Earning a PTR (The Right Way)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Overdrive, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I know there are no shortcuts to earning a PTR certification, but are there any free sources out there that can prepare me for taking the assessment?

    Although I'm still a college student, do I need to start volunteering at tennis camp or other organizations?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  2. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Certification from either the PTR or USPTA is rather meaning less. I am certified by them both. If you want to become an instructor or coach you will NOT learn how to do so by becoming certified. You learn to teach from being knowledgeable in your subject matter and by teaching it. Free sources are easy. Find someone to teach "hey you, I'll teach you for free" and your teach them.

    Working at camps or volunteering with your CTA are great options as well.

    -SF
     
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  3. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Really? TennisMaverick told me that getting certification is a requirement in every state except NY. Also, there is a consensus that players are more likely to accept coaching services from instructors who have PTR or USPTA certification than instructors who don't.
     
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  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Not sure what it would be required for by a state as far as teaching tennis. It is a good thing to have and many places specify that they want someone with a certification when they hire.
     
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  5. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I looked at the website. Just fork a few hundred dollars and you can get certified..
     
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  6. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    There's no wrong way, you cannot cheat the system and you don't need to volunteer anywhere. That will only help you if you've never coached and have no idea what you're doing. I've seen people take the USPTA course who I'd personally never thought they'd end up being certified and they passed.

    The big reason clubs want certified coaches is because its easier to promote their program "All our coaches are USPTA/USPTR certified" and because of insurance purposes. The USPTA/PTR offer that to their coaches.

    I'm not saying its a bad thing to get certified, it doesn't hurt and will only help you in getting a job however just passing the test alone does not make you a good coach or even a half decent one. Replying on that alone is a very bad idea, look at other sources to get your coaching knowledge up, other courses. You can also try interning at a top tennis academy, a lot of them offer that or working under a good coach especially with competitive junior players. Nothing beats real world on court experience.
    I might tick some people off saying this but coaching adults doesn't develop your coaching skills. Try and get to work with juniors, you'll learn more and faster. You'll need to be quick with decision making and analyzing. Adult camps and groups are fun, but they don't help you become a better coach, however they can help you learn to interact with people and learn to talk to them if you're not very good at that.
     
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  7. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Certification is not required by any state. Certain jobs require certification while others do not. But that is up to the employer. I have never been asked by any potential student if I was certified or by which outfit.
     
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  8. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    There are different levels of certification for that reason. They want the revenue from those players.

    Correct about adults for two main reasons:
    1) Adults are usually easier to teach. They are usually eager to learn and want to be there and to get the most out of their money.

    2) Adults camps/groups with established players are more about meeting people and socializing rather than learning or training.
     
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  9. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I'll add a third, more marginal, though still important reason:
    3) You can usually get your point across with adults simply by logically supporting your views whereas you can't use logical arguments to convince an 8 year old to do what you want.
     
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  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Okay, there are no shortcuts then. Do you know any books that I can read to prepare myself in the future? I knew it, private clubs do that to attract more customers. I'm still pretty young and I've never actually 'coached' anyone. I have taken leadership courses and contain characteristics of leading others. I may have to take off a Spring Break or a few weeks of summer to go to Austin to be an intern at the Andy Roddick tennis academy or whatever it's called.

    Oh no, I would want to become either a high school coach or a private junior coach.

    Interesting. When he returns during the Christmas break, I should ask him or I could just e-mail him. Maybe none of your students aren't snobby about who coaches them.

    Usually, that is the case. I saw on the PTR website that there are 1st-4th level certifications or something like that. I bet the 'master-level' coaches are at the tennis academies and such. I bet any metropolitan or rural school would hire me if I had that level.

    That's true as well. As I stated before, I would probably want to coach 13-18 year olds.
     
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  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    To achieve a master level teaching professional you'll need like 20+ years coaching. No academy or club coach will have this type of certification. They usually work at the national level with top juniors for USTA or other national training centres or academies or conduct coaching seminars and courses.

    If you're looking for something to study off of, the one that I know that I can suggest to you is "Spanish Method for Developing Players" Its a DVD of an on court seminar conducted by Luis Mediero, who is the president of RPT Europe and a USPTA master professional. It talks about the type of training they do in Spain, drills used, mentality towards training, their methods and so on. Really good stuff and something anyone can take something away from. Its on the usprotennishop dot com website under Player Development DVD's. Start with that DVD and go from there.

    EDIT:
    For complete beginners, stuff such as this from Oscar is great to get people hitting a tennis ball quick and keeping it simple.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap7qKOaiPxw
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
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  12. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    If you're close to Austin then email John Newcombe Tennis Ranch which is located in New Braunfels. They have an internship program there, and you'll get to be on court with their coaches and help out with their junior academy and adult program as well.
     
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  13. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Understand that parents and players care about who an instructor has taught or is teaching opposed to a sheet or paper.
     
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  14. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Thank you very much! I will take that into consideration.
     
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  15. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I agree with this 100%.
     
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  16. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Funny how different parts of the world approach coaching qualifications...

    As I understand it, in the US you basically turn up and take the "exam/s" and get certification based on how you perform against their criteria (I don't know for certain as my USPTA Pro 1 was honorary!).

    Over here (and in some European countries like Spain and France), you take a course which is educational training and includes all kinds of coursework, project work, on course teaching, programme management, working with disability etc etc with an assessment on the final day.

    In the UK there's 3 levels to "pass" before you can apply for your "coaching license" which totals up to about 20 days of training, spread over at least a year and at a cost of around £1000. It's a pretty big investment to make.

    Ironically, legally speaking you do not need any qualifications to classify yourself as a tennis coach in the UK as it is an unregulated industry, but you will not get a coaching job at any club unless you are minimum lvl 2 qualified (to be an assistant coach) or lvl 3 or above and licensed (to head up a programme) as the LTA have set guidelines and criteria for tennis clubs to follow.

    The Coach License is a good thing as it ensures coaches are first aid qualified, have had a criminal record check and are attending at least three days continued coach education every year.

    P.S. - Balla is right about Luis, he is the most inspirational tennis coach I have ever known and it is a privilege to be able to call him a personal friend!
     
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  17. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    That's interesting about UK Tennis Coaches. It's alot different in the US.
     
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  18. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The first aid stuff is important especially when working with small kids. Kids get excited, they have a racket in their hand and next thing you know, whack and someone gets clobbered. Happened to a friend of mine, one of his little students lost a tooth because another kid swung his racket right beside him. Flew out of his mouth apparently and they found it on the court, put it in a glass of milk and saved it.
     
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  19. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Ummm.... Yeah, that's why I'm sticking with adolescence...
     
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  20. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Can still run into problems. Twisted ankles, heat stroke, pulled muscles etc.
    With adults you run into risks of heart attack or stroke. A place I worked at a few years before I started there one of the coaches was on court giving a lesson to a guest of the hotel. It was really hot outside, his wife was sitting courtside and both her and the coach told him to take a break. He said 5 more minutes. Ended up having a heart attack, and died. Gotta be careful, it's good to push your students but you have to be aware. I'm not sure if anything the coach could of done would of saved the guy, it wasn't his fault just saying gotta know at least some first aid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
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  21. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    ^ Wow, really? Do you know what happened after that?

    Yeah, I know the issues with juniors. When I was high school, there were no trainers around and there was only one coach around. The other one did soccer. There was only one manager too. Injuries can be easily overlooked because of the lack of trainers or managers.
     
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