Usptr vs Uspta

yonexplayer

New User
My question what is the exact difference between the two, by this i mean what is more difficult and carries the most clout? A ptr pro or uspta pro grade.
Let's say you have a ptr pro diploma is that the same as a uspta pro i mean with a ptr diploma can you get the uspta pro diploma on merit and vice versa?
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
yonexplayer said:
My question what is the exact difference between the two, by this i mean what is more difficult and carries the most clout? A ptr pro or uspta pro grade.
Let's say you have a ptr pro diploma is that the same as a uspta pro i mean with a ptr diploma can you get the uspta pro diploma on merit and vice versa?


You are going to get different responses from different people who have been certified and who have not.

In my opinion, I see very little difference in the certifications. They both prove some level of competency in teaching tennis and playing tennis. Although, I have seen a couple pros that were certified that I scratch my head about. I wonder how they even passed the strokes exam.

I really dont care if they cant beat Rodger Federer but they at least should have good technique even though they may not overpower you or a youngster could run them around the court.

The USPTA has much more clout out here in the West. In the East, I hear it is the PTR. You will have to check your neck of the woods for which is the one most sought after.

Bottom-line, you can get certified but it really boils down to knowledge, teaching skills, some playing ability (mainly for credibility), good analysis skills ( to see the issue in a players game), and excellent communication.

One final thing - you have to care and show heart towards your students and them getting better. So taking a genuine interest in their improvement both on the clock and off the clock goes a long way.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
I think they are virtually the same....think the costs are similar. They have different designations and ratings which are pretty much still the same. Example USPTA has a Level1 Pro and PTR has Level P. they offer similar costs on liability insurance if you need to buy that and so forth. It's easy to be certified...just plunk down your money and go to the closest certification workshop to you for a Saturday and Sunday and emerge as a certified teaching pro....whether people can actually teach tennis is an entirely different matter..that'is where experience and having a good knack and sense for it comes in handy...making the lesson feel relaxed and loose, having fun , people actually learning and teaching without getting too technical, and getting the right amount of exercise. For the life of me I cant understand why the USTA doesnt even take enough interest to ensure that our sport is taught by quality teachers....i digress..my advise to you is to go with whichever one has the workshop available to you at the most convenient dates and location.
 

yonexplayer

New User
Thank you very much Mr Bungalo Bill.
I agree many high ranked players have credibility for being good players but when it comes to coaching they really are lousy.
I do see many different ways of teaching the strokes within the different federations in europe.
ptr and uspta seemed pretty close that's why i posed the question.
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
I agree there are many lousy coaches who are certified either by the PTR or the USPTA. Well, to be a good coach you ought to have a decent playing level .. skill level; some teaching experience, and then I suggest you do the TU-I course followed by certification with Dennis van der Meer at Hilton Head Island. I did my TU-I course/certification with Dennis in 1994; am ITN-3, PTR Pro rating, and writing here for the last 9 years. By and large my students benefit from my teaching/coaching. And by the way you cannot put a lid on peoples mouth. Some people have called me as a lousy coach as well! It's just a matter of perception .. a battle between right and wrong. However, a good professional through his sustained hard work will weather the storm!
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
yonexplayer said:
Thank you very much Mr Bungalo Bill.
I agree many high ranked players have credibility for being good players but when it comes to coaching they really are lousy.


Yes, you are very right about that. A good player does not necessarily mean a good coach. Many good players did not do their own self analysis. Or at least did not develop strong skills in the analysis area. Some did.

But we have to remember, a large group of tennis players are introverted. Introverts do not always have good people skills which is a huge skill to have teaching tennis. So some good players that turn to coaching may not make a good coach because they are not good communicators or get frustrated too soon because they have forgotten what it is like to learn tennis. Their natural ability and talent accelerated their ability to learn this game and much can be taken for granted.

To combat this potential problem, Vic Braden used to have us play tennis with our opposite hand for two to three months. We served, hit groundstrokes, volleyed, etc. with our weaker side. For those that forgot what it was like to learn tennis, you quickly remembered. You gained empathy for a player learnign the game and your patience increased for those that were having a hard time "getting" something.

