Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), is pleased to announce the kickoff of its new Mentor Program. The program honors the legacy of PTR Founder, Dennis Van der Meer, who recognized the need for industry leaders to help guide, shape and foster earnest professionals in the areas of community, business and athletic development, as well as club management.
PTR gathered 50 highly qualified mentors, who were selected from the organization’s top experts and International Master Professionals, based on their expertise and knowledge in specific areas, and their willingness to take part in the program. The first mentor training was conducted earlier this month by the founder of Growing Champions for Life, David Benzel, who was selected for his expertise in leadership, communication and character development.
To find mentees for the inaugural stage of the program, PTR emailed an open application to all certified members in the USA. Fifty were selected and, based on their goals, matched with a mentor.
“A lot went into the pairing process,” said Marc Stingley, PTR Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator and staff liaison for the program. “In addition to matching the specific goals and aspirations of the mentee with the expertise of the mentor, we also tried to ensure they were as close geographically as possible.”
For the first year, the PTR Mentor Program was kept to the 50:50 ratio for manageability. Through quarterly evaluations, surveys and reports, success will be monitored, and if necessary, adjustments made to expand the program in 2019. Currently 27 states are represented by mentees, with 41% coaches of color, and 39% women.
“We recognized a gap in the industry that can make career advancements difficult for someone who doesn’t know the ropes,” explained Stingley. “The PTR Mentor Program is about far more than on court coaching. The program is a two way street; mentees network and learn, while mentors give back by sharing their knowledge.
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals and coaches with nearly 16,500 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 serving tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.