Fran Davis: Playing When You Are Behind in a Game/Match
We have all been in this type of situation before when we are losing the game/match and are “playing from behind.” We try to get back to good form and even up the game/match or possibly forge ahead. It is critical at this point in the match to play smart strategy as there is very little room to make any mistakes.
I recommend to play:
1-High-percentage shots, and don’t force a weak shot. Use more passes than kill shots.
2-Work your way back into the match one point at a time, staying in the moment.
3-Explore different serves and shots to find your opponent’s weaknesses and then exploit them.
4-Think and be aware, don’t just hit the ball without thinking.
Use the techniques in my book “Championship Racquetball,” Chapter 7 Developing Game Plans and Match Strategy, P. 200, for more details.
Here’s how #2-ranked men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) player, Rocky Carson, and Wayne Antone of my Championship Team utilizes these techniques:
Rocky Carson vs Daniel De La Rosa
Rocky was down 0-2 in games against Daniel at the 2016 US Open Semifinals and he came back and won it 3-2 games. I just told Rocky to play the percentages, keep Daniel shooting from the deep court, own the middle and minimize your mistakes and maximize on your opponent’s mistakes. DO NOT worry about the score; just play one point at a time and the end result will take care of itself.
Rocky did just that and stayed the course and came from behind to win the match and earn a spot in the finals.
Wayne Antone vs Daniel Rojas
Wayne was down 0-1 in games and 2-7 in the second game against Daniel at the 2017 Junior Nationals Finals. I just told Wayne to BELIEVE in all his work, all his serves, all his shots, his diving ability and stick to the percentages by keeping Daniel deep and work your way back into the match.
Wayne did just that and clawed his way back in and won the second game 15-14 and the tiebreaker 11-10 to become the Boy’s 18 Junior National Champion.
Both Rocky and Wayne had to come from behind to win and used the four strategies of playing that I recommended above.
Using high-percentage strategy will help you if you have to Play from Behind. It is yet another required skill on the road to championship racquetball. ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, know just how important it is to play the percentages, stay in the moment and take it one point at a time…their records speak for themselves.
In the next issue, I will continue to build your Championship Racquetball Game one level at a time so you too can be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of becoming, by giving you the tools to make it a reality. Rocky and all my athletes “Championship Racquetball Games” stem from their focus on ALL three sides of the triangle working together so they can develop into top competitors. Without a shadow of a doubt, they KNOW just how important it is to do the work. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.
For details on more personalized instruction/video lessons, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s and our book, Championship Racquetball) ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit www.FranDavisRacquetball.com. Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coaches #2 IRT Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 5X and present World Champion, 2X and present Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coaches #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player for 8 seasons / 7X and present US Open Champion & 5X and present World Champion, 2X and present Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coaches Jr. World & National Champions, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone and Mitchell Turner; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.