Originally Published: October 28, 2014 6 a.m.
It's not easy coming into a new area and being the newest tennis professional in a smaller town. Trying to create a clientele of players to help teach the game to as well as making enough money in the business to stay alive.
Well, Eric Meyers is in that position as the Tennis Director/Head Professional at the Prescott Athletic and Tennis Club located at One Kingswood Drive here in Prescott.
Eric isn't foreign to our area. He attended Yavapai College in the past and has played many a tournament here over the years, as well as being on quite a few of our USTA League teams. But he's well known in the Sedona area having taught tennis there at so many beautiful sites in the past decade. One of them, the Enchantment Resort, is a destination spot for people from all over the world, and Eric was there many years helping hundreds with their tennis.
Eric looks forward to becoming acquainted with each and every one of the players in the area, and can be reached by calling 928-300-3422.
Read on to learn a little more about Eric and his tennis journey.
Q: You're the new Tennis Director/Head Pro at the Prescott Athletic and Racquet Club. What are your primary goals there?
A: I want to serve club members and grow the club's tennis programs. Eventually I hope to have at least one activity a day.
Q: Tell us a little of your tennis experience, where you've worked, and how long you've been in the tennis business.
A: I've been teaching tennis since 1992. I started at Yavapai College and have worked in Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma over the years. In Sedona, I've worked at Los Abrigados, Enchantment Resort and Poco Diablo. I became certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association at age 29 after attending the Tyler Jr. College Tennis Tech program.
Q: What prompted you to become a tennis professional?
A: I saw it as the next step to my playing career.
Q: As a player, do you still enjoy playing in tournaments and different competition?
A: Yes. I still play whenever I get a chance. In 2014, I played on five United States Tennis Association teams and was awarded the 2014 open player award.
Q: You went to college at Tyler (Texas) to become a tennis professional. What did you think about their program?
A: I'd recommend it to anyone interested in becoming a teaching pro. For two years, we trained as a class. We were on the court daily, giving lessons to one another. After that, we took the USPTA certification test.
Q: Teaching methods are an important aspect of bringing players along. Do you have any special techniques that you'd like to tell our readers about?
A: Being USPTA certified, I am a student of the game - for life. This enables me to share cutting-edge methods of both old school tennis as well as the modern game.
Q: Your best memorable moment and your not so memorable moment in the tennis world would be:
A: Memorable: Taking the USPTA test and passing with a P-3 rating (beginner teacher). I was on my way to becoming the elite professional I am today.
Not so memorable: My greatest teacher, my father Howard Edward Meyers, Ph.D., passed away in 1997. He played until the age of 73 and sparked my interest in the game.
Q: Moving to Prescott from the Sedona/Verde Valley area isn't really a far move, but what will you miss from that area?
A: I'll miss my local tennis friends who have helped my playing and teaching styles develop over the years.
Q: It seems the hardest part of making a living in teaching tennis is acquiring a clientele. What are you doing to put a hook in people mouths?
A: I'm participating with members in their tennis groups at the club, as well as offering a wide variety of programs for members. I'll also be offering gift certificates. Why not give someone you love the gift of tennis this holiday season?
Q: Any special tennis events planned going into the colder months at the club we should know about?
A: In November, I'm starting USA Tennis Level 1 programs for adults and juniors. Each group will meet twice a week to hone their fundamentals. Learn the basics of the forehand, backhand, serve, volley and groundstrokes with the goal of entering USTA league play at 3.0.
Q: What's something we don't know about Eric Meyers that we'd like to know?
A: I'm 100 percent South Dakota Sioux. I was blessed at 2-1/2 to be adopted off the reservation. My adoptive parents, Howard and Liela Meyers, have stood behind me 100 percent in all my tennis endeavors.
Q: Parting thoughts you would like to throw out?
A: I'm truly excited to be a part of Prescott Athletic & Tennis Club. I invite everyone to meet me at the club. Take a lesson for half price and meet some of the club's other programs.
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.