We try all kinds of exercises in an effort to remain healthy mentally and physically. Some jog, swim or lift weights. Others play basketball, football or soccer. A unique group of people have found their excitement in a relatively new sport–racquetball. We say relatively new because, reportedly, racquetball was invented a little over 50 years ago. What is it about a sport played on a small enclosed court that excites and thrills those who play it? In a nutshell, it stimulates the mind, energizes the body, and lifts the spirit. Few other sports have such an exhilarating effect on those who play it.
Think about what it does for the mind. Every play requires quick reaction time, prompt judgment, and skilled precision. It is as if the mind is in a perpetual state of strenuous activity. Such liveliness undoubtedly helps keep the brain young and healthy. Even while standing still, the mind must remain mentally alert while anticipating its opponent’s serve. Participants find that such mental stimulation has a positive aspect on other areas of their lives, including work, study, and on even the otherwise mundane tasks we perform.
Just as the mind is greatly stimulated, the body itself benefits from the intense movement required to master this sport. A quick turn to the right, a swift movement to the left, a dive, a jump, a swing from virtually every angle, all result in healthy stress to most muscles of the body. Up the court, down the court, to the right side, to the left side, all become equivalent to more than a long run or jog. You might think of the physical benefits as greater than those that could be otherwise achieved by a number of other sports combined. The blood flows, the muscles are stretched, and the entire body is energized!
Additionally, the spirit is lifted as a result of the entire racquetball experience. One important factor contributing to this is the interaction and interchange between the players. While at times this sport is played with strangers, generally it is a sport engaged in by friends. The court thus becomes a social meeting place. While engaging in some small talk, most communication takes place in the form of expressive serves and returns. After participating in a spirited game, players leave refreshed and energized. Moods are lifted and attitudes are renewed. As a result, in addition to the physical benefits to be had, the experience has captured a large measure of the satisfaction that could be had from a pleasant, encouraging conversation. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to share in the joy of racquetball.