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Continuing Education is a Never-Ending Journey

By Feisal Hassan, USPTA Vice President
<i>Feisal Hassan
Feisal Hassan
March 2017 -- The best professionals in our industry are the ones who continue day after day, year after year, seeking to improve.  Every pro, from the best in the country to the entry-level novice, should want to keep growing and improving.

Research has found that adults need to know why they need to learn something before they will attempt to learn it. Typically in a learning environment, adults will invest a considerable amount of time weighing the benefits of learning something against the consequences of not learning it. Also, adults may already be aware of the “need to know” after an on-the-job performance appraisal and job shadowing. (Learners: Considerations for Education and Training, Adult Education & Retraining, February 2011, Mark J. Kistler) 

The USPTA is all about education with our mission being to “elevate the standards of teaching-teaching professionals and coaches.”

In the past, we tested and certified with the goal being predominantly about “testing” the applicant’s level: Recreational Coach, Professional or Elite Professional.

As our applicants proceed along the Certification Pathway, we need to educate them on how to get better in their profession.

Moving Forward
When people join the Association and want to become certified, we will educate and evaluate them in their pursuit to obtain the Professional Certification. This evaluation is for members seeking to be employed and teach on court.  As these new members gain experience, use their membership, and attend division and national conferences, we encourage them to upgrade their membership to the next level.

The Elite Professional level is now designed for Professionals who are ready to transition to a role that has more “off-the-court” responsibilities, such as management, budgeting, court maintenance, etc. This category is for those interested in becoming head professionals and/or directors of tennis.

Our new evaluation and education process will be to:
  • Educate applicants on how to do their job better
  • Inform applicants on how to continue to get more education (tennisresources.com, division and World Conferences, networking, etc.)
  • Offer customer service and be there as a resource, mentor and/or contact point
  • Evaluate the applicant’s skills and identify where more training is needed, which the evaluator can provide 
The revised Elite Professional level went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.  The new requirements are:
  • Score Elite level on the certification exam – private lesson, group lesson, stroke production and grip. 
  • Pass the online Elite stroke analysis exam with a score of at least 75 ­percent.
  • Pass the online, 29-multiple-choice Elite written exam with a score of at least 75 percent. The time limit is 90 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Watch three specialty courses and one webinar on tennisresources.com. Required courses are:
  1. Using Your Coaching Skills in a Manager’s Role (specialty course)
  2. Tennis Business Management (specialty course)
  3. Management: A Learned Skill (specialty course)
  4. Budget webinar
Wherever you are in your tennis career – a part-time Red Ball teacher, high performance junior coach, director of tennis, or anything in between – the USPTA wants to help you continue to learn, grow, and strive to get better. We want to help you to elevate your standards as a tennis teacher. 
 
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