Mitch Brayley

Biography

Date of Birth

November 27, 1993

Birthplace

Calgary, AB

Residence

Calgary, AB

Home Club

Trail Courts

Coach

Evan Pritchard & Mike McPhee

Equipment

Gearbox

Mitch Brayley has been around the sport since he was a junior athlete, contributing as a player, an official and providing important support to racquetball at the community, provincial and national level. Brayley has played open events at national team selection events and the Canadian Championships since leaving the junior ranks. His 8th place finish at the National Team Selection Event in the fall of 2019 was his highest result and netted him a spot on the national development team.

Q&A

Start in Racquetball:  Shortly before my 6th birthday, I watched my dad play in a memorial doubles tournament, which was held for a good friend of his who passed away. It was my first time seeing racquetball, & I was absolutely fascinated. A few weeks later, I was registered in a junior program & have been hooked ever since!

Reason for playing:  Shortly before my 6th birthday, I watched my dad play in a memorial doubles tournament which was held for a good friend of his who passed away. It was my first time seeing racquetball, & I was absolutely fascinated. A few weeks later, I was registered in a junior program & have been hooked ever since!

Training habits:  I engage in off-court training 5-6 times per week in my home gym, working to improve & maintain my strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, & overall fitness. I’ve also been trying to incorporate meditation & visualization into my regular routine. I get to the courts 3-4 times per week, whether it’s to drill by myself, or play practice games with others.

Best Racquetball moment: When I started being able to compete with adults, my dad asked me to be his doubles partner in the same memorial tournament (it ran for many years) where I first saw racquetball being played. We entered the Men’s C Division, & he played with his left hand because at the time he was an Open player & wanted to make it fair. We didn’t win, but it was a really special time for me!

Non Racquetball talents: In grade 6, I scored a hat trick in PE floor hockey, which was pretty cool. I still talk about it to this day. I was also the runner-up in a Royal Canadian Legion karaoke contest. I lost to a lady who had her own CD & had been featured on the radio, so I feel like the competition was a bit unfair.

What is something people might not know about you or find surprising?  I really enjoy stand up comedy. I plan to write a routine & take part in an open-mic night one day.

When you are not playing racquetball, you are probably? the mountains with my girlfriend & our french bulldog! I play as much softball as I can in the summer, & take part in some recreational indoor sports (floor hockey, flag football, etc.) during the winter. I also put an exorbitant amount of time into fantasy football & hockey leagues.

What advise to you have for athletes who want to play at your level? Be resilient. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort, & dedication to work towards your goals. Even if you do everything right, you still might fall short. It’s important to analyze, reflect, & adapt on an ongoing basis. A story I heard years ago that stuck with me: Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC, was turned down 1009 times when trying to find a partner to help sell his now famous chicken & start his company. It’s a great example of what perseverance & resilience can accomplish.

Who has been important in your development as an athlete? First and foremost, my dad. Growing up, I always looked up to him as a player. He was my first coach, continues to offer advice, & is the reason that fitness is such a core part of my life. I wouldn’t be half the player I am today without him. Currently I work with Mike McPhee, who has helped me take huge strides in my game with his unique approach. I’ve also begun working with Evan Pritchard, which I’m extremely excited about. To name a few others who have all contributed to my development over the years: Larry Gazelka, Glen Yaretz, Len Slamko, Sue Swaine, Milton Iwaasa, & Kris Odegard.

Highlights