Do you have a tennis teaching certification?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 23235
  • Start date

Which tennis teaching certification(s) do you have?

  • USPTA

    Votes: 9 32.1%
  • PTR

    Votes: 5 17.9%
  • MTM

    Votes: 1 3.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 21.4%
  • HS coach

    Votes: 5 17.9%
  • independent coach (no certs or affiliation)

    Votes: 5 17.9%
  • coach at a club

    Votes: 4 14.3%
  • ttw advanced cert

    Votes: 4 14.3%

  • Total voters
    28
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
just curious... my ptr membership was expiring and they jacked up the prices.... so wondering if it's worth renewing.
then wondered if i should go the uspta route...

having a cert is nice for advertising (ie. on playyourcourt.com or mytennislessons.com), having a "professional" looking biz card, etc...
but there's also discounts on racquets, balls, sneakers, insurance policy, continuing education (but it's all on yt now!), etc..
https://www.ptrtennis.org/PTRTennis/MembershipPages/Benefits.aspx

what value do you get out of it?
how was your testing?
do you teach now?
 
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D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Can't you just say you are certified anyways? Who checks?
yeah, i could but there's more benefits to membership... various discounts, insurance was a big benefit, etc (see link above)
if it was just for saying i'm certified, it's definitely not worth it.
honestly, just saying i'm "certified" makes me feel like a fraud... ie. the pros at my club played futures... but are not certified (ie. "i had atp points")
kinda reminds of what neil armstrong's resume would look like,.... "i went to the moon."
and the ones that didn't play futures, played d1.
 

rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
yeah, i could but there's more benefits to membership... various discounts, insurance was a big benefit, etc (see link above)
if it was just for saying i'm certified, it's definitely not worth it.
honestly, just saying i'm "certified" makes me feel like a fraud... ie. the pros at my club played futures... but are not certified (ie. "i had atp points")
kinda reminds of what neil armstrong's resume would look like,.... "i went to the moon."
and the ones that didn't play futures, played d1.
Yeah true. Ex pros and d 1 players do not need to take a certification test. Lol.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
The pro at my club was not certified. He didn't want to pay for the membership. And being at a club, people just accepted that he was the pro.

You mention guys having ATP points. That would mean they're good players. But does it mean they'll know how to teach? Most of their students are probably going to be beginners.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
The pro at my club was not certified. He didn't want to pay for the membership. And being at a club, people just accepted that he was the pro.

You mention guys having ATP points. That would mean they're good players. But does it mean they'll know how to teach? Most of their students are probably going to be beginners.
clubs similarly have deals on sneakers, and equipment, so i can see the pro not explicitly needing an uspta or ptr membership to get those deals.... and for sure he is not paying for balls, stringing, etc...
regarding "do they know how to teach"... sometimes it doesn't matter... since beginners just hears "he used to play on the tour - you know, with Fed and Nadal", and it doesn't matter what certification he has.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I have coached my son and a few others as juniors, but I haven't finished my certification and I currently only asist for HS coaching. Hell, USTA keeps sending me reminders to finsih the Net Gen stuff.

It is all on my to-do list for when I retire in a few years.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I feel lower level players with certs would make more money working independently.
independent of the ptr or uspta?
sure i would definitely save on membership (which is like $200/y)... but that's alike a a few hours of teachign work.
but the membership (for ptr) provides me $3M insurance (in the odd case someone falls)... i honestly don't know how that would play out in court with/without insurance - but certainly makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
realistically i don't have that many students (ie. not much of a revenue generator)...
i'm picky, only on my sched, only on courts near me, if you're late consistently i quit, if you're a no show i quit, and if i feel like you're not doing the homework i'm giving you i quit... (currently have 5 students, and teach only 3-4 hours a week)
more like a fun hobby for me, since i love tennis in general.
sadly my kids never got into it... they do other stuff (martial arts, music, swimming, soccer, etc...)... which is why i considered getting any cert (ie. to teach me how to teach my kids).
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
independent of the ptr or uspta?
sure i would definitely save on membership (which is like $200/y)... but that's alike a a few hours of teachign work.
but the membership (for ptr) provides me $3M insurance (in the odd case someone falls)... i honestly don't know how that would play out in court with/without insurance - but certainly makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
realistically i don't have that many students (ie. not much of a revenue generator)...
i'm picky, only on my sched, only on courts near me, if you're late consistently i quit, if you're a no show i quit, and if i feel like you're not doing the homework i'm giving you i quit... (currently have 5 students, and teach only 3-4 hours a week)
more like a fun hobby for me, since i love tennis in general.
sadly my kids never got into it... they do other stuff (martial arts, music, swimming, soccer, etc...)... which is why i considered getting any cert (ie. to teach me how to teach my kids).
No, I meant independent of a club which they might not land a job at anyway. Yes, the famous insurance and discounted website...those are nice perks.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
No, I meant independent of a club which they might not land a job at anyway. Yes, the famous insurance and discounted website...those are nice perks.
oh, yeah, for sure.
a club lesson cost, ~50% goes to the club... and the remaining is taxed.
i know at least a handful of instructors around here that teach on public courts, and charge $50-100 cash - and they are always busy.

