by Dave Ellis, Coach, USA Racquetball and Jesse Serna, Conditioning Coach for the 209
If you want to be a successful professional racquetball player, you’ll need a physical trainer. You just have to have one to be able to match up with your opponents. Best scenario would be to have a trainer that is also a racquetball player. However, trainers and strength coaches familiar with tennis, basketball or baseball should ensure that there are sport specific understanding, exercises, and overall training. Make sure that your trainer has a degree in exercise science or is nationally certified by one of the major associations (NASM, ACE, NSCA, ACSM). Make sure you ask for references, because a good trainer will be happy to share their success stories.
Let us caution you, however, about a danger of fitness training. If a complete program is done religiously, you will feel better, be more attractive, be stronger, be more flexible, and you will be healthier overall. This phenomenon can result in a form of “exercise addiction,” where on court practice can begin to be ignored in favor of physical fitness workouts. Both conditioning and on-court practice are super important, but remember, no one ever hit a game winning shot from the TRX station, nor from the pull up bar. It is interesting to us to watch an overweight, out of shape player dominating a match. With serves and rally shots, the player can control center court and really hardly even had to move. Beware of the trap of ignoring the on-court practice for the precision that you need to play at the pro level.
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