

Here is something that will make your life on the court much easier.  Ask yourself the question: ”If I leave this shot up, will I still have a reasonable chance to win the rally.”  There are very few people out there choosing the correct shot in most situations.  I see so few people using the back half of the court for offensive shots like they do the front half.  Yes, it looks cool to roll out a splat in front of someone, but it looks twice as bad when you leave that shot up and you opponent steps over and dinks a winner off of your bad shot choice.  Try winning the easy way for a change.

Next time you are playing a practice match and you can take a quick moment to analyze a rally after its completion, look at what your shot choices netted you.  The problem is that you do make some of those shots…that is what reinforces the bad shot selection.  You make a splat from deep court with your opponent in front of you and you think that it was correct.  WRONG!  If you miss that shot, you are going to lose the rally.  If you had chosen a cross court or a down the line shot, both of these would be:

A.  Easier to execute (Way more margin for error)

B.  If you leave these shots up you still have a good chance of winning the rally.  (remember, your opponent is making the same bad choices you are, so you have reversed the scenario and now they are likely to attempt a low percentage shot from the deep court.)

Basically what I am saying is “Quit doing things the hard way!”  You will NEVER reach the point where you do not make errors and miss shots, so plan accordingly.  It is far easier to execute passes than killshots and splats.  Make your opponent work hard for their points, don’t hand them away with skips and easy front court set ups for your opponent to work with.  Hit passes, ceiling balls, and show a little patience during the rallies.  You will be surprised how much less work you have to do to win if you can switch over to this type of game plan.  It is way more fun making your opponent do a majority of the running.  Work the rally to your favor, and then go for kills and splats; just make sure your opponent is out of position before choosing these more difficult shot.

Find this and much more information in either of my books  Percentage Racquetball or Racquetball 101, both available through www.RacquetballWarehouse.com

Please send me your questions and feedback.

Darrin Schenck

Head Coach ASU Racquetball

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 152 Comments »

Drawing knowledge from other sports

June 15th, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

One of my favorite Zen philosophy phrases is “From the One thing, know ten thousand things”. Loosely translated, this means that if you can master one thing, you can apply that knowledge to all things. But what if you are new to something, what do you do then?

I am a sports fan in general, and enjoy watching lots of different sports. But I do my best to not just sit and watch but to learn from other people. I love watching tennis for this reason, because so many of the things tennis players do can easily translate to racquetball. As I write this article, I am sitting in my living room watching the French Open Tennis Championships. One of the commentators just made a great observation about the match I am watching, and this is the type of learning to which I am referring. The comment was that one of the players is on fire and making great shots from many places on the court…what the other player needs to do is disrupt his opponent’s rhythm, and get him out of his comfort zone. I find this particularly applicable to our sport, because so often I see people who try to force their game style on their opponent instead of having the flexibility to implement a different approach to win.

A good example of this would be that I primarily hit lob serves against everyone I play. It is my strength, it gives me time to get into proper court position, and it is the rhythm in which I feel most comfortable. However, sometimes I run into an opponent who is doing an excellent job of cutting off my lob serves and making me scramble to hit my first shot of the rally. So instead of continuing with a game plan that is not currently working and hoping that it soon will, I will switch tactics and drive serve.

Sometimes this change is only necessary for half of a game, and then I can go back to my lob serves. Sometimes it is the only tactic with which I could win, and therefore, despite my preference for lob serves, I will stick with drive serves to put myself in position to win. After all, this it why I am out there competing, right?

So ultimately what this means is that you must practice all facets of your game so that you have the flexibility and the skills necessary to make mid-match adjustments that are needed to win.  In the tennis match I have been watching, a change in tactics was never made, and resulted in a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 loss for the player in question.  Since he employs a coach, I am sure they will review this match on video and see the error of his ways, and try to prepare to be able to adjust in the future.  As for us racquetball players, practicing all facets of the game is very important.  Don’t allow yourself to become one dimensional; you can have a preference, but be sure you become at least competent at all that racquetball has to offer.

You can find information about some of my favorite sports role models and of course all the racquetball information you are looking for in either of my books Racquetball 101 and Percentage Racquetball, both of which are available at Racquetball Warehouse.

by Darrin Schenck

ASU Racquetball Head Coach

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 90 Comments »

Footwork

May 20th, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

by Darrin Schenck

One of the readers asked a question about footwork to the shots from the proper court position. One of the best features of this court position (aside from the obvious advantages mentioned in the Court Position posting) is that you can use very set footwork patterns to cover each shot.

