Teaching tennis is not Brenda Mertz's only interest in life, but it has been her professional passion for 23 years.
"I love to teach more than anything else," said this Professional 1 member of USPTA. "I became a pro because watching people have so much fun from a simple thing made me very happy."
Brenda has played the game since 1975. Her brother, who had competed on his high school team, took her to the tennis court "and I never looked back," she said.
Brenda and her husband Jim are owners/directors of Mertz Tennis Academy
She also has served as director of tennis at Pelican Marsh in Naples, Fla., and taught at Pocono Manor Golf and Tennis Club in Pocono, Pa., and McLean Racquet and Health Club in McLean, Va.
Her areas of expertise are growing a club's membership and organizing lots of activities and socials. She also strives to get as many kids playing the game as possible.
Brenda has served her USPTA division as District 8 president, as well as a USPTA tester, an NTRP verifier and a USTA clinician. She was elected Coach of the Year in Fairfax, Va., by other coaches, pros and media.
In addition, she helped her facility raise more money for Lessons for Life, which benefits various charities, than any other club in the United States.
Brenda has written articles for major tennis magazines and appears on the Sunshine Network television show hosted by fellow Florida pro Dave Kozlowski.
This multitalented tennis pro danced for the Washington Ballet Co. and the Largo Civic Ballet Co. Her diverse experiences also include working for the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.
Brenda studied at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. But she said she learned her most important lessons in life from her father, who was a professional boxer "and a very kind man." He was raised in an orphanage, where he learned the value of love, compassion and telling the truth.
Brenda's two daughters, true to family form, are both caring people and athletes. Michelle was a diver in college and Melissa was a collegiate tennis player.
By far, one of Brenda's most memorable tennis events was Jan 30th 2010 when she was called back to Farifax, Va to be inducted into the James Madison High School Hall of Fame. The school was having its 50th year reunion. Brenda was the lst tennis coach to take the girls tennis team to states with a 17-0 record and take home the state championship. All the girls and Brenda could still fit into their championship jacket. Wow.