TIME OF FOCUS
RHONDA RAJSICH KEEPS HER FOCUS TO PLAY THROUGH
The second half of the 2016-17 season has been one of the toughest season stretches in Rhonda's half of fame track career. Her results underline her commitment to keep pushing forward through adversity.
In June 2008, Rhonda was viciously attacked just outside her Hermosa Beach home, leaving her right side orbital, cheekbone and jaw shattered. Ten days later, she had 5 titanium plates inserted during facial reconstruction surgery. She returned to her training in just under three weeks, having completely stopped all medication during that first week back. Within two weeks of training, she returned to competition, playing the WOR Nationals. Continuing to play through that month then leaving for Ireland to compete at the World Championships representing Team USA, where she didn’t lose a single game. She ended her 2007-2008 season as the world's #1 ranked player as well as the World Outdoor Racquetball Women’s Champion.
FOCUS NOW, THIS SEASON
Early this year, before the first tour stop of the second half of the 2016-17 season, Rhonda's father Dennis Rajsich passed. Dennis Rajsich was a beloved figure in racquetball and deeply involved in Rhonda's career, frequently traveling with her to most events. For Rhonda, it has been a major re-think in how she tackles her career now. For all of Rhonda's championships and career #1 titles, this time in her career is most unique, given her achievements and her struggle in the rankings of late.
Yet, her focus is dialed in. In March, she managed to make the final only to lose to Paola Longoria, who is probably at her most dominant at this point in her career. To get to that final, she faced a tough draw and willed her way past deficits. Rhonda then traveled to Costa Rica to play in the Pan Am Championships. She managed an upset victory in the finals against Longoria, giving her 3rd Pan Am Championship title. Rhonda then met Paola in the San Antonio, Battle At The Alamo semifinal. Add to that, a ribcage injury Rajsich sustained in a collision with Jessica Parrilla during their quarterfinal in Guadalajara, Mexico and you can get an idea of how Rhonda defines focus. She is no stranger to playing with residual injury, having had to deal with them since 2008. Yet, after her hospital stay in Guadalajara, she managed to return to the States to win a 7th consecutive USA National Singles Championship, her 10th overall. (USA Racquetball also awarded her Female Athlete of the Year.)
Rhonda is focused on finishing out the season strong in Chihuahua, Mexico at the Paola Longoria Challenge, then continuing strong in this career life she has chosen.
Rhonda's take is,"Nothing happens to you, it happens for you."