Lisa Duncan -- PTR Member of the Year
By Barbara Long
As early as kindergarten, Lisa Duncan had decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and go into education. Then, at age 12, standing outside the tennis courts unable to afford lessons, she added another goal: making tennis easily available and affordable. It was the start of her love affair with the sport.
“Lisa’s knowledge of teaching principles and of tennis is a powerful and effective combination,” says Dan Santorum, the CEO of the PTR. “When you add in her passion, inspiration, and enthusiasm, you have someone who is quite special.”
Duncan’s philosophy is simple. “For people to really learn tennis, they have to be actively engaged and moving and playing games,” she says. And they need to have fun, which is what Duncan has provided to thousands over the last 35 years. But she also teaches the teachers — as a USA Tennis National Trainer for Recreational Coaches and a workshop developer for the PTR. And for all her efforts, Duncan, of Lancaster, Pa., is RSI’s 2005 PTR Member of the Year.
A sought-after clinician and guest speaker for the USTA, PTR, and other groups, Duncan has written five “Teaching Tennis” curriculum books. In 1999 she received the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Educational Merit Award, and in 2005 the USTA/PTR Community Service Award. Currently, Duncan works for the Twin Valley School District in Pennsylvania.
For Duncan, though, the thrill is in knowing that the people she teaches will go out and affect the lives of thousands of children. “It’s all about the relationships,” she says. “Tennis is a vehicle to get to people.”
Lisa Duncan’s tips for success
- Take time to understand what students’ needs are.
- Have students actively engaged at least 90 percent of the time.
- Establish a safe learning environment so learners can take risks and learning is actually realized.