Recently my son, Sean- my doubles partner for summer grass courts, sent me a text-- Dad, we are number one in New England for Senior Father Son and number nine National for 2021. It was great news. I had no idea how they figure this stuff. We were a match point away from being number two in the country, he said. And now we are at our clubs, teaching for those who believe we offer something of value during a conflicted time in the history. Tennis gives us a meditation that is never lost no matter what circumstances come our way--personal struggles, injuries, health, pandemics, or wars. We look to the Spring with hope for grass tennis court competitions, stronger minds, bodies and spirit and firm resolve to improve ourselves (on and off the court).
Everyone receives challenges in life. It's how we deal with the “at bat” that defines us. As I look back down the bumpy road I live I feel gratitude. They say that if you stay in one place long enough the whole world passes you by. It’s true. The secret to life is bringing it to you and then, taking it with you! There’s grass at Longwood, Newport, and in New York, the bike rides to the Sports Center, Harbor Head, West Falmouth Ball Park, and the beach runs with Mandy (my Coon Hound running mate) and Cal, my grand dog puppy of Kara’s.
I've been teaching tennis since the summer of 1977 as a graduate of Falmouth High on Cape Cod. Not getting cut my freshman year was my goal. My training regime included hitting on a backboard daily for hours on the public courts in West Falmouth and hitting with anyone who showed up. The sound of tennis balls were constant during the seventies. I would set up matches every night on the phone. Being a tall lefty with a good serve and volleys, doubles became my forte. My high school doubles partner, Jim Estes (owner of the Landfall in Woods Hole) and I made it to the quarter finals of the south section in Brockton of my senior year.
That fall I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where I barely walked (recovering from mono) on a Division 1 tennis team. There must have been 60 players who tried out and were 50 tennis courts on campus. I made it to the last cut and was told - "Pease you’re cut!” I asked Coach Steve Williams (former #1 at Virginia and a traveling pro for the New England Nets) if I could help in practice by feeding balls and hitting serves to players. He agreed. That year I moved up the team ladder to the top 12 and received a letter. By my senior year I finished my college career at #6 singles for one day, despite an ACL injury, and received a degree in Sport Management.
In the Fall of 1982 I took a Tennis Directorship of the Falmouth Sports Center and created five amazing children over the years. My oldest Scott, taught tennis for me and has sadly passed, Eric USPTA now teaches at the Marion, MA Indoor and the Menauhant Yacht Club, Sean USPTA at Cedardale in Haverhill, MA, Kara USPTA with me in Falmouth, and Matt, who lives in Charleston, S.C., works and is a part-time student.
Billie Jean King!
We met and coached at a Team Tennis Clinic sponsored by Dominos Pizza, in Danvers, Ma, where we coached the volley station together. Again we met as fellow USTA High Performance classmates in Chicago. Billie believes in team and having men and women compete together. Remember her and Bobby Riggs playing for battle of the sexes?
Vic founded his own teaching academy for teaching pros and offered adult tennis camps. His slogan was that he could make you "famous by Friday". Vic was personable, made you laugh, and used biomechanics before it was an industry. I taught for Vic at his adult summer tennis camps for adults in New Seabury on Cape Cod, Ma.
Dennis Van Der Meer!
Dennis founded the USPTR. I studied for my teaching certification and worked my way up to a National Tester for teaching pros and established the PTR New England as it’s first President. Dennis’ teaching progressions has helped my ability to teach large groups.
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life!”
This quote is from Arthur. He commanded the audience of teaching pros with great respect and thoughtfulness. I met Arthur on Hilton Head, S.C. while attending a PTR conference where I played the National PTR open singles and doubles.
I have certification's and awards from the USPTA, USPTR, USTA High Performance, and Wilson.
Throughout the years I've held New England and National USTA rankings, including #1 Father Son and Father Daughter in New England (Current), #1 National Senior Father Son New England (Current), #19 National Father Son, and #1 Doubles in Men's 45 Doubles in New England. Playing family tennis is a huge part of my life! We always try to get a hit in.
Doubles is a great game. You are part of a team.