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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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My Championship Team Summer 2011 Update

September 30th, 2011 Comments off

Rocky Carson wins the Outdoor National Championships in Huntington Beach, CA making it 8 in a row, after taking off 3 weeks from a grueling 2010/2011 professional indoor season where he was in 10 out of 12 finals. After winning the Outdoor Nationals his training regiment was like no other as he was not only getting ready for the pro season, but also he will be representing the USA at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, MX in mid-October.

Paola Longoria wins the Mexican National Championships in singles and doubles and earned a spot on the Mexican National Team and she will be representing her country at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, MX in mid-October.  After winning the National Championships Paola received one of the greatest honors anyone could ever receive…she was selected to light the Pan American Torch to start the torch traveling throughout Mexico before ending up in Guadalajara for the Pan American Games.

Taylor Knoth finishes #22 on the IRT ranking his first year playing part-time on the professional tour while going to school. He was also invited by the Korean Government, all expenses paid,  along with Jose Rojas to play in a Korean Tournament…an opportunity of a lifetime.

My Junior Championship Team shined at the Jr. National Championships in Portland, OR earning a spot on the Jr. National Racquetball Team to represent the USA at the Jr. World Championships in the Dominican Republic…I am so PROUD of them:

Brad Schopieray Jr. Nationals Boys 18 & U Singles 4th/Doubles 2nd
Spencer Shoemaker Jr. Nationals Boys 14 & U Singles 1st/Doubles 1st
Wayne Toyne Jr. Nationals Boys 12 & U Singles 3rd/Doubles 1st
Jessica Munoz Jr. Nationals Girls 18 & U Singles 3rd/Doubles 1st
Jr. Worlds Girls 18 & U Doubles 3rd
Lexi York Jr. Nationals Girls 14 & U Singles 2nd/Doubles 1st
Jordan Cooperrider Jr. Nationals Girls 12 & U Singles 1st/Doubles 1st
Jr. Worlds Girls 12 & U Singles 1st/Doubles 2nd
Espirit Female Athlete of the Year 2011
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Paola Longoria #2 WPRO Professional Player

June 12th, 2011 Comments off

WPRO Pro National Champion.. CONGRATULATIONS Paola you deserve it!

Paola finishes the season winning the last event of the season on May 13-15 – the WPRO Pro Nationals, a Grand Slam held in New Orleans, LA, against a fierce competitor, Rhonda Rajsich. This was a sweet victory for Paola as she lost to Rhonda in Stockton, CA, just 2 weeks prior in a very close 11-13 tie breaker. It was great to be there in New Orleans coaching Paola
to a 3-0 final.

There is no question in both our minds that her visit to Seattle for training the week before the event was an integral part of her playing so well. We worked out hard with my personal trainer, Austin Treloar for 3 days and spent 5 grueling days on the court working on very specific areas of her game. Unfortunately Paola will not have much rest as she has to continue
training for the Mexican National Championships in June. The top 2 women and top 2 men who make the team qualify to represent her country in the Pan American Championships at the end of October in Guadalajara, MX.

CONGRATULATIONS to Paola for winning some of THE MOST PRESTIGOUS awards:

October 2010 WPRO ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Awarded to her at the US Open in Minneapolis, MN
October 2010 Merito Deportivo
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Awarded to her by the government from San Luis Potosi, MX
November 2010 Premio Nacional Del Deporte
BEST ATHLETE OF THE YEAR OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY
Awarded to her by the President of Mexico
November 2010 Premio Estatal del Deporte
BEST ATHLETE OF THE YEAR OF TIJUANA, MX
Awarded to her by the government of Tijuana
December 2010 Premio Luchador Olmeca
BEST ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Codeme gave it to her as it represents all the federations in Mexico

June 2010 Premio Cuahutemoc
BEST ATHLETE OF THE YEAR OF TIJUANA, MX
Selection comes from all the media, newspapers, magazines and t.v. companies
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Sharon Jackson, A Rising Star on the WPRO!

June 12th, 2011 Comments off

Sharon Jackson, the 2009 Junior National Champion and the 2010 National
Intercollegiate Champion qualifies at the WPRO 2011 Pro National
Championships in New Orleans and takes home Gold and a Silver Medal at the
2011 National Intercollegiate Championships in Tempe, AZ.

There is no question that Sharon’s game is taking shape as she qualified
again at the WPRO Pro National Championships in New Orleans, LA before
losing to Samantha Salas, #3 WPRO Pro Player in the world. She finished this
year ranked # 25 on the WPRO rankings.

As a full time student at Alabama State University she cannot attend all the
WPRO events so Sharon plays in as many events that her school schedule
permits.

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Paola Longoria #1 WPRO Professional Player

February 26th, 2011 Comments off

“Finally Back…Proved that by Beating Rhonda in back to back Tier 1 WPRO Pro Stops in the So. CA “Coast to Coast”, January 5-7, and in Miami, FL “Great Balls of Fire”, February 25-27, events. Both tournaments went tie-breakers, but in Miami Paola was down 5-10 in the tie-breaker and came from behind to win 12-10…a HUGE mental win for her.

Also, March 4-6 Paola competed in the Mexican National Championships and won BOTH the Singles and Doubles divisions which gave her a spot on the Mexican National Team and will represent her country at the Pan American Championships, October 2011, in her home country of Mexico, in the city of Guadalajara….what a HONOR that will be.

