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Monday, November 30, 2009

Fitness for Racquet Sports

To further emphasise the different demands that various sports take on the the body, this week we’ll examine the demands of racquet sports, such as tennis, squash, racquetball and badminton. Although there are differences between these particular sports – differences in equipment, ball size and movement and shot execution – there are many similarities also. General movement patterns and skill aspects (aglity, speed etc) are the same in each of the sports.
We’ll examine our training protocol by looking at the specific demands placed upon the cardiovascular and muscular systems, as well as the specific skill-related components required.

Cardiovascular demands
Given that games generally run for between 45 minutes and two hours, each of these sports will call upon the aerobic energy system. Therefore, a solid base of cardiovascular endurance is needed for optimal performance. This can be achieved through steady-state aerobic training (jogging, cycling, swimming at moderate intensity for durations of between 30 and 60 mins.
However, the dynamic, stop-start nature of these sports also produces short periods of fast, high-intensity work. This will utilise your body’s anaerobic energy system, which creates energy without the use of oxygen. The anaerobic system tires out fast, but can be trained by performing higher-intensity speed work of up to 20 minutes duration – say, treadmill intervals, hill sprints or bike intervals.

Muscular demands
A solid base of muscular endurance is necessary for all sports, and racquet sports are no exception. One or two weekly gym sessions that focus on total body conditioning – not forgetting a comprehensive core program and flexibility training – would be ample.

Skill-related demands
Racquet sports make high demands on skills such as agility, speed, co-ordination and balance, and all of these should be trained for optimal performance. Footwork drills, one-legged drills, cone work, speed drills and working with reaction balls would all be of great benefit.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Racquetball Cuba "Nolsen Jimenez is the champion of the V Copa Volveran de Racquetbol"

Nolsen Jimenez wins the title at the V Volveran Cup on November 25 th that took place at the "Universidade de las Ciencias de la cultura Fisica y el Deporte Manuel Fajardo".
Nolsen bit Maykel Moyet that was unbeaten on the previous cups and considered the favorite in only two games. The score of 15-3 and 15-6 showed the dominance on Nolsen over the favorite Maykel.
After the match Nolsen said" I walked into the court to win the match. I felt really good but I knew that Moyet is the best player in the national team and it was not going to be easy. I tried to be very careful in every shot and I tried to take advantage of the ceiling shots given to me."

The bronze medal was a battle between Raul Martinez and Enier Chacon that are also teammates in Cuban national team.

In the women's team Marialis Alvarez won for the third time, biting her national teammate Maria Regla Viera in only two games. Maria is the third best junior in the world. The score was 15-1 and 15-7.
The bronze was another battle between two junior players Yilian Lorente and Disney Linares.

Guillermo Marrero, the racquetball commissioner fro Cuba in interview with a radio station from Cuba, after the medal ceremony, mentioned that " We had some problems to make this cup happen however we were able to do it and the objective was accomplished. The Cuban coaches were able to see the mistakes from some of the players during the matches and will be able to work with the players so the mistakes can be corrected."

The next Cuban national event will be a cup that will take place on December 14 until December 21. The next event will be a doubles tournament in the same facility.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bolivia wins all the gold medals in Racquetball

In the city of Sucre, Bolivia, the Bolivian national racquetball team dominated the XVI Bolivian Games. Bolivia won all the gold medals in all divisions and once again confirmed that racquetball is one of the countries trademark. They won seven gold medals in total and the hero was, for the third time on the roll, the player Ricardo Monroy. Ricardo also was a key element on the success of two other great players that also brought gold to Bolivia, Carlos Keller and Jorge Zambrana.
On the women's division Bolivia also proved its supremacy with Jasmine Sabja, Jhenny Daza and Carola Loma. Jasmine was the best female player on the team and won two gold medals. The great performance of Jhenny Daza was also crucial for the gold on the team draw.
Overall racquetball was the sport that gave Bolivia the most medals on the XVI Bolivian Games. Congratulations to all the players from Bolivia and their staff.

