Getting into college coaching!

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#51
LOL.... there is a big difference between the AMA and the USTA. The medical professional is heavily regulated at both the state and federal level. That's why you have law like HIPAA in place. Those things do not exist with USPTA.

If you need a heart surgery or transplant, you just can not go down the street and have it done. When mistakes happen, people die. That's why you have malpractice insurance.

If you get bad tennis lessons from at certified USPTA, nobody die and it is considered "fee for service". Are you going to sue the instructor?
My point was that despite tennis not being a critical profession, once the new system kicks in, it will continue and the free market will not compel clubs to hire others.
 
#52
I can't comment on Suresh's theory re: the USPTA-USTA partnership (scheme, collaboration, cartel; whetever you want to call it). I've been USPTA certified for many years. It's been of moderate benefit, but has identified me as a serious and experienced coach (I'm rated as "Elite Professional") when I've applied to work at clubs or camps. This new initiative that all coaches at USTA affiliated clubs must be USPTA certified mystifies me though, especially the aspect that requires all new coaches perform 1500 hours of internship. Tennis coaching is a lousy job for almost anyone who needs to make an actual living (note: I've only ever coached part time; I made a very good living outside of tennis)--there are rarely any benefits, the hours are long and random, the weather determines your schedule and almost every manager at every club regards you as easily replaceable--because you are) so why any intelligent person would spend a year or so working for free in order to obtain job that won't pay much ever, makes no sense to me. The cynic in me says that many clubs will actively seek USPTA interns, use them for a year, then tell them there's no job available after that. The tennis club business is tough. Equipment sales decline year over year. There are fewer and fewer players, especially younger (25-40 years old) ones; the demographic for my clientele is predominantly female, aged 50+ (because, outside of juniors, that's who takes lessons and that's been true for as long as I've coached). The diminishing number of players won't be taking more lessons simply because their new coach just completed a year long internship, or will be club be able to charge more for that lesson. The tennis coaching culture/process in the US is firmly established; that the USTA and USPTA want to make the barrier to entry so formidable will not be feasible or ultimately successful, IMO.
 
Last edited:
#53
I can't comment on Suresh's theory re: the USPTA-USTA partnership (scheme, collaboration, cartel; whetever you want to call it). I've been USPTA certified for many years. It's been of moderate benefit, but has identified me as a serious and experienced coach (I'm rated as "Elite Professional") when I've applied to work at clubs or camps. This new initiative that all coaches at USTA affiliated clubs must be USPTA certified mystifies me though, especially the aspect that requires all new coaches perform 1500 hours of internship. Tennis coaching is a lousy job for almost anyone who needs to make an actual living (note: I've only ever coached part time; I made a very good living outside of tennis)--there are rarely any benefits, the hours are long and random, the weather determines your schedule and almost every manager at every club regards you as easily replaceable--because you are) so why any intelligent person would spend a year or so working for free in order to obtain job that won't pay much ever, makes no sense to me. The cynic in me says that many clubs will actively seek USPTA interns, use them for a year, then tell them there's no job available after that. The tennis club business is tough. Equipment sales decline year over year. There are fewer and fewer players, especially younger (25-40 years old) ones; the demographic for my clientele is predominantly female, aged 50+ (because, outside of juniors, that's who takes lessons and that's been true for as long as I've coached). The diminishing number of players won't be taking more lessons simply because their new coach just completed a year long internship, or will be club be able to charge more for that lesson. The tennis coaching culture/process in the US is firmly established; that the USTA and USPTA want to make the barrier to entry so formidable will not be feasible or ultimately successful, IMO.
As I said, you don't work for free. You just work as usual and make it count towards the hours.

Of course that assumes that there are enough positions available. That is the other side of the story. Clubs will need to be pressured to offer paid internships.
 
#54
^ It all depends on the program. If you have a good culture and respect your paid coaches and their decision making you should trust and respect the unpaid person they put in charge of you. Our volunteer assistants allowed for even numbers at practice and coached specific players during matches. It allows all of the coaches to focus more on their individual courts and players.

