Racquetball & Handball – Offseason for Youth Football Players

I have been playing Racquetball since I was 12.  My freshman High School football coach got me a job at a Racquetball Club in Houston Tx in the early 80’s and I started playing competitively about a two years later.  At the club I watched a few of the Houston Oilers and other NFL players that lived in Houston play racquetball during the off-season.  They all told me it was a great game to stay in shape and increase your foot speed and I must agree.  After my first year of competitive racquetball, my 40 time went from a 5.1 to a 4.7.  I became a believer in Racquetball as a key part of my off-season training.  I also played handball competitively in college and squash later in life and think these three indoor court sports are great ways to stay in shape for football and increase your overall quickness and hand eye coordination.

I am currently teaching my boys (10 & 7) Racquetball and they love it.  Since racquetball is a game of angles and movement, I started them slow with racquetball and we also play a form of Handball which I’ve nicknamed “Throwball”  to teach the movement and court position of racquetball.  They love Throwball and I think just about anyone can play without much practice.  My wife played the other day with a quick 2 minute introduction.  The rules are similar to handball and racquetball but you catch the ball and throw instead of hitting the ball with your hand and racquet as in Handball or Racquetball.  You can either use a racquetball or handball.  We’ve started using a handball.  Since you don’t need to learn the racquet swing or bruise your palm,  I think Throwball is perfect for younger players to get the physical benefits of these two indoor sports.

After three months of playing Throwball, both boys have improved their quickness and hand eye coordination and are having a great time with Dad.  I plan on teaching my youth football team Throwball a few months before football season in addition to our normal conditioning / speed camps that we attend. 

To learn more about the rules of Racquetball, Handball and Squash you can visit these websites:

  1. http://www.usra.org/
  2. http://www.ushandball.org/
  3. http://www.ussquash.com/

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

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