“Championship Racquetball” Sports Racquetball Triangle – Tips from the Coach!
By Fran Davis
Fear of Failure
I decided to write about “Fear of Failure” as it is something that all my athletes have had to face on their way to becoming a CHAMPION and they may experience it after getting back to tournaments after this 5+ month layoff due to the pandemic. Both Rocky Carson and Paola Longoria had to face it at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru…on the way to bringing home medals to their respective countries.
So many people that compete live in FEAR, no matter what the sport. Racquetball is no different. Our sports psychologist, Diana McNab, says F.E.A.R.= False Expectations Appearing Real. It is self-created and personal, and is an interpretation of a situation athletes believe is threatening to them.
Fear of failure happens when you allow your mind to get out of the now, projecting into the future instead. So every shot you hit is reactive and tight because your mind is not in the flow of the game or the timing of the shot. You have lost 30 percent of your reach and stretch because your mind is constricted and in the future. When your self-esteem rests on your end-result in sport, you are much too vulnerable. The key is to know that you are a champion all of the time. Confidence should have nothing to do with your win–loss record. Do not personalize your losses, just keep working on your game. Every obstacle in your life is offering you a lesson to be learned. The courageous athletes say, “Bring it on!”
Real winners know that losing means they need to work on specific skills, strategies, or techniques. They are not defeated in life because they didn’t win a match; they are winners in life because they are willing to go back into the trenches and work even harder on their game.
Fear is an emotion that comes from negative expectations, so visualize a positive outcome and keep taking baby steps to get there. Never give in or give up, and amazing things will happen…like to Rocky and Paola.
“FEAR OF FAILURE” 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 “Conquer FEAR”. It’s a MUST. Their records speak for themselves…Rocky and Paola are BOTH 2 of the most decorated athletes in racquetball. Paola finished 2019/2020 ranked #1 on the LPRT (an undefeated season again) for the 10th season. Rocky finished 2019/2020 ranked #3 on the IRT.
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. Fran coaches #2 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.