So coaching is coaching. Yes, it is important for a player to know how to execute their strokes with good technique. But the most important skill to have is knowledge of the game, to know how people process information and learn or learning theory, patience, excellent communication skills (being able to paint a picture in different ways for the same subject), to genuinely care about their development more than your own, and as NBM said you got to make it fun.

That is a whole different set of skills. Most of these skills are not taught at certification.

I do see many different ways of teaching the strokes within the different federations in europe.

There are many ways to approach teaching and many ways to "paint" a picture. But you need to keep in mind, that the laws of physics will be there. The basic findamentals of a pros strokes needs to be in a club players strokes. Fundamental principles are super important to understand for every coach before heading out into "opinion" land or "a different method" land needs to master them.
 

BabolatFan

Semi-Pro
How does one become a USPTA pro 1 if he's new to the teaching aspect of tennis but has a rating of 5.5? If he/she passed the exam with flying colors, do you become a Pro 1 anyways? How do Pro 3 coaches become Pro 1 later? Is there a test for this? Thanks in advance for responses.
 

10ispro

Rookie
USPTA Professional 1 rating requires you have a verifiable 3 years full time teaching experience and the majority of your income is derived from teaching.
Once you have passed the exam and assigned a rating, any areas that need upgraded require a 3month waiting period before you upgrade.

NBM is semi accurate in how testing works. It is typically a weekend event, but it really isnt like you just pay for the testing, go for a weekend and become certified. You are initially granted Status as a developmental Coach and you get the USPTA's liability insurance. You have to upgrade and take the full test to be certifed as a teaching Pro.
You can pass the test at various levels based on compentency in each section-grips, stroke analysis, stroke production, Group lesson, Private lesson and written which covers aspects of Pro shop Management, court maintenance, System 5 etc....

Some level of common sense is required by the person to realize if they cant pass they exam as a P2 or P1, then they probally should not be working with Elite Junior or Adult players.

I have not taken PTR but from what I know from people who are both PTA and PTR, PTR is more rigid in its presentation of Tennis basics in such that specific language and corrective techniques have to be used, all based on the
VanDe Meer system. USPTA allows for alot of individuality (good and bad) , so basically if 2 Pros could be correcting the same problem and use completely different approaches to make the correction, but as long as the end result is the appropriate correction was made-that is what matters.
The large handful of PTR pros I have worked with and I have no idea what level they passed their exam, but all seem to have limited knowledge of the game and very limited flexibility in corrective techniques.

and as BB said, PTA and PTR clout is segemented across the country, there are pockets of areas that are predominatly one or the other. an Hour South of me is predominatly PTA. an Hour North is PTR. If you go farther south into Carolinas, you get into alot of PTR areas, FLA has alot of PTA areas.
so it varies, alot depends on number of facilities available for testing within a certifed radius.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
NBM is semi accurate in how testing works. It is typically a weekend event, but it really isnt like you just pay for the testing, go for a weekend and become certified.

NBM isn't even semi accurate. Why give him that much credit?

He forgets that to even take the test you better have good strokes to even participate and that takes years to develop!

There will always be those that skate through the system but the vast majority of participants have had extensive play and practice and possess very good strokes.

I thought his comment was very misleading and tells me he has never taken the test, has never been to a testing, and probably couldn't pass the test. LOL
 
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NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
hey bill..you've been absent for a while, but i see you have returned to cheap shot again, and from a long defunct thread yet..nice go there bud..additionally you are quite wrong about the things you post about me.
 

jackson vile

G.O.A.T.
hey bill..you've been absent for a while, but i see you have returned to cheap shot again, and from a long defunct thread yet..nice go there bud..additionally you are quite wrong about the things you post about me.

Don' t let him get to you NBM, just an old has been trying to make himself feel better.;)
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
Don' t let him get to you NBM, just an old has been trying to make himself feel better.;)

hey thanks. he doesnt get to me..i feel sorry for him, and was hoping that in his absense he might have received some sort of help..he clearly needs some, but he obviously hasnt gotten any better in his absense. he's doing his same old stuff. bye the way, i am PTR certified at the P level.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
You are correct, he never is accurate.



