Over three years ago, The Legend, Cliff Swain was in the semi-finals of an IRT tournament! How can that happen? How did a guy his age accomplish that? Let’s look at the athlete first of all. Do not forget he is one of the greatest players that ever picked up a racquet. Second, I liken this to the George Foreman heavyweight title at 45 years of age. How did George Foreman do that? One answer, a power punch. With one punch he could put people down so he was competitive and became the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history. Cliff Swain has a knockout punch. It is called a drive serve and he hits a great one. He is not playing weak players either. I have talked to some of the guys who come back from playing him and they tell me how hard it is to read and get to his serve.
Some years ago I was coaching a kid in the national juniors tournament and Cliff was sitting off to my left. I was frantically signaling to my athlete to get their knee lower. I looked over and he was laughing I think because he knew exactly what I was saying. We both came out of the Dave Peck School of racquetball which pays attention to detail. These details are often missed by others.
Back to the punch. Do you have a punch? Ruben Gonzalez did it with cleveration drive serves. Cliff does it with power and change of angles and speeds. Develop your own knockout punch and you always have a chance!