Tennis Industry Hall of Fame: Peter Burwash Honored As Industry HOF Inductee
Bringing tennis to the world is the legacy of Peter Burwash — as a player, coach, author, motivational speaker and founder of Peter Burwash International (PBI), the largest tennis management company in the world. Burwash, through his many activities, has reached millions of players over his career.
And on Aug. 31, Burwash will be become the 10th inductee into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame, in a ceremony during the TIA Tennis Forum at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, just before the first ball is struck at the 2015 US Open.
For Burwash, tennis has been a great metaphor for life. “Tennis teaches you all the important things, all the things you need to know,” he says. “It teaches you to stand on your own, to be patient, to know that there are going to be losses, and to learn from those losses. From tennis, you learn that you’re not going to have a good day every day. It also teaches you to change directions because life is not a straight path. It teaches you to ask yourself, ‘What can I try next because this isn’t working?’”
Burwash grew up in Canada and competed on the ATP Tour from 1967 to 1974, winning 19 international singles and doubles titles. He is a former No. 1-ranked player for Canada and was a member of Canada’s Davis Cup team.
In 1975, he founded PBI, which manages tennis operations at some of the finest resorts and private clubs in 32 countries. Throughout his career, Burwash has stressed to tennis professionals the importance of customer service, commitment to excellence and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
The work of teaching tennis, he adds, becomes something of a calling. “We’re not just in the tennis business; we’re in the service profession. Whatever it takes, we have to be of service. That’s really become my guiding philosophy.”
Because of his commitment to the sport, PBI teaching pros come to their posts with intensive training (450 hours worth to start, then dozens of hours of retraining). PBI pros learn not just teaching methods, but facility management, resort operations, financial management and more. It’s that depth of background that can make all the difference between a worker at a facility and a partner in the success of the operation, Burwash says.
A certified sports physiologist and nutritionist and a sought-after speaker for Fortune 500 companies, Burwash wrote the popular book “Tennis for Life,” which has sold over 1 million copies. In total, he’s written 11 books on topics that include service, leadership, health, fitness and personal development. He has also been a tennis television commentator. In 1995, he received the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Educational Merit Award.
“We’re thrilled to have Peter as our 2015 inductee into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame,” says Jeff Williams, chair of the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Committee and a member of the TIA board of directors. “The title of Peter’s book, ‘Tennis for Life,’ perfectly sums up his philosophy about our sport. His vision has always been about bringing tennis and good service to the world and using tennis as a vehicle for improving people’s lives.”
“I’ve loved tennis ever since I first picked up a racquet at age 12,” says Burwash, who now resides in Carmel Valley, Calif. “Our business for the last 40 years has been all about helping people to play tennis and enjoy the game. It’s wonderful to receive this recognition for doing something you love. Although this is an individual honor, it would not have happened without the dedication and loyalty of so many PBI professionals.”
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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