MEET THE HEAD PROS 2023-06-07T19:33:48+00:00




Louie is a Master Professional and PTR National Tester and Clinician. He was awarded the 1993 PTR Pro of the Year. Louie travels extensively throughout the world conducting numerous tennis workshops. He played the European Circuit in the 60’s. In addition to his lengthy teaching & playing career, Louie has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and has completed 40 consecutive Boston Marathons.


Steve has been the Director of Tennis Operations for Van Der Meer Tennis and a Head Professional since 1983. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia conducting tennis workshops with Dennis. Steve is a graduate of Elon College.


Brian traveled the world training coaches and players with Dennis and Pat Van der Meer, and helped launch the VDM Academy as a travel coach on the WTA Tour. He has developed and coached 5 top 40 WTA players, including the 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion, Melanie Oudin. He joined Dennis Van der Meer in being honored as US Olympic Development Coach of the Year in 2008. He was named USPTA Southern Touring Coach of the Year in 2010, and is PTR and USPTA certified as Professional, in addition to holding IPTA, USTA High Performance, and USTA Sports Science certifications.


Tommy was based at VDM Academy for most of his ATP Tour career. He played Davis Cup for Japan and reached a career high of 40 in doubles. He has wins over the Bryan Brothers and Roger Federer, and he also participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  After his retirement from professional tennis, he earned his degree in finance and real estate from the University of South Carolina and returned to Hilton Head. Most recently, he worked as a Mens’ National Coach for the Japan Tennis Association in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.  He and his family are back in Hilton Head once again and Tommy is sharing his doubles expertise with our VDM Academy players.


A former WTA player, Elizma competed in tournaments such as Wimbledon and French Open. Having been based as a player at VDM Academy, she launched her coaching career after taking the TennisUniversity course with Dennis Van Der Meer. Elizma played NCAA Div 1 and graduated from United States International University, San Diego, CA.

Born in Namibia, she also competed for South Africa as a Junior Springbok player and was ranked #1 in u/14 to u/18 age groups. President of the Namibian Tennis Association (NTA) – 1996 to 1999, Elizma is also their Fed Cup Captain and Junior Fed Cup Captain. She has coached and managed many national and international teams worldwide since 1996.

A certified ITF Level 3 High Performance Tennis Coach (highest coaching qualification in the International Tennis Federation) she worked with many top Spanish tennis academies and players such as David Ferrer (ATP#3) and his team. As the ITF International Touring Coach she worked with the best European, Asian and African players such as Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) – ATP#23, Junior Wimbledon & U.S Open champion (2008)


David is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he received a tennis scholarship and was a 4-year letterwinner on the tennis team. David was based in Massachusetts where he was ranked #1 in New England and reached the Top 25 in the country for the USTA 18 and under division. He spent his junior year of high school training at Van Der Meer and credits this year of training for his jump in level and ranking.

David was a National Open Champion, New England Sectionals Champion, and received the New England Sportsmanship Award. David had an undefeated record during his high school tennis career and won the Massachusetts State Individual tournament in 2005. David was a finance major at the University of Notre Dame and spent the first 8 years of his career working on Wall Street. He made the decision to switch gears and pursue his passion of tennis.


A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Derek is an experienced coach at all levels. He captained the UNC men’s tennis team and graduated with a BA degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing. In 2006, Derek won the UNC Men’s Tennis Sportsmanship Award. Derek is a USPTA Elite Certified Professional and is a great team player in all senses of the word.


Originally from Ethiopia, Nati trained at Van Der Meer Tennis for 2 seasons then played college tennis on scholarship at Prairie State College. The team finished top 8 at the NJCAA National Tournaments in 2019. After graduating, he transferred to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and received a degree in finance. He now splits his time at Van Der Meer on court and in the Marketing and Sales Department.