Jul 272011
 

Tendonitis and inflammation in a wrist, elbow, or shoulder is a signal from your body telling you that something is wrong.

Typically, inflammation occurs from stress and overuse. If your tendonitis is the result of playing too much racquetball, then the cure is to rest for a week or two. The standard treatment for tendonitis in a joint can be remembered by the acronym RICErest, ice, compression, and elevation.

However, if you continue to get repeated cases of inflammation in a joint, then most likely you have some technical glitches in your swing. The most common problems which can bring on tendonitis are:

  1. Not hitting the sweet spot on the racquet face.
  2. Gripping the racquet too tightly.
  3. Not following through to a complete finish on your swing.

All three of the above problems can be corrected with a smooth, effortless, efficient swing.

So remember to keep as light a grip on the racquet as possible. You only need to hang onto the racquet tight enough to keep it from slipping out of your hand. Also try to release your grip from the racquet in between points. This helps keep your hand and forearm relaxed. If your hand, wrist, and shoulder are relaxed, then it is much easier to hit the ball squarely and with a complete follow-through.

Many players rely on a short punch-like stroke with almost no follow-through. If effect, they must use their arm and body to abruptly stop the motion of their racquet after it impacts the ball. This means that the racquet is slowing down at impact with the ball. But you want the opposite to happen! For an efficient and powerful swing, you need your racquet to accelerate through the ball. The only way this can be accomplished is to have a complete follow-through as if you are throwing a ball side-arm.

If you fail to consistently hit the sweet spot, then you are hitting the ball inefficiently. You can feel the vibration in your arm from a mishit ball. Players who mishit a lot of balls then compensate by gripping the racquet tighter and shortening their swing. A vicious cycle!

Again, it is the tight grip and a short swing which can lead to getting tendonitis.  So work on keeping your grip as light as possible and really exaggerate your finishing position.

Jul 192011
 

The throwing motion of a racquetball forehand is almost identical to the throw of the right hand of a golf swing.  I feel these videos which describe the various key components of an efficient golf swing can be directly applied to a racquetball swing.

Part 3 of this video series examines Arnold Palmer’s downswing separation and shows how he was able to consistently generate club head speed and distance. The Separation component of an efficient swing determines consistancy.