Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) is sad to inform the tennis world of the passing of its founder, former chairman and president, Dennis Van der Meer. After a lengthy illness, Van der Meer passed quietly with his loving wife, Pat, by his side. He was 86.
“Dennis was a mentor, friend, educator and advocate for countless tennis coaches around the world,” said Dan Santorum, PTR CEO. “Dennis embodied the PTR mantra – he truly Made a World of Difference.”
Indeed, Van der Meer dedicated his life to tennis, more importantly to coaching. He was the teacher among teachers, constantly seeking information on biomechanics, methodology and techniques. As an innovator in the field of tennis education, Van der Meer believed in sharing knowledge.
During the early stages of PTR, known then as USPTR, Van der Meer found that only limited educational materials existed for tennis teaching professionals. So, he set about to provide a series of handbooks and manuals by assembling the finest educators to write on their areas of expertise. To compliment the vast collection of written materials, he produced a large number of videos illustrating teaching techniques. Since the mid-1970s, hundreds of thousands worldwide have learned to teach tennis in ways developed by Dennis Van der Meer.
“The industry lost a legend this week,” said Karl Hale, PTR Board President. “Dennis did more for the growth of tennis and coaching education than any one individual in the history of the game.”
Van der Meer also touched countless lives through his Standard Method of teaching, World Class Academy and TennisUniversity. The boy who grew up traveling through African villages with missionary parents became a coach so renowned that Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Amanda Coetzer and others, sought his expertise.
Although tennis lost an icon, he will live on in generations of tennis coaches and players to come. Known for his uncanny ability to remember the name of everyone he met, his name will live on in our hearts. Dennis Van der Meer’s legacy will live on forever.
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 16,300 members in 125 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.