Our Founder, Dennis Van der Meer

Dennis Van der Meer

A 2021 International Hall of Famer, Dennis was the founder of the Professional Tennis Registry Foundation (PTR Foundation), Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and the Van Der Meer Tennis University. 

The legendary coach was known worldwide as the “Teacher of teachers,” for his innovative teaching and coaching techniques. He conceptualized the ‘Standard Teaching Method’. He kept moving with the times, and recognized the fundamental method of teaching tennis has to be consistent but not without modifications.

Dennis has received numerous awards for teaching and coaching:

  • “Olympic Developmental Coach of the Year” in 1997
  • An honorary doctorate from the University of Greenwich, England
  • Inducted into the following USTA Hall of Fames- S.Carolina, Southern, N. California.
  • Inaugural Inductee into the TIA Hall of Fame (2008)

Dennis became one of the first registered coaches of both the ATP and WTA and has coached hundreds of nationally and internationally ranked professional and junior players throughout his career, including World champions in singles and doubles. He served as coach for both Billie Jean King and Margaret Court for the landmark “Battle of the Sexes” in the 70’s. 

A believer in the concept of tennis for everyone, Dennis developed courses and manuals for teaching wheelchair tennis and adaptive techniques. Dennis always had an uncanny knack for finding the best, most efficient way to help players reach their maximum potential, a trait he imparted to all professionals over his long career.

A message from PTRF Chairman, Scott Tharp:

I’m often asked, “What is the Professional Tennis Registry Foundation (PTRF)?”  The formal answer is, “It’s a 501 © (3) registered charity that serves as the charitable arm of the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).  It was created and initially funded by PTR founder, Dennis Van deer Meer, with the simple mission of making tennis available to everyone.”

But – to those that the PTRF has supported, it’s so much more:

  • It’s life changing.
  • It’s a brand-new world, for children who have never laid eyes on a tennis court.
  • It’s the beginning of life-long friendships for those that have never been part of a team.
  • It’s learning how to lose with grace and win with humility.
  • It’s harnessing the crucible of competition and the power of collaboration to help countless young people reveal strength of character.
  • It’s a helping hand.
  • It’s hope where before there may have been none.
  • It’s the first pair of real tennis shoes – a first tennis racquet.
  • It’s the stuff boys and girls need to know about life but aren’t taught in schools.
  • It’s where so many NJTL participants first fell in love with reading.
  • It’s getting A’s because a coach you look up to demanded it.
  • It’s turning a D into a C because someone helped you.
  • It’s a scholarship to help defray the cost of college.
  • It’s the confidence gained from earning certification to teach the game that you love.
  • It’s a first job, and the only one you’ll ever really want.
  • It’s engaging with those who believe in you, even when you might not.
  • It’s an opportunity to figure out who you were meant to be.
  • It’s family.