Overcoming Adversity…. a Critical Part of Mental Toughness

Coach Fran Davis

Overcoming Adversity…. a Critical Part of Mental Toughness


Nothing in sport or life is 100 percent predictable—the key is to create and adjust through all kinds of adversity. The first step is to change your attitude about what is happening. The optimist sees obstacles as challenges, and the pessimist sees challenges as obstacles. It is all in your perspective. And as an athlete, you always have a choice about how you view things. 

Rocky, Paola and Jason see their opponents as key ingredients that will inspire them to play their game at higher levels. They love adversity and rise to the occasion. They take all negativity and use it as a teacher; they learn from every lesson, and it adds to the thrill of the game. They study every single aspect of the game, their opponent, the situation, and the challenge ahead of them. And they use every lesson learned as a new weapon in their competition game plan.

I saw this quote on the website, “tennis_is_everythingx”, and found it very true:

 “The Road to Athletic Greatness Is Not Marked By Perfection, But By The Ability To Constantly Overcome Adversity and Failure”.

Here’s how my Championship Team and Junior Championship Team utilizes the techniques in my book Championship Racquetball (Chapter 9, “Maintaining Mental Toughness, Overcoming Adversity.”)

Rocky Carson

At The IRT pro-stop in Atlanta, GA October 22-November 1, 2015 Rocky played Alvaro Beltran in the finals and lost in 4 games.
Well Rocky and I made adjustments these last 2 weeks mentally and physically by watching and video and talking. We looked at the loss as a lesson and we learned from it. With these tools he was able to overcame the loss in Atlanta by beating Alvaro in 3 games in the semifinals in Garden City, KS November 12-15, 2015.  

   Paola Longoria

At the LPRT pro-stop in Warren, NJ, in March 2014, Paola was playing Frederique Lambert in the semifinals and lost in 4 games. We worked on changing her attitude toward the loss by watching video and making the physical and mental adjustments necessary to beat Frederique in the next 3 tournaments they met and has not lost to her since.
Wayne Antone; Mitchell Turner; Jordan Cooperrider (2015 Junior National
Team members)

These players are utilizing all of the above and are a work in progress. They KNOW just how important it is to “Overcome Adversity”, as they are learning from Rocky and Paola…two of the best.
Learning how to “Overcome Adversity” is yet another required mental skill on the road to championship racquetball. From the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, ALL of the players I coach know just how important it is to “Overcome Adversity.” It’s not easy to do, but a MUST.
Rocky and Paola are BOTH two of the most decorated athletes in racquetball. Paola finished the 2014-2015 season ranked #1 on the Ladies Pro Racquetball Tour (LPRT) for the fourth consecutive season and was crowned International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion four time, the Central American Champion and 2-time Pan American Champion. Also, now 6-time US Open Champion. Rocky finished the 2014-2015 IRT Season ranked #2 on the International Racquetball Tour and is a four-time World Champion, two-time Pan American Champion, and 1-time US Open Champion.
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 (conditioning, mental, and physical skills), and 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, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s, our book, Championship Racquetball, and our APP (coming soon), 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; Coach #2 IRT Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 4X and present World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coach #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player / 6X and present US Open Champion & World Champion, 2X Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coach Jr. World & National Champion, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone & Mitchell Turner; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.