AKA Women Making Racquetball History Now!
We will feature another woman making racquetball history every Wednesday. Do you know someone else we should be celebrating with this interview and feature process? Drop us a line on Facebook!
Name: Jen O’Meara
Are you a pro player, coach, association board member, tournament organizer, or racquetball broadcaster AKA why do racquetball players know you?
I think players mostly know me either from Cliff’s Facebook page or from behind the tournament desk at the Beach Bash and the 3WallBall Vegas tournaments. I also help run local and state tournaments and am on the Board of the Racquetball Association of Michigan. I organized two of my own tournaments and did some racquetball broadcasting, but that was quite a while ago.
Country of Origin: USA
Place you consider home: Dearborn, Michigan
When & how where you introduced to the competitive side of racquetball?
I played only recreationally when I was growing up. I started playing competitively about ten or eleven years ago. (2011 ish)
Playing hand: Right
Favorite racquetball shot: My first favorite is whichever shot wins the point. My second favorite is a high lob serve that clings to the wall. I like to watch people swing at those, miss, and swear at themselves.
Motivation for the game (what keeps you playing): Bigger and better bruises! Kidding, of course. There’s a lot that keeps me playing. Is there a word limit on these question responses?
Love most about racquetball: Again, lots of answers here. Laughing with friends is at the top of the list. Playing doubles is a must.
Preferred equipment: Cliff Swain Signature Series racquet with Ashaway PowerKill 17 strings. Nike shoes. I wear XS gloves and not many companies make those, so I’m kind of a freelancer when it comes to gloves.
Favorite event: Definitely the Beach Bash in Hollywood, Florida and the 3WallBall Championships in Vegas.
Best results at tournaments you’ve played in:
I won the Mixed Doubles A and Mixed Doubles A Centurion draws at the 2021 US Open – shout out to my partners Roy and Steve. I’m also really proud of the fact that I’ve made it to the Finals in some of our state-level tournaments in the Men’s Open Doubles Centurion bracket.
Day job: I teach Business Communications at Walsh College. Technically I am Dr. Jen O’Meara, but none of my racquetball pals call me that. They do, however, tell me to call them “when I have no class.”
Charity close to your heart: Stand For The Silent. I was bullied non-stop for 12 years in school: Stand for the Silent works to combat school bullying and the horrifyingly frequent child suicides that result from it.
Family shoutout: Mom and Dad. I lost my Dad in early 2020 and miss him dearly. I get my fast hands and speedy reflexes straight from him. Mom is my best friend. She rules, and I will always be her knucklehead kid.
Other sports played in addition to racquetball: I played soccer for years when I was growing up. My hobbies nowadays include unicycling (read that as “falling off a unicycle”), polymer clay, and most recently, tap dancing.
What can we do to activate more female players? Damn. If we knew, we would have already done it.
How do you feel is the best way to help grow the sport of racquetball? Recruit more younger players, but again – if we really knew what to do to grow the sport, I feel like we would already be working on it.
If you could bring one thing back from racquetball past – what would it be and why? The support and popularity of the game.
What do you do to train? *this space intentionally left blank*
What is the biggest challenge you face right now as it comes to racquetball, and how do you work to overcome that challenge? My personal challenge is that I would like to get more involved with a couple of racquetball organizations, but I simply do not have time. I haven’t really found a good way to overcome this one except to do what I can, when I can.