Drive Serve 909

Jim Winterton : August 19, 2018 1:34 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Drive serve 909-graduate level–bet I gots me some readers here! One thing all of my players possess is a drive serve. Why? Well to me the drive represents domination. When an opponent fears your serve you start that serve with an “edge”.
Without spilling the secret sauce–here are some general rules for a good drive serve.
Are you a power player or control? Or both? Some players, no matter how much you work with them, will never be a power dominator with nasty 150 mph drive serves. That does not mean they cannot have an effective drive serve. In fact, your goal should be 5-7 aces per game with a drive serve.
What the heck does that mean?
Develop a serve just over the line. I mean just that–just over the line means 6″ or less. How can you tell? If you are getting robbed of aces because the ref cannot tell you have a good drive serve. If you are getting rewarded with short serves called aces by a ref you have a good serve. If the guys and gals in the club are calling screens on you every other serve you have a great serve.
Want a great drive serve? Practice a great drive serve. Lose some practice games but work on that drive serve!

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Five Dubs Flubs!

Jim Winterton : August 18, 2018 2:29 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Doubles is a crazy game and two good doubles players will defeat two good singles players. Here are some signs of common doubles errors:

1. One (or more) players are on the wall–standing near or against a sidewall is a big no-no. Why? Not only are you out of position, you can be hit with a cross court attempt by your opponents and you have no room to get out of the way!
2. Failure to move up-the serve comes to your partner and you just stand in the back. You must move up, not stay back! Someone has to cover the front! You might even consider yourself a singles player until your partner joins you in the front court!
3. Shooting to the open court on your side of the court is great if the player on your side is way out of position, but be sure to survey the entire court, not just your side!
4. Side by side positioning is not good in doubles. There is no second line of defense so one player should always sag back slightly and one forward. Staggered positioning is more effective.
5. Use of singles serves-the drive serve is nice but it really pits one against two. Let me explain-when a doubles player hits a drive serve the players receiving the serve can cut the serve off and two players are out of position. When lobbing a good lob serve, both players get in great position and now it one (the returner) vs two (the team in front).

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Kane Stats!

Jim Winterton : August 17, 2018 12:59 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Todd Boss has the best stats ever on all pro matches–He wrote an article and posted on facebook the statistic excellence of Kane Waselenchuck’s body of work. I admittedly am an unabashed fan of Kane for many reasons and racquetball excellence is only one of them. I recently listened to his interview with Dylan Reid, and it was just as we talk many times so you have the real Kane there. Now I began showing him a few things I saw about his game 12 years ago. I knew a little about his off the charts ability and his game because when he played for Canada I coached against him. I coached Alvaro Beltran against him and earlier I was coaching Rocky as a junior player(although not head to head against him).
The excellence speaks for itself.
Kane then began teaching me-mostly indirectly. Very early in this collaboration process, he said to me, “Here’s what I do in practice.” I immediately said, “Don’t tell me. I’m a coach and I steal information. I do not trust myself and do not want your information used against you someday!”

I am urging all of my players to listen to the two interviews this summer Kane had on facebook, one with racquetball warehouse and one with Dylan Reid. Both contain gems of knowledge about the racquetball business and the insight into the racquetball genius that is Kane.
ps: if you listen very carefully you will hear some of the secret sauce spilled upon the airwaves!

He (Todd Boss) has the best stats available on all pro matches ever played. Here is his post last May after Kane announced his retirement.
The Todd Boss Article is in the below link:

The primary Women’s pro tour. Note that the Ladies data is only ‘complete’ from Apr 2009 to present; we’re building the data from 1974-2009 but it is spotty, especially in the early 1980s and early 1990s.
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Everyone has to Start Somewhere!