usually there's a clause at clubs, that says staff can't teach on public courts (ie. fear of stealing students from the club - which is true since the pro will usually charge what the club gives them - off the books)... so it's a breach of their contract when they do... but they do it anyway.
 

Notirouswithag

Professional
USPTA certified two years ago

the test was very easy, on court and online were both a breeze.

I teach at a club controlled by HOA and the biggest thing was insurance for us.

But I also teach off site at the local courts in my neighborhood as well
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Majority of coaches for top 100 tour players have no certification behind them. Guys like Ivan Lendl have people call him to coach them all the time. Many of the current coaches were tour level players so I guess that pretty good as you can get references for the job, especially when you beat up on that player coming up in the ranks who want him/her to coach them. It all about having a player obey your strategy in the matches.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Majority of coaches for top 100 tour players have no certification behind them. Guys like Ivan Lendl have people call him to coach them all the time. Many of the current coaches were tour level players so I guess that pretty good as you can get references for the job, especially when you beat up on that player coming up in the ranks who want him/her to coach them. It all about having a player obey your strategy in the matches.
Majority of coaches for top 100 tour players have a verifiable playing record at the college or pro level, so they are not a very good data point.

They take on students after the foundational coaches have trained them.

It is a little bit like saying that a MIT prof does not have elementary school high-school teaching credentials. He doesn't, but he has students only because someone taught students in elementary school.
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
Was there an on-court test for MTM?
No, it was disgustingly easy. 50 question multiple choice. You can pass the certification exam if you read any one of Oscar's books once-- meaning you can pass the exam without actually knowing how to deploy the all-important progressions and that define MTM. Really disappointing. It was only through my own determination and practice that I learned to use MTM properly.
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
The best thing about PTA PTR and USTA High Performance certifications are the relationships with other coaches and the chance to share knowledge. The speakers at the annual PTA and PTR conventions are the best tennis minds around and a lot of the advances in knowledge are first presented there.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
No, it was disgustingly easy. 50 question multiple choice. You can pass the certification exam if you read any one of Oscar's books once-- meaning you can pass the exam without actually knowing how to deploy the all-important progressions and that define MTM. Really disappointing. It was only through my own determination and practice that I learned to use MTM properly.
Yeah it is just like USPTA recreational coach certification then - no on-court exam. About 8 hours of video to watch and answer some questions online.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The best thing about PTA PTR and USTA High Performance certifications are the relationships with other coaches and the chance to share knowledge. The speakers at the annual PTA and PTR conventions are the best tennis minds around and a lot of the advances in knowledge are first presented there.
You mean that the best minds and knowledge advances are not on this forum?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
The best thing about PTA PTR and USTA High Performance certifications are the relationships with other coaches and the chance to share knowledge. The speakers at the annual PTA and PTR conventions are the best tennis minds around and a lot of the advances in knowledge are first presented there.
i thought that too, but all the uspta conferences are all online now... for free on yt (granted it was from 2y+ ago)
then there's general yt contributions from: salz, tomas, top tennis, etc...
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
No, it was disgustingly easy. 50 question multiple choice. You can pass the certification exam if you read any one of Oscar's books once-- meaning you can pass the exam without actually knowing how to deploy the all-important progressions and that define MTM. Really disappointing. It was only through my own determination and practice that I learned to use MTM properly.
that is sad. i like some of the mtm stuff (not all of it), even considered it at some point...
in general the bar for certifications should be higher.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Decision should not be based on liking. That will only reinforce what you already think.
i've read the wegner book... the 2hr book...
i understand what they are saying, but some models don't resonate with me.
not that they are wrong, they just describe it in away that doesn't fit quite right with the rest of my mental model.
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
just curious... my ptr membership was expiring and they jacked up the prices.... so wondering if it's worth renewing.
then wondered if i should go the uspta route...

