A strategy is a method of achieving a specific goal or end result, which is to play your best to win the match. Your strategy helps you carry out your plan. If you just step out on the court without a plan and a particular strategy, you will be doomed from the start. You will always be reacting to the situation rather than creating the situation. You are in a much better position to win when creating the situation right from the beginning of the match.
The chart below gives a few examples of Game Situations and Strategies. This summer during your recovery cycle and post-season, please take the time to add more game situations and you can come up with a strategy that will help you win more matches….a great exercise.
|You are ahead l0-7 in tiebreaker, and you are serving for the match.||Pressure, pressure, pressure. Don’t let up. Go with what got you to 10. Serve your best serve and the one you have the most confidence in.|
|You are behind 0-7 in the 1st game.||Play high-percentage shots, and don’t force a weak shot. Work your way back into the match. Explore different serves and shots to find your opponent’s weaknesses, and then exploit them. You want to try to win the 1st game to put pressure on your opponent to win the next 2 games in order to win the match.|
|You won the 1st game.||Start the 2nd game with constant pressure, and use what worked in the 1st game. Stick to your game plan—you were successful.|
|You won the 1st game, but you are down 4-12 in the 2nd game.||Work hard to get your momentum back. Be defensive when your opponent is serving and more aggressive when you get the serve. Make adjustments based on the game situation.|
|You lost the 1st game.||You need to adjust your game plan and the tempo of the match.|
There are many topics of “Strategy” in my book, Championship Racquetball: Chapter 7, P. 104, 219-202.
All my athletes from legends Jason Mannino and Sudsy Monchik when they were playing the men’s professional International Racquetball Tour, to Rocky Carson and Paola Longoria, who are presently playing on the men’s and women’s pro tours, have good solid strategies to carry out their plan. This awareness makes them keen and sharp on the court to make necessary adjustments in any game situation.
Here’s how my Championship Team PROVES that using smart strategies based on the game situations is a critical part of performing at their best:
At the USA Racquetball National Singles Championships in Denver, CO, May 25-28, 2016, Rocky showed all the signs of “using smart strategies based on the game situations” when he beat Chris Crowther in a semifinal tiebreaker before overcoming Jose Diaz in a two-game final to win the USA Racquetball 2016 National Singles Championship crown for the 6th time. The title earned Rocky a spot on the USA Racquetball National Team and a trip to Cali, Colombia in July of 2016 to represent the USA at the International Racquetball Federation World Championships.
Rocky finished the 2015-2016 IRT season as the #2 ranked professional men’s player in the world by using smart strategies based on the game situations.
I am so proud of Rocky for having another GREAT season on the courts as we have been working really hard on his “strategies based on the game situations” and making the necessary adjustments when needed.
Game Situations and their Strategies is yet another required skill on the road to championship racquetball. ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, know just how important it is to strategize. Their records speak for themselves…Rocky and Paola are BOTH two of the most decorated athletes in racquetball. Paola finished ranked #1 for the 6th time on the LPRT, 6X US Open Champions, 4X World Champion and 4X Pan American Champion. Rocky finished ranked #2 for the 8th time on the IRT, 4X IRF World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion and US Open Champion.
In the 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 becoming, by giving you the tools to make it a reality. Rocky 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 and our book, Championship Racquetball) ALL covering tips and all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle plus more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coaches #2 IRT Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 4X and present World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coaches #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player / 6X and present US Open Champion & 4X World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coaches Jr. World & National Champions, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone & Mitchell Turner; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.