The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced that it is developing an educational curriculum, consisting of a series of courses and workshops, that focuses on the development of young players. The USTA will work in collaboration with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), in developing the curriculum, which will serve as part of the pathway to PTR and USPTA certification. The three associations will use their partnership to effectively raise the level of coaching in the U.S. and enhance the teaching process and long-term development of children in the sport. The program is set to launch in January 2014.
“Continuing to elevate the level of tennis instruction in the United States, especially at the youth tennis level, will be invaluable in fostering our young players,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe. “In addition, these efforts will assist with improving the quality and standards of teaching tennis to our youth.”
The program will consist of two stages of course work, which will include interactive and engaging online courses and tests. In addition, the program includes a 10 and Under Tennis workshop that will provide proper fundamentals and skill development progression for teaching professionals.
The USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis initiative is geared towards getting more kids to participate in tennis by using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child’s size. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.
“This important partnership and commitment among our organizations will positively impact how we develop and grow the sport among our nation’s youth,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “We believe this unified front will be vital in helping coaches across the country improve their understanding and approach to teaching tennis to kids.”
The program will establish a set of standards for tennis teachers and coaches so that children will be taught the proper fundamentals of the game. The combined resources and industry support serves as a tremendous opportunity for tennis in this U.S.
“10 and Under Tennis has been a priority for PTR even before the rule change,” said Dan Santorum, CEO, PTR. “This cooperation should result in more tennis teaching professionals becoming educated and certified to coach 10 and Under Tennis so we can continue to grow the game.”
"Continuing education will only strengthen the tennis industry, especially at the grass roots level,” said Tom Daglis, USPTA National President. “Tennis teaching professionals play a major role in delivering tennis programs to the consumer and the development of a sound educational curriculum will enhance that role and become a vital component in growing the sport."