Big changes coming to coaching certification

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Certification, I think is not all bad. From customers point of view it may be valuable information on what to expect from the level of coaching you get.

Aknowledgement would in the best case scenario cut off lot of trial and error.

I’d rather have USTA (in comparision to USGA) than professional players or teachers association (PGA) to aknowledge the coaches. Sports assiciation, yet not probably most efficient is something more than a labor unioin.
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On pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter subject to disclaimer
There are already multiple levels of certification which no one other than industry peers seem to care about. They are good for getting awards. Being a USPTA Master Professional or whatever does not attract students or fetch more money - that was already happening regardless. So with so many options of higher certification available, why make the minimum one more onerous?

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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Is the USTA even qualified to accredit or certify any coach? Shouldn’t they earn some credibility first before telling other coaches what to do?

It looks like an attempt to bask in the glory of other people’s hard work and success whom they had nothing to do with other than to coerce them to emblazon a USTA insignia onto their coaching certifications. There are a lot of successful coaches and players who have tremendous pride in their own work and who see USTA involvement in player development as the kiss of death. It reminds me of a stockbroker who was always wrong about where to put your money, so the stockbroker became useful in the sense that you would succeed by doing the exact opposite of what he was telling you to do. He would never get it right.

Instead of getting in the way of those who know what they are doing and who were wise enough to distance themselves from USTA coaches, shouldn’t they focus solely on making sure that all their tournaments are run fairly, competently, and professionally?
If they have to resort to invoking law and Constitution to justify this, they must be anticipating opposition. LOL this is hardly an issue to warrant such heavy arguments.

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If they want to attract younger people, how is making it harder going to help? By limiting good jobs to the richer folks in a PTM program or able to apprentice with none or lower ages?

Linking to PTM programs is also incestuous because USTA seems to control them.

D1 player needs 1500 hours but PTM grad at NTRP 4.0 does not?

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Of course it won't help attract young people into the profession (I use the term loosely). Considering that the average age of USPTA members is about 50, I'd think the organization would work toward bringing more young people into the ranks, but considering the very low pay, dearth of benefits and poor prospects for promotion, requiring new members to apprentice for 1500 hours is consistent with an organization that seems to be meandering into irrelevance. I've been a member (Elite Pro) for almost 20 years and the only reason I keep paying dues is so I'll have insurance.
 
I can see it possibly working if the USTA subsidizes the apprenticeship program with competitive wages. They definitely have the budget but somehow I doubt they will do it.
 
This is ridiculous.
It's crazy to have (or try to have) no one allowed to teach kids tennis except those willing to spend a year of their lives essentially without pay.
It will assure that there will be no form of certification or education for 99% of the instructors out there. There will be no difference between a guy who decides to teach as a way to make money without knowing anything about the game (we've seen some videos from people like this) and a guy who is dedicated to teaching tennis and would be one step below the present top level of certification.

Only those with few other alternatives would go into a line of work that requires lots of time and effort up front with little promise of reward. This will ensure that you don't get very intelligent people teaching tennis. Note that this is very different from the case now, where you can start with a fairly quick certification and, if you decide it is your passion and dedicate yourself, then build your certification up to a high level.

Who will teach tennis at public facilities, local swim and tennis clubs, or programs such as NJTL? It will certainly make tennis instruction worse for 99% of tennis players.

Is there a better way to completely kill the game?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Note that this is very different from the case now, where you can start with a fairly quick certification and, if you decide it is your passion and dedicate yourself, then build your certification up to a high level.
Whole thing summarized wonderfully in one sentence.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I've been a member (Elite Pro) for almost 20 years and the only reason I keep paying dues is so I'll have insurance.
That is what I thought, but how do you reconcile with this post in this thread:

Getting liability insurance for tennis instruction is easy because its a low risk venture. It does not depend on certifications. I have gotten it many times for different coaches, some we went through USPTA, but others through an independent such as Sadler. Only $340 for a million in coverage. The underwriter told me they pretty much never have had a claim vs a tennis instructor so its free money to them.
 