Edit: Also for programs that don’t have the budgets to have large staffs volunteers and grad assistants could be doing paperwork for coaches and learning/handling the business side. They could also be stringing depending on the school and how the school ‘finds’ ways to pay them.
What about establishing relationship and friendships with players ? This is probably one of the most important areas of effective coaching. Is being liked by the players a big factor ? Being respected and being liked are 2 different things. Some coaches thing being respected is more important than being liked. but you have to have both, they are both critical.
 
#55
I had brought up the issue of D1 players in the other thread. It is ridiculous if they cannot get a waiver while a 4.0 PTM grad can get certified.
Will these certification changes affect coaches who only coach during summer? A lot of D1 players take summer coaching jobs as well as recent college grads trying the Futures tour who come home and coach for a couple months to save up $ before trying tour again. How often is the current test given? Sounds like any current D1 player who ever thinks he/she might coach should get the easy 8 hr certification this year. Even if they dont plan a tennis career, they could coach until they found a job in their chosen career/major.

Forget the above. I cant believe how expensive it is $200 application plus $350 annual dues-doubt many D1 collegians will pay that now when they can only coach during summer. Guess they will only work for clubs that run UTR events after graduation... USPTA should have a cheaper college membership. Of course this certification could be a blessing in disguise if TDs decide to run tournaments on UTR's platform instead-UTR is offering its platform for tournament management for free this summer for prize $ events but could just be $1000 prize total across all events. USTA could be shooting itself in foot; in Atlanta we have ALTA league so clubs who dont want to use USTA certified pros can just sponsor ALTA teams. Of course, teams would miss out on nationals but maybe UTR will come up with alternate national championships for cities and states with independent leagues.

Link to UTR events for varying UTR levels-most opens: https://www.myutr.com/search?type=e...pen Series,UTR Summer Series&utrFitPosition=6
 
Last edited:
#56
Will these certification changes affect coaches who only coach during summer? A lot of D1 players take summer coaching jobs as well as recent college grads trying the Futures tour who come home and coach for a couple months to save up $ before trying tour again. How often is the current test given? Sounds like any current D1 player who ever thinks he/she might coach should get the easy 8 hr certification this year. Even if they dont plan a tennis career, they could coach until they found a job in their chosen career/major.

Forget the above. I cant believe how expensive it is $200 application plus $350 annual dues-doubt many D1 collegians will pay that now when they can only coach during summer. Guess they will only work for clubs that run UTR events after graduation... USPTA should have a cheaper college membership. Of course this certification could be a blessing in disguise if TDs decide to run tournaments on UTR's platform instead-UTR is offering its platform for tournament management for free this summer for prize $ events but could just be $1000 prize total across all events. USTA could be shooting itself in foot; in Atlanta we have ALTA league so clubs who dont want to use USTA certified pros can just sponsor ALTA teams. Of course, teams would miss out on nationals but maybe UTR will come up with alternate national championships for cities and states with independent leagues.

Link to UTR events for varying UTR levels-most opens: https://www.myutr.com/search?type=events&tours=ITA Summer Circuit,UTR Open Series,UTR Summer Series&utrFitPosition=6
How about free? How is the USPTA going to help someone increase the revenue because that's the bottom line.

I, for one, do not hire a tennis coach to my sons or daughter based on the USPTA certification. I hire the coach based on someone recommendation and I do research on the coach. Most of the coaches I hire to teach my son and daughter are from Russia, Romania, and Serbia. They come here on tennis scholarships and decided to stay after graduation. Btw, I pay them $90/hr and none of them have USPTA certifications and do not plan to anytime in the future.

The idea of the USPTA certification is a stupid one, IMHO.
 
