The Week at Wilson with Blair Rickers: December 7th

Hello Dealers,

Winter is here.  I hope everyone is gearing up for the holiday season.

It’s OFFICIAL – WILSON is the ball of the OTA

Wilson is back as the official ball of the OTA.  Along with our status as the official ball of Tennis Canada, any tournament you run should be using Wilson.   Any player who is aspiring for tournament play should be hitting the court with our ball.  In fact, to make it easy, everyone should be using Wilson Tennis balls, all the time!!!

If you are a club that runs tournaments, make sure your monthly bookings are increased to allow for tournament usage.

Booking Orders are Due NOW

I love working with all the dealers out there.  Please get your booking orders in ASAP so I will be around to work with you again in 2012.  THANKS for your help.

Hats the Way It Is

For the first time in a couple of years we have some tremendous ball caps for on court use.  Check out the new headwear on pages 74 and 75 in our brochure.  The Tour Cap is a solid standard ball cap, the Performance Cap comes in all white or black/white and is lightweight and breathable, perfect for those hot summer days.  The bucket hat is a great looking option for when you want kick it back old school style.


We have a wonderful line-up of bags for 2012 and we brought a few in early for Christmas.  If you need the perfect present for your tennis pals check out the Tour Nine, Six and Backpacks with your local retailers.  These red and white bags are perfect for the serious or casual player.

One and Five Out Early

In addition to the bags, we are also launching a couple of frames for pre-Christmas sales.  The ONE BLX is a 118 square inch rocket launcher for players with compact strokes wanting more power.  For players demanding a perfect blend of Power, Control and Comfort we have the FIVE BLX.  Utilizing Triad technology, the FIVE offers a softer feel and less vibration, your club level players will love it.

Back from the ‘Burgh

Cheryl and I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh, PA.  Our trip got off to a rough start when we were pulled over at the border for over an hour.  Apparently the computer still had me listed as “Resident Alien” status.  The border guards were afraid of me taking up permanent residence in the US.   After finger prints and a barrage of paperwork they let me go with a stern warning.  We were then able to make a quick and unsuccessful stop in Grove City, home of a huge outlet mall.  We arrived downtown in time for a late dinner of wings and nachos.  My body is starting to recover from going three days without fruits or vegetables (the chicken wings did come with a couple celery sticks).  Saturday morning we hit the Strip District for some souvenir shopping.  My first purchase was a breakfast bagel with steak, eggs, zucchini (hey, I did have some veggies), hot peppers and hot sauce.  It took an hour on the treadmill to work that meal out of my system.  The Strip is awesome, Steelers gear and food galore, all being sold by 320 pound men named Vinnie, Sal or Paulie.  Saturday afternoon brought more shopping at a local mall, again we were not that successful, and then it was back to the hotel for a run and swim.  We had a fun dinner with a friend of mine from high school.  His wife is very nice, but her politics would be to the right of Rush Limbaugh.  Cheryl gave me high marks for keeping my mouth shut.

Sunday morning I went out for a nice run around the city.  As I ran around Heinz Field the tailgaters were already getting into the spirit at 9:00 am with bacon and eggs on their grills and either orange juice or Yeungling in their glasses.  Cheryl and I walked over to the stadium around 11:00 and picked up our tickets from a very nice and helpful scalper.  We grabbed a burger at Jerome Bettis’ Grill 36 and then headed into the stadium.  The seats were not great, but the weather was beautiful and Steelers rocked the Bengals.  I would guess that 9 out of 10 people at the game were wearing jerseys.  Whether you are 10 or 90, you are sporting Steeler garb.  There are a lot of Big Ben #7’s, a few Harrision 92’s and you are starting to see a lot of Wallace #17, but I believe the most popular by far would be Troy Polamalu # 43.  Antonio Brown had a couple of spectacular plays, including a 60 yard punt return TD that broke the game wide open..  Hines Ward caught a pass to go over 12,000 yards receiving.  If he can grab 10 more passes this year he’ll hit a 1000 for his career, which should push him over the top for entry into the Hall of Fame.

I was actually a little hesitant to make the pilgrimage down to PA this year because I did not think we could possibly have as much fun as last year. I was wrong.

That is all for now. Have a great week.

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.