Lawrence Eyre (right) receives the United States Professional Tennis Association’s Tennis Coach of the Year award from USPTA president Tom Daglis. The award ceremony took place at the USPTA world conference, Thursday, September 24, 2009, Marco Island, Florida.
Lawrence Eyre, Fairfield, Iowa – High School Coach of the Year
Maharishi School’s Eyre wins USPTA Coach of the Year Award
September 24, 2009 07:34 pm
— MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – Lawrence Eyre, the tennis coach at Fairfield’s Maharishi School, was honored with the National High School Coach of the Year Award by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) at their World Conference.
This award is given to one coach from all the high schools in the United States irrespective of school size.
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Maharishi School,” said Eyre, who has been a certified Professional 1 member of the USPTA since 1992.
Eyre was one of the founding faculty members of Maharishi School in 1981. He started the Pioneers tennis team in 1988 and has led them to the Final Four in the Iowa 1-A team tournament 12 times.
In his 22 seasons as coach, his players have earned 16 state championships in singles, doubles and team tennis. In 1999 and 2000, the boys’ team won the “triple crown” — singles, doubles and team tennis titles at the Iowa 1-A state championships.
“Maharishi School tennis players follow a new athletic paradigm,” said Eyre, who graduated from Yale University. “Instead of ‘no pain, no gain,’ our motto is ‘train without strain.’ We invest in rest for tennis success.”
Eyre attributes his players’ achievements to their group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique, which creates “restful alertness.”
“Peak experience is the basis of peak performance,” explained Eyre. “Our athletes play in the ‘zone’ because they live there.”
Eyre explained that TM helps his players learn how to remain unfazed by unforced errors and move on to the next point without getting upset or distracted.
“Seventy-five percent of a tennis match is time between points, so whoever recovers better and can return to a steady state is going to do better,” Eyre said.
Eyre has been teaching tennis since he graduated from high school in 1966. He has taught more than 15,000 people in city parks, YMCA programs, private clubs, schools and summer camps around the country.
Many of Eyre’s students have gone on to play college tennis and some have gone on to teach tennis. One of his former star players, Tyler Cleveland, went on to play for the University of Iowa and was named Big Ten Player of the Year for both 2000 and 2001.
“Lawrence Eyre is one of the best high school coaches in the country,” said Cleveland. “He really helped me develop my game.”
Eyre has been featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section and in Tennis magazine. Some of his other awards include the 2000 Iowa Tennis Association Coach of the Year award, the 2007 Central Sectional Coach of the Year award from the National Federation of State High School Associations and the 2008 Missouri Valley Coach of the Year award from the USPTA.
“Lawrence Eyre’s recognition as the USPTA National High School Coach of the Year is immensely gratifying for our school and community,” said Dr. Richard Beall, head of Maharishi School. “Lawrence served as a founding faculty member of our school, established our tennis program more than 20 years ago, and is now receiving deserved acclaim for his contributions to this school, his players, his community and state. We appreciate this action by the United States Professional Tennis Association to spotlight this treasured coach, an example of sportsmanship and excellence for the rest of the country.”
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