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How to Become a Tennis Teaching Pro: Part II - Getting Certified

PTR Certification

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The Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) was founded in 1976 by Dennis Van der Meer. Although it was originally called the USPTR, it has always distinguished itself as an international organization. Currently, its more than 10,500 members teach tennis in 122 nations. The headquarters and largest block of members are located in the U.S., but offices, symposiums, workshops, and certification testers are available worldwide for the thousands of international members.

The PTR certification exam tests many of the same skills as the USPTA's, but it reflects the PTR's emphasis on a standardized instructional methodology that allows for each student's individual stroking style. The PTR has developed teaching progressions designed to make the learning of each stroke an easy, step-by-step process, and the certification test requires mastery of this skill. The PTR exam includes:

  • demonstrating your own proficiency at executing various strokes
  • teaching a group and a private lesson using standard progressions
  • analyzing stroke errors
  • demonstrating various feeding skills
  • passing a written exam that assesses your overall tennis knowledge and your specific understanding of the PTR's standard teaching methodologies
The PTR application fee of $119 is combined with the first year's membership for a total of $210. This includes exam preparation materials, but not an optional workshop. Liablity insurance is also optional. It is available only for U.S. and Canada members, at $25 per year. Membership renewals are $110 per year ($135 with liability insurance).

If you pass the certification test, you can earn a rating of Associate Instructor (lowest), and with sufficient teaching experience, Instructor, or Professional (highest).

The USPTA and PTR sites offer detailed information. Whichever organization you prefer, the benefits of certification and membership should be well worth the costs. If you're going to do any teaching at all outside the insurance umbrella that might be provided by a club, the liability insurance alone would justify the fees. Certification should help you get better jobs, charge higher lesson rates, and most importantly, give better lessons.

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