Racquetball is one of the best ways to get in shape. You smack the daylights out of a little colored rubber ball, sweat like there’s no tomorrow, and get exercise without even thinking about it. You can get in shape, burn calories and improve your game in a hurry. I know because it’s my favorite way, this side of downhill skiing, to get in and stay in shape. I call it “the free workout,” because you don’t even realize you’re officially working out when you are swept away by the fun and excitement of this awesome game. And, the learning curve is fast because almost every shot you hit is in play, unlike tennis. You’ll improve quickly.
I’ve been playing for 35 years. And while it is harder to get to as many shots as I used to, it’s still well worth the hassle. What hassle? It’s a fun game. I play singles, though I know the day will come when I’ll have to reduce the wear and tear on my knees and back by playing doubles. But, my goal is to keep on playing until I just can’t do it anymore, which I hope is never.
I admit having to wear a knee brace, but I got over that 10 years ago. I also use the lightest, strongest racquet available, which these days is a Wilson. I use the same brand of glove and glasses. Now, let me stress how important good polycarbonate glasses are to your overall playing safety and confidence. That is your most important piece of equipment. Don’t scrimp here.
You can get set up with all the gear you’ll need to play to your heart’s content for under $100, but you won’t be needing to buy replacement items for a long time, unless you are hair-trigger enough to blast your racquet against walls when you get frustrated by smacking an easy kill into the floor one too many times. I got over that a long time ago, too.
The game is a speedy one. It will improve your hand-eye coordination in a hurry. You’ll become much quicker than you ever thought possible. The more you play, the better you will become at killing shots that your partner has no chance of getting, while learning how to play difficult shots off the wall, ceiling and any other place they can come from in an instant.
It’s a game where scoring can only occur while you have the serve. You’ll want to develop a number of different serves to keep your opponent off guard. If you try to kill every shot and serve you make with all the force you can muster, you will end up injuring your elbow or shoulder. So, save the heat for when you really need to make that corner kill or passing shot, or you feel you need to try to ace your partner on the winning serve. Just remember, the harder you hit the ball, the better chance it has to come back off the wall for your partner to smash if you don’t hit it where you want to. That, my friends is the bottom line: shot placement. Some days you have it, others you don’t.
Remember above all else: racquetball is a game. It’s not important who wins and loses as long as you’re having fun playing, and that’s the easiest part. It is a tremendous amount of fun if you refuse to lose your cool, and realize you are doing your best regardless of the outcome, which often, you will.