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The Mental Game of Racquetball

Every Shot Angle Starts Mentally

—> In your mind’s eye (or on the screen in your mind), see yourself controlling the starting line of each shot (and each serve). There you’re controlling the ball’s trajectory as it takes off toward your initial wall target. Do that through visualizing the SHAPE of each shot. Use your mentally internalized vision as you set your feet, prep your stroke, and flow into your swing. Approach, pick and prepare, while seeing yourself achieving your shot’s take off angle toward its wall target and on to the shot’s ultimate placement in the court quadrant you choose.

Pick Go-To Shot Matching Time

—> Have a go-to shot for each shooting situation you face. Quickly settle on your go-to shot. And, in bang-bang plays, often whatever shot chooses you. Then make THAT your go-to shot!

Develop Your Routines

—> Create and get into your routine or ritual before you serve. Also get into your routine before you return serve. ALSO, have a routine approach you make on every drivable ball. On a drivable you can hit a pass or kill-shot. Have your own mind and body routine as you approach each attackable ball that you play in a rally. Depend on those routines for comfort and familiarity. Use your routine as your vehicle to eliminate or handle the key shotmaking factors:

(a) action on the ball;

(b) your court location;

(c) challenger’s location;

(d) score; and

(e) game situation, including intangibles like crowd, court conditions, and fatigue.

—> Also use your ritual to eliminate any self-imposed, semi-imagined pressures or demons.

—> Use your routines to promote physical responses from within your owned skill set that match the pattern of play you’re in. Use your routines to calm yourself, play with great spirit, and fully focus on your shot or serve’s purpose and how you’ll do it. Then, as you prep and as contact point nears, transition into go mode as you flow into your tailored swing matching and actively shaping your target’s intentions for trajectory, pace, spin and your magical feel for placing the ball.

How to Play Holistically

1- Embrace the pressure

2- Accept where you are be it good or bad as manageable and winnable

3- Commit to what you want to achieve in the intent of your shot with your court movement and your known form how to perform it

4- Have a clearly understood strategy with this tactic to move and shoot to achieve it as keep-away or put-away

5- Trust your swing

6- Be all-go, with no hesitancy or indecision

7- Trust your playing skills and always be about building more and better skills

8- Play with short term memory loss to immediately let go of any bad ones or even brilliant ones

9- Wear blinders or block out disruptive thoughts or sights or even side comments while you’re hitting

10- Play with flow, in your own well trodden flow state producing YOUR superior performance. 

Be one of the C-L-O-S-E-R-S…

C-omfortable in chaos

L-eaning on your known strengths

O-ne purpose, o-ne goal, o-ne mind, o-ne thought at a time for shot or to D-up

S-low down thinking, as you s-low down between each rally and also for each rally setup

E-xecute without fear

R-espect the challenges you place upon yourself and respect the fun you have by playing RELENTLESSLY, with great enthusiasm and self belief

S-tay the course and battle hard, and, if your mind wanders or whenever your effort may wane, renew your belief and level of effort for next rally by being mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong, as a resilient hustler hungry to get to the ball to make the tough get or striving to lay the wood to ball you can crush or deftly place when it’s highly attackable with your finesse, as you play enervated, motivated, mobile, agile, and just the right amount  hostile.

Coach, Ken