When it comes to sports, there are winners and there are champions. All of the top International Racquetball Tour (IRT) professionals know what it’s like to win, are wonderfully gifted, and can outplay 99% of the rest of us on the court. The mark of a champion, however, comes from the inside to propel a player to the top – and even above a sport.
We compare our athletic heroes across different games and generations. We’ll extol the grit shown in days gone by or proclaim how modern advances bring physical superiority never seen before. All might be true, but one interior component marks the kind of fierce determination that demands our attention: the will to win, and a sheer hatred of losing.
The solitary obsession might seem unnatural to the rest of us, as it propels long hours of training fueled by sleeping and eating on a schedule that doesn’t meld well with the less premeditated spontaneity that most of us enjoy in life. But that dedication also creates a confidence felt by opponents on the court. It’s not just an edge, but also a willingness and ability to claw, bleed, and dig deeper for the win.
For fans, it gives us something intrinsic to compare, something that gets beyond the size of the racquet or number of points in a game. It lets us see how our greats today stack against those from yesterday as, over the years, certain players stand out from the rest. Sport gives the opportunity for everyone to see how dedicated talent plays out, making us all feel better and buoyed beyond the realms of a game, match and even sport.
The ProKennex Tournament of Champions pits the elite against the greats, and yes, against today’s leader. From Marty Hogan to Jason Mannino and now 8-time #1 Kane Waselenchuk, ProKennex has brought the world champions of racquetball to the court. Only the top 8 IRT pros will receive an invite to the season-ending tournament held May 15-18. Amateur players in the Northwest can watch and play at the famous MAC in Portland, Oregon.