High Speed Cameras to Help Racquetball Players

The technology of high speed cameras has been around for a while but they were expensive and required some photography experience for a great output. However today the high speed technology came out on regular point and shoot cameras. The price of around $ 250.00 is also very reasonable. The cameras are easy to use and produce a great output. For racquetball is a great tool to analyse swing mechanics and footwork. It is a great application for those who are willing to improve their game. One is able to see in slow motion all their footwork steps and swing movements. If one wants to improve their game, get a camera and start studying the videos.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

College Racquetball Team from New York struggles with loss of Straub

The Clarkson Racquetball Team participated in the third ECRC tournament of the 2009-2010 season this weekend. The tournament took place in Woodridge, New Jersey at the Woodridge Court Club. This was the third of six tournaments that take place every school year throughout the United States.One thing to notice about the Clarkson team is the lack of success by the men's team. Many people on the team attribute this to the loss of former Clarkson racquetball god, Brian Straub, after he graduated in Spring '09. Straub led the men's team for many years, and now without him the difference in success is troubling. The current president of the Racquetball Club, Marco Fontana, played with Straub for one year and had this to say about Straub and the team's performance without him, "Even without the best player Clarkson has ever seen, the team unity and overall effort has evened out and solid performances are seen in each bracket." Juan Barbosa has taken over as the number one seed on the Clarkson men's team. He has this to say about having to fill the very big shoes of Straub, "Becoming the number one player at Clarkson has pretty much made me the leader of the group, much like Brian Straub. Though my strikes do not explode off of the front wall quite as much as his did, they are still quite devastating."On the brightside, for the first time in maybe Clarkson's entire history they have brought a full women's team, of eight women, to a tournament. The women's team in comparison to the men's team is doing astonishingly successful. Led by the former president, Rachel Weiss, the female following for racquetball has picked up dramatically. Weiss has achieved a respectable level of success in the top women's bracket at ECRC tournaments. She finished runner up for top women's players at the Allentown, PA tournament back in September. The continued success of Weiss is the one bright spot for the Clarkson team as it struggles to find success without the greatness that was Brian Straub. His shoes will be very difficult to fill Weiss had this to say about the team's future, "This is a rebuilding year for Clarkson. We had a lot of very talented players graduate in the past few years. However, while we are not performing at our best yet, we have the numbers and the potential to improve." There is still hope for the future of the team and hopefully incoming freshman can bring the new talent the Clarkson Racquetball Team is desperately searching for.


Dave Negrete has decided to retire as Commissioner of the IRT after nine years at the helm. During his tenure, Negrete organized new Grand Slam events, increased the total prize money pool available for players and built lasting relationships throughout the racquetball industry. Negrete’s crowning achievement was the creation of a new portable court that will enable racquetball to be exposed to thousands of potential fans around the United States. Negrete will help transition the operations of the IRT through the end of 2009 and then plans to pursue opportunities outside of the sport. Negrete will continue to run the IRT Pro Nationals in Chicago.
Jason Mannino has been named as the new Commissioner of the IRT effective immediately. After a storied 15 year career, future Hall of Famer Mannino will retire from professional competition at the end of the 2009-10 season. In addition to his on-court accomplishments, which include over 20 professional titles including 2 US Open victories, and finishing as the #1 ranked player in the world in 2002-03, Mannino has run a successful racquetball camp series with Hall of Famer Fran Davis and has numerous business interests outside of the sport. The IRT Board of Directors is thrilled that Mannino has accepted this position. “I am extremely excited and honored to be representing the best racquetball players in the world. I look forward to building on the base that Dave had created and seeing where I can take it from here”.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

