RacquetWorld's Newsletter Racquetball Tip of the Month
The Question of the month
is: Why do I play better (more
consistent) against better players and worse against lower level players?
Many intermediate players
think they play much better against better racquetball players…I’m going
to explain why I think that is true. However,
this will also explain why intermediate players do in fact play worse with
lower level players.
What I’m about to explain
only touches on one component of racquetball consistency.
I am not considering increased ball speed or the thought that with
better players you just react and don’t think.
I only mention this last “non-thinking” point because my
proofreader brought it up. Lets
see if this theory makes sense to you…
Two “C” level players
enter a racquetball court. Together
they maintain an average height of the ball during rallies of let’s say 3
feet. (Ceiling balls not
Let’s say that it takes
Racquetball Energy from either player to lower the height of the ball during
a rally. This Racquetball Energy
can basically change the 3-foot high ball to 1-foot high…and we all have
experienced the work and concentration it takes for a player to lower the
The greater the difference
between the starting height and the desired ball height, the more Racquetball
Energy required. The more
attempts to lower the average height of the ball, the more Energy (work)
expended by the player, the more room for error and thus the more potential
frustration there is on the court.
Now let’s look at my
theory when you have a “C” player and an “A” player on the court.
The average ball height with these players let’s set at roughly 1 ½
feet. The “C” player, who
usually has to work very hard to lower the ball from 3 feet to a 1 foot
level, now finds it takes much less Energy to only lower the ball ½ foot to
the 1 foot level while playing with an “A” player. The “C” player in this case will still lose…but they
feel they played better...aka more consistent.
The “A” player very easily performs the work required to lower the
average height of the ball during rallies, while the “C” player gets a
free ride (or doesn’t put in any work) down to the lower average ball
All this may be a little
confusing. My first point in all
this is that ball height, or the ability to kill the ball or at least keep
the ball low enough for a winner, takes Racquetball Energy. It does not really take work or Racquetball Energy to simply
change your shot selection. A
“C” player, who finds himself frustrated can easily change to cross court
or down-the-line pass shots and find greater success and less frustration.
A 3-foot high pass shot may not be as pretty as a flat rollout, but it
wins a rally.
My second point is that your
playing consistency has many more components than you may think and the only
way to truly get more consistent is to drill and practice.
Your true ability changes very little based on your opponent, believe
it or not. Your perception of
your play is what changes based on your opponent.