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Final Update…Pan American Championship Games

October 31st, 2011 Comments off

Guadalajara, MX October 17-25, 2011

5 Medals for my Championship Team…4 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and 1 HAPPY Coach

The ten day event is finally over and my students walked away from the Pan Am Games with 5 medals between them:

Paola Longoria took home 3 Gold Medals….1 Gold Individual Singles and 1 Gold Individual Doubles Competition and 1 Gold Team Competition.

Rocky Carson took home 1 Gold and 1 Silver Medal… 1 Gold Individual Singles and 1 Silver Team Competition

Paola was the talk of the games as in November 2010 she won the Woman Athlete of the Year Award for all of Mexico, one of the highest honors an athlete could receive. The cameras and media were focused on her as they expected her to bring home the GOLD for their country….and she delivered big time. The pressure was incredible for both her and I, but through it all Paola beat Rhonda Rajsich 3X in the same event even coming back from being down 8-9 in one of the tie-breakers to win 11-9…a sweet victory in the Singles Individual Competition. As a matter of fact all the games with Rhonda went a tie-breaker so both these women gave the crowd their monies worth. The sellout crowds all week long were chanting, clapping, screaming and cheering for their hometown favorite.

Rocky had to beat 2 Mexicans on the way to the Gold…hometown favorites Alvaro and Gilberto. You couldn’t even hear yourself think as the crowds went crazy for their Mexican heroes, but staying mentally tough Rocky was able to ward off both in 2 games straight to win the Gold in the Individual Singles Competition. In the Team Competition Rocky started off and led the way against Mexican Gilberto and won giving the USA Team a 1-0 lead, but unfortunately Chris lost to Alvaro in the 2nd singles match and Chris and Shane lost to Alvaro and Javier in an exciting tie-breaker in the doubles match to a standing room only crowd. As a result Rocky, Chris, Shane and Alex captured the Silver in the Team Competition, still a wonderful accomplishment.

For me the Pan Am games was a once in a lifetime experience, especially being in Paola’s home country of Mexico. Sitting courtside and coaching her knowing Vic, the Dr., Magaly, the Sports Psychologist, Silvia, from the Mexican Government, and Paola’s family and boyfriend were all there to support her made my job easier. After each match she and sometimes I were whisked away for interviews, pictures and autographs. This is truly the way racquetball athletes should be treated all the time.

Watching both Paola and Rocky play over the course of the 10 days and seeing how all their hard work physically, mentally and emotionally paid off made me VERY PROUD of them. Knowing I have been a part of their growth and development as players is all a coach could ask for and dream about.

Thanks Paola and Rocky for a GREAT week and memories to last forever.

 

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Pan American Championship Games in Guadalajara, MX

October 22nd, 2011 Comments off

On Saturday, October 22nd both my players will be playing for a Gold Medal:

  • Paola Longoria is in 2 finals for both Women’s Singles and Doubles representing Mexico.
  • Rocky Carson is in the Men’s Singles finals representing USA.

Being here in Mexico with them and watching them handle the pressure and raising their level of play is something I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
They are playing to sell out crowds. The energy, the cheering, the chanting, the clapping and doing the wave is incredible. This is how tournaments should be in the states.

Hopefully I will have good news for you after their matches.

Gracias and Adios

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US Open Racquetball Championships 2011…Trifector

October 18th, 2011 Comments off

I just returned from the 15th Annual US Open Racquetball Championships held in Minneapolis, MN and I am proud to say  my “Championship Team” lead by Paola Longoria, Rocky Carson and Taylor Knoth tore up the field as they ALL made it into the finals of their respective divisions….thusly the “Trifector”. Along with them ten of my amateur students walked away with a medal around their necks…not too bad of a week’s work.

Rocky Carson made it to the finals without dropping a game and came out strong in the finals against Kane Waselenchuk beating him the first game.Rocky’s new “aggressive style of play” has served him well and our working together is paying off. Even though he lost to Kane in the finals he pushed Kane to 4 games and put Kane on the defense more often creating more mistakes…something no one has been able to do. Watch out Rocky is on a mission.

He is now in Guadalajara, MX for the Pan American Games representing USA.

Paola took back the 2011 US Open Championship Title from Rhonda Rajsich who won it the last 2 years in 2009 & 2010. Paola beat Rhonda convincingly with her aggressive style of play. Her trip to Seattle to train with me 3 weeks ago truly paid off as her serves and shots were deadly…consistent, accurate  and powerful.

She is now in Guadalajara, MX for the Pan American Games representing her home country Mexico.

Taylor Knoth at the ripe age of 20 he qualified into the main draw of the pros and beat Juan Herrera, #14 in the world, in the round of 32″s to advance to the round of 16’s where he lost to Andy Hawthorne, #4 in the world. Also, he played in the Open Division and made it to the finals  after winning 2 tie breakers in the quarter final and semi final matches. He even beat Alejandro Herrera, #15 in the world, in an 11-10 breaker before losing to Daniel Del La Rosa, #16 in the world, in the finals. Taylor is on his way and is moving up steadily. Our work over the last 8 years is really showing because he is so fundamentally in every aspect of the game. Once he graduates college he will be able to devote full time to racquetball. Even with Taylor going to school full time and carrying 18 credits he is ranked #24 in the world.

My Amateur Championship Team …I am so PROUD of these people who have worked hard on their games after taking our camps or private lessons/coaching with me:

Sharon Jackson:  US Open Pros round of 16, Open Division 3rd Place, Mixed Open Doubles 4th Place
Laurie Welsh:   Women’s  B  3rd Place
Page Kern:  Women’s 45+ A  2nd Place
Kelly Kirk:  Women’s 50+ Open  2nd Place
William Craig:  Men’s 19+ D 4th Place
Quentin Mieure: Men’s 25+ A  1st Place
Ben Howell III:   Men’s 45+ C  1st Place
Quade Howell:  Men’s 24- C  3rd Place (ONLY 12 years old)
George Brewer: Men’s 55+ A  3rd Place
Lamar Hughes:  Men’s 55+ C  2nd Place

 

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