Recreational Coach Certification

#1
Hi all,

I am a 4.5 player and have been assisting/volunteering with recreational tennis lessons at the local club the last two years. I am now considering the USPTA's recreational coach certification - not the professional designation as I am not interested in a full time career teaching)

Wondering whether anyone has any insight into the certification process, whether it's worth pursuing, and what your experiences have been.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#3
Hi all,

I am a 4.5 player and have been assisting/volunteering with recreational tennis lessons at the local club the last two years. I am now considering the USPTA's recreational coach certification - not the professional designation as I am not interested in a full time career teaching)

Wondering whether anyone has any insight into the certification process, whether it's worth pursuing, and what your experiences have been.
Get USPTA membership, pay 50 bucks for an online 8 hour course with questions, and you are done! No on court tests.

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sureshs

Bionic Poster
#4
The only advantage is you can coach high school if the opportunity (like even helping out the school coach) as you will have a piece of paper, and also fun kids practice sessions etc. You can do these without the certification of course, maybe just easier. You will also be plugged in into all the USPTA emails and newsletters. Otherwise no real benefit apart from as a test drive to become a real coach

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ChaelAZ

Hall of Fame
#5
Get USPTA membership, pay 50 bucks for an online 8 hour course with questions, and you are done! No on court tests.
I did mine with the 8 hour course. I actually finished the course in half that time, but you actually need to be in the course for a full 8 hours to qualify. They are supposed to have revamped it and made it competency based instead of time based but not sure if that happened yet. You do have the options of doing a short in person clinic as well, so check the options. I would call the USPTA and see what is available. While it isn't the full professional cert, it does give you formal status for situations like your where you help, which is where I also fit in and coaching HS. I do have a few pro mentors though while I work on my professional certification now.

Worth it to me.
 
#6
I did mine with the 8 hour course. I actually finished the course in half that time, but you actually need to be in the course for a full 8 hours to qualify. They are supposed to have revamped it and made it competency based instead of time based but not sure if that happened yet. You do have the options of doing a short in person clinic as well, so check the options. I would call the USPTA and see what is available. While it isn't the full professional cert, it does give you formal status for situations like your where you help, which is where I also fit in and coaching HS. I do have a few pro mentors though while I work on my professional certification now.

Worth it to me.
Question is: did the rec cert help you get the HS coach or asst coach role? Or do you not know because you mentioned it and got the position, but don't know if it made any difference?
 
#7
Question is: did the rec cert help you get the HS coach or asst coach role? Or do you not know because you mentioned it and got the position, but don't know if it made any difference?
I assist, but I am not currently in a position for that. I already have my degree in education, so the hope is there will be a position and I can move into a paid role and the rec cert will be required. In AZ we have a ton of the HS teams that simply grab a teacher and put them in charge of the tennis program, but interestingly when they post jobs for the position it requires a coaching certification.

For me, I think I mentioned before that I'll be retiring soon and will want to find some type of 2nd career in the tennis industry. I love coaching and helping kids, but really that won't be what I do long term for a position. I don't have the experience I think a coach needs to coach higher level players full-time and I have much more in-demand skill that would be better to supplment income. That said, having even the basic certification has helped me network and meet up with a lot of people in the industry, as well as learn different facets at workshops and classes that you only get access to through the organization. Even on social media some of the groups I get to sit in on are for certified coaches, facilities managers, insiders, etc.. Amazing wealth of information. So for the time, and even as basic as the rec certification is, for me it was worth it. @deucegame I can get you a referral link if you need. Need to login and find it, but will message when I do.
 
#8
Best ever. Internet, get Ur degree in no time by subscribing.

Now I know @ChaelAZ would be verified even with onsite test.

We have four or five levels in coach education. I’ve done two in both golf and ten-pin bowling and have alpine skiing instructors education.

Money is allways involved and the grand total is ridigulous. The now coaches defend their grounds and the education is not that much of knowledge, but nit-picking.

Both tennis and golf education is more of how to command and lead a group for the first few courses, not the stroke mechanics. In bowling here the whole starts off with the proper throwing mechanics and I find that the only decent approach into coaching. Relationship capabilities will later determine, if you have a shot being a coach.

If you cannot deliver the knowledge or interact with your pupils, there is no future. Both gets frustrated and neither will learn a thing.

