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Bouncing Back: Win or Learn

franheadshot_150Bouncing back after losing a match is not easy to do, but it is a MUST if you want to be successful and build your championship game. It’s inevitable that we ALL win and lose matches, but it is what we do when we lose a match that counts the most. Losing should be a learning experience, NOT beating yourself up experience.

Just ask yourself, “Did I play well and lose? Or did I play poorly and lose?”  The key is to learn from your mistakes and remember your successes. Let go of all the negative thoughts, and remember your great shots. Erase your mistakes from your mind, and visualize the shot you know you should have hit—see it in your mind with the correction made. Too often athletes do not take the time to redo their mistakes mentally and turn them into positives. We learn from winning, but it is in losing that we feel the pain enough to change.

Here’s a quote I read years ago and I share with my students even today,  “I NEVER Lose………I WIN or I LEARN.”

Use the techniques in my book “Championship Racquetball”, Chapter 9, Page. 231.

Here’s how my Championship Team and Junior Championship Team utilizes these techniques:

Rocky Carson:

In Portland, OR May 2015 Rocky lost to Daniel Del Rosa in the semi-finals in 4 games. Rocky was making the finals all year long and the #1 ranking was within his reach. After the match we talked about what happened, made adjustments and figured out some tweaks we needed to make. I spoke to him again during the week several times and made sure he was on track as he still had one tournament left, Fresno, CA. Rocky DID NOT dwell on his loss he LEARNED from it. He came into the last tournament hungry to play and totally focused and the results were….  Rocky made it to the finals.

Paola Longoria:

In Warren, NJ March 2015 Paola lost to Frederique Lambert in the semi-finals who she had never lost to before. After the match we talked about what happened, made adjustments and figured out some tweaks we needed to make. So we got up the next morning at 9:00am and went to another club to practice/drill on the court working on the things we discussed as she had several tournaments left in the season. Paola DID NOT dwell on her loss, she LEARNED from it. She came into the next tournament hungry to play and totally focused and beat Frederique in the semi-finals and then went on to win the tournament.

Wayne Antone:

In Stockton, CA at the Junior National Championships Wayne had a tough loss to Jordan Barth in the Boy’s 16 & U singles semi-finals. Wayne was up 9-3 in the first game and wound up losing the match in 2 games, therefore did not qualify for the USA Junior National Team in singles, as he had to make it to the finals. Several hours later he had to come back and play in the Boy’s 16 & U doubles semi-finals to advance him into the finals, in order for a chance to qualify for the USA Junior National Team.  Wayne now had to win the Boy’s 16 & U doubles in order to make the team. So after the match I had to talk to Wayne and remind him to erase his mistakes from his mind, and visualize the shot he knew he should have hit against Jordan—see it in his mind with the correction made.

I was so PROUD of Wayne, as he not only bounced back big in the semi-finals that day, but the next day he had to come back and play Jordan and his partner in the finals. Well, Wayne and his partner, Kevin, won in 2 games and therefore qualified for the USA Junior National Team in doubles. Wayne is going to represent his country at the Junior World Championships in the Dominican Republic in November 2015.

Mitchell Turner:

In Stockton, CA at the Junior National Championships Mitchell had a tough loss to Antonio Rojas in the Boy’s 14 & U singles semi-finals. Mitchell lost the match in 2 games, therefore did not qualify for the USA Junior National Team in singles, as he had to make it to the finals. Several hours later he had to come back and play in the Boy’s 14 & U doubles finals, in order to qualify for the USA Junior National Team. So after the match I had to talk to Mitchell and remind him to erase his mistakes from his mind, and visualize the shot he knew he should have hit against Antonio—see it in his mind with the correction made.

I was so PROUD of Mitchell, as he had to bounce back in the finals that same day. Well, Mitchell and his partner, Julian, won and therefore qualified for the USA Junior National Team in doubles. Mitchell is going to represent his country at the Junior World Championships in the Dominican Republic in November 2015.

Jordan Cooperrider:

In Stockton, CA at the Junior National Championships Jordan had a tough loss to Erika Manilla in the Girl’s 16 & U singles finals. Jordan lost the match in 2 games so she was not able to defend her National Title from the last 2 years. She was VERY disappointed to say the least. The next day Jordan had to come back and play in the Girl’s 16 & U and 18 & U doubles finals with Erika. So after the match I had to talk to Jordan and remind her to erase her mistakes from her mind, and visualize the shot she knew she should have hit against Erika—see it in her mind with the correction made.

I was so PROUD of Jordan, as she had to bounce back in the finals to play her best. Jordan qualified for the USA Junior National Team in singles and doubles. Jordan is going to represent her country at the Junior World Championships in the Dominican Republic in November 2015.

Bouncing Back is yet another required skill on the road to championship racquetball. ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, know just how important it is to “Bounce Back from a Loss”.  It’s not easy to do, but a MUST.  Remember the quote, I NEVER Lose………I WIN or I LEARN.” Their records speak for themselves…Rocky and Paola are BOTH 2 of the most decorated athletes in racquetball.  Paola finished the 2013/2014 ranked #1 on the LPRT for the 3rd consecutive season with only dropping one match since May 2011 and was crowned BOTH the 2014 World Champion and the Central American Champion. Rocky finished the 2013/2014 ranked #2 on the IRT and was crowned the 2014 World Champion.

In the next issue, I will continue to build your Championship Racquetball Game one level at a time so you too can be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of becoming, by giving you the tools to make it a reality. Rocky and all my athletes “Championship Racquetball Games” stem from their focus on ALL 3 sides of the triangle working together so they can develop into top competitors. Without a shadow of a doubt, they KNOW just how important it is to do the work. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.

For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s, our book, Championship Racquetball, and our APP (coming soon), ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coach #2 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 4X and present World Champion, Rocky Carson; Coach #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player / 5X and present US Open Champion & World Champion, Paola Longoria; Coach Jr. World & National Champion, Intercollegiate Champion, & IRT Pro Player, Taylor Knoth; Coach Intercollegiate Champion & LPRT Pro Player, Sharon Jackson; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.