having a cert is nice for advertising (ie. on playyourcourt.com or mytennislessons.com), having a "professional" looking biz card, etc...
but there's also discounts on racquets, balls, sneakers, insurance policy, continuing education (but it's all on yt now!), etc..
https://www.ptrtennis.org/PTRTennis/MembershipPages/Benefits.aspx

what value do you get out of it?
how was your testing?
do you teach now?
I have PTR and need to renew soon mostly so Parents will feel that i'm more legit, haven't gotten much value honestly. I teach but only part time mostly 10U
If you play with Head the discounts are good but I use Wilson, I wear Adidas but I buy retail because I usually wear them out in time for the 6 month guarantee and if you buy through PTR you cant get that.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
that is sad. i like some of the mtm stuff (not all of it), even considered it at some point...
in general the bar for certifications should be higher.
They want members now, not quality instructors. I stopped paying a few years ago when they changed the racket deal (prince).

The extended education thing was terrible and the final straw. They want you to spend a weekend listening to a 4.0 tell you how to hit a shot they read about (but cannot hit).

They just want income, same thing the usta did back in the early 2000's. Havent touched them since either, its like the housewives and the 3.0 players took over that organization
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
If you played at a good level and can naturally transfer your knowledge as a player into knowledge as a coach, then certifications are almost irrelevant. It’s experience, who you’ve worked with (both coaches and players) and your ability to “coach” and I’m not talking about how to hit forehands and backhands but rather dealing with people, developing your own methods and approaches and so on. Then certification is irrelevant for you as a coach, it’s just there for others to believe what you already know.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I have PTR and need to renew soon mostly so Parents will feel that i'm more legit, haven't gotten much value honestly. I teach but only part time mostly 10U
If you play with Head the discounts are good but I use Wilson, I wear Adidas but I buy retail because I usually wear them out in time for the 6 month guarantee and if you buy through PTR you cant get that.
hehe, that's exactly what i was thinking...
why get bother getting the (ptr) discount, if i can't also get the 6mo warranty (though, these days i play mostly clay - so questionable if this is an issue for me)
i have alot of word of mouth referrals, so i don't think parents are checking certs... i also charge half to a third of what a club would charge (ie. just to find out their kid didn't like it)... and honestly i prefer teaching adults anyway.. with kids it feels like babysitting, and i also feel guilty i'm not spending that time with my kids instead.
is it me, or did the ptr membership go up? i recall being able to be a 3y deal for cheaper, but i don't recall... now it's about 150 for the membership, and 50 for the insurance..
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
hehe, that's exactly what i was thinking...
why get bother getting the (ptr) discount, if i can't also get the 6mo warranty (though, these days i play mostly clay - so questionable if this is an issue for me)
i have alot of word of mouth referrals, so i don't think parents are checking certs... i also charge half to a third of what a club would charge (ie. just to find out their kid didn't like it)... and honestly i prefer teaching adults anyway.. with kids it feels like babysitting, and i also feel guilty i'm not spending that time with my kids instead.
is it me, or did the ptr membership go up? i recall being able to be a 3y deal for cheaper, but i don't recall... now it's about 150 for the membership, and 50 for the insurance..
not sure on the price, I've been in for just over a year and it was kind of expensive to start because had to do the certification/dues for last month or 2 and dues for following year. This will be my first standard renewal.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The updated certification standards include background checks (I think) and knowledge of safety procedures like CPR and Defib.

I think that will provide a lot of comfort to parents.

I was talking to a long-time pro at my club this weekend. He said in his early years he used the USPTA for networking and bouncing around ideas and experiences. Nowadays he does his continuing education online and misses a little bit of that, but it is more convenient. He runs a summer camp for kids every year under his own company and certainly being certified plays a role in him being allowed to run it in a semi-public facility under Parks and Rec.

It is like having your baggage handled at the hotel by a person with a uniform and a badge. Regardless of whether he is the Federer of bellhops or a devious criminal deep down, it gives you peace of mind.
 

WesternCK

Rookie
what are the top benefits you're getting out of it?
Throughout this thread I’ve seen some unintentional jabs at the certification process (not by yourself), but on a personal level, getting certified was one of my most fulfilling experiences. While it may not have been very difficult, it also wasn’t something that just anybody can get up and do. My old coach was certified by USPTA and suggested that I become as well when I told him that I would like to take up coaching myself. It wasn’t until the very day that I got certified that an opportunity to run my own facility was given to me.

I think if someone has a passion for the sport, the certification process would be something that they would actually enjoy, even for it to simply be a learning experience in and of itself. My opportunity was presented to me by my old coach and I think the fact that I actually went through the process of getting certified showed him that I was actually serious and committed.