News from Rossmore Racquetball Club Tipperary, Ireland

We started the NS coaching last Thurs night which was a great success. We had such a big number that we have to put it on for an extra hour so that everybody gets a fair chance at learning the game. It was great to see such enthusiasm from all the players and we are looking forward to our next session.
Our Womens Doubles Tournament will be starting within the next two weeks. Our Mens Tournament will be starting in January and there is a sign up sheet in the alley for anybody that wants to play in it . It is only five weeks to go before our five Irish team players head off to the World Championships in the Dominican Republic and they are all working very hard between game sessions, training schedules and competitions. We wish them every success.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Humberto Morales (BOL) wins 2009 Belgian Open

Humberto Morales (BOL) is the winner of the 2009 Belgian Open that were held last weekend in Brussels. He deafeated Timothy Hardison (USA) who just recovered from a serious heart surgery. USA's Angela Burth defeated Rosi Wahl (GER) in the Ladies Open division. Other winners were Glen Martineau (USA) in Mens B, James Montgomery (IRE) in Mens C, Philippe Lecomte (FRA) in Seniors 35+ and Glen Martineau (again) in the Masters 40+ division.

The 2009 Belgian Open have been an ERT Event, ranking points for the European ranking will be granted to the participants from 6 different countries.

Next on the ERT are the Catalonia Open in Barcelona, Spain and the Annual Angel Tree Tournament in Heidelberg, Germany.

Apperson becomes racquetball champion in Dayton Ohio

DAYTON -- Zach Apperson left his mark on the Ohio State Racquetball Association Doubles Championships conducted Nov. 7-8 at Heights Racquet and Fitness Club in Dayton.

Apperson, a 2006 Rosecrans graduate and senior at Baldwin-Wallace College, teamed with Doug Ganim of Westerville to claim the Men's Open Doubles title and Tracy Hawthorne to capture the crown in the Mixed Open doubles division.

In the open division, Apperson and Ganim defeated Rance Mack and Jim Bronson 15-6, 15-8 in their first match and picked up a 15-5, 15-10 victory over Andy Kulbach and Fabrizio Mora in the second match. Their third match featured a 15-2, 15-1 decision over Charles Knight and Clint Wolfe followed by a 15-1, 15-1 win over Vinnie Shoemaker and Justin VanTrease in their final match to win the title.

Apperson and Hawthorne opened with a 15-8, 15-3 decision against Mike Murphy and Melissa Bentley in the Mixed division. The second match took three sets before they prevailed 4-15, 15-8, 11-10 over Bronson and Lesslie Messmer, and they won the crown after a 15-14, 15-2 victory over Ganim and Cindy Tillbury.

Apperson is ranked No. 1 on his intercollegiate team, while Ganim is the executive director of the Ohio Racquetball Association and a director of the United States Racquetball Association. Hawthorne is a Baldwin-Wallace alum and plays out of Seven Hills.

Saunders shows who's boss, on and off racquetball court in Manitoba Canada

It was Jennifer Saunders' tournament, so why shouldn't she make herself the No. 1 seed in the Manitoba Open men's open division? As executive director of Racquetball Manitoba, it is Saunders' job to seed the entrants, but before anyone begins shouting foul, consider this: she was right on the money.

"Racquetball Canada has a system that I follow," explained Saunders, "but yeah, I do all the draws."

If there was any doubt about her lofty standing, Saunders erased it in Sunday's championship final when she took only half an hour to defeat No. 3 seed Neil Dempsey, 15-1, 15-6.

Hot off winning a women's open gold medal at the Rock 'n' Racquetball tournament in Wilmington, N.C., earlier this month and later dropping a women's pro event final to top seed Rhonda Rajsich 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, Saunders played a nearly flawless match.

"It felt like a few more (mistakes) in the second game," laughed Saunders. "I'm really working on consistency, and moving well, so that I can hit the shot that I want to hit when it is there."

"She's very tough," said Dempsey. "We've played a few times, and it's always a tough match."

Dempsey said his game plan was to try and neutralize her serve. "Because once the rallies are going, you know, if she is not completely on, there is a chance you can win the point. But neutralizing her serve is a big thing to do. She hits the ball really, really well."

