The UF Director of Racquet Sports Certification Program is focused on developing the business and leadership competencies required to successfully manage a tennis and racquets operation, whether in a private club, commercial setting or public recreation setting.
Success in business depends on many factors, including: a unique and differentiated value proposition for the customer; a strong internal business culture; a prudent business plan; a passionate, connected and disciplined team; an intentional marketing strategy and proper capitalization. Yet, even when all these attributes are present, the single greatest influence on whether a business will be successful and, therefore, profitable for the long haul depends on its leader. Leaders, especially great leaders, and, therefore, great racquet sports directors, are the single most important influence on any club or tennis business’s ability to succeed, and the industry’s most difficult challenge is identifying, cultivating, and putting in place qualified leaders.
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 created challenges to the tennis/racquets industry, initially, but it ultimately, provided a boost to participation numbers by the conclusion of the year. The challenge the racquets industry now faces is to capture the new or returning players for the future, to continue to bring more people into the game of tennis (the USTA has a goal of 4M more players for a total of 25M by 2025) and drive continuous growth in racquet sports participation over the next century. Also, the industry must build a reserve of tennis professionals who are fully capable of leading and managing a tennis/racquets business, driving participation, revenue and profits to further grow the business. The demand today is not for teaching professionals, but for individuals who are capable to act as leaders of a racquets business.
Therefore, in 2019, a committee of USTA and USPTA leadership began considering the important components of education necessary for success in the role of Director of Tennis, now called Director of Racquet Sports. That committee, led by Len Simard, Scott Shultz (USTA) and John Embree (USPTA) also consisted of successful Directors of Tennis from around the country along with educational advisor Stephen Tharrett. The committee's work created a curriculum that became the foundation for this online course which is taught by UF professor & Director of USTA Professional Tennis Management and former Gator NCAA All-American Kim Bastable. In addition, education is provided by respected industry consultant Doug Cash, a financial expert with 40+ years of racquets industry experience.
This course is being taught completely online through the UF Canvas online learning management system. Students are expected to view all course lectures and readings and complete all assignments through Canvas. Students should adhere to the UF policies regarding academic misconduct (i.e. plagiarism, cheating, or other dishonest representations of academic work.)
This comprehensive educational curriculum is constructed to be fully self-directed though, also, interactive with peers. Students are taught through educational modules, problem-based, critiqued and graded projects and a certification mid-term and final exam.
The course modules are, in order, as follows:
Module One – Introduction to the role of Director of Racquet Sports
Module Two – Tennis history and knowledge
Module Three – Complementary Racquet Sports
Module Four – Facilities and Operations
Module Five – Technology
Module Six – Maximizing Personal Brand
Module Seven – Human Capital, Culture & Leadership
Module Eight – Finance and Accounting
Module Nine – Marketing and Sales
Module Ten - The Customer and Member Experience
Each module has its own learning guide that details the objectives for the module, describes learning activities to be pursued to meet the module objectives, and contains various articles, lectures, videos and interviews that are part of the required learning activities. In addition, each module has a short mastery quiz and several modules include a project that must be turned in for grading.
All students in the program will be provided access to a private, social media-style discussion site where other students, members of the curriculum development committee and subject matter experts will reside. The site allows students to post questions, offer responses and chat on topics relevant to the role of Racquet Sports Director. The site will be available for graduates of the program to use as a resource after their successful completion of the program, as well.
MASTERs DEGREE OPTION OF STUDY: The content of this course is also included in UF's Masters of Sport Management degree program in the College of Health and Human Performance. Information on the full master's degree can be obtained HERE.
Once a student has completed six of the educational modules, they will complete a mid-term exam and upon completion of the final four modules, they will complete a final exam. The mid-term and final, designed by the members of the Racquet Sports Director Certification Committee and external educational advisor, include multiple choice questions that cover the content brought forward in the curriculum. To successfully complete the Certification program, candidates need to achieve a score of 70% or better on all quizzes and exams.
The amount of time necessary to complete the program will depend upon the investment by the student. It is estimated that a student investing 4 hours a week, can complete the program in approximately 6 months. Once they begin, students have 1 year to complete the certification program, at their own pace.
Upon satisfactory completion, the candidate will receive a certificate designating them as having successfully completed the course. Candidates must then present that proof of completion to the USPTA (www.uspta.com) or PTR (www.ptrtennis.org) to receive their designation as a “Certified Director of Racquet Sports.”
"Certified" Directors of Racquet Sports are required to keep their membership with USPTA and PTR current.
HOW TO APPLY
Qualified applicants are professionally certified tennis professionals with 3 years or more experience as a tennis or racquet sports professional.They must also exhibit leadership capabilities, as verified by a supervisor or boss, through