Our fitness is determined by how well your body can use the energy it has available. Many of us have plenty of available energy stored as fat, but the ability of the body to convert those stores into usable energy during an intense sport like racquetball is limited.
There are three energy systems working within your body, and they work interactively to produce energy. Which system is working the hardest depends on what your body needs at that moment. Think of each energy system like a rechargeable battery. Once the battery is drained, it needs time to recharge, but each “battery” has a different storage limit and produces different types of energy. Here is a general overview of each.
ATP-PC system (adenosine triphosphate-phosphocreatine system)
Your body can use all of these systems simultaneously depending on the situation, but racquetball uses anaerobic energy almost exclusively.
Understanding when you (or your opponent) might need time to replenish these stores gives you an advantage in that situation! For example, if your opponent has had one or two very hard points in which they had to be explosive, their anaerobic system is struggling. Do not give them time to recover, and continue play as soon as possible. They will be a little slower around the court because their body needs time to recharge that fast system. Conversely, if you find yourself on the opposite side of that same situation, use your timeouts and breaks between points to provide you with the time you need to recover.
In a long match, you do not want to rely on your aerobic system for energy, as it takes longer to convert this energy into a usable source and you will be slower as a result. Therefore, do not forget to consume carbohydrates during the match so that your body has anaerobic fuel readily available.
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