Ideally, you want to get into a state of total concentration and focus on the court because that is when you play your best and develop a winning game. Concentration is total awareness, giving your undivided or fixed attention to the game. Focus is the narrowing of concentration onto a specific thought, idea, or object to a central point. In other words, you concentrate on the game and focus on the ball and your opponent.
Use the techniques in my book Championship Racquetballto understand concentration and focus (Chapter 9, page 228-229)
Concentration and focus are key ingredients for my “Championship Team,” Paola, Rocky, Taylor, Sharon, Connor, Jordan, Spencer, Lexi and Brian. Let’s examine what tools Rocky, Paola, Jason and all of my athletes use to “concentrate and focus” by taking a closer look at all 3 sides of The Sports Racquetball Triangle: Conditioning, Mental, and Physical Skills
Left Side of the Triangle
Balance means an athlete has control of all body parts at the same time regardless of what is actually going on, which takes quite a bit of concentration and focus. A balanced athlete knows how to lower their center of gravity so they have control of their body regardless of the extreme positions that a racquetball rally requires. A balanced athlete can move quickly in all directions, knowing where their upper body and lower body are at all times. Balance is trainable, and all elite athletes spend a considerable amount of time on this area of fitness. A balanced athlete can recover from almost anything, and an imbalanced athlete crashes and burns.
Rocky & Paola’s concentration and focus on balance in their training is one the keys to their success.
Use the techniques in my book “Championship Racquetball” (Chapter 10) to learn more about balance.
How you eat and how much water you drink is just another component you need to concentrate and focus on in order to allow your body to perform at its best. As you learn how to focus on better eating habits off the court, your concentration on the court will improve dramatically.
The more disciplined your are at eating the right foods to give you the proper energy and drinking the right fluids to keep your muscles hydrated, the more you can think clearly on the court and focus on the task at hand….winning.
Rocky, Paola and Jason’s eating and drinking habits are second to none: They all eat a very clean diet and drink no less than two 2 liter bottles of water throughout the day during heavy training days as well as during tournaments.
Right Side of the Triangle
There are two types of focus: broad and pinpoint.
When you have a broad focus, you are taking a 360-degree peripheral check as to what is going on around you on the court; you see the whole court, your opponent, and the shots you want to hit. This takes all doubt out of your mind.
When you have a pinpoint focus, you are focusing on the center of the ball with laser intensity. All distractions are gone, and you are one with your game again. The more precise, intense, and accurate your focus, the more consistent you become. You have to see the shot in your mind’s eye before you can unleash the perfect shot. All of this happens when you are 100% present in the now.
You start with a broad focus to see all of the court and where your opponent is standing. Then once the point starts, you switch instantly to pinpoint focus.
Jason became the master at having impeccable concentration and focus:
If you watched Jason when he played the IRT Pro Stops he had “the eye of the tiger”. His eyes were on the ball and he knew where his opponent was 100% of the time. It was as if he were looking through the ball and staring at his opponent.
Use the techniques in my book “Championship Racquetball” (Chapter 9) to learn more about concentration and focus.
Base of the Triangle
I like to use “target drilling” in order to sharpen concentration and focus. Here are a few examples:
1-Tape boxes on the front wall (the harder you hit the ball the lower the boxes, the softer you hit it the higher the boxes) when you are practicing your drive serves…so when you hit the ball into the box it bounces right over the short line and into either back corner on it’s 2nd bounce.
2-Tape lines on the front wall when practicing hitting pass shots…. approximately 18” and lower so the ball hits the front wall and bounces 2X before the back wall.
3-Put garbage cans in the back corners to practice your lob serves or ceiling balls…on its 2nd bounce it should land in the garbage can.
4-Put your racquetball bag on the side wall right behind the dotted line and try to hit the bag on a fly to practice your wide angle passes.
Rocky and Paola’s drill sessions are like these….concentrating and focusing on the basics which allows them both to be more consistent and accurate.
There arevarious ways to drill, practice and play to improve your game in Chapter 8 of my book “Championship Racquetball”.
ALL of my players from the professionals I coach, led by Rocky and Paola, to the amateurs I coach know just how important it is to concentrate and stay focused during the match. It is easier to keep and maintain your concentration then to let it slip away and try to reel it back in.
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. Rocky ‘s 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 IRT Pro Player, Rocky Carson; Coach #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player, 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. International Racquetball Tour.