December 6th, 2010 by Ben
The ASU Racquetball team just wrapped up the annual Splat Classic Racquetball Tournament which we hosted for the third year in a row. The event itself is always fun, bringing old familiar faces and new friends together right before the Holiday. The tournament has sort of become our first semester ending event, and a gauge for where we are at in terms of our preparation for the Intercollegiate Championships in early April, 2011. While the ECRC schools and the WCRC schools are getting their tournament preparation in by playing other colleges, we have to make do with competing against local players in a regular tournament. Although I think it would be better preparation for us to play other schools for practice, this is the next best thing.
I would have to say one advantage to this isolation we have here in AZ is that we do not “show our hand” until we walk in the door for the Intercollegiate tournament event itself. It is nice to keep our competition guessing, and maybe have a few surprises that we can bring to the table come tournament time. I would assess our fitness level as adequate, but as my players know we will be doing our real training beginning in January when they return from Winter Break. We will be hitting the ground running in the New Year, gearing up for our big showdown in April.
Hosting the Intercollegiate Championships this year has its pros and cons. I would say that an advantage of traveling to a tournament is that for the most part you are totally focused and there for one reason. The kids all have class work to keep up with, and when not playing everyone is supporting their team mates. We spend 24/7 together; the 7 guys and seven girls who went to Springfield last year crammed into 2 rooms each, and I had a room in the middle. We eat every meal together, commute from the hotel to the club together, etc. for four days straight. It can be trying at times, but for the most part I love every minute of it. When we host the tournament, boyfriends/girlfriends show up, Mom and Dad come to watch, kids try to squeeze in classes between matches, and many other pressures and distractions can arise. But, playing on your home courts and sleeping in your own bed is nice sometimes, so I guess it all evens out. We hope to be adding another decal to the wall of Court 1 after this season’s event, but only time will tell.
Happy Holidays everyone, I hope Santa brings you that better backhand you are wishing for!
ASU Head Coach