"My strengths are strategy," said Saunders. "I try to find a weakness and pick on it. I'm not a dominant server, so I try to serve it so I get a weak return, and then capitalize on that. On the pro tour I am not one of the hardest hitters, that's for sure. I train every day, and I work at my fitness every day, so I am hitting it harder than ever."

Sunday's consolation final was won by Evan Pritchard, who beat Chris Warrack 17-15, 15-6.

Saunders also teamed up with Dave Boyd to win the open men's doubles title by beating Pritchard and Warrack, 15-9, 15-3. Dempsey won the men's 35-over championship, beating Pete Olynick 15-8, 15-5.

Saunders has to travel quite a bit in order to play full time on the professional tour, but that is where she gets most of the competition she requires to keep her at the top of her game.

However, every now and then, she simply picks up the phone and gets her favourite sparring partner, Manitoba Sports Hall of Famer Sherman Greenfeld, off his duff and out to the court.

"Sherman is not playing tournaments right now, but I get him out every now and then for a drill session," she says, adding that Greenfeld, whose 22-year career included 20 provincial, 10 national and two world championships, still beats her pretty handily.

"You know, he can step away from the game for six months and still come back and beat you," she said. "He's pretty amazing, but he is willing to get on the court with me."

Saunders said that when Greenfeld was winning championships, he was in a situation similar to hers. "He had to train (here) with players who weren't pressuring him, so he played a lot of two against one (cut-throat). He just worked really hard and he was able to do it, so I never really worry about it."

Competing in tournaments such as the one this past weekend gives Saunders a chance to relax and have some fun, while still working up a sweat. "It is fun, and it is a challenge. So I really enjoy it because there's no pressure and I get to play for fun."

In three weeks, it's back to work, as in mid-December she's off to Arlington, Va., for a pro tournament. "So, I have two weeks at home to train for that."

By: Allan Besson

Friday, November 13, 2009

Racquetball: 2009 the RacquetballU Mitch Williams and Shane Vanderson Camp‏ in Davie Florida

Ladies and Gentlemen, the RacquetballU is coming back to Florida. This time is will be sunny Dave, Fl at the David Posnack JCC on December 18th – 20th (note on the 18th we will go from 3:30-6:00pm, as the club closes at 6pm). The camp will last three days, and feature instruction from top professionals Shane Vanderson and Mitch Williams.

You can find more information and testimonials at At the camp you will be given various giveaways, and materials so that you remember all the information given throughout the weekend. This will include a racquetballU binder with written instructions and reference, as well as a video of yourself that Mitch or I will do analysis on so you can refer back to after the camp.

If you're addicted to racquetball and want to get better, this is the camp for you. It will be an easy going, fun atmosphere where you get your opportunity to ask, learn, and play two of the top players in the game. The camp will be limited to the first 16 entrants, and there are about 9 spots left, so sign up soon!

Mitch Williams & Shane Vanderson Racquetball U!!

Date: December 18th-20th Friday 3:30pm – 6pm Sat-Sunday 8:30am – 4pm

Location: David Posnack JCC (Jewish Community Center)

5850 S. Pine Island Road. Davie, Florida 33328

Cost: $375.00 (10% off to JCC members)

To Sign Up visit

***Limited to the First 16 People (this is to keep the Teacher Ratio Low)

Þ Three Days of racquetball instruction - Geared towards High Tournament Levels

Þ RacquetballU notebook for reviewing materials and taking notes, two instructional DVD's, and other giveaways.

Þ Training preparation for tournaments

Þ Stroke mechanics and shot selection (Doubles too!)