I can see it possibly working if the USTA subsidizes the apprenticeship program with competitive wages. They definitely have the budget but somehow I doubt they will do it.
You cannot be serious!!! (Of course you're not.) The USTA won't subsidize any part of the internship, in my estimation. I'd speculate their plan would more likely be more selling camps/clubs etc on hiring interns for very low pay for the 1500 required hours. This will be appealing to many clubs for obvious reasons. Why it would appeal to a prospective young coach befuddles me.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
You cannot be serious!!! (Of course you're not.) The USTA won't subsidize any part of the internship, in my estimation. I'd speculate their plan would more likely be more selling camps/clubs etc on hiring interns for very low pay for the 1500 required hours. This will be appealing to many clubs for obvious reasons. Why it would appeal to a prospective young coach befuddles me.
Very low pay for interns will soon result in lawsuits. People are not stupid anymore.
 
That is what I thought, but how do you reconcile with this post in this thread:

Getting liability insurance for tennis instruction is easy because its a low risk venture. It does not depend on certifications. I have gotten it many times for different coaches, some we went through USPTA, but others through an independent such as Sadler. Only $340 for a million in coverage. The underwriter told me they pretty much never have had a claim vs a tennis instructor so its free money to them.
I'm aware of this; as well, I spent my business career in insurance. The USPTA dues are about $300/yr, and the coverage is better via them vs buying solo.

Being a USPTA member has not been without benefit or advantage over my tennis teaching "career". It does carry some weight when looking for work in clubs/camps, especially if you're unknown to them. At the "teaching-in-the-public-park level" though it means little. No player ever asks what my USPTA rating is; instead, they determine (in the first lesson) how good a coach I'll be for them before asking for subsequent lessons.
 
Very low pay for interns will soon result in lawsuits. People are not stupid anymore.
Not sure why you believe lawsuits would result. Internships, whether paid or not, are prevalent in all professions.

I could also debate you on the "people are not stupid anymore" part of your response, but will demur.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Not sure why you believe lawsuits would result. Internships, whether paid or not, are prevalent in all professions.

I could also debate you on the "people are not stupid anymore" part of your response, but will demur.
Unpaid internships are on the decline in many larger companies.

I suppose in a small place like a tennis club unpaid/lowly paid interns/apprentices may be OK.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
If the USTA claims to have the legal right to determine who can teach tennis, isn't it then under obligation to make its proposals public and have a comment period where people can respond? This is a requirement for many government agencies. And it also needs to remember that if it claims legal rights, it is also subject to FOI demands, and any and all of embarrassing emails will be made public.
 
If the USTA claims to have the legal right to determine who can teach tennis, isn't it then under obligation to make its proposals public and have a comment period where people can respond? .
The USPTA is an independent organization. It is not required to adapt the requirements set by the USTA.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I do not read that to preclude the USPTA from continuing to offer its current "Rec Coach", and Level 1 to Level 3 certifications, along with the new USTA-based certification.

And if there are very few applicants to its USTA-based certification the whole issue will be moot.
If both are offered, what is the point of the whole exercise?
 
If both are offered, what is the point of the whole exercise?
What happens if nobody is interested in signing up for the 1500 hour apprenticeship?

Must continue to offer both until demand for the new program has been proven.

There are three levels of certified membership:

Professional
USPTA Professionals must be at least 18 years old, pass the on-court and written portions of the exam, and complete Stage 1 and 2 of Coach Youth Tennis. They should be able to organize and implement tennis programs, assist with and develop players, direct and/or assist with pro shop management and facility maintenance, conduct private and group lessons, and assist with tennis programs. Depending on the person’s experience, a USPTA Professional’s job description may range from assistant pro to head tennis professional. USPTA Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership.

Elite Professional
To become an Elite Professional, a USPTA member must be at least 22 years old, pass the written Elite exam, which covers business, programming, sport science and tennis operations, Elite stroke analysis exam and the Elite-level on-court exams. Elite Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. They commonly are considered for director of tennis or head tennis professional positions.

Master Professional
USPTA Master Professional is the highest, most esteemed category of membership. Qualified applicants must hold an Elite Professional rating for 10 years, complete a required number of continuing education hours and fulfill a broad spectrum of industry service. The Master Professional Committee makes the final decision on the review of applicants. Master Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. These members should be capable of high-level jobs such as general manager, director of tennis operations or director of tennis.
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USTA is going to accredit teaching organizations like the USPTA and PTR.

Requirements to become a coach are going up drastically. Now, you need 8 hours of online training and an on-court test to become a coach. The new requirements will be to get a Professional Tennis Managament degree or to become an apprentice for 1500 hours of work and study under a mentor. It is expected to take a year. Training has to include CPR, first aid, and safety. The idea is to make tennis certification similar to PGA golf certification.
This is the most frustratingly stupid thing I've ever seen.
Every day I get more and more convinced that the USTA is run by people who literally have never played tennis.
 