Jim Winterton : August 16, 2018 1:18 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Beginners have a hard time with positioning and a harder time with shot selection. I explain where center court is. Telling someone is not enough. Showing them is still not enough. So we do imaginary rallies. They learn to serve and move back. They learn to follow shots up. At times it seems that two players have an invisible cord attached to them as one moves to center court the other gets to the ball and gets back to center while the other player moves to get the ball.
Then I have them serve and move back. I receive the serve and hit pumpkin setups to the beginner so they can learn how to move and where the ball is going to bounce. When you think about it, racquetball is a tough game to teach because everything is opposite. Usually beginners over-run almost every ball.
From this phase we move to actual drills after they have had the fun of playing. Drop and hit forehand and backhand and beginning movement consists of a drill that is not only appropriate for beginners but players of every level. I give them a setup at mid court and they have to move to the ball and stop without hitting the ball. 90% of the time athletes over-run or take the wrong trajectory to the ball.
Then I try to catch them practicing. If that happens, they are racquetball players. If not, they are probably pickleball candidates!

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Use Your Mind in Healing Time!

Jim Winterton : August 15, 2018 1:17 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Training through injuries is a challenge but depending upon the severity of the injury and the way you attack that injury can make all the difference in the world in how fast you recover and better, how fast your game can recover.
Muscle strains and joint sprains are the worst because usually they heal okay but can come back as you will be using these joints and muscles to play racquetball.
Add that to the fact that most of us think we are a little better than the general population at healing. We tend to rush into action too soon.
One year a friend of mine and I sprained our ankle the same day. He ignored it and rested. I used ice every day and wrapped my ankle and tried to keep it elevated as much as possible. I was playing in one week. He took three weeks before he played again. How you treat the injury is huge.
If it is an arm, your racquet arm, use the rest of your body to train. If it is a leg, walk if possible, and in other words, do what your body will let you do so you do not lose conditioning.
What about your mind? You have not sprained your brain have you? Use visualization. What were you working on in practice before you were injured? Dial that vision up in your mind and get practicing!
One more thing I should add to this. If a Doctor says to do something, follow the directions. The morning after my first hip replacement the doctor told me to stay in bed until Physical therapy. I got up and did a few laps around the hospital halls. When I got back to my room my leg looked like the Hindenburg! All blown up! I am trying to heal up fast and instead I set myself back.
Take care of the injury and use your mind! You will be back on the court in no time!

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Dirty Tricks

Jim Winterton : August 14, 2018 1:33 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Dirty tricks Defense is a must if you are going to the top of your game. I will never forget at least 3 tiebreaker incidents which resulted in heart-breaking losses.
I’m serving for the match at 10-10 and win the match. I am in the locker room showering and the ref was a friend of the guy I just beat. He talks the ref into overturning his call(which was correct by the way-it was a two bounce get by my opponent). I was so mad I told the crowd I would beat him twice. I was wrong! I only beat him once and it was the once that did not go in the record books! I served again and lost!
Incident two. Again serving for the match and I win. But my opponent says, “Honest, my shot did not skip. Play it again please.”
Like an idiot I play it again. He wins that game and the breaker. But the kicker was after the match when he told me it did bounce twice and he laughed about it.
Incident three-I’m playing in a breaker and win the rally. Score is about 5-5. My opponent begs me to replay. I do. Get to 9-9 and he hits a skip. Ref calls it good and I ask him to replay it. He replies in words I cannot repeat in public followed by “I’m taking it!”
3 matches and 3 losses. In all three cases I got the opponents back in other matches. In all three cases these same opponents asked me for replays in future matches. In the subsequent matches I Iet the ref call the game. By the way one of these was on video and I had the video to prove it!
You must learn to handle the dirty tricks and you must learn to deal with it. Not all matches and games are going to go smoothly. If an opponent cannot beat you straight up they will employ trickery.
Here’s hoping you do better than I did in the cases above! Go get’em!

