USTA awards PTR full coaching accreditation

Mark Preston | May 28, 2020

As part of its ongoing effort to improve the standard of tennis teaching and coaching in the U.S., the USTA has awarded the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), full accreditation under the USTA’s accreditation program for organizations and institutions that certify U.S. tennis teaching professionals. The PTR, founded in 1976 by the late Dennis Van der Meer, boasts some 16,000 tennis professionals in 125 countries worldwide, and now joins the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) as the only USTA-accredited tennis teaching professional organizations.


The goal of the USTA’s accreditation program is to elevate professional tennis coaching standards by implementing mandatory pre-certification standards for those seeking to become certified teaching professionals and to provide an improved and consistent continuing education program for all current certified professionals who are members of accredited organizations.


Following the approval of the PTR’s application by the USTA’s Accreditation Review Committee, the PTR was awarded full accreditation—a status that will be reviewed after a three-year period.  


“The mission of the USTA is to promote and develop the growth of tennis across the country, and there are few individuals that have a more direct impact on this mission at the local level than tennis teaching professionals,” said Mike Dowse, USTA CEO and Executive Director. “We now will have a unified approach to certifying tennis professional in the United States for the first time, and by working together, the USTA, the USPTA and the PTR are best positioned for getting Americans back on the courts and ensuring that tennis thrives in our post-pandemic world.”


“We appreciate the confidence the USTA has shown in PTR by providing us with accreditation,” said Dan Santorum, PTR CEO. “We look forward to working together as partners to improve our coaches who work passionately and tirelessly to improve and grow the great sport of tennis.”


As part of this relationship, the USTA and PTR will collaborate on a wide array of education initiatives. New certification standards will require new applicants to complete a unified set of standards before they can become certified tennis professionals. These standards will include on-the-job training, along with pre-certification education, online course work and face-to-face workshops. And with the shared goal of ensuring that tennis is a safe sport for kids, both the PTR and the USPTA will require all of their respective members to complete the USTA’s “Safe Play” program, which includes background screening and education on prevention of misconduct in sport.


The accreditation of the PTR represents another major milestone in improving and enhancing collaboration within the sport, as the USTA and the two leading coaching accreditation organizations have created a system to elevate and improve tennis coaching standards that will help tennis attract, engage and retain players.


And that’s the very definition of “win-win.”

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