Athletes are always looking for an edge on the court or their field of play and many times that is with the equipment they use. For almost 100 years, Wilson has been making equipment not only for world class athletes but club and recreational athletes as well. From shoes to balls, to golf clubs to tennis racquets and accessories, Wilson has set the standard around the world.
John Lyons – Wilson Tennis
At Wilson, John oversees the development of innovative new tennis equipment including racquets, strings, balls and stringing machines. John knows the world of tennis through his professional career as a tournament level player, a buyer for a large chain of tennis specialty shops, a professional racquet stringer on the pro tour and a product manager developing racquets for professional and recreational players.
Tennis has experienced many technology changes over the past 15 years and thought it would be great for John to come on and talk about that and where tennis is heading in the future.
1. What you do a great job at, is staying at the forefront of tennis technology and making great products. How far ahead do you look, when considering how rapidly technology in sports changes?
2. Like any sport, tennis is about trends. 25-30 years ago it was all about going away from wood racquets to oversized and aluminum, metal and composite frames.. how much did that change the sport?
3. 10-15 years ago the trend was thicker frames. Recreational players really benefited from that, less work to generate power. Some of the pros tried the wide-body frames, but why didn’t that really take off like it did with the rec or club player?
4. What would be the big trend or selling point in racquets today? And what is selling well for Wilson right now?
5. How much are the racquets that pros use different from the ones that we can buy off the shelf at a sporting goods store or buy on the internet?
6. Does tennis going “high tech” help make the sport more popular? Pros, rec level, and juniors…
7. Maybe give your opinion and Wilson’s stance on the USTA and their 10- and under tennis initiative. I know it’s early and it’s something new, but they are really pushing it…
8. Moving off of racquets, strings have become so important and have impacted the game almost as much as racquets. It used to be, I’d tell the stringer to put some Leonia 66 in the frame and use it for about a week before it would break.
9. Are you constantly getting feedback from touring and teaching pros on the equipment and do you take that into account when developing products.
10. What does it mean for Wilson to have the No. 1 women’s player in Victoria Azarenka right now and a player like Roger Federer for his whole career?
11. What is going to be new with accessories like grips, stringing machines, balls, etc..
12. The one piece of modern technology you can’t live without in your professional or personal life?