PTR Member of the Year: Rodney Harmon
Over the course of his 30-year career, Rodney Harmon has been recognized as a standout college player, touring pro and coach. For his willingness to share his expertise while remaining committed to lifelong learning, he is RSI’s PTR Member of the Year.
“From his outstanding college tennis career that led to a successful run on the ATP Tour to his transformation into one of the top tennis coaches in the world, Rodney has made a significant contribution to tennis,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum.
A member of the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, Harmon made a mark with his all-court game at the University of Tennessee and Southern Methodist University. He reached the quarterfinals of the US Open men’s singles in 1982 and turned pro the following year, earning a No. 56 world ranking with wins over Guillermo Vilas, Brian Gottfried, and Tim Mayotte.
After his playing days, Harmon was the men’s coach at the University of Miami, the USTA’s director of multicultural development, director of men’s tennis for USTA High Performance, and the U.S. men’s coach at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Today, he shares his experience through the Tennis Channel, as director of tennis at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., and as a speaker at PTR events. He is also a longtime supporter of the PTR’s ACE program, which helps bring more diversity to the coaching ranks.
“It was through the PTR that I learned how to teach the fundamentals to adults and young players,” Harmon says. “I’m a very proud member of the PTR.”
Tips for success
- As a student, to get the most out of a lesson, communicate what you want to accomplish and ask questions.
- Write down take-away points at the end of each practice, and review these notes prior to the next session.
- As a teaching pro, be passionate and remain committed to improving as a coach, just as your players strive for excellence in their games.
- Learn from everyone (other coaches, experts, etc.) and everything (professional development workshops, television commentary, etc.).
See all articles by Cynthia Cantrell
About the Author
Cynthia Cantrell is a contributing editor of RSI magazine.