For the record, I could teach also sailing and flying, but have no cert in either of them. Used to be mil fighter pilot and a National Team dingy sailor in my younger years.
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On pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter subject to disclaimer
 
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#10
Hi all,

I am a 4.5 player and have been assisting/volunteering with recreational tennis lessons at the local club the last two years. I am now considering the USPTA's recreational coach certification - not the professional designation as I am not interested in a full time career teaching)

Wondering whether anyone has any insight into the certification process, whether it's worth pursuing, and what your experiences have been.
Probably the best value in all certs, lol, since none of them are worth anything other than the job they can open the door for.... In all of them you will learn a ton of wrong info to derail your game and students if you use it.
 
#11
Probably the best value in all certs, lol, since none of them are worth anything other than the job they can open the door for.... In all of them you will learn a ton of wrong info to derail your game and students if you use it.
That is not true. The regular cert requires on-court skill demonstration, both playing and teaching skills.
 
#13
That is not true. The regular cert requires on-court skill demonstration, both playing and teaching skills.
Ok, but what if you already have these? I think you are suggesting a benefit to the consumer, in that there is some quality control in the mix, although it's not particularly well done.

My point is that if you already have the skills, the cert is to get you somewhere or open doors. If you don't have the skills, the mix you will get in this process is shaky at best.
 
#14
Ok, but what if you already have these? I think you are suggesting a benefit to the consumer, in that there is some quality control in the mix, although it's not particularly well done.

My point is that if you already have the skills, the cert is to get you somewhere or open doors. If you don't have the skills, the mix you will get in this process is shaky at best.
That is what people say about any certification or degree. The argument never ends, but in real life, customers and employers ask for credentials. It is not just about skills, but also about the socialization and checks required in the process of getting a cert or degree which gives people confidence about the stability and security of the person.
 
#15
That is what people say about any certification or degree. The argument never ends, but in real life, customers and employers ask for credentials. It is not just about skills, but also about the socialization and checks required in the process of getting a cert or degree which gives people confidence about the stability and security of the person.
and that is why I said, "other than" the doors it opens and the places it can take you. There is always that element of a cert that means you could show up, pay and repeat info, but all too often that is confused with outstanding quality. I'm not saying a cert will mean you don't have quality and I have mine, but what I'm saying is that it doesn't ensure you have quality anymore than a driver's license means you are a great driver. While they both offer some of the basic info and requirements needed, Imo the Tennis certs also contain a lot of poor info. If you don't know anything much, then maybe you get something out of it. If you already know a lot about tennis, then maybe you can learn something in the course about running drills and teaching, if you don't have experience with that.
 
#16
and that is why I said, "other than" the doors it opens and the places it can take you. There is always that element of a cert that means you could show up, pay and repeat info, but all too often that is confused with outstanding quality. I'm not saying a cert will mean you don't have quality and I have mine, but what I'm saying is that it doesn't ensure you have quality anymore than a driver's license means you are a great driver. While they both offer some of the basic info and requirements needed, Imo the Tennis certs also contain a lot of poor info. If you don't know anything much, then maybe you get something out of it. If you already know a lot about tennis, then maybe you can learn something in the course about running drills and teaching, if you don't have experience with that.
Entry-level certs or degrees in any field are mainly meant for people newly entering the field with little experience. There is nothing surprising about that. A 4.5 player typically does not know how to spot problems and offer solutions, which is the foundation of the USPTA regular coach cert requirements, in theory and on-court testing. Typically, most of them simply insist that others do it the way they do it, if they can explain it at all. I know one older 4.5 player who tells me to snap the wrist on the serve whenever he runs into me. Many 4.5 players also don't know how to conduct drills or even feed the ball properly, if they are not active parents of juniors.

At the same time, the on-court test is designed to ensure that the player is at least a 4.0. There are specific tests for demonstrating position and placement of strokes and serves. Many 4.5 players cannot hit body, wide or DTL serves on demand, which is part of the test. Many 4.5 league players foot fault on every serve. The tests screen out these people or at least make them aware that to be certified takes more than just being known as a good club player. You will be surprised how many players go around thinking they know everything about tennis because they just won a doubles match.
 
#17
I know one older 4.5 player who tells me to snap the wrist on the serve whenever he runs into me.
lol. I know a guy like that who is a top seniors player and a coach, and his go to feedback is mostly, "You gotta watch the ball. Com'on...see ball, hit ball. It is that easy!". Then he demos hitting the ball like he is having a hard time understanding why students playing for a few months are having issues.
 
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