- Freddy Ramirez
Everyone plays doubles in racquetball. Like a few other types of racquet sports, our game is a uniquely social climate. In most cases, everytime you engage during the season, doubles is almost always a part of how you spend your time. You pick a partner. You play. But does everyone talk? Yes. Can I say everyone knows how to effectively talk playing doubles? No.
Playing doubles requires you give something up. Your attention. To your partner.
Teams that know to do this, often find a high measure of success. It may not be a championship so much as an experience and a feeling of satisfaction on some level.
What I took away from the Professional Doubles debut at the US Open:
I watched intently how teams related to one another. Most of them talked of course. But very rarely did I see it as a constant back and forth as to what they were doing together as a team. I noticed acknowledgements more than talk of what the goals were for the next play. I expected more continuous talking between teammates that actually looked like it was effecting what was happening on the court.
I did see the team that won the big prize do this. There was a concerted effort by both players to catch each other after each play - going into the upcoming play... putting aside how noticably connected they were off the court. Players can be cool or friends off the court, but on the court, they have to communicate intent to effectively produce at a high level.
Some of us may think to ourselves reading this, "Of course." Or "I know that."
If you play racquetball and/or outdoor racquetball, you're going to be, at some point, looking for and finding partners. So, to the rest of us I ask, are we committed to paying attention to what will make our partners a better player and working together towards making a better team?
Or do you know everything?