Date of Birth
University of Saskatchewan
Start in Racquetball? My Mom and Dad both played racquetball when I was little, and they would bring me with them to the club. I guess it was probably cheaper than a babysitter, and every now and then I would get on the court and bang the ball around a little. When I started playing other organized sports like baseball and hockey, I would still get on the court every now and then. Early on, Loren Prentice, my former coach, would ask me when I was gonna start playing. I would always say “I don’t play racquetball. I’m a baseball player or I’m a hockey player. Finally when I was about 12 years old, I started playing in order to help my hitting for baseball.
Reason for playing? I just love the sport so much – it’s so much fun. But I think a big part of it, at least early on, was the success that came when I started. Everyone loves winning, especially kids, but I think what a lot of people overlook is how fun it is to improve at something. I think any sport is automatically fun when you’re able to play it at a high level, but racquetball is a special kind of animal in that respect.
Training habits: I’ve been a father of two for a little over two years now which creates some challenges with regard to training, but fortunately I’m a seasonal summer employee and work call-in casual during the winter so I’m still able to train quite a bit for most of the season. About a month and a half before Nationals I’m back to work full time, but I still try to make sure I’m training at least six days a week with at least 45 minutes on the court per day while doing the workouts we get assigned by our strength and conditioning coach Cole. Racquetball Saskatchewan provided us funding for home gym equipment which has been amazing, so I spend a lot of time lifting while I watch whatever I want on TV. I also play a little bit of squash as I feel it’s the best thing someone can do for cross-training for racquetball and I’m hoping to start playing hockey and ball hockey again soon, as I stopped when COVID happened and haven’t quite gotten going again.
Best Racquetball moment: There have been a lot but I think the best was the Junior Nationals from 2002 where I made the 18U final. I didn’t have a lot of expectations and was seeded 9th but I was playing really well going into the tournament and just wanted to give it my all and play the best I ever had. When I came away being a junior national team member it was an unbelievably amazing feeling. Making the semi-final at the 2009 national team selection event was also an incredible experience. Luckily, I’ve been able to add to these moments and qualifying for the 2020 and 2022 Worlds Teams probably surpasses everything, but I don’t want to forget where I came from so I have to remember it all.
Non-racquetball talents: I’ve been blessed with what I’m pretty sure is a really good long-term memory. I feel like I’m able to remember a lot of stuff from the past, especially really great memories; and a lot of information and details of things I’m interested in and passionate about (which might be a nice way of saying I’m a pretty big nerd).
When you are not playing Racquetball you are probably? Probably working, looking after my kids, or lifting weights while watching pro wrestling or playing baseball.
What is something that people might not know about you or find surprising? I’m absolutely obsessed with pro wrestling, yes the “fake fighting” on TV that The Rock used to do. It’s a ridiculous art-form, but I absolutely love it and have since I was about 9 years old watching Bret Hart. The WWE is the industry leader but they put out a horrible product these days that I want nothing to do with, however I will talk to you for hours about a new promotion that started a few years ago called All Elite Wrestling as well as New Japan Pro-Wrestling and their sister promotion STARDOM
What advise do you have for athletes who want to play at your level? It’s amazing what you can accomplish with good coaching, training partners, and hard work. Maybe the most important advice I can give though, is that you have to love it. Racquetball is a game, and it’s supposed to be fun and you shouldn’t ever try to play a game at a high level unless you love it. Just enjoy the ride. Enjoy the beat downs that come with playing someone way better than you. Enjoy the pressure of returning a serve down 10-9 in the tiebreaker and trying to dig down and find a way to win. Enjoy the days when you make every single shot you go for and get every single ball you chase after.
Who has been important in your development as an athlete? My former coach Loren Prentice has been instrumental in my development and all the players I’ve trained with over the years both within and outside Loren’s group. My parents have been incredibly supportive ever since I started playing and without them none of it would’ve been possible. Eric Desrochers, Josh Keil, and Chris Exner are three of my best friends in this world and with them around I’m no longer alone, even though we’re playing an individual sport. Mike Green has been a great mentor, great friend, and he’s always been someone I’ve looked up to, and I’ve learned a lot from what he’s taught me. The same can be said for Cliff Swain and Kris Odegard. At the risk of sounding far-reaching, I also just want to say that the game itself, as well as it’s community, has also been very important to my development and I think that’s something as players we need to keep in mind.
Since Loren retired, Tim Landeryou has taken over his duties as my coach and has done an amazing job. Tim was an amazing competitor in his time and someone who I had very little success against on the court and it’s been awesome having him on my side now, even when he’s still giving me beatings on the court as a retired player. Many great players from Saskatoon (and Saskatchewan as a whole) over the years have retired from Racquetball and that’s been very hard, but my current training group of Tanner Prentice, Danielle Drury and Cassie Prentice have been so instrumental in my (hopefully) continuing development. They keep me having fun and feeling young even as the years pile on.