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Up Your Game with Continuing Education

by Cari Buck, USPTA Vice President

Continuing education in any field is paramount to success. Every industry evolves and changes, so why should tennis be any different?  In order to stand out, pros need to evolve and grow with the industry. It is too easy to stick with what we know and “how we’ve always done it.” Continuing education can help get you to that next level, both on and off-court, and 2018 has seen two outstanding new programs roll out: the USPTA Leadership Academy and RacquetFit, continuing education both on and off-court.

The Leadership Academy is a comprehensive and dynamic intensive course that focuses on building leadership skills. It is also the USPTA’s first ever course like this. The program is designed to get participants thinking as a leader off-court. Sara Morse, a presenter and executive director of the So Cal Division said, “Anyone who is interested in moving into a leadership role should absolutely participate in the Leadership Academy. It is a necessary and fantastic first step in building the resume that management is looking for.”

The interactive sessions utilize case studies, self-assessments and best practices all geared towards building strong leadership skills. Additional areas of focus include team building, communication skills, customer service, time management, budgets and HR issues. If you are looking to move up the ladder, the USPTA Leadership Academy led by USPTA members Feisal Hassan, Ajay Pant, Sara Morse and Jose Pastrello is a great way to get started. Take a closer look by clicking here.

RacquetFit, on the other hand, focuses more on-court with your players. Their philosophy is on how the body functions in relation to tennis and believes that there is more than one way to hit a tennis ball based on what a player can physically do. It also breaks down the philosophy of the body and how it should move in relation to tennis-specific movements.

Ever find yourself wondering why a student doesn’t seem to be doing what you have explained over and over?  It is possible that they can’t physically do it, whether because of an injury or other physical limitations.

I recently attended RacquetFit’s “Level 1: The Body-Serve Connection,” and at the end of day one all I could think was “mind blown.” It honestly opened a whole new world to me, a new way to assess players and really help them within their potential physical boundaries. It is important for us as coaches to keep adding new tools to our “tool kits” and RacquetFit does exactly that.

The presentation itself was so well done, with a panel of experts including Dr. Greg Rose, Dr. Sean Drake, Jeff Salzenstein and Dr. Mark Kovacs, experts in their fields and an amazing team. It is also very interactive with attendees from several industries including tennis, fitness and medical so we are all learning from each other’s different perspectives and we all had something to share. After two full days, I was so excited to get started. My colleagues are getting tired of being “screened,” my serve is better than ever (thanks to some video analysis and a few quick adjustments from the team) and I’ve got a new tool in my “tool kit.”

“By being able to assess a player’s physical abilities, and then understanding how those attributes relate to their tennis-specific skills, is what separates an average coach from a great coach. This allows the coach to communicate with medical and fitness to get the results we want to see on and off the court,” said Dr. Sean Drake, vice president of RacquetFit. To learn more about RacquetFit, visit RacquetFit.com.

Like the Leadership Academy, RacquetFit is a commitment to your growth as an industry professional. Take the challenge, up your game and remember there is #alwaysmoretolearn. *
 
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