RacquetWorld's Newsletter Racquetball Tip of the Month


The Coin Jar


Like 99% of all men, I have a coin jar. Everyday, sometimes two or even three times a day, I don’t think about it, I just empty my pockets of all their coins and drop them in. I don’t like to spend my change so it accumulates all year long. Then, usually about this time of year, I empty the jar(s) and cash them in. 

I was also talked into opening a Christmas Account where they pull $50 a month out of my regular bank account. Now I know many guys don’t have these accounts and I wouldn’t either if I didn’t receive a “strong undeniable request” to open one. But finding that forgotten money at the end of the year was pretty sweet.

The week of Christmas is hectic around here. The good news is that many old friends come to town and inevitably want to play racquetball…although we do have to hit the courts at 6 am it’s a great time. So in short, it’s been a week of racquetball, rolling coins, and buying gifts with my Christmas Account funds. Now that you know my mindset, I’m going to try and tie this into a racquetball lesson.

Let’s go to the court. It’s another 6 am melee and I’m determined to see if I can make sense out of this article by watching and counting all the little “everyday” shots compared to all the big $50 shots. 

“Everyday” shots are the traditional non-rally ending shots. They are the common lob serve, the ceiling ball, the return that just keeps the rally going, the balls you just get to and flick, the z shots, the jam shots and all the other shots your opponent can return. 

The $50 shots are the ace serves, the winning pass shots, pinches and rollouts, and the un-returnable wallpaper serve or ceiling ball. There are a few others but our simple list covers most of them.

After two hours of playing I counted 127 errant “everyday” shots resulting in a potential $50 shot setup…of which 98 were executed to end the rally. I only counted 17 straight out great $50 shots that weren’t setup from an errant “everyday” shot.

When a player hits an errant “everyday” shot to setup his opponent, I don’t see the $50 shot as earned. It’s really a gift…thus the common saying you hear on the court all the time “Your welcome for that gift”.

The conclusion: Our game is truly made up of “everyday” shots. If you practice and think about the shots you are now taking for granted you will be rewarded in this game. I like to believe that once a player has practiced his “everyday” shots a few times he banks them…meaning the ability is there to execute these common shots and it only comes down to concentration to be able to shoot the shot consistently over and over again. 

It’s being consistent and thinking about these shots you normally take for granted, that will up your level of play by making your opponents earn their shots. Make it tough on your opponents. Even at Christmas, I want you to stop gifting to them and start making them earn it out there.

At my bank earlier this week, it struck me as funny that my Christmas Account totaled just over $604 (what ever happened to interest?), however my rolled coins were well over $900. (I must have bought way too much coffee this past year). The small thing(s) I did every day greatly out weighed the big thing that happened once a month…basically the same holds true on the court.

Merry Christmas 2008!!