What's in it for me?
That’s a question I hear a lot from our members at USPTA; and we understand. As a trade association, we are in the business of providing a benefit to our members. The reality is, without our members, we don’t have an Association. It is important to understand that the board members, the national staff, and the division leadership are not the USPTA. All of our members are the foundation of the USPTA, as well as our greatest resource. In order to take full advantage of our USPTA membership, we must learn from and share with each other.
With the recent accreditation making us the only USTA accredited tennis-teaching association, our Association’s standing across the tennis community has been strengthened immeasurably. We are the industry standard in tennis teaching and the USTA has affirmed that. As CEO John Embree states on page 36, more collaboration and expanded programming is on the way. Opportunities for collaboration while retaining our autonomy is an integral step in the continued elevation of our Association.
But that question remains- “What’s in it for me?” How do we take full advantage of the Association’s collective knowledge and wisdom to better the sport we are so passionate about?
We implore you to consider attending a division or national conference. The ability to learn from your peers, engage in discourse, and offer your specific knowledge, background and experiences is critical in the growth of our professionals.
Most division conference dates and locations have been set for the upcoming year and can be found in the back of this issue on page 60. Of course, I look forward to seeing many USPTA professionals at the 2019 World Conference in Las Vegas next fall!
Career Development Opportunities
Two additional opportunities afforded to our members are the USPTA Leadership Academy and the RacquetFit certification program. I had the good fortune to participate in the inaugural RacquetFit certification in Lake Nona. It was an eye-opening experience that has already made a significant impact on my teaching style and philosophy. Elite Professional Jeff Salzenstein along with Dr. Sean Drake and Dr. Greg Rose led the presentations and all in attendance left impressed.
As instructors at the USPTA Leadership Academy, Sara Morse, Ajay Pant, Jose Pastrello and I saw firsthand how our pros are eager to improve their careers and the exchange of information not only benefited them, but I can honestly say I learned something from both the attendees and the other presenters. We had USPTA professionals from across the country, absorbing information from the presenters, and more importantly, learning from their colleagues. We will continue to offer these programs nationwide.
Another exciting initiative recently launched is the USPTA Career and Leadership Development Program. This mentor program connects veteran members with new members looking to navigate the career path of a tennis-teaching professional. Southern Division President Kevin Theos is spearheading the program and it has seen a successful launch this past summer. For more information, visit the USPTA website at uspta.org/CLDP.
To maximize our Association value, we all must strive to increase our membership, ensuring that young and seasoned professionals alike feel welcome and inspired to share their experiences and knowledge. We recently introduced a pathway for current and former PTR members to transition to USPTA certification.
As the only USTA accredited tennis-teaching association, we believed it important to offer an easily accessible road map for all qualified professionals. To our current members, this will widen the breadth of knowledge the Association possesses and offers an offer expanded opportunities for networking and learning.
Bringing new members into the Association also extends to our current members the chance to cover a significant portion of your annual membership dues. Led by current USPTA Vice President Mark Faber, The Admire, Invite, Mentor (AIM) Initiative rewards current members financially for bringing potential USPTA members within the fold.
Think about that, encouraging your colleagues to become part of the best tennis-teaching organization in the world, increase the collective voice of the Association, and have a significant portion of your membership dues paid for; it is a win-win.
If you want to get the most out of your USPTA membership, I encourage you to put the most in. Attend a conference or division meeting. Share your knowledge with our members. Take part in the mentor program. Attend a career development seminar.
Doing any of these things will enrich your membership benefits and empower us all to continue to lead the way as the world’s premier tennis-teaching association.