THE POWER OF VISUALIZATION…from my book, “Championship Racquetball”
Article also featured on the IRT website • IRT Articles
Part I (What is visualization and how does it work?)
In these trying times of the COVID 19 pandemic we are all struggling to be safe, stay healthy and stay afloat yet stay in our routines as best we can. Of course we are all up against many different challenges, but for sure we do have this in common…”WE LOVE RACQUETBALL”. So how do we stay engaged in our routines and keep up as much as possible so when we are able to get back to the gym to play racquetball we are not too far from where we were when we left?
Well, I am reading all over the internet about workout challenges, working out with fitness guru’s or with the Nike App, taking yoga/dance classes, doing shadow hitting, etc., which are ALL great and satisfies the physical part of racquetball. I am not seeing much, if anything at all, about what players can do for their game mentally. So that is what I am going to address here in this article as I DO NOT WANT ANY OF YOU to forget about this one side of the “Sports Racquetball Triangle” I always refer to in my book, camps and coaching…MENTAL SKILLS.
THE #1 TECHNIQUE IN MAINTAINING MENTAL TOUGHNESS is VISUALIZATION. It is the art of creating images in your mind of perfect technique and performance and allowing these images to become imprinted into your muscle memory which lives in your “gut.” The best athletes do this naturally without even knowing it. Every athlete needs to understand that this is the key to perfecting consistent performance. “What your mind can perceive and your body believes… you can achieve!” – Terry Orlick
YOUR MIND is an amazing instrument. It does not know the difference between a vividly imagined picture and reality. Remember, the right side of your brain thinks in pictures and not words (alpha state …is a slower brain wave state that creates visual images). Every image you create in your mind sends a 30% neural-electrical response to the exact muscles that you are using in the image. All of this is done instantaneously. It is truly amazing.
We are all in “quarantine” and it’s a perfect time to “VISUALIZE” perfect strokes, all the shots you use based on your skill level, variety of serves, smart return of serves, correct footwork approaching a ball and setting up for a ball, high percentage shot selection, impeccable court position and and and. It is important to keep working on your ON COURT GAME TRAINING, as well as your off court game training. I have all my athletes from my Championship Team including Rocky Carson, Paola Longoria, my Jr. Championship Team and all my amateur athletes VISUALIZING as often as possible, but at least 3-5 days per week as NO ONE can be on the courts now. NO ONE is let off the hook and they ALL have to do it as this is a critical part of developing and maintaining their games. One ideal way to do this is to watch some video and reflect back on your matches.
“VISUALIZATION” 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 “VISUALIZE”. It’s a MUST. Their records speak for themselves…Rocky and Paola are BOTH 2 of the most decorated athletes in racquetball. Paola finished the 2018/2019 ranked #1 on the LPRT (an undefeated season again) for the 9th consecutive season. Rocky finished the 2018/2019 ranked #2 on the IRT.
In the next article I will cover THE POWER OF VISUALIZATION – Part 2 (How to visualize?) 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 know “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/video lesson/coaching, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s and our book, Championship Racquetball, ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com
Coaches #3 IRT Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 5X World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coaches #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player for 9 seasons / 10X and present US Open Champion & 5X World Champion, 3X and present Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coaches Jr. World & National Champions, Briana Jacquet and Graci Wargo; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009.