As my journey on the national board begins, I would like to say what an honor it is to represent you, our USPTA membership. The USPTA has a great past, is currently in a strong position, and the future is even more amazing. As I have studied the past, been part of the present and look forward to shaping the future, one common ingredient stands out about the USPTA: this is our association. This association is one that was built by US, is maintained by US and will be pushed forward by US. So, the first two letters of the USPTA say it all, it is US.
As an association, we need to build and secure our future as the industry leading tennis-teaching association, not only in the USA, but the world. The leaders that have come before US, have put US in the position we are in today. The leaders of today need to prepare US for the future that lies ahead. The leaders of tomorrow (which you just might be that person) will need to be prepared to take US to “infinity and beyond”, as the great Captain Buzz Lightyear exclaimed in “Toy Story.”
Currently, there are two tools in place right now that can help US attract new professionals and expose the influencers of tomorrow’s potential professionals.
The first tool is the USPTA School Coach Category, a corporate membership for the school system. For $99, middle and high school coaches have access to TennisResources.com, the largest collection of educational and instructional tennis videos, an interactive planner containing hundreds of drills to help you build a custom lesson plan throughout the year, and a school subscription to both Tennis Magazine and Tennis Industry Association. The School Coach Category gives these coaches access to resources provided by some of our top professionals to help their programs reach the next level, and 25 percent of their annual dues go back to the statewide tennis coaches’ association.
The second tool is the AIM program. This program rewards US for admiring potential new members and inviting them to join our association and mentoring them. You will be rewarded with a $50 reduction in our membership dues for the following year (up to $100 a year).
As stated in the February article by First Vice President Feisal Hassan, it is important that we create consistency and have a personal touch. Although Feisal was approaching this topic more from his position with Testing and Certification, it is something that must be done by all of US in attracting our future industry leaders. We must continue to build on this concept in all areas of our association. We need to continue to become more about US. We have to provide products for our future leaders that match their needs while continuing to service the requests of our current members.
Our membership is our loudest voice. When we are out on the front lines, we need to have a product that we are all proud of and one that we know makes an impact on the industry. Once again, it is US that makes the difference. It is US that can encourage, mentor and guide the youth of today into our industry. The Membership Committee is looking at all aspects of our membership from testing, education, recruitment programs and everything in between. The key with this whole process is to be able to provide all of US the tools needed to attract, grow, and maintain our overall membership.
As we move forward we will not all agree on everything and that’s ok. It is those healthy discussions that will lead US to even greater heights as the industry leading professional teaching association. We will continue to raise the standards of teaching together for it is our USPTA.
I look forward to working with all of you and invite you to contact me for anything via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.