#58
Will these certification changes affect coaches who only coach during summer? A lot of D1 players take summer coaching jobs as well as recent college grads trying the Futures tour who come home and coach for a couple months to save up $ before trying tour again. How often is the current test given? Sounds like any current D1 player who ever thinks he/she might coach should get the easy 8 hr certification this year. Even if they dont plan a tennis career, they could coach until they found a job in their chosen career/major.

Forget the above. I cant believe how expensive it is $200 application plus $350 annual dues-doubt many D1 collegians will pay that now when they can only coach during summer. Guess they will only work for clubs that run UTR events after graduation... USPTA should have a cheaper college membership. Of course this certification could be a blessing in disguise if TDs decide to run tournaments on UTR's platform instead-UTR is offering its platform for tournament management for free this summer for prize $ events but could just be $1000 prize total across all events. USTA could be shooting itself in foot; in Atlanta we have ALTA league so clubs who dont want to use USTA certified pros can just sponsor ALTA teams. Of course, teams would miss out on nationals but maybe UTR will come up with alternate national championships for cities and states with independent leagues.

Link to UTR events for varying UTR levels-most opens: https://www.myutr.com/search?type=events&tours=ITA Summer Circuit,UTR Open Series,UTR Summer Series&utrFitPosition=6
The D1 and D2 players I have known who coach during summer to make some extra cash post on CL or word of mouth and teach on public and apartment courts, so I don't see this as having any effect on them. If they do teach at clubs, I think the certification requirement is only for full-time coaches.

The current certification is 8 hours only for recreational coaches. Regular certification requires stroke testing and a demonstration clinic in addition to the 8 hour online test.
 
#59
What evidence do you have to make that statement?
No evidence of course since this is about the future, but look at general trends:

College education is now the new basic requirement for good jobs - has the trend reversed?

Regular training and re-certification is the increasing norm in all professions. People start out by complaining about it, then the big complainers are forced out of the workplace, and the pliant ones remain and multiply.

Bureaucracy, once enabled, always benefits a certain group of people in the beginning, and the numbers grow in a self-perpetuating manner.

Coaches in the US (and other countries already have elaborate certification requirements) who are US citizens might privately prefer these standards so as to not have to compete with South American and Eastern European immigrants who might accept lower wages.

Apparently the system was modeled after the USGA model. Any idea about the situation there?
 
#60
Will these certification changes affect coaches who only coach during summer? A lot of D1 players take summer coaching jobs as well as recent college grads trying the Futures tour who come home and coach for a couple months to save up $ before trying tour again. How often is the current test given? Sounds like any current D1 player who ever thinks he/she might coach should get the easy 8 hr certification this year. Even if they dont plan a tennis career, they could coach until they found a job in their chosen career/major.

Forget the above. I cant believe how expensive it is $200 application plus $350 annual dues-doubt many D1 collegians will pay that now when they can only coach during summer. Guess they will only work for clubs that run UTR events after graduation... USPTA should have a cheaper college membership. Of course this certification could be a blessing in disguise if TDs decide to run tournaments on UTR's platform instead-UTR is offering its platform for tournament management for free this summer for prize $ events but could just be $1000 prize total across all events. USTA could be shooting itself in foot; in Atlanta we have ALTA league so clubs who dont want to use USTA certified pros can just sponsor ALTA teams. Of course, teams would miss out on nationals but maybe UTR will come up with alternate national championships for cities and states with independent leagues.

Link to UTR events for varying UTR levels-most opens: https://www.myutr.com/search?type=events&tours=ITA Summer Circuit,UTR Open Series,UTR Summer Series&utrFitPosition=6
I believe the answer would be "no" because the players you're referring to (college kids on summer break) generally work at camps which do not need USTA certification. The coaches who will be affected are those who work at tennis clubs that hold USTA-sanctioned events--leagues, tourneys, etc.
 
#61
Tennis Mom--
As well, I believe it would behoove any college (or other) level player who thinks he/she might be interested in tennis coaching to get certified this year (or before the new cert requirements fall into place).
 