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Nutrition, Focus, and Racquetball

Jim Winterton : August 13, 2018 1:25 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Each year at the Elite Camp in Centennial Life Time in Colorado, we have two very popular lectures. The first is on nutrition. Our athletes are very knowledgable about nutrition and ask very good questions. The lecture is supposed to be an hour but always goes over time due to the great questions. Among the topics covered are supplements, hydration, glucose replenishment, pre and post game caloric intake, and percentage of carbohydrates with fat and protein.
Each athlete is different and I recommend seeing someone who is an expert nutritionist and getting tests done so your specific diet reflects your own biochemistry. Complicating our nutritional needs are the diet books. Many are good and many not so good but all cannot be specific enough for your needs.
Your genetic strain of ancestors developed caloric needs to survive long times without food. This allowed them to store fat for future needs. This survival mechanism packs on weight for many of us, myself included.
There is an old saying in the fitness industry, “You cannot out-train a bad diet”! The last part of any training program is diet. 
The second lecture that is popular is the psychology of Racquetball presentation. We use 90% Mental with Toni De LosSantos. This deals with the opponent you look at in the mirror everyday, yourself. Tricks to deal with frustration, and focus is her specialty. If you want to get better at racquetball these two base skills are important. So important our sports psychology advisor used to draw a base of Mental and nutritional training at the bottom of a pyramid so as to illustrate these building blocks as the base of a good athlete.

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Jam Serve Legacy

Jim Winterton : June 11, 2018 12:54 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

This is a follow up post from a few days ago in honor of Charlie Brumfield. “Inside the Master’s Mind” was a series of articles written in the early 80s by former number one pro of the same name above! By the way, I still have that series of articles. I learned a ton of racquetball from them. Since most folks have incorrect mechanics, and hit down on their backhand, the jam serve articles were like gold. These serves still work, even with the over-sized racquets! The basic premise was a serve off the side-wall into an opponent would cause unforced errors. You could hit a short jam(just over the service line) a medium jam(off the side-wall about 37 feet from the front wall) or a wrap around that would make your opponent have to move their feet.
This was an eye-opener for me back in the day. I won a ton of clock radios using the strategies of jamming the side wall.
Fast forward today and you will see variations of this everywhere; sometimes by accident, often intentional. Watch carefully next time you view a top open or pro match and look for the “jammorama” !!

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Racquetball Coaching Tree

Jim Winterton : June 6, 2018 12:53 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

In football the Bill Parcell’s coaching tree is impressive. Bill Belechick is atop this tree but so is Tom Coughlin and other great coaches. In racquetball The Peck Coaching tree is very impressive. Forget the thousands of national titles in age divisions, Men and Women Pros, and World championships that his coaching spawned and just focus on the Men and women’s pro tours. By my humble count and I must admit I am not Todd Boss, so fill in blanks I missed at any time but just counting the mechanics part and coaching influence of Dave Peck and his brother Gregg, I count on the Men’s side 20 end of of year Professional titles with Kane, Cliff, Dave, and Drew Katchtik. Throw in Rhonda Rajsich and you have 24 pro #1 titles end of year. Since I am a member of that coaching tree, my athletes I coached have accounted for 16 of those 24 year end number one titles! One other side note that is often missed by people. I consulted with Dave a little back in the day and let me be clear, I never coached him but often talked to him and suggested strategies. Drew I had the pleasure of coaching in the Spring of 1991 and in the Pan Ams in 1999. Cliff was a junior player in the Dave Peck Junior camp when I met him and worked with him on court in groups.
Why are the Peck athletes successful? Most of it is secret sauce that other players do not do. But if you take a look at the folks I work with, they all improve and improve rapidly. That is all I can do, coach them up and help them improve. I am only a coach; but a proud coach to be part of this coaching family of players.

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Meet the Coaches at the Academy!!

Jim Winterton : April 14, 2018 1:43 pm : Coach's Tip of the Day

Meet the pros recommended by Coach Winterton. These coaches have game and can flat out coach. Thomas Carter, Robbie Collins, Bobby Horn, Felipe Mercado, and Jesse Giron. You can find their bios at WintertonRacquetballAcademy.Com.
Robbie Collins is the latest addition to our team. He has a ton of knowledge, a college degree and he has played the IRT going on year two. I have coached against him and I know he is an excellent Coach. He is calm during game situations and does gesticulate wildly and go nuts like some coaches do. His knowledge of the game is beyond his years due to his roots in Hawaii, and time spent at the Stockton factory in Northern California. He soaks up what I coach like a sponge and is ready to pass on this information! You can reach him at Below-Robbie Ripping a Drive serve!

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