Again, I have to agree with you as he has a habit of being very misleading.

not surprsing to see you in here cheap shotting either...yawn

i invite you for once in your lifetime, to offer up something fact or knowledge based rather than this typical appalling insulting stuff you post...it just illustrates what kind of person you are. so please enlighten us what you know about ptr or uspta certification..that would be a real switch from what you usually post..surely you must know that nobody with any sort of brain believes anything someone like you 'contributes' to this forum..well i guess not
 
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Tennismastery

Professional
I wanted to share some of my experience with this thread.

It is interesting that when I went through the testing process as a USPTA pro, strokes were not part of the hitting test. You simply had to hit X number of shots into various areas. However, there were parts of the test that told you to hit slice or topspin...again no designation of stroke patterns, and have the ability to demonstrate and successfully serve the three main serves.

There is a grip test the has the person identify each of the different grip positions, and a fairly comprehensive written exam. A Video tape analysis is much better than it was when I first took the test, one where you have a player demonstrate an 'accepted' form and then one that has 'a flaw' where you are to determine the root problem...even as there are many.

I chatted with a young lady who was a P-1 USPTA and I asked her what experience she had: 3 years as a recreational tennis instructor. Now, she is the highest level of certification in USPTA and she has the same level as myself, someone who has taught for 33 years, taught over 3000 players and trained over 100 state and nationally ranked players. I found it amusing--if not disapointing--to see that to a student, this pro and myself would appear to have the same level of expertise. Obviously this is completely false. I have often wondered why the certification entities (USPTA and I assume PTR) don't have a method to identify experience along with testing and hitting exams.

In my opinion, experience is priceless and can't be obtained through testing or purchased.

Even at a so-called 'world-class' tennis facility, they have pros who never played high school or college tennis, never taught anywhere else, and have only a few years of tennis teaching experience... yet are certified by the USPTA. I also know that the director of tennis at this site falsified the teaching experience of one of their instructors so he could get certified. Not exactly comforting to pay hundreds of dollars a day to attend camps that are staffed by such inexperience. Thus, it is good to do a little research before paying lots of money for such instruction.

All of this being said, it is critical that students seeking professional tennis instruction seek some sort of resume/experience criteria that they can judge where they should spend their money. Certification does provide some level of confidence in that no one would spend hundreds of dollars to get get certified if they were not serious to some degree about teaching tennis. However, certification does not insure quality, as several have mentioned here in this thread.
 
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Some interesting information posted in this thread. Like other professions there is more to it than having passed required examination procedures. As a comparison a person is a lawyer once they have completed the appropriate education requirements and passed the bar exam. Someone who has just recently completed that process is not necessarily as good a lawyer as someone who has been a lawyer for many, many years. The same line of thinking could apply to doctors, mechanics, plumbers, and tennis instructors.

Question to BB; Are you the same Bill who writes the Tennis Tips section on the USTA website?
 

TenS_Ace

Professional
BungaloBill has forgotten MORE than some "experts" on here will ever know!! Glad to see you are still around BB:)
 

thatguy

New User
Food for thought...

I'm a teaching pro and I know another pro who has taken both the USPTA and USPTR. He took the PTR before he ever taught a single lesson in his life because he was told that PTR was more desired in Hilton Head where he wanted to teach. Keep in mind that he also played 6 for our college team (a Division 3 school). Anyways, to make a long story short he got the highest PTR rating (P) without ever conducting a lesson before. About 2 years later, after teaching for over a year, he took the USPTA and got the lowest rating possible (P3). As an observer it sure seems like the PTR is extremely easy if someone who has never taught a lesson in their life can get the highest possible PTR rating with no experience and then essential fail the USPTA exam after he's been a teaching pro for over a year.
 

TonLars

Professional
Hey guys, interesting info on these certifications and testing processes.