#62
No evidence of course since this is about the future, but look at general trends:

College education is now the new basic requirement for good jobs - has the trend reversed?

Regular training and re-certification is the increasing norm in all professions. People start out by complaining about it, then the big complainers are forced out of the workplace, and the pliant ones remain and multiply.

Bureaucracy, once enabled, always benefits a certain group of people in the beginning, and the numbers grow in a self-perpetuating manner.

Coaches in the US (and other countries already have elaborate certification requirements) who are US citizens might privately prefer these standards so as to not have to compete with South American and Eastern European immigrants who might accept lower wages.

Apparently the system was modeled after the USGA model. Any idea about the situation there?
I am at the technology conference here in San Diego and you will be surprised to find out that quite a bit of young people here are college drop out. You do not need a college degree to get a good technology job(s).

Again, this rule is not enforceable. Unless it is written into law or regulation at the federal or state level, it is is not going to be enforced.

The USTA neither has the resource nor the manpower to enforce this rule. The USTA is neither powerful nor has the resources to throw its weigh around like the USGA. No private clubs like being told what to do.
 
#63
I am at the technology conference here in San Diego and you will be surprised to find out that quite a bit of young people here are college drop out. You do not need a college degree to get a good technology job(s).

Again, this rule is not enforceable. Unless it is written into law or regulation at the federal or state level, it is is not going to be enforced.

The USTA neither has the resource nor the manpower to enforce this rule. The USTA is neither powerful nor has the resources to throw its weigh around like the USGA. No private clubs like being told what to do.
How long are you here?

Can you PM me through the forum?
 
#64
I believe the answer would be "no" because the players you're referring to (college kids on summer break) generally work at camps which do not need USTA certification. The coaches who will be affected are those who work at tennis clubs that hold USTA-sanctioned events--leagues, tourneys, etc.
Plus they are not full-time employees
 
#66
What about establishing relationship and friendships with players ? This is probably one of the most important areas of effective coaching. Is being liked by the players a big factor ? Being respected and being liked are 2 different things. Some coaches thing being respected is more important than being liked. but you have to have both, they are both critical.
Many coaches want to be liked but all have to be respected. Some don't give a d@*m either way. Texas Techs women's coach is an absolute a-hole. He talks crap to his own players during matches. The dude makes my skin crawl with some of the things he said to his girls when they came to us for ITA kick off last year. I've never seen a coach demean their players that way under the guise of coaching. As for being friends with players, thats a no. Sure they're friendly with the players but the players don't get to see behind the coaching curtain. They don't get to really know what the coaches are doing and saying all the time.
 
#67
Many coaches want to be liked but all have to be respected. Some don't give a d@*m either way. Texas Techs women's coach is an absolute a-hole. He talks crap to his own players during matches. The dude makes my skin crawl with some of the things he said to his girls when they came to us for ITA kick off last year. I've never seen a coach demean their players that way under the guise of coaching. As for being friends with players, thats a no. Sure they're friendly with the players but the players don't get to see behind the coaching curtain. They don't get to really know what the coaches are doing and saying all the time.
When I was 17 I took a job as an instructor at a summer tennis camp run by a top D1 coach and he gave me 1 of the best pieces of advice I ever got regarding being an instructor, teaching pro and coach, something I still adhere to even to this day. He said 'be friendly but don't be their friend'. People don't always respect or listen to their 'friends', they think of their friends as peers not people of authority. But then on the other hand you don't have to be a jerk and feared to be respected either (something a lot of pros/coaches don't get) there is a very fine line. Walking that fine line is something the best coaches do well. I remember once when I was in college my coach said to me 'this has not been your best week so I going to move you down a spot for the next match, I know you don't like it but I think it's the best for the team right now'. Yes I didn't like it but having my coach tell me that was something I could deal with. If my 'friend' had said that there may have been a fight. It gave me the push to move back up, something I don't think a friend could've done. Sometimes the coaches don't get the credit they deserve.
 
Last edited:
Top