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22
On August 15th 2015 the world lost a true source of light.  Marty Puckett a long time competitive Oklahoma Racquetball player passed away.  I had the privilege of playing Marty many times in the Men’s Open division over the years as well as playing doubles as his partner.  One thing I knew every time I faced him in a tournament bracket was that I was going to be in for a battle.  There was nothing easy or given in playing him because he was such a competitor. 

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06
This is a general news update from the Oklahoma Racquetball Association, as well as a big thank you to all of the great people who came out for the 2015 State Singles event at the Northside YMCA in OKC.  

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15

The next ORA tournament is Nov. 1-2 in Cushing at the Cushing Youth Community Center.  This facility has two fantastic glass back courts with plenty of viewing room, plus two enclosed courts.

It is conveniently between Oklahoma City and Tulsa off Hwy. 33, with a new hotel just 5 minutes away.  Doubles divisions will begin Friday night and if necessary, finish up on Saturday morning.  Singles divisions will take place all day Saturday.  If you bring canned food items, you will receive $5 off your entry fee and the canned goods are donated to the local food bank in Cushing.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!  Click here for more information or to enter online.

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15
There are several USAR national level tournaments held throughout the year such as the recent World Senior Tournament and U.S. Open held in Minnesota.   The NMRA has several tournaments throughout the year and anyone 35 years or older can participate in these tournaments.  If you are a current ORA member and permanent resident of Oklahoma, the ORA will pay your entry fee for one division at ONE national level tournament per year.  These tournaments are a great way to take your game to the next level by playing some of the best players in all divisions.   If you have any questions feel free to email me at tbackhand2@sbcglobal.net

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15

Thanks to all the participants who made their way to Oklahoma City recently at the Northside YMCA.  As always, there were some tight matches with a lot of tie-breakers.  It was great to meet and see some new players as well.  A shout out to Brandon Davis for obtaining the facility and for the hospitality provided for the tournament.  

We will be posting pictures from the tourney soon, so check the photo gallery for new updates!  Results from the tournament can be found here.

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15
Congratulations to Paula Lemon and J.B. Smith for bringing home the gold medal in Mixed Doubles 60/65+ Division.  It's been quite some time since an Oklahoman has been crowned World Champion at this tournament. 
The event was held in Albuquerque the last week in August and had over 150 entrants from 13 different countries.  Paula also placed 2nd in the 65+ singles division while J.B. captured the Bronze in the Men's 65+ singles division.  The two combined for a total of 30 matches in the tournament!   Other Oklahomans participating were Bruce Adams who played in the Men's 55+ singles division and Mixed 55+ division with partner Rhonda Look of Round Rock, Texas.  Mark Bianchi played in the 50+ Mixed Doubles with Cyd Evans of Albuquerque.  He also played in 50+ Men's singles.
We are proud of all of you for representing our state!

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20
Kim Roy and Tim Hardison from Tampa, Fl. stopped by Oklahoma City this week and played some matches with Oklahoma players Bob Cole and Cody Largent at Tinker AFB.  Kim runs tournaments in the Tampa area, as well as the National scene, and Tim is a lieutenant colonel in the US Army.  The ORA just wanted to say thanks for stopping by and good luck on your mini tour and at the US Open!

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05
Thanks to everyone who came out for the 2013 State Singles championships at the Thornton YMCA in Tulsa. We had a pretty good turnout, especially considering the number of injuries. I believe this year was a new record for the number of regular tournament players who had to sit out due to some sort of injury. I hope the next year brings a little more health for our players!

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03
Thanks to everyone for coming out for the Oklahoma State Singles this past weekend, we had lots of great matches and a good turnout.  You can view the results here and we'll post pictures soon.  

We have several announcements as well.  Firstly, Dave Watson is stepping down as the ORA president.  He has served as the ORA president for several years, and is moving forward with his life, including relocating to out of state, and is stepping down as a result.  We would like to thank Dave for his many years of contributions to racquetball in the state of Oklahoma, as well as his contributions nationally.  Dave has been a great asset and we will miss him, but wish him well in his future endeavors!

As a result of Dave's departure, as well as a couple of vacancies on the board, we have elected a few new board members.  Logan Reese, Brandon Davis, and Bob Cole have all been added to the ORA board from the Oklahoma City area.  In addition, Therese Lewis was promoted to the president position from her previous position of vice president, and Shaun Manning was appointed as the new vice president.  For a complete list of board members and their positions, click here.

Thanks to the new board members for volunteering, and we look forward to continuing to grow the sport in Oklahoma.  Feel free to contact any of the board members if you are interested in serving or have ideas or suggestions for us.

Lastly, we inducted Stephanie Bird into the ORA hall of fame.  Stephanie has served for many years on the ORA board, and has been the tournament director for nearly every tournament run in Oklahoma for years.  We all appreciate her efforts, and tournaments in Oklahoma would not be possible without her contribution.  We'll have a link up soon with Stephanie's bio.

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09

At times, our worries and anxieties can overwhelm us. In addition, our worries can distort our perception of what is reality and what is not. As a result, this may interfere with your sport of racquetball. Here is a brief list of techniques that a racquetball player can use to help gain a better perspective on things during their anxious moments.
 
Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could read the newspaper, listen to some music or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This is a great technique to use right before your next event.
 
Remember that our fearful thoughts are exaggerated and can make the problem worse. A good way to manage your worry is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.
 