Im almost out of school, and basically want to play tournaments full time for a little while before getting a job, and then settle down and teach tennis for a living the rest of my life. I have heard about these certifications and other teaching pros have asked me if I am going to get certified. I am wondering when it becomes important/necessary to have these certifications for different tennis coaching jobs, such as whether its teaching at a club, or coaching a college team, etc? Is high level playing experience, and teaching experience not enough for some of these positions, and you need to be certified as well for most places? Just wondering, thanks for the help
 
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Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Some interesting information posted in this thread. Like other professions there is more to it than having passed required examination procedures. As a comparison a person is a lawyer once they have completed the appropriate education requirements and passed the bar exam. Someone who has just recently completed that process is not necessarily as good a lawyer as someone who has been a lawyer for many, many years. The same line of thinking could apply to doctors, mechanics, plumbers, and tennis instructors.

Question to BB; Are you the same Bill who writes the Tennis Tips section on the USTA website?

This is a very smart post about certifications in anything one decides to do. Very intelligent and truthful response.

Everyone wanting to be a teaching pro should take advantage of the certification process for the benefits it provides you and the public. It shows a level of competence.
 

Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
Hey guys, interesting info on these certifications and testing processes.

Im almost out of school, and basically want to play tournaments full time for a little while before getting a job, and then settle down and teach tennis for a living the rest of my life. I have heard about these certifications and other teaching pros have asked me if I am going to get certified. I am wondering when it becomes important/necessary to have these certifications for different tennis coaching jobs, such as whether its teaching at a club, or coaching a college team, etc? Is high level playing experience, and teaching experience not enough for some of these positions, and you need to be certified as well for most places? Just wondering, thanks for the help

I believe this is the case from everything I am experiencing; unless being backed by results of playing success, in speaking with the USTA and several club pros, both on the west coast and east coast, they all strongly urged the USPTA for certification.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
I believe this is the case from everything I am experiencing; unless being backed by results of playing success, in speaking with the USTA and several club pros, both on the west coast and east coast, they all strongly urged the USPTA for certification.

Don't know who you were talking but on the East Coast it has mainly been PTR dominated.
 

Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
Don't know who you were talking but on the East Coast it has mainly been PTR dominated.

The USTA .... (They're kind of a small organization)

the 2 club pros at my club who are USPTA, the Southern section in Norcross, GA who all preach USPTA, 2 club pros at Bobby Riggs in San Diego that point to USPTA ...
 
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OrangeOne

Legend
I chatted with a young lady who was a P-1 USPTA and I asked her what experience she had: 3 years as a recreational tennis instructor. Now, she is the highest level of certification in USPTA and she has the same level as myself, someone who has taught for 33 years, taught over 3000 players and trained over 100 state and nationally ranked players. I found it amusing--if not disapointing--to see that to a student, this pro and myself would appear to have the same level of expertise. Obviously this is completely false. I have often wondered why the certification entities (USPTA and I assume PTR) don't have a method to identify experience along with testing and hitting exams.

Firstly - I know this is a post from a while back I'm responding too, but given the thread has resurfaced....

Here's a modified cut-and-paste from another thread where I noted what I recently found out about the recently overhauled Australian system.

----

There are some private bodies that offer certification and insurance for less $$ and effort than the below, but they are not part of the national scheme, and they don't have formal recognition through to Tennis Australia, ITF, international, etc etc.

The recognised programs are all run by the State Tennis Bodies under Tennis Australia (www.tennis.com.au), and they require potential "junior development coaches" (the first level of three certifications offered) to:

Level 1 (Beginner / Development coach):

- Complete a course (5 weekends of instruction on & off court, 3 one-hour on-court coaching assessments over three weekend thereafter)
- Have a supervising coach that the coach finds
- Coach under observation for 40 hours
- Take part in a fairly rigorous ongoing professional cert. program
- Recommended minimum NTPR is 3.5 (converted from ITN)
- Pay the course cost - just over $1k US, which is substantial at least
- Almost anyone can sit the course

It should be noted, too, that the above is all just for the basic first level course, for coaching juniors / beginners.

Level 2 (Club Professional): is about 60% larger than the above in all capacities (time, cost, recommended NTPR of 5.0 etc etc).