Þ Personalized DVD with video analysis and voice-overs, to refer back to after the camp

Þ Drills to help Footwork and other mechanics

Þ Basic to Advanced strategies to help you improve quickly

Þ Mental aspects of the game

Þ Racquetball specific training - Done by a Personal Trainer

Mitch Williams

· Former US singles Champion

· Current World Doubles Champion

· USA Team Member

· 6th ranked Professional Player

· Former Elite Camp Instructor

Shane Vanderson

§ Former Intercollegiate Champion

§ Former World Doubles Champion

§ USA Team Member

§ 4th Ranked Professional

§ Former Elite Camp Instructor

Sean Keane wins his First Open Singles at Ballinrobe Open in Ireland

For Sean Keane from Fermoy, Ireland, who has just turned seventeen, the 5th Ballinrobe Open will be a memorable event as he came through to win his first Open Singles Championship. Sean defeated the legendary Noel O`Callaghan (Fermoy) by 2 games to 1 in a close final having already beaten Kevin Jennings (Castlebar) in the semi final.

In the Womens Singles, Clodagh McManamon overcame her club mate Donna Ryder to win her third Open Singles event. In the Doubles, Jimmy Gannon and Noel O`Callaghan pulled off a 2-1 victory over Sean Keane and Joe Dillon while the Womens Doubles winners were the McManamon twins Ciara and Clodagh. Other winners were, Niall Nevin (Templederry) in the Mens B/C Singles, Keith Gallogley (Youghal)in the Mens D Singles and Martin J Potter (Annaghdown) in the Mens Novice Singles.

More on Irish Racquetball can be found here:

Dutch Nationals in December

The Netherlands Racquetball Association (NRA) will held it's 2009 National Championships on December 5th and 6th at the Westvliet Fitness & Welness Club in The Hague. Players competing in these Championships must provide a current Dutch passport/Dutch nationality and must have paid their membership dues 2009 to the NRA. Entries are accepted via E-Mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone.

Please check the Dutch Racquetball page for further information on this event. It is hoped that many Dutch Racquetball players will take the chance to compete in this last event of the year in The Netherlands

Online entries for Heidelberg Satelite are now accepted

Players can now sign in online for the ERT Satelite Event in Heidelberg, Germany this December.

The R2 site is now up for the Heidelberg Angel Tree RB Tournament. Just go to and sign in for the last Racquetball competiton in Europe in the year 2009.
You can also access the information from the AERA website:

The event takes place on December 12-13, 2009. It is the first time ever that the ERF has sanctioned an AERA event. In addition, the Military Racquetball Federation from now on sanctions all AERA events in Germany and all over Europe.

US Open News Lee, Lowe capture racquetball crowns

Mililani's Joe Lee and Wahiawa's Jimmy Lowe won national titles in their respective divisions at the 14th annual U.S. Open Racquetball Championships at the Racquet Club in Memphis, Tenn., in late October.

Lee won the men's open 55-over title for the fourth year in a row. His bracket featured 15 players.

Lowe won the 45-over open division, which featured 25 players.

Lee defeated Texas' Mike Robinson in the final, 15-5, 15-3. He defeated another player from Texas, as well as players from Colorado and Virginia to reach the final.

Lowe beat Georgia's Scott Cullins in the finals, 12-15, 15-7, 15-2. He beat players from Arizona, Virginia, California to reach the final.

2009 US Open summary from IRF President

The recent US OPEN was an outstanding tournament, with almost 700 players at the event. Five members of the IRF Executive Board attended and they were all in attendance for the social that the IRF hosted on Wednesday. This social was well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy the food, drink and conversations. My thanks to Lucy Zachrisson, Yuni Cobb, Usher Barnoff and Dr. Wer for assisting, and I know that they all talked to many people about the IRF.

There were over 125 international players representing 13 countries at the tournament, with some excellent results from these players. I was able to meet many people from the racquetball community and address the USRA Executive Board to provide updates on our work this year.

Among our sponsors, Ben Simons from Penn was there and I spoke with him about what we are doing in the IRF. He was very supportive and appreciative of our work. Ron Grimes from E-Force also attended and I spent about an hour with he and Barry, who were also pleased with our work this past year.

I also spent some time with Shanon Feaster and Dave Ellis of the Women's Pro Tour, as well as Dave Negrete of the IRT. Again, these meetings were very productive, and my time in Memphis was well-spent.

Yours in Good Racquetball,
Keith Calkins