A Day in the Life of a Tennis Pro
By Donna Siskind
It starts before sunrise, heading to the courts for what will surely be another long day. Since the rain dance the night before was not successful, he will arrive and prepare for a day full of ladies’ league tennis followed by the smiling and excited faces of the kids coming from school to chase that fuzzy yellow ball around the courts. But first things first, as you see not only is Barry Myers the Director of Tennis at Heathrow Country Club, he is also a teaching pro. His day begins with lessons at 7am followed by team clinics. If he’s lucky he will get a chance to grab a bite to eat before settling into his desk chair to take care of his administrative duties. As Tennis Director Barry wears many hats which require: management and development of the tennis program; budgeting; overseeing grounds maintenance and the Pro Shop; scheduling of the courts and other tennis professionals; directing the always popular and successful annual Spring Fling tournament; and let’s not forget the most challenging task of all–resolving any issues pertaining to the club’s ladies’ league teams. Once his Director duties are complete, it’s time to hit the courts as the young after school students begin to arrive. Teaching the younger players takes on a whole different role than teaching adults. Most avid adult tennis players especially the ladies, find the joy from tennis not only in clinics, but also on Match Day, and finding just that perfect new uniform. The youngsters, on the other hand, still have that gleam in their eye as they hit their first ball over the net, and a good teaching pro is always searching for new ways to keep them excited about the game. These are the students who serve as a reminder of why he began to play, for the love of the game.
For some, all of this may seem to be a daunting job, but for Barry it has become second nature. After all, 28 years is a long time to call one club your home. They say you either love it or hate it, and from the look of his always smiling face it is clear that this was what he was meant to do. He has watched as youngsters grow-up to move on with their lives and developed lifelong friendships with entire families that he has met on the courts. Being a successful tennis professional like Barry requires one to have an outgoing personality, be a bit of a mediator, an observant supervisor, marketer, accountant and let’s not forget meteorologist for those rainy mornings when court conditions are unfavorable and the question, “When will the courts be dry?” is phoned in over and over. It’s the tennis professionals like Barry who go the extra mile that you will always be fond of. I have been known to say, “…so many pros, so little time…”, and my belief is that from every tennis professional there is something to be learned. A good tennis Pro can leave you with knowledge and new skills, but a great tennis Pro, like Barry, will leave you wanting more and developing a true love for the sport. Barry Myers is one of a kind!
Thank you to Linda Peters for her editing expertise on this story.