The USPTA was founded in 1927 as the Professional Lawn Tennis Association. It has grown from a membership of less than 200 to its current 12,500 members including individuals in 60 nations. Among its members, past and present, are many of the great names in tennis history. The USPTA has alliances with associations in several nations such as Japan, Mexico, and South Africa, but it is primarily a U.S.
organization, with its 17 divisions each a U.S. region.
To gain USPTA certification, you must pass an exam that includes:
- demonstrating your own proficiency at executing various strokes
- teaching a group and a private lesson
- analyzing stroke errors
- demonstrating grips
- passing a written exam that covers a wide range of tennis topics, including teaching, playing, equipment, and history
You must be at least 18 to apply for certification. If you have less than three years' full-time teaching experience, you take the Instructor exam, for which the application fee is $100. With more than three years' experience, you take the Professional exam at $175. The fee for International members is $260. Application fees include a short course and training manual to help you prepare for the exam. Within the Professional level, you can earn ratings from Professional 3 (lowest) to Professional 1 (highest). Annual dues, which are separate from the application fee, are $203 for U.S. members and $191 for international members.
The USPTA and the PTR offer similar versions of the benefits listed on the previous page.
For example, both currently provide $4 million in liability insurance, a tennis teaching magazine, and discount relationships with several manufacturers. The specifics vary, but they tend to match each other's benefits.