Certification, I think is not all bad. From customers point of view it may be valuable information on what to expect from the level of coaching you get.
I don't think anyone is objecting to organizations offering certification programs. The problem is when they start trying to make it mandatory. The USTA are saying "we rule tennis and everyone will do as we say. Even if it is stupid." It is obviously nothing but a brazen attempt to limit competition in the name of higher standards. Consumers are perfectly able to make that decision.

The thing that makes it even more suspect is the USTA's laughable record developing players, despite spending fortunes on development and coaching.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Someone was speculating in the other thread whether Exercise Science grads will be exempt. As far as what I read, only PTM grads are exempt. D1 players, Kinesiology grads etc are not listed as exempted.
 
The uspta has really gotten bad over the years. There are so many bad pro's now a days who just show up to class. My old boss was a master pro but 3.0.
Absolutely. It's dismaying how just anybody who works at a tennis court and gives lessons is a "pro." 99% of the "pros" I've seen couldn't teach somebody how to bake a cake, much less play tennis. They take $50 - $80 an hour to stand there and spout that same old crap, even so-called "head pros." "When you hit a serve, your racket goes from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock." "Lift with your legs to put topspin on the ball." "Don't hit the ball; brush it."
 
Absolutely. It's dismaying how just anybody who works at a tennis court and gives lessons is a "pro." 99% of the "pros" I've seen couldn't teach somebody how to bake a cake, much less play tennis. They take $50 - $80 an hour to stand there and spout that same old crap, even so-called "head pros." "When you hit a serve, your racket goes from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock." "Lift with your legs to put topspin on the ball." "Don't hit the ball; brush it."
I know. Half of them don't tailor their lessons at all. It's like they don't even know who's on the other side of the court.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Absolutely. It's dismaying how just anybody who works at a tennis court and gives lessons is a "pro." 99% of the "pros" I've seen couldn't teach somebody how to bake a cake, much less play tennis. They take $50 - $80 an hour to stand there and spout that same old crap, even so-called "head pros." "When you hit a serve, your racket goes from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock." "Lift with your legs to put topspin on the ball." "Don't hit the ball; brush it."
All true, but I wouldn't easily believe the poster who said a USPTA Master Pro was a 3.0. He has a reputation of getting his posts deleted by the mods for various reasons and I would not believe a word he says.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
"The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) received provisional accreditation from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) making the association the first tennis-teaching certification organization to be accepted into the program.
According to the USTA, the goal of the new accreditation program is to set uniform standards for the development of those new to the profession and it will also include on-going coaching education for all certified professionals who are members of accredited organizations."
 
Who is this new policy directed towards, exactly? It says "coaches." So does that include the "pro" that hangs around the local muni pro shop and gives lessons, or is this more for USTA team coaches, something like that?
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Who is this new policy directed towards, exactly? It says "coaches." So does that include the "pro" that hangs around the local muni pro shop and gives lessons, or is this more for USTA team coaches, something like that?
Certified experts such as Sureshs who wish to expand upon their already vast knowledge base.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Who is this new policy directed towards, exactly? It says "coaches." So does that include the "pro" that hangs around the local muni pro shop and gives lessons, or is this more for USTA team coaches, something like that?
For any person wanting to be certified as a coach.
 
What direction are the discussions trending? Pro or con?
It is a private Facebook groups for coaches, and these range from low on the pole guys like me to head training pros for USTA, owners of academies, and some of those well-known people that get name dropped. You can imagine, the variety of opinion is varied. Some are completely anti-USTA anything and some are too pro-USTA, so those kinda get summarily dismissed. The basis is not against the concept which someone mentioned parallels how the education system is currently setup where there is an accrediting body that helps to certify to the certifying authorities, like the college I work for is regional accredited by the HLC (Higher Learning Commissions). It is cooperative work between the accrediting bodies and college to develop best practices, policies, and learning outcomes that must be met to maintain desired level of education. Same is being said about the USTA and USPTA/PTR. There was also a bit of history given I did not know from when this type of joining of the groups was discussed (attempted?) before. Of course, that get s a lot of dialogue.

A lot of coaches think it is too easy to currently get certified, so many do encourage SOMETHING to happen, just not sure how this should happen.

