WPH Tournament Preparation Series: Leo Canales’s Transformation

Posted on Apr 2 2024 - 6:23am by DV

Taking Your Game to the Next Level

WPH Instructional, Tucson, AZ, 2/13/24

After reaching the finals of the May 2023 Race 4 Eight Player’s Championship, Leo Canales started the 2023/24 Race 4 Eight season with a disappointing thirteenth place finish at the Tucson Memorial. Canales bounced back, becoming the only player on the 2023/24 Race 4 Eight tour to improve his finish in each event, improving from 13th at the 2023 Memorial to 9th at the 2023 R48 Icebreaker to 6th at the 2024 Chapman to 2nd at the 2024 Red Death.

How did he transform his game from early November until early February? Let’s find out, as Leo breaks down what and how he transformed his game.

Bouncing Back After The Memorial

After losing at the Memorial, I knew I needed more court time and needed to go into tournament matches with a different mindset.

Changing Mindset

I felt like I wasn’t being aggressive enough and just content with hitting the ball to the ceiling and hoping for my opponent to make mistakes. Going into the Red Death, I told myself to take more chances and to play with more intensity. I went in with a serve and shoot strategy and was able to convert on a lot of my kill shot attempts.

Training Routine

From the end of the Memorial to the Red Death tournament, I really focused on my training. I began playing 2-3 times a week and at least 5-6 games every time I played. I feel like that really helped me gain more confidence in my shots and helped with my endurance. Along with practice matches, I have been practicing at least two days by myself, mainly focusing on my serve, back wall shot and my fly kill. All the court time has helped me start making better contact with the ball.


That (more court time) along with playing with a higher intensity and more aggressive style I think is what led to me having a good result at the Red Death.

Thank you to 2024 Red Death finalist Leo Canales for sharing how he transformed his game from the November 2023 Memorial to the February 2024 Red Death.

Stay tuned for upcoming WPH Tournament Preparation Series features.

Read more of WPH Tournament Preparation Series HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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