After tearing a ligament in her foot in May 2010 at the WPRO Pro Nationals in New Orleans, LA she has never been the same physically or mentally UNTIL the first pro-stop of the 2nd half of the season. When she came back to the courts in July 2010 she took 2nd in the singles at the World Championships in Korea losing to Rhonda, then proceeded to lose to Rhonda in the following WPRO events…TX in August, US Open in October and VA in November.

A true champion that Paola is she decided …NO MORE. She wanted to regain the confidence in her game that she had before she tore her ligament as she had won EVERY Tier 1 WPRO event from November 2009 (when she hired me) -May 2010. I put Paola on an intensive on court drilling regiment, she started working with her original conditioning trainer and used on court footwork drills I gave her and she began working with a sports psychologist. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the combination of all three working together is helping her get back to where she was before her injury. This hard work and diligent practice sessions is allowing her to regain her confidence level…a KEY to re-building her championship game. What she is doing is living proof that the “Racquetball Success Triangle” works and works well.

Paola juggles ALL this being a FULL-TIME student. Here’s what she has to say about it: ” I’m in 6 semester of Ingeneer in Mechanic and Administration. I study on the school Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and this school is in Monterrey,  Mexico. It’s difficult to combine school and racquetball, but I have the opportunity to have great professors that help me with exams and projects and they allow me to give it to them before or after the tourneys. The last semester I finished with grade of 8.8 and it’s pretty good because I passed all the classes and don’t need to take extra exams.”

Paola why did you choose Fran Davis as your coach? I choose Fran Davis to be my coach because I know she is the person that knows everything about racquetball. I asked her after the final of the Us Open 2009 and we made the commitment to work hard together so right know I really love the way we train together. It’s a little hard because of the distance, but I have sometimes the opportunity to fly to Seattle, WA and train with her. We have many goals in our minds and I know that both of us are going to work and fight hard to achieve those goals. She’s a great coach and friend :)”

Paola is gearing up for a WPRO Pro Stop in Miami, FL the last weekend in February and in March she is heading to the Mexican National Championships in San Luis Potosi, MX (in her home town) to secure a spot on the team for the Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, MX (in her home country) in October, 2011.

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Sharon Jackson

February 23rd, 2011 Comments off

Sharon Jackson  Junior National Champion 2009, National Intercollegiate Champion 2010,  #25 WPRO Professional Player

“Gearing up for the National Intercollegiate Championships April 2011 in Tempe, AZ”

Sharon has not played many events after qualifying for the pro division at the US Open 2010 due to a heavy load in college, but the tournaments she plays in locally she plays in the Men’s Open division and usually can hold her own if not beat all the local open players.

She is currently training to win the National Intercollegiate Championships and defend her title she took home in 2010 as a freshman.  Right now she is working on conditioning and drills. She does the stair master for 30 minutes on speed 7, then runs 2 miles, and lastly does some fast feet at the end. As far as drilling she is like Paola working on the fundamentals like set up and shoot and then serves and returns. If time permits she will go to the MD WPRO Pro Stop in March and Pro Nationals in New Orleans in May.

Sharon, like Taylor, juggles playing racquetball with being a FULL-TIME student at the University of Alabama and that is why she does not go to every pro-stop, even though her dream one day is to be the #1 Professional Player.  School is definitely a challenge for her this year as she is taking 17 hours. Her current GPA is 3.694, but last semester she had a 4.0 and was on the President’s List. You can see she takes school and playing racquetball seriously….a VERY dedicated and hard working individual.

Sharon why did you choose Fran Davis as your coach? ” Fran Davis is one of the most successful coaches of all time. Everyone she coaches is very elite and gifted in the sport of racquetball and typically have won numerous national and world titles.  She’s very selective in her student’s and I’m honored to be one of them.”

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Paola Longoria Named Mexican Sportswoman of the Year

November 29th, 2010 Comments off

Paola Longoria, the WPRO’s number 1 ranked professional player, was named as the winner of the “Premio Nacional de Deporte” by the Mexican Government. This is the MOST prestigious award an athlete could get in her country. She received the award on November 20th from the hands of the Mexican President himself, Felipe Calderon. The presentation was made at the Residencia Oficial de Los Pinos, the Mexican version of the USA White House. Along with Paola, the archer Juan Serrano and Paraolympic competitor Mauro Maximo received similar awards. The award declaring Paola Longoria as Sportswoman of the Year is perhaps the most distinguished recognition of any racquetball player in the history of our sport. “CONGRATULATIONS Paola you DESERVE it”….Fran, Your Coach

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Sharon Jackson Qualifies for the WPRO Pro Draw at the US Open

November 27th, 2010 Comments off

Sharon made a break through at the 2010 US Open and qualified for the first time ever in the pro draw.  She had a few other “firsts” this year, winning the National Intercollegiate Championships in Springfield, MO, and became the National Intercollegiate Champion as a sophomore. At the WPRO Pro Stop in Dallas, TX she won the Women’s Open Division.

Sharon and I have been working together now for about 2 years and her game is starting to mature and she is gaining the consistency level she needs to have in order to break into the top 10 on the WPRO Tour.  Sharon has won every age group at Jr. Nationals, and like Taylor she is now developing into one of the up and coming professional players in the world, ranked # 24 on the WPRO website. She has such a bright future in racquetball, but also balances her school work and is pulling straight A’s at the University of Alabama.

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