Since I began giving lessons on my own, I’ve always advertised that I’m USPTA certified. In my early years, some of the parents of my students were happy that some of the things I taught were foundational aspects of things I learned through he USPTA. Simple things such as saying “load and explode” on a groundstroke or the progression of learning consistency/depth/placement in a given order.

It would feel as though I slightly downgraded if I didn’t renew after being a member for 6 years. I don’t think I would get any less “business” but I don’t see the memebership fee as enough of a con as to still not remain a part of the community.

The insurance is perhaps the most important benefit and one that has already been mentioned. After that, I look at the fact that we must get continued education throughout the years as a positive, as it forces me to get out there and meet people. At least I’ve still been to a few live get togethers myself that are worth credits. I don’t take advantage, and never have of any of the racket deals or tennis ball specials, so for me that area hasn’t done much.

In the end, there are quality coaches with certification and undoubtedly poor coaches who have gotten certified. With that being said the truth remains that the odd time the question is presented, two coaches may have the same skill but one will always answer “yes” and the other will always answer “no, but it doesn’t matter/mean anything” to the question of whether or not they are certified. I’m fine with remaining in the former for the long haul.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I am a USPTA certified recreational coach LOL
That is what I started but I need to finish it. Just keep putting it off like completing the Net Generation stuff. Even that basic of a USPTA cert helps with HS coaching and such.
 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
USPTA cert. in 1981. I scored a grade one on the skills test. A two on the written test. And a three on the lesson giving test. That made me a third rate USPTA pro. I assisted for friends at a couple of clubs for several years. Played some pro/ams and 'A' doubles leagues. I quit teaching after an ACL reconstruction. But that was years ago.
 

oserver

Professional
Not one single piece or carton or carboard to legitimize my amazing methods..... Was gonna get a USPTA certification till I learned @oserver has one, so thats pretty lame now.
oserver's certificate maybe a special one, with many tennis serve related papers/videos to assist the acceleration of the VERY slow evolution of tennis serve. Or at least provide some alternative serve forms and techniques to supplement current very rigid, narrowly confined serve forms and techniques;). Just consider that majority of tennis players won't be able to master the pronation motion with the continental grip and closed stances, in their entire tennis life:(.
 

Jamesm182

Semi-Pro
Im qualified with the LTA over here in the U.K , they also want youy to become accredited which sounds similar to your membership costs.
There's very little benefit to becoming accredited, but they market it as having their seal of approval , and work places often will only look at coaches who are. Which kind of forces your hand.
 

GN-001

Semi-Pro
I was wondering about this. Getting a coaching qualification is like an investment and unlike scuba diving, tennis doesn't have a PADI (universally recognised scuba diving qualification) so I've been holding off on getting one because I simply dont know which to go for.

The coaching qualification in my country costs almost $1000 for level 1 including having to do 120hrs of voluntary coaching (basically free labour for other coaches). You come out of that qualification to coach kids....I mean....I was already coaching kids without it so I dont see the point.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
New rules are coming, so get it fast. In an article I read, the USPTA acknowledged that they have already lost members due to their signing on with the new USTA proposals. Remember, 4 years of a PTM degree or 1500 hours of internship, with no apparent exceptions even for D1 players. I read a piece written by a coach who apparently turn down college to coach tennis after high school who claimed that from his decades of experience, a certification is more valuable to the student than being a D1 or pro player (of which he was never remotely close). His statement allowed for no exceptions - he is just sure of it (you know, like those who are sure that Harvard is a waste of money for everyone?) The coaching organizations have already started paid mentoring programs through "scholarships" presumably to prove that money will be available for interns. I think the sore point in the negotiations between USTA and the PTA/PTR is that the latter want the USTA to pay stipends to all interns.

So the recommended way will be to spend 4 years studying in a PTM school at maybe 40K a year where you get a degree in business/management/economics etc along with at least one teaching certification, and hopefully also get a stringing certification on the way. I suspect clubs will be pressurized to employ these graduates. Others can spend 1500 hours and exams and hope to get paid for the internship. It was good to read that several coaches have canceled their memberships when they heard of this USTA power grab.

Maybe it is good, who knows. It will be more aligned with Europe and UK, but those countries are small, tennis is expensive, and there is just not the widespread tennis market that is in the US. A union of coaches with guaranteed pay may sound appealing in such a situation and also fits in nicely with the more socialized environment. The opportunities in the US, on the other hand, are numerous and driven by entrepreneurship - imagine if Nick B was not allowed to teach or open an academy.
 
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