By Dom Masciantonio, GPTA President, USTA-Georgia Past President
ALTA captains and league players: Is your tennis professional/coach a certified teaching professional and active member with either the United States Professional Teaching Association (USPTA) or Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), or an active local member of Georgia Professional Tennis Association (GPTA)?
If not, you should strongly consider making certification one of the main criteria in hiring a tennis professional/coach for your practice/lesson sessions among other criteria. (Please refer to related article on “What To Look For In Hiring A Tennis Professional/Coach” written by John Irvin, PTR, GPTA and Owner of Hot Shotz Tennis Academy).
Not only is there a shortage of tennis teaching professionals in the metro Atlanta and Georgia marketplace, but there is a significant amount of non-certified teaching professionals who have been teaching league practices and lessons throughout many metro Atlanta sub-divisions and public tennis facilities, and even in some of the private clubs. Many of these non-certified teaching professionals, also known as independent pros/contractors, have not experienced or reaped the benefits of obtaining their certification designation and thus it reflects in their poor teaching methods and lack of on-court teaching skills and communication.
There is a big need in the tennis industry and in the Atlanta area for quality providers and to address both the shortage and non-certification of tennis teaching professionals.
To help resolve these issues, USTA-Georgia — through its Tennis Professional Relations Committee — has approved a $10,000 grant to help support and assist those non-certified teaching professionals in obtaining either a USPTA or PTR certification. Below are some specifics for grant eligibility:
Amount of grant available per applicant: Eligible applicants will receive 50 percent of the application/certification cost of obtaining USPTA or PTR certification.
- Eligible applicant must submit proof of USPTA or PTR application and payment of the appropriate amount required by the respective organization.
- Upon review and approval by appropriate USTA-Georgia personnel, USTA-Georgia shall reimburse applicant within 30 days of submitted proof.
- Applicant will be eligible for only one grant certification.
Submitted proof can be an email from the respective organization’s membership department stating that the applicant has applied and has begun the certification process and copy of check and/or credit card receipt for proof of payment of applicable application cost/fee.
- Grant will not be issued for any annual or pro-rata portion of applicant’s membership fee.
- There will be a limit of five applicants for grants issued per USTA-Georgia Community Tennis Association Map, i.e., limit of five applicants per the eight CTA map Districts. If any CTA map District has more than five applicants, those applicants will be placed on a waiting list and USTA-Georgia will determine if more than five applicants per CTA map District will be approved.
- Either during applicant’s certification process or within one year after applicant has been awarded certification status, the applicant shall be required to provide community tennis volunteer service within Georgia.
- Community tennis volunteer service shall be defined as volunteering for at least three events during a calendar year and/or serving on Community Tennis Association (CTA) Board or serving on one of USTA-Georgia’s Committees for a one and/or two-year term. Tennis teaching court hours will count if teaching professional was a volunteer at any community tennis event within Georgia.
- Examples of tennis community events are as follows: Any tennis-related event hosted/sponsored by USTA CTA within applicant’s geographic area, any USTA-Georgia hosted/sponsored event. i.e., Adult League, Tennis on Campus, Adult/Senior Tennis Tournament, Junior Tennis Tournament, any other tennis event or tennis fund raising event, i.e., special Olympics, Special Pops, Wheelchair, Autism, Breast Cancer Awareness, any ALTA or ALTA Foundation sponsored event if applicant resides within metro Atlanta area.
- If applicant volunteers at a USTA-Georgia CTA and/or USTA-Georgia hosted/sponsored event, the applicant shall be eligible to be reimbursed for mileage to and from the event based on USTA-Georgia volunteer mileage reimbursement policy.
The grant application can be found on the Georgia USTA website in the USTA Georgia News & Headlines box on the homepage.
ALTA captains and league players: Please help spread the word it will help your tennis game and also help with candidates serving potential community service volunteering for ALTA or ALTA Foundation sponsored events!