One of the definitions of family in the Merriam-Webster reads like this: “A group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation: FELLOWSHIP.” By this definition, it is very simple to say that the members and divisional and national staff are truly a family. Sure, we all have a passion for the sport of tennis. However, that is not where it stops, and that is what I would like to address in this article.
As with all families, you are not always going to agree on things. There are ranges of disagreements for sure. Heck, just this morning my kids were discussing if they were going to watch the Great American Light Fight or Trolls. This was certainly not as stressful as the times they are discussing who gets to pick the restaurant the family will eat at. The result is decided, and you move on as a family. The kids still watch out for each other, they still want to help each other, and they still play games with each other.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, “How in the world this even relates to the USPTA?” Well, here it goes:
Over the last 12 – 18 months, there has been great discussion on the USTA Accreditation and education standards. There has been discussion on the fees we charge to be a member of our Association and not to mention ways we can help our fellow brothers and sisters that have been greatly affected by wildfires and hurricanes. Healthy discussion is certainly good and something that is needed to make sure that all angles are considered. Let us break each one of these items down.
- The USTA Accreditation is something we have been working through weekly on behalf of the USPTA family. We believe in the end, based on the feedback we have received throughout the process, this will make our family stronger and more relevant in the industry.
- When we stuck to our guns on the education component of tennis professionals, not only did we stay true to our mission statement, we also provided the best and most updated product to our extended family members (our clients).
- We listened to our family members that have faced difficulties when it comes to paying the full amount of dues or might be scared to spend money during that time of the year. What we have done is create various payment plan options for our current and future members.
I know this is just a simple snap shot of a few items in which our family has not always agreed with each other 100 percent. Let’s acknowledge the difficulties that some of our members might be facing and step up to help those in need. We are no different than other families: we disagree, love and in the end, care for each other.
As we continue to move forward in raising the standards of teaching in the industry, we look to you to bring more people into “OUR” family. If you have friends that are part of other associations, we have made their transition into our family easy and that can be found at bit.ly/PTREquivalency. If you have friends that are not certified, invite them to a family gathering (education event) and let them experience the bond that USPTA members share. As a reminder to you, by bringing in new members, you as the member, benefit through our newly revamped AIM program. Follow this link: bit.ly/USPTAAIM so you can assist in growing our family and help yourself in the process.
As I shared in my first vice president message: “ This is OUR USPTA” and that means that this is “OUR” family. I am very proud of our family and what it has done and continues to do to make us the elite tennis family in the world.