The History of the USPTA
The USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) is one of the largest parts of the tennis education industry. USPTA Certified Professionals offer the best tennis coaching around, and it takes a lot of hard work for a instructor to obtain certification. Founded in 1927 by a group of professional players in New York, the original goal of the USPTA was to create a gap between professional instructors and amateur players. The current Mission Statement of the USPTA is “The purpose of USPTA shall be to elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches.” The organization’s name was originally the United States Professional Lawn Tennis Association, but the word “Lawn” was dropped in 1970 due to the lack of use of the term. At that point, the Association had fewer than 1,000 members, but its ranks have grown to 15,000 worldwide members today. The USPTA currently produces a monthly magazine called ADDvantage, and has a show on the Tennis Channel called On Court with USPTA.
Membership in USPTA is open to anyone over the age of eighteen who intends to make a living from coaching tennis. The USPTA offers its members on-court liability insurance, healthcare, retirement benefits, and the opportunity to earn certification as teaching professionals. In order to become Certified Professionals, members must pass written and on-court exams and participate in Coach Youth Tennis courses. They must demonstrate their ability to work with players, help run tennis facilities and pro shops, organize and assist in tennis programs, and conduct private and group lessons. Two higher levels of USPTA certification, Elite Professional and Master Professional, require more testing and approval by a committee for the Master level. The USPTA also offers certification for wheelchair tennis coaching, recreational coaching, and school coaching.