Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy 28th Birthday Jack Huczek!

Tempus fugit. Time flies. Yes, this is a cliché, but it's also a truth. No more better proof for it than the fact that today Jack Huczek is 28 years old. Twenty eight! Racquetball's wonder kid is no longer a kid.

Two years ago The Racquetball Blog also acknowledged this day stating Huczek's "built one of the strongest career records in racquetball. In years to come, when people talk about the best players of all time, they will have to consider [Huczek] in the discussion."

That's still true. However, in the last year things haven't gone as well for Huczek. A commonly known guideline of learning is that it takes 10 years to become an expert at something. A less commonly known thought is that athletic careers will often last 20 years: 10 years to get to the top followed by 10 years at the top, and then athletes often feel that's enough. Time to do something else.

Huczek won the Boys 8 and under World Junior title in 1992 and won 10 consecutive World Junior titles, two in each age division until 2002. A remarkable record that's unlikely to be broken or even equaled, but it means he's been at the top of racquetball for about 20 years. How much longer can we expect him to continue?

Huczek's career could continue for some time, but we wonder about how much he'll want to continue, especially so as he's been #1 on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), been World Champion (three times), been Pan Am Games champion, but now has been losing to players he didn't lose to before, like Ben Croft, Alvaro Beltran and Chris Crowther, as well as losing to players he was previously level with in Rocky Carson and Kane Waselenchuk.

Thus, while we celebrate Jack Huczek's birthday and career today, we're hoping that we'll be celebrating his career in present tense - rather than past tense - for some years to come.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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