USPTA rolls out membership structure changes
HOUSTON — As previously announced at the USPTA World Conference in September, the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) implemented its new membership structure on January 1.
The USPTA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors voted in April to streamline the categories of membership to make them easier to understand, promote to the public and more clearly define for owners and operators of clubs and facilities. After months of preparation and reorganization, the USPTA is ready to roll out the new classifications.
“The streamlining of our membership structure is intended to provide a clearer pathway for aspiring professionals who want to make teaching tennis their career choice,” said CEO John Embree. “Having a logical configuration to the various categories of membership will be more enticing, especially to a younger audience that we are trying to attract.”
All USPTA Professionals categorized as Professional 2 and Professional 3 have been reclassified as Professional, and all members categorized as Professional 1 are now classified as Elite Professional. The Recreational Coach and Master Professional categories remain the same.
The membership was notified of these changes in the summer and given the option to upgrade before the changes took effect Jan. 1. The USPTA’s membership department saw a record number of upgrades in 2013, having tested approximately 907 upgrades between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. During the same period in last year, 210 people attempted to upgrade.
The membership categories changed to the following:
- Recreational Coach (remains the same)
- Professional (formerly P-2 and P-3)
- Elite Professional (formerly P-1)
- Master Professional (remains the same)
In 2014, in order to become a Professional, applicants will need to complete the following:
- Written exam (online)
- Feeding competency - existing exam
- Private (one-on-one, 25 minutes)
- Group (three or four students, 25 minutes)
- Grip exam - existing online exam
- Stroke production - existing exam
- Youth Coaching Education Program
In 2014, in order to become an Elite Professional, members will need to complete the following:
- Elite level in private lesson, group lesson and stroke production
- Continuing education - earn 16 specialty courses credits and 24 APC credits
- Online written exam
- Feeding competency
- Stroke analysis (online)
The current certification process is online at uspta.com.
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