Choosing a Racquetball Player
Racquetball partners can be players you train with or players who you team up with to play doubles matches. But how do you know who is going to be the perfect racquetball partner for you? Well, there is no way to know until you get into the court and see exactly what s/he is made of. However, there are a few basic requirementsevery partner needs in order for your partnership to be beneficial to both players.
Your racquetball partner should be someone who has an equal or better skill set. You want to be challenged and be able to learn from your partner. Before you commit to a practice schedule, find out what type of racquetball experience your partner has, how long they've been playing, and what are their strengths and weaknesses. Your racquetball partner should also be enthusiastic, positive and reliable. A pro-active racquetball partner is excited to set up a practice schedule and regularly motivates you to join him or her on the court. Beware of the pessimistic partner. Costructive criticism is great, but constant judgement of your every move could hinder your progress and easily discourage you. Lastly, be sure you and your partner set up clear start and finish times for your practices. Practice schedules should take into account both yours and your partner's lifestyle. If you are an early bird, you may want to find a partner who likes to practice before work or play. If you can only practice on sundays, let your partner know this ahead of time before they commit to training with you. It is fine to cancel a practice every once in awhile, but if you are both to improve, you want to be consistent in your training.
If you and your racquetball partner are extremely compatible on the court, you can also try working out together. While you're at the gym, try this Upper Body Workout to help improve your arm and back strength.
Racquetball Partner Drills
It's always good to do drills with a partner, because partner drills easily translate into game drills. While drilling with a racquetball partner, you are learning how to prepare for unexpected shots and volleys during a match. Racquetball is the fastest ball sport around, so you will need to increase your ball speed with lots of practice. You and your racquetball partner should decide on a set of drills that address different shots you feel you are weak at like pinch shots, kill shots or cross-court shots. Start your racquetball drill practice with a light warm up and stretch. Next move into drills that keep you in one place, equally alternating between forehand and backhand strokes. Next, add footwork by alternating positions with your partner, such as deciding to only use onside of the court to practice tight shots. For ideas on what kind of drills to do look for a racquetball book like Racquetball Fundamentals by Jim Winterton and Douglas Engh.
Find a Racquetball Coach
Training with the right racquetball coach can make a world of difference in a player's game. Racquetball coaches are unique in that they have to not only have mentoring and communication skills, but they also have to be good racquetball players. Racquetball coaching drills often involve volley practice between the player and coach. A good handle on racquetball technique doesn't however demonstrate a coaches knowledge of the sport. Coaches must have extensive knowledge of rules, drills, injury prevention and history.
Before you sign up for training, ask your coach their own playing experience and their coaching experience. A great, and possibly more expensive, racquetball coach will have at least 10 years experience in coaching alone. During your first couple training sessions, you should be able to ascertain your coaches personality. A natural coach is able to motivate in a positive manner and deliver constructive criticism regularly. The drills a coach chooses should transition logically and should address your needs as a player. Your racquetball coach should also be a good communicator and effectively explain strategies and techniques. Within the first 2 practices, your coach should be able to tell you what you need to work on improving and will give you tips for practicing. Your coach may also provide workouts for when you are off the court. Racquetball practices shouldn't always be grueling. A great racquetball coach is also good at keeping practices fun and inspiring.
Health Benefits of Racquetball
Racquetball is a high speed and intense cardiovascular workout with numerous health benefits. As a sport, racquetball requires players be: strong, but flexible and focused by mentally agile. During a racquetball match, players have to access high-bursts of energy, but they also take short breaks between those bursts. This type of workout is similar to interval training and benefits the player's physical condition in many healthy ways. Interval training helps to increase an athletes heart rate while training the body to have a more efficient cardiovascular capacity. During an hour long racquetball practice, you can burn 650 to 750 calories. You can play at least 2 matches in that hour since a match typically takes about 20 minutes. You should allow ample time in your practices for a 10 warm up to get your blood pumping and a 10 minute stretch to help prevent muscle injury.