The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced the launch of an educational curriculum program, “Coach Youth Tennis,” to improve the quality and standards of teaching tennis to kids and enhance the long-term development of children in the sport. The program consists of a series of online courses and a hands-on workshop introducing participants to the fundamentals required for success in working with children ages 10 and under.
“Elevating the quality and standards of teaching tennis to our youth will have lasting impact on our sport for years to come,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe. “’Coach Youth Tennis’ provides tennis teachers of all levels with the tools necessary to teach the sport to children.”
The USTA worked in collaboration with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), in developing the curriculum, which serves as a pathway to Tennis Professional Certification through the PTR and USPTA certification programs. Beginning in 2014, all individuals who want to become a certified teaching professional will need to complete the “Coach Youth Tennis” curriculum.
All involved associations will utilize their partnership to effectively raise the level of coaching in the U.S., and enhance the teaching process to create an early positive experience for kids.
“This partnership is part of the USTA’s continuing effort to bring more children into the sport,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “These educational resources will impact tennis teachers and coaches throughout the country, with information on how to best deliver the sport to kids, as well as on maximizing their business.”
The educational curriculum establishes a set of standards for tennis teachers and coaches, ensuring that children will be taught the proper essentials of the game. The combined resources and industry support serves as a tremendous opportunity for tennis in the U.S.
The program consists of two stages of course work, which will include six interactive and engaging online courses and knowledge checks. The curriculum covers several important topics, including appropriate methods on how to communicate, understanding characteristics of children, tennis activities suited for young children, effective ways to transition children through ability progressions, and group management. In addition, the program includes a face-to-face workshop that will provide proper fundamentals and skill development progressions for coaches of young players.
“In providing 10 and under education for the last three years, PTR has been supportive of 10 and Under Tennis from its very beginning,” said Dan Santorum, CEO of PTR. We are excited about the collaborative effort the USTA organized to expand 10 and under education for tennis teachers, and PTR looks forward to supporting the USTA’s efforts to enhance 10 and Under education that can lead to PTR certification.”
“Our stated mission as an association is to elevate the standards of tennis teaching professionals and coaches,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “It is not too much to ask professionals who wish to become certified to take seven hours of education prior to certification that addresses our most important initiative, which is to grow our base of players starting with kids 6 to 10 years old.”
For more information on Coach Youth Tennis, please visit coachyouthtennis.com.