Racquetball is an interesting sport, more so because it has the strange honor of both being old enough to be established, but young enough that it benefits from at least the beginnings of modern game design theory.
It is also a great way to stay in shape, and fun besides. But where do you begin if you want to start playing racquetball regularly?
Benefits of Racquetball
First of all, you might be wondering what the benefits of playing racquetball are. Being a one on one sport that requires strategy, the social benefits are immense. But from a purely health stand point, racquetball is an excellent calorie burner. In a twenty minute game, you can expect to burn off 600 to 800 calories. It also greatly builds on your co-ordination, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
To begin playing, you need a few pieces of equipment. The primary piece you need to have is a racquetball court, of course. These can be a bit hard to come by since they share little in common with a tennis court and other sports, but any dedicated sporting or racquetball institution should have one. Our local health club has one that you can use, however, it does mean you’ll have to cough up the normal membership fees in order to use the courts.
The other pieces are a bit more easy to collect, involving a racquetball, a racquetball racquet, and racquetball eye guards. You can play without the eye guards, but due to the nature of the sport it’s extremely inadvisable. Most health clubs will also require you wear eye protection for liability reasons anyway. You may also want to invest in a glove, as rather like golf your grip on your racquet is extremely important and can be enhanced.
You can find most of these pieces of equipment in any good sporting goods store, although some may require a more rigorous search with equipment experts like Yonex U.S.A. who specialize in racquetball supplies. I was able to find some affordable equipment at extremely affordable prices. You can fully equip yourself for less than $100, less if you try.
Strategy in racquetball can be quite nuanced. The floor, the walls, and even the ceiling can be legal targets for the opponent to bounce the racquetball off of depending on the timing, so a ball can come out of nowhere. As such, the best strategy is to take up the middle court to cover as much ground as possible. This can of course backfire, however, depending on your opponent’s skill level and the strategy they employ. Be open to changing tactics.
Alternatively, if you can get to know your opponents style, you can take a more effective approach and work to block or respond to his usual choice of hits. It’s all about knowing your own strengths, and finding out your opponents weaknesses and attacking accordingly.
Racquetball is a great social sport that involves a lot of exercise, strategy and fun. It can be daunting to get into, but if you do and enjoy it, you will have a life long passion.
Have you played racquetballl, and did you enjoy it? Tell us your thoughts!