A Junior’s Interview with Racquetball Pro Rocky Carson

Interview by Owen Forsythe. Owen is 10 years old and on his way to becoming a very good racquetball player. He participated in the United States Racquetball Foundation’s 2014 US Open Juniors Clinic and also is helping out as a towel boy at the US Open.

Owen Forsythe interviews Rocky Carson

Owen: How has your life changed since becoming a pro?

Rocky Carson: Well, I’ve been able to make a living out of playing racquetball instead of just playing racquetball for fun and I get to make money doing it. I get a lot of recognition for what I do and I love playing racquetball so getting recognition for what I love is awesome.

O: Are you ever intimidated by your competition?

RC

O: Do you respect every pro?: I’d have to say no, maybe when I was younger I was because I was just getting into this. I’ve been doing this for 15 years now, and I love getting on the court and seeing how good that other guy is and seeing who’s going to come out on top.

RC: You have to respect every pro. If you don’t respect every pro than why are you even coming out to play? So my job is to go out there whether it’s the number 100 guy in the world or number one guy in the world. My job is to go out there and treat them the same way and to go 110% the whole time.

O: What is your favorite tournament and why? 
RC: I love playing here at the US OPEN partly because of the atmosphere and the way they set the main court up and obviously it’s televised. Another would be the Pan-Am Games because you get to go out there and play racquetball, but I also get to hang out with other top athletes in all of the Americas (and in the world) so I enjoy that and I love the World Championships. That one has a spot for me and I’ve had a lot of success there so those three are my favorite. I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one.

O: Who is your favorite player to play against?

RC: I don’t know if I have one player that I love to play against. My favorite thing to do is get on the court and play my hardest, and I want somebody who is going to do that just as well and going to make it a battle. I love being in a fifth game wondering who’s going to win at 8-8, thinking I prepared for this and I wonder if they prepared as hard as me.

O: What is your favorite TV show? 
RC: Probably Sportscenter. I love sports, so I love waking up in the morning, turning on Sportscenter and seeing the scores of last night’s games — hopefully my teams did well like the Lakers, the Angels, and the Chargers of course and seeing what’s happening in sports. I’m a sports fanatic, as much as I love playing them I love watching them as well.

O: When did you start playing racquetball?
RC: I’ve been playing racquetball since I can remember. So I played racquetball, I played basketball, I played baseball, and a little bit of tennis and I love playing all of them. It would be hard for me to imagine not playing them all, but after high school I had to make a decision to go after other sports or go pro in racquetball. I chose racquetball and I’m pretty happy about it.

O: Do you listen to music before matches?
RC: Not really I don’t. I have practice points I read and go over and I focus on those. One thing that I always try is to enjoy that part and focus on what my job is. I don’t need music to get me pumped up to play racquetball. I already am pumped.

O: Is the show court intimidating?
RC: It’s exciting. I would say it’s exhilarating and it will pump you up even more than what you already are at times.

O: Who is your hero?
RC: I look up to my dad a lot. I look up to a lot of different people for different things, so I don’t know if I’d say that I have one person as my hero, other than maybe Christ Jesus. I’m a strong Christian, so that’s where I put my faith as a person, and even as a racquetball player. Those values I learned from the Bible, and try to incorporate into all aspects of my life. When it comes to sports, I love someone that’s competitive. Not any individual, I just love someone who’s competitive: Michael Jordan when he was younger, I love watching Kobe, I love watching the Spurs, that whole team when they work together, because they’re competitive.

O: How often do you train?
RC: I train almost every day. I incorporate surfing into my training. I call that my cardio. Of course when I’m playing racquetball I count that as my cardio, but I surf about three times a week when I can, maybe five times a week when I do it all week. I lift weights and I count that as part of my training. I do all different workouts so I might do that five times a week. And of course, I also play racquetball two to three to four times a week.