Washington, MO. July, 20, 2018- The 2018 Professional Workshop out in Malibu, CA wrapped up last week with all players and coaches pleased with the results.
Cindy Tilbury, Tour investor, put together a three day “workshop” for amateur players to come out to the West coast and fine tune their racquetball skills with professional coaches like Gregg Peck, former Tour Pro/Coach. Tilbury’s goal was to get a handful of players that are all around the same skill level, and helping them get to that next level!
“Having all the guys come out here was just fantastic, they were all so delightful,” Tilbury said. “Overall I think everybody really learned a lot, and they all came in with a lot of knowledge about the game. I also think Gregg (Peck) really enjoyed getting back onto the court, after being away with corporate for so long.”
Tilbury reached out the Peck as soon as she got word that the Professional Workshop plans were coming together.
“Gregg did such a great job balancing teaching with demanding,” Tilbury said. “He would demand that you take smarter shots, shots that wouldn’t get you into trouble on the court or leave you out to dry. But he would teach them the mechanics and the discipline to take, or even lay off those shots they were so eager to hit. He also taught them how to stay relaxed, which is a big part of the game that not everyone knows how to do.”
Peck has his own decorated history in the sport of racquetball, earning the 1981 Pro Rookie of the Year, and finishing the 1981 season as the 17 & Under Jr. National Champion. In 1985 Peck finished the season as the #1 Pro Player of the Year. Peck worked with some amateur players at the workshop and quickly realized that these players might be considered “amateurs”, but they were far from it.
“Everything I asked of them, they did it or picked up on it almost immediately,” Peck said. “We spent very little time on small things and that allowed us to cover more ground than I thought I would.”
Fitness and discipline were the two major areas of focus for Peck, fitness wasn’t a concern after the first couple hours.
“The fitness levels were very good to excellent across the board,” Peck said. “Being on the court all day for two days in a row can get tiring, but they held in there. Their shot selection and mental toughness was what we worked on the most. I found that if they had time to think about it, they would take the right shot. If they only had a short time to react, they left themselves exposed for the next shot and that’s where we really worked.”
Luis R. Avila, from Wilmington, CA was one of the amateur players that attended the workshop with Tilbury and Peck. Avila, 21, said he had a great time at the workshop, it improved his game and he would encourage other young players to attend.
“This workshop helped me out a lot,” Avila said. “My confidence and motivation increased because of Coach Peck and the workshop helped open me up to more ideas on how to become a better player. I would recommend many young athletes to try this workshop to help get them to the next level and to grow the sport.”
Avila left the workshop and headed straight to the 2018 Outdoor Championships in Huntington Beach, CA. With a 15-12, 6-15, 11-5 victory over Brandon Davis, from Fountain Valley, CA, in the finals, Avila took home his first National Title just four short days after leaving the Professional Workshop in Malibu, CA.
Tilbury plans to host another Professional Workshop in the future, potentially one as soon as this coming September. Getting everything in order in such a short time will be a challenge, but Tilbury says she will be ready for the summer if September doesn’t work out.
“I don’t want to wait till the summer to put another one on, but it all just depends on the timing of schedules and some other things,” Tilbury said. “If Gregg was available I would love to have him back out here for the players. I also hope young players that have played at a couple Tour stops would consider the workshop because I think it can produce real results right away.”
Would Coach Peck plan to attend the next workshop when the dates are announced?
“Absolutely,” Peck said. “I didn’t make it to the top by myself, there’s over 20 people I could name that helped me along the way. To be able to pass down some knowledge and skills about the game is the gift that keeps on giving for me, paying it forward is what it’s all about.”
Head IRT Staff Writer:
Kelly R. Diesel