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  • Freddy Ramirez

Being Open Is Being Better: Coach Winterton Takes A Look

You can take this title two different ways. The first being that I started out my One Wall tip video with a simple drill utilizing an open stance, so, there is that. Or you can big picture it by reading it as in being open minded. Either one works. The latter is better. I know this because Coach Winterton sent me back video the way he does his students and I wish I had been thinking about what he mentioned when I was filming my video.

Coach Jim Winterton, right and World Number 1 Kane Wasalenchuk

While I was uploading my video to Facebook, I literally thought of Coach Winterton first. That just happened. Because, this is an instructional video, albeit limited in scope. This was new territory for me in a sense and immediately wondered what he would think. Racquetball instructional videos are nothing new but One Wall racquetball instructionals aren't even a thing. As I thought of Winterton, I wondered if I even wanted to post my video (below). So, in what seemed to me at the time as a "should I even do this", I Messengered him, telling him I thought about him while I put it up, explaining that it's not something I'm thinking of doing, it just happened because I often get questions.

I actually didn't start out making the video thinking it would be as long as it is. The truth is, I went to the park because I haven't swung a racquet or a paddle in eight weeks, and saw the fence peeled back at a local park her in Brooklyn while I was riding my bike the morning before. I thought it would be a good thing to test out some camera setting on gear while I hit around... thinking I'll probably just post something on my Instagram story. One deliberate move led to another and to another as I was thinking, "What would I be saying to someone if they were here as my reasoning?" It didn't feel like I was out there that long.

The editing process was way easier than I thought it would be. I literally have been thinking through this stuff for so long, it's like second nature and laying the voice-over was quick as I just dove right in. I mention this because of the conversation I had with Coach Winterton.

I love talking racquetball. (Obviously.) So, I'll classify my long convo with Winterton as one of those conversations I'll hold on to for a long time. This man is a vault of racquetball knowledge. We discussed racquetball history, practical movements that crosses over sports, indoor, outdoor and of course next level stuff like Kane. I heard him wonder out loud how I was able to format my words into the process of filming, which for me gave me a clue as to what is on this man's mind all the time. Talk about analytical. Just him thinking that to me out loud... about how maybe I had a recording going in my headphones, made me better able to "see" or "realize" something I was good at... something I just did. I get his let Kane be Kane thing. And they way he talk. Things you may already know. Piecing things together.

Just check out what Winterton sent me back. (He turned these back around to me almost instantly, literally minutes after I sent my video to him. The man is efficient.)

My immediate thoughts when I saw these: Yes. I continuously think about racquet prep. Preparing for a return, before a forehand or backhand. And yes, had I been thinking about it when I was doing my drill, I would have emphasized it then too. Because it would have made for a much better example. I'm not a coach, but I have two kids I love who I've been working with since they were teenagers. And it's something I have emphasized to them. (Those two kids are nastiest players in NYC right now.)

The best athletes in the world are all very open to this type of stuff. Just look at Kane Wasalenchuk. Do you think he listens to Winterton?

So you know I'm going to.


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