Interestingly, because the group is international, there are a bunch of non-American based coaches who have not USPTA or PTR certification, that are currently coaching top pro level players, so you can imagine their opinion :D
 
Do they have a non-US certification?
Not sure but their posts sound like they were hired based on player results and years of teaching experience. I was invited to the group but I don't get too involved. They are waaaayyyy ahead of me in experience and understanding. But it is awesome to read through all of the information they all share. From insights on things like this, to top players and juniors begin developed and discussing technical and mental issues. Like a fly on the wall.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Latest issue of TIA magazine has a response from USPTA. The author mentions that the news of the USPTA seeking accreditation from the USTA combined with the move to be next to the USTA in Lake Nona has become a perfect storm for those who perceive the trend as a power grab by the USTA. He goes on to assure everyone that USPTA will be doing the certification, not USTA. But he completely avoided talking about the main issue: the 1500 hour internship or the alternative of getting a PTM degree (actively promoted by the USTA). Imagine requiring an undergraduate degree to be certified or coming up with a lengthy alternative to that, which doesn't make sense either. No profession or academic field recognizes 1500 hours of experience as equivalent to a college degree, so how the two can be treated as alternatives is not clear.

Who awards the certificate is not important since both bodies are well-recognized - the requirements are. On that, complete silence.

He also assured everyone that existing coaches will not be affected. Which is kind of like saying: you guys and me should never have been certified, so be thankful. The changes would have more credibility if there was no grandfather clause and all the people planning the changes are required to be re-certified with a 1500 hour internship or a college degree. They will be crapping their diapers in that case.
 
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Latest issue of TIA magazine has a response from USPTA. The author mentions that the news of the USPTA seeking accreditation from the USTA combined with the move to be next to the USTA in Lake Nona has become a perfect storm for those who perceive the trend as a power grab by the USTA. He goes on to assure everyone that USPTA will be doing the certification, not USTA. But he completely avoided talking about the main issue: the 1500 hour internship or the alternative of getting a PTM degree (actively promoted by the USTA). Imagine requiring an undergraduate degree to be certified or coming up with a lengthy alternative to that, which doesn't make sense either. No profession or academic field recognizes 1500 hours of experience as equivalent to a college degree, so how the two can be treated as alternatives is not clear.

Who awards the certificate is not important since both bodies are well-recognized - the requirements are. On that, complete silence.

He also assured everyone that existing coaches will not be affected. Which is kind of like saying: you guys and me should never have been certified, so be thankful. The changes would have more credibility if there was no grandfather clause and all the people planning the changes are required to be re-certified with a 1500 hour internship or a college degree. They will be crapping their diapers in that case.
Agree. Still sounds stupid. I just want a coach that can have the kids develope for long term success and win matches. No need for this nonsense.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The same issue of TI magazine has extensive coverage of pickleball. There is now a body which will certify PB coaches. What might happen is that tennis coaches might just ditch tennis and move to PB.
 
The same issue of TI magazine has extensive coverage of pickleball. There is now a body which will certify PB coaches. What might happen is that tennis coaches might just ditch tennis and move to PB.
So there is a chance you will move onto talk pickle ball forums from here? Pickle ball is also easier for people with lower racket skill level. And limited mobility. Perfect sport for you.
 
He also assured everyone that existing coaches will not be affected. Which is kind of like saying: you guys and me should never have been certified, so be thankful. The changes would have more credibility if there was no grandfather clause and all the people planning the changes are required to be re-certified with a 1500 hour internship or a college degree. They will be crapping their diapers in that case.
Grandfathering is a tricky issue. Some may need it. Others not.

A USPTA Level I coach I know has been teaching 20+ years. Ex Division One player. Director of tennis at various clubs.

Why in the world should he need to be re-certified or obtain a college degree?

Is TIA magazine available online for free?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Grandfathering is a tricky issue. Some may need it. Others not.

A USPTA Level I coach I know has been teaching 20+ years. Ex Division One player. Director of tennis at various clubs.

Why in the world should he need to be re-certified or obtain a college degree?
I was kidding. But if the argument was that training was so bad in the past that it has to be revamped, what is the guarantee that his "experience" has any value?

The problem really is the enormous difference in the new standards: 1500 hours vs 8 hours. If the old standards were really that bad, the people proposing the changes now should first get re-certified.
 
I was kidding. But if the argument was that training was so bad in the past that it has to be revamped, what is the guarantee that his "experience" has any value?

The problem really is the enormous difference in the new standards: 1500 hours vs 8 hours. If the old standards were really that bad, the people proposing the changes now should first get re-certified.
Agree to all. You make too much sense. We have all seen the longtime coaches who have no results with any players.
 
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