How to get PTR Certification
as a Tennis Coach
January 1, 2017
PROFESSIONAL TENNIS REGISTRY
PROFESSIONAL TENNIS REGISTRY
There are two main ways to become certified as a professional tennis coach: through the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA).
Both the PTR and the USPTA are nationally recognized organizations that offer benefits to their members to help with developing and operating as a teaching professional, including on-court insurance, discounted apparel and equipment and teaching and lesson tools and resources.
Coaches can be a member of both organizations at the same time, and both the PTR and USPTA require applicants to display a baseline level of knowledge and competency before awarding certification.
The main difference between the organizations is how the programs are set up. The PTR targets its teachings at coaches working with specific age or talent levels and then offers specialism within that more narrow range. ADVERTISEMENT
The USPTA certifies coaches to teach at all levels and age groups from its initial professional certification and then allows coaches to progress based on experience and increased knowledge.
Here, we’ll take a look at PTR certification. To visit the PTR website to get certified as a PTR pro, click here.
For more on USPTA certification, click here.
The key steps to becoming certified as a PTR coach:
- Become a full PTR member.
- Select your certification pathway.
- Register for and complete the Coach Youth Tennis program.
- Register for a certification workshop.
- Study for and pass the PTR certification test.
The PTR offers five types of certifications, targeting who you are teaching or would like to teach: 10 and under, ages 11-17, performance, adult development and senior development.
Each of those five areas has a pathway for continued development, supplemented by a minimum requirement of continued education every three years.
The pathway consists of certification workshops, specialists and masters.
For the initial level of certification (Level 1) within one of the five subject areas, applicants must attend a workshop (eight hours for every workshop except the performance workshop, which is 12 hours) to prepare for an on-court test and post-workshop written exam.
All new members taking the Level 1 certifications must complete the USTA Coach Youth Tennis program.
Each workshop is built around different elements. For example, the 10 and under workshop is centered around creating a coaching environment in which children can learn to play quickly while having fun on red, orange and green courts using equipment that is sized right for them. The 11-17 workshop is centered on developing coaching skills and knowledge for an older age group, conducting camps and developing leadership qualities. The adult and senior workshops prepare coaches for creating and maintaining an environment within clubs and facilities to encourage beginner and intermediate adults.
All four workshops focus on developing specific content, structure and competitive format for the appropriate age groups.
The performance workshop is slightly different in that it is aimed at coaches who are specifically working with, or planning to work with, high-performing youngsters ages 10-16. It includes creating a performance environment within a facility, developing the coaching skills and knowledge to work with a high-performance junior and developing technical and tactical skills.
Once coaches are certified as a Level 1 instructor in their chosen area, they have the option to become a specialist in that area. This is aimed at coaches who completed the corresponding professional rating and want to progress their coaching skills and knowledge.
There are three types of specialist certification, dependent on the Level 1 certification in which they achieved their award.
- Coaches who successfully passed either the 10 and under or 11-17 certification workshops can try to become a junior development specialist.
- Coaches who successfully passed either the adult development or senior development certification workshop have the option of becoming an adult development specialist.
- Coaches who completed the performance certification workshop can become a performance specialist.
Applicants are required to complete a four-day PTR Specialist Program and additional pre- and post-program coursework.
PTR Master of Tennis
Upon completion of the junior development program, performance program or adult development program, coaches can work toward becoming a master of tennis in their area of expertise.
Each program includes more than 200 hours of education divided between on-court work, classroom instruction and projects. There are 18 separate, but linked, courses which help make up the PTR Master of Tennis qualification. It also includes two four-day, in-person modules that must be completed within two years of entering the program.
The PTR offers courses in both instructing wheelchair tennis and instructing adaptive tennis which are aimed at tennis teachers and coaches looking to add on to an existing PTR certification.
The instructing wheelchair tennis certification provides coaches with the skills to teach wheelchair tennis players and features a curriculum that includes everything from mobility to stroke production and chair construction.
The instructive adaptive tennis certification provides instructors with the skills required to teach players with intellectual or physical disabilities. Participants learn how to adapt current tennis instruction to fit the needs of players as part of the on-court instruction.