Jack, you had what some might consider your best season as a professional this year, how would you rate it?
I would say that I played the most consistent this past year compared to years past.
You have been going through a tough summer working on a new contract, how is that going and how has it affected you mentally?
I recently signed a long term commitment with Head/Penn. I have confidence in the staff, and more importantly confidence in our great product, which will be major influences in me finishing number 1 this year and years to come. Knowing that I will finish my career with HEAD/Penn gives me tremendous confidence coming into the season.
You currently reside in Detroit how surprised are you of the Tigers play this season and do you have faith that they will make the post season?
I have always been a huge fan of Detroit sports teams, especially the Tigers. They have played fantastic ball this season. They have been fun to watch this year and I expect them in the World Series.
You recently graduated from college this past year, what did you get your degree in and will you be continuing on to further you education?
By far, my biggest accomplishment in my life has been earning my Bachelor’s of Science in General Management from Oakland University. I will be commencing my Masters of Business Administration this winter.
You had one of the greatest players in racquetball history Mike Yellen hail from your city. Did he have an influence on your game?
I consider Mike Yellen the greatest player to have played the game of racquetball. Mike’s coach was Leonard Karpeles. One of my first racquetball coaches was Jim Hamilton, who was a predecessor of Leonard’s. I also had the privilege of spending some time with Leonard as well.
Who has biggest influence on your game today?
What other sports did you compete in growing up?
I competed in every sport growing up, with the exception of football and basketball. My second favorite sport growing up was hockey, then baseball.
You have earned the opportunity to play for the U.S.A. in international competition. What is the attraction and motivation to play on Team USA?
There is no greater honor for an athlete then to represent his country. Having the opportunity to play for my country is a distinct privilege. Competing with Team USA provides the opportunity to meet and interact with people from many different countries, who otherwise might not have the opportunity. Competing internationally also provides my sponsors the ability to enhance product knowledge to new markets.
What advice would you have for the young racquetball player aspiring to play someday on the IRT?
The first piece of advice is to stay in school to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree. The competitive work environment is constantly evolving and the only way to gain a competitive advantage over the workforce is to have continued education. Education should never stop!
A young player should have a constant thirst for knowledge towards racquetball and life. There is not one way to play, one way to win, nor one way to succeed in sport or life. A professional athlete understands this and uses this to his advantage. Above all, an athlete respects his sport, his fans, his opponents and himself. Because of this, he should be an upstanding citizen and role model. And always remember where you came from and be gracious in passing your knowledge onto other people.
Of all your titles you have on the IRT what would be your most satisfying win?
Every win is precious, but my most memorable IRT moment would be winning my first pro stop in Boston.
If you could change one thing with the pro tour as it is today what would that be?
I would like to see more young players in the ring.
What has consumed your time so far this off-season?
I am always busy training. But I have enjoyed the opportunity working with Doug Ganim, Ben Simons, and the excellent staff at HEAD/Penn. We have a lot of new and exciting things planned for the season.
What is your major goal for the upcoming IRT season?
To win every event!
Jack, thank you for taking the time to let the fans know a little more about you and we look forward to watching you compete next season on the IRT.
My pleasure. If anyone has any questions about training, or the new HEAD/Penn product, please introduce yourself to me at the next event and you can talk my ear off. I look forward to seeing everyone on tour.