Meet The Pros: Bill Wilson

by elizaled on Oct 5, 2016

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bill-wilson-in-action Bill Wilson at the US Open in Naples, Florida

Many of the nations best players came to be recognized for their ability at the US OPEN in Naples this year.  Bill is an East coast star pickleball player and all-around athlete who was introduced to pickleball in his later years. We're all impressed with his ability and dedication to physical fitness. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2016 New Hampshire State Senior Games Men's Doubles with Paul Hawkes and Men's Singles- Gold
2016 Maine State Senior Games Men's Doubles with Paul Hawkes and Men's Singles- Gold
2016 Massachusetts State Senior Games Men's Doubles with Paul Hawkes and Men's Singles- Gold
2016 US Open Men's Singles 75-79 - Gold

2015 New Hampshire State Master Games Singles 70-74 - Gold
2015 Massachusetts State Senior Games Singles 70-74 - Gold
2015 Vermont State Senior Games Singles 70-74 - Gold
2015 Atlantic Regional Men's Doubles 70-74 - Gold
2014 New England Singles Championship, Senior Division - Gold

What paddle do you play with and why?

I use the Paddletek Phoenix Pro because it gives me more power when playing singles.

What's your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

I was a recreational tennis player, but as I grew older I couldn't find people my age to play singles. About seven years ago I was sitting on the beach in Anna Maria Island, Florida with my wife. A man approached me who I didn't know. He commented that I was in great shape and asked if I played tennis. I told him I did. Then he asked if I had ever heard of pickleball. I replied that I didn't know what he was talking about! He explained that they had  a small group playing two nights per week at the community center and invited us to come. We watched and were hooked from the first time we started playing.

What's your preference - playing indoor or outdoor?

I prefer outdoors. There's no wait time and I can work on my tan.

bill-wilson-us-openDo you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I prefer singles because I am addicted to working out. Singles is a much better workout.

What's your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite place to play is wherever I can find players who are better than I am.  I believe that's the best way to prepare for tournaments.  I play ten to fourteen tournaments per year.

What's your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

My 'secret sauce' is being in better physical condition than my opponent.  My tip for players is to practice and do drills.  If you don't practice and do drills, you will never get better. Pickleball is so much fun that you will rarely find someone who wants to practice; but you should do drills for a half hour before or after you play.

What's your day job?

I am a thirty-year weightlifter. I work out four hours per day, five days a week. I do an hour lifting weights, an hour power walk, and two hours of pickleball. If you wish to see my weightlifting workout, go to YouTube and type 'Old School Weightlifting' in the search bar. (My wife calls it 'Old Fool Weightlifting.')

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

In a perfect week, it would be two hours per week for six days of the week. Pickleball is my priority after family and weightlifting.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

I spend at least two weeks before a big tournament playing singles against 30 and 40 year-old players. That really prepares me for playing men my own age.

Bill Wilson at the New Hampshire State Games Bill Wilson at the New Hampshire State Games

Do you have any pickleball goals you'd like to share?

In the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, I didn't finish in the top three in men's singles. At the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama, I would like to finish in the top three.

Anything else you'd like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I'm smart enough to know that I am not one of the best pickleball players in the world. I've seen and played with many of them. However, I believe I am one of the top players in my age group 75-79.

You are certainly one of the best all-around athletes on the planet, Bill.  Thanks for sharing some of your pickleball story!