Level 3 (High Performance): Is designed for very experienced coaches who are training state, national and international level players. Very restricted entry.

So it seems that the Aussie system really does meet requirements you have, TM, especially when I note that to even contemplate the 'Level 3' (which is the level you're at unless I'm sadly mistaken), from memory you need to submit a (what I imagine is fairly length and advanced) resume to even be accepted into the course. And of course, before then you need to either have sat the two prior courses as detailed above or submit mounds of experience and pre-reqs.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
The USTA .... (They're kind of a small organization)

the 2 club pros at my club who are USPTA, the Southern section in Norcross, GA who all preach USPTA, 2 club pros at Bobby Riggs in San Diego that point to USPTA ...

There will be PTR and USPTA all over the country. The PTR has a big following out on the East Coast.
 

Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
Yes, I am aware of them and asked about them. I think both organizatins are great, but went with what the USTA specifcally reccomended at the end of the day purely on familiarity (and the cool magazine subscriptions)

I also liked this

http://usptafindapro.com/
 
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Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Yes, I am aware of them and asked about them. I think both organizatins are great, but went with what the USTA specifcally reccomended at the end of the day purely on familiarity (and the cool magazine subscriptions)

If you are on the West Coast that is fine. But still your effectiveness as a coach will be to stay away from using terms like "muscling". :p lol
 

Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
I get ya Bill :)

I'm recently relocated to Cape Fear (North Carolina) from San Diego

-

Muscling through it means fighting through the shank; it's like trying to toughen up the player so to speak; think about that and the lame forehand ball into the net off a volley or a 2 hander that just can't handle a hard serve

A player's gotta muscle through it and not let the rock overpower them ...

Ah feck it, nevermind ;)

(Peace)
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
I get ya Bill :)

I'm recently relocated to Cape Fear (North Carolina) from San Diego

-

Muscling through it means fighting through the shank; it's like trying to toughen up the player so to speak; think about that and the lame forehand ball into the net off a volley or a 2 hander that just can't handle a hard serve

A player's gotta muscle through it and not let the rock overpower them ...

Ah feck it, nevermind ;)

(Peace)

If a player has to muscle through it then other things are going on as you know. I have no problem with fighting through shots that one gets jammed on etc...

All a persn needs to do is to use their weight transfer to hit a powerful shot. The rest revolves around how they store and unravel their kinetic energy through their body.

When one uses the term "muscling" in my mind it usually paints a picture of tensing up.
 

Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
Gotcha

Not at all what I was suggesting; tennis is about a relaxed, loose grip. I can see where someone may get the wrong idea.

fighting through shots

That's kind of what I meant; I also wanted to emphasize the muscles inthe forearm on the volley return. Not the muscles in the hands or fingers or biceps, the forearm ...
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Gotcha

Not at all what I was suggesting; tennis is about a relaxed, loose grip. I can see where someone may get the wrong idea.

fighting through shots

That's kind of what I meant; I also wanted to emphasize the muscles inthe forearm on the volley return. Not the muscles in the hands or fingers or biceps, the forearm ...

I think every coach has said a word which meant something to them (as a good thing) but to the student it produced something different. Then you spend extra time undoing the meaning of that word in the students mind to get them on track. If you want to be a coach, you have to be very careful how you phrase things and the words you choose to use to get your point across.

The neat thing about this forum is you get to practice. You can reread your comments and try to see it from the students perspective. You will see all kinds of things that can be misinterpreted and many times you will need to rewrite your explanations out of discipline and the desire to truly help people play better tennis.

Other times you will be challenged and sometimes harshly. If you know your stuff and can back it up, stick to the challenge and defend your position.

The other thing is sometimes it takes a lot of writing because you don't have visuals to help. So writing gets laborious and tidious. If you truly want to help people this won't matter - you will take the time to write out your explanations.
 
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Nick Irons

Semi-Pro
Points taken

Feel free to give me your advice whenever you see fit. I don't claim to know everything. I do love the sport and have a warriors heart on the court; I'd love to teach the right way in the future
 
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