Here is the secret:

Always lead with the foot that is closest to the ball. It is strange, but almost every sport teaches you to cross over first, and then step towards the ball (or base, opponent, whichever is applicable). Since a racquetball court is always a finite amount of space, you need to teach yourself to lead with the foot closest to the ball, and then cross over. It will take some practice, but be much more efficient once you get the hang of it.

For example, if you begin in the position shown in the diagram denoting proper court position, and you are in the defensive position marked “X”, you would step with your left foot, and then cross over with your right foot to cover a shot hit down the line by your opponent. Not only is it more efficient (faster) but your feet will already be set to hit the backhand you will hit in response to your opponents shot. Think about it, walk through it, practice it ,and trust me once you get it, you will be far more efficient in your footwork and court coverage.

picture-8

As discussed in the body of this posting, a right handed player in correct defensive position would step with his LEFT foot first, and then cross over with his RIGHT to cover a down the line shot from his opponent.  This will not only be more efficient, but it will have your feet set when you arrive to hit this shot.  This will give you more options in your response to this shot from your opponent.

Good Luck!

Darrin Schenck

ASU Racquetball Head Coach

Author of Percentage Racquetball and

Racquetball 101, both available through

Racquetball Warehouse

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 212 Comments »

Court Positioning

April 7th, 2009 by Darrin Schenck

by Darrin Schenck

How much of the court do you really cover?

Bear in mind you are not going to try to cover all 800 square feet of a racquetball court. Percentage Racquetball means you will cover the easy shots and make your opponent beat you by making the tough shots. This can be looked on as “Vegas odds”. Your opponent is going to make some of the shots you give them but they will not likely make the majority of them. Las Vegas is built on the principal of “you win some of the time, but we win most of the time.” Did you notice they are always adding new hotels and casinos in that town?
Remember also that you should not run closer to any of the walls than an arm and racquet length away. Only when the ball is touching the side wall should you be as close as a racquet and arm’s length. Since most shots are not “wallpaper”, the area you cover is smaller than you think. This reduces the area of the court by quite a bit, especially in the back court. If your feet enter this zone, you are over-running the ball and you will have to change your swing to accommodate this footwork error.
Please see the following diagram.

diagram12

A hard hit kill shot will rebound and carry deeper into the court than most people realize. The second bounce will be around the short line of the service box, so there is no reason to be in front of the five foot line. It is always easier to move forward into the court to cover a kill than it is to move backward to cover a pass. This is the most common flaw in the majority of people’s thinking about court cover¬age. Most players want to cover kill shots when in reality their opponents hit many more passes than kills. If you are cheating forward in the court (in front of the five foot line), you are making your oppo¬nent’s job easier by allowing them to hit passes around you. This means they can hit a shot which is three feet high to win, instead of a two inch high kill shot: which do you think is easier to execute?
Rule #1
There is no reason to be in front of the five foot line for your defensive court coverage.
By standing one step out of the middle of the court, on the opposite side of the court from your opponent, you will cover more shots effectively. Here is why: From the left corner of the court, a cross court shot and a splat will both end up on the right half of the court. Only a down the line shot ends up on the left side of the court. This means simply by standing still in this position, you will be covering two of the three offensive op¬portunities your opponent will have. Obviously if they hit a perfect shot, you cannot cover it, but you cannot really cover that shot no matter where you are standing. The idea is that you will cover most of the shots, and you will cover most of the shots in two steps (covered in the footwork section). This court position will give you more time to set up, better chances to exe¬cute your shot, and puts pressure on your opponent to kill the ball or hit a perfect pass to win the rally. If they go down the line, you are in reasonable position to cover that shot, too. This is the most difficult shot to win the rally with, because your opponent’s margin for error is very small. The down the line pass has to bounce twice before the back wall, not hit the side wall, and not get pulled down the middle to get past you. Since you are playing a little deeper in the court, you have more time to cover the down the line shot.
Rule #2
Always cover the cross court shot. This is the easiest shot to hit in racquetball, so take it away from your opponent.

From your opponent’s perspective, it looks like you are giving them two-thirds of the court to hit their next shot into. The fact of the matter is, you are covering the easiest shot to hit, the cross court, and are in good position to cover any splat which has not bounced twice in front of the service box. They will quickly realize that they cannot hit the ball around you very often, because your new, deeper court posi¬tion puts you in a better position to defend those shots. They will have to hit kills and perfect passes to beat you.

diagram2

This diagram illustrates the proper court position when your opponent is in the deep left corner.  As you can see from the path of each shot, two of the three shots come right to you.  Not only does this position make your job easier and force the pressure onto your opponent, but it also sets your footwork up to prepare you to hit the upcoming shot.  This will improve the accuracy and consistency of your shots.  Please refer to the following section for a more in depth look at this unique approach

Posted in Racquetball Tips | 212 Comments »