Remember that all the worrying in the world will not change anything. Most of what we worry about never comes true. Instead of worrying about something that probably won’t happen, concentrate on what you are able to do. 
 
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that you can carry around with you. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you. Whenever you feel stressed before your event, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.
 
In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety before your event and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.
 
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.
 
It is not easy to deal with all of our fears and worries. When your fears and anxieties have the best of you, try to calm down and then get the facts of the situation. The key is to take it slow. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. Take it one step at a time and things will work out.
 
BIOGRAPHY:
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

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09

Many athletes sometimes get anxious when they play against a tough opponent. They get nervous on who they are competing with and they get so worked up that they lose focus on playing their sport. In the end, they make mistakes and end up beating themselves up if they do not win. As a result, here is a list of techniques that an athlete can use to help manage the stress of playing against the competition. 
  
The first step is to learn as much as you can on your opponent. Although this may seem obvious, some athletes may think they already know what they need to know. Remember there is always something to learn about your competition. Read the reports about your opponent and watch him or her performance. Try to figure out an angle on how you can beat your competition. The more you know about your competition the better your chances are you will win. This will also help to reduce your worries in the future.
 
Do not assume anything about your competition whether they are stronger or weaker than you. Every athlete has his good and bad times and just because you may be facing a stronger opponent does not mean that you will lose. Remember that you and your opponent both have an equal chance of winning. You are both starting from scratch. This should help you to give you confidence going into your next event.

Focus on how you can best strive for perfection in your own event instead of worrying about your opponent. For instance, you are going against the number one athlete in the tournament and you are nervous. Instead of focusing on how good your competition is, focus on your performance. Concentrate on how you can perform your event and how you can best improve on your problem areas. 

Realize that you can't win all of the time and that also includes your competition. You may be the best athlete in the world, however you will still sometimes lose. No one can win all of the time.  When facing a tough competitor, use this fact to your advantage. Even the best athletes will make some mistakes.
 
It is not uncommon to get nervous when you go against a better opponent.  All you can do is to focus on your skill sets and do the best you can. This will help you in the long run.
 
BIOGRAPHY
 
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

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13

There have been several good matches and socializing at the events so far this year.  We encourage players to come out to the events as often as they can.  There is a cost involved to use the racquetball facilities and to provide food etc. at each event.  We want to make the best use of the money spent by the ORA board to put on events for players.  That is one reason we have moved some tournaments to Cushing versus Tulsa due to elevated expenses in the Tulsa facility we have been using.     

We get many questions throughout the summer and during racquetball season about when the next tournament is.  We know it’s tough to juggle family commitments, Church, other sports for the kids etc.  To help accommodate players we have set up one and two day events throughout the year as well as some two and three day tourneys.  We have often made doubles a Friday evening event and Singles a one day event on Saturday.  This format was put into place to allow people with Saturday commitments to at least play some doubles possibly on Friday and to only take up Saturday for singles to allow family or Church time for those that attend on Sundays. 

Stephanie has been very flexible on getting folks in to brackets with conflicts etc. 

It is important that those who want Oklahoma Racquetball tourneys to continue, to do their best to get there if they can.  We are trying hard not to cancel tournaments and to give those die hards some court time.  Support Oklahoma Racquetball by making it out if you can and not waiting to see who will sign up to play.  In some cases tournaments are cancelled and later players indicate that they planned to play but had not officially signed up yet.  A quick email to Stephanie or Therese is all it takes to get you signed up and you don’t have to go through R2 Sports. 

We would really like to see more women players and juniors come on out.  Feedback on tournaments, set up etc. is welcome to board members as well.  We can’t always make the changes requested due to funds, limited venues, etc. but would be happy to entertain and staff any feedback we receive to see what we can do. 

We appreciate you players and enjoy seeing your smiling faces at the tourneys.  The matches are only part of the fun.  We have an awesome group of people at the tourneys with great stories to tell and new ones to make!  (Some of you guys have missed some great Ken Smith stories.  You may have also missed how Brian Watson almost needed stitches and medical attention after a lag injury).  

We hope to see as many of you as we can there!

 

Shaun Manning

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08
A group of Oklahomans traveled to Wichita, KS for the Health Strategies Fall Tournament and posted some impressive results.  Juan Martinez won the Men's Open division, defeating fellow Oklahoman C.J. Shaffer for the final.  Juan Martinez teamed up with Bob Cole to win the Men's Open Doubles, and Bob Cole won the Men's A division.  Dustin Cole finished up for team Oklahoma with a first place finish in Men's C.  Congrats Oklahoma players!  For complete results, visit http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=7346

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28
Thanks to everyone who played at the state doubles tournament this year, the results are posted under Events.

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09
Have something to submit?  If you have any photos, videos, or news related to Oklahoma Racquetball and would like to have this content posted on our website, send an email here and we can most likely accomodate your request.  We welcome all submissions!

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05
Greetings everyone, and welcome to the new Oklahoma Racquetball Association website.  Please take a few minutes and browse through everything; all comments and opinions are welcome.  Contact Matthew Kindschi or any of the ORA board members with comments, questions, ideas, etc.

We hope you enjoy the new website and bookmark us, as we will be updating it with upcoming tournament information, results, photos, and other news - so check back often!

Sincerely,
-Matthew Kindschi

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