I am asked this question all the time, “If you had to name one of the MOST important parts of the game that would be a major ingredient in making a champion what would it be?” Hands down: “CONSISTENCY Rules.”
In the last newsletter, I covered the training-schedule segments (Post-Season, Recovery Cycle, Pre-Season, Tournament Week), which culminated with the In-Season Schedule, to keep you sharp for the tournaments/leagues that are now in full swing. By following these training schedules, in the appropriate timetables as I described in the IRT Newsletters as well as in my book, you will be keeping yourself in the best position possible to be a CONSISTENT contender on the court.
I hear rumblings all the time, “How is Rocky, Paola, Kane and Rhonda so consistent shot after shot, serve after serve, match after match and tournament after tournament.?” It is hard to argue the fact that these 4 professionals are the most CONSISTENT players on tour as they are in the finals at least 95% of the time in every event they enter.
Their consistency levels comes from lots of hard work in every aspect of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and I can speak more directly about Rocky and Paola as I work directly with and coach them. It is not by accident Rocky has been the #2 IRT Player and Paola has been the #1 or #2 WPRO Player for the last several years….let’s take a look:
The Sports Triangle: Conditioning, Mental, and Physical Skills
Left Side of the Triangle
Both have personal trainers and work out with them a minimum of 2X a week focusing on quickness, speed, agility, balance, power, strength as well as flexibility. Their fitness levels are so high they are able to sustain their movement on the court, be explosive and stay low throughout their matches—key components in their consistency levels.
They both eat well-balanced meals and drink lots of water to stay hydrated and have high levels of energy from eating the right foods. Diet is a key component in their consistency levels.
Right Side of the Triangle
Both work with a sports psychologist and consistently use the tools they have learned, like visualization, positive affirmations, routine, and staying the present moment to stay mentally sharp and maintain a positive attitude, which also leads to yet another level of consistency.
I witnessed the difference a good psychological focus could make during Paoloa’s championship match against Rhonda during the Pan American games last October. Magally, her sports psychologist, talked courtside with her several times during the match, which reeled Paola back into the present moment….the NOW. The strategic adjustments we made combined with Magally’s advice brought Paola back from an 8-9 deficit in the tiebreaker to an 11-9 win and the GOLD Medal.
Base of the Triangle
Rocky and Paola drill and play 2-4X per week for a 2-2 1/2 hour session, depending if it is a tournament week or not, always keeping stats for their drilling sessions.
100 ceiling balls
250 passes (mixture of DTL, CC, Wide Angle, Overhead and Side Arm)
200 pinches and splats
500 return of serves
100 off the back wall
When playing, they focus on specific skills to sharpen their swords so they can be as consistent as possible, which keeps them shooting, serving and playing CONSISTENTLY….
Rocky’s and Paola’s “Championship Racquetball Games” stems from ALL 3 sides of the triangle being present and working together so they can reach their optimal CONSISTENCY Level…. a MUST to be on top and stay on top. 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.
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, but now you will have the tools to do it and make it a reality.
For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s, our book, “Championship Racquetball”, and more please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com.
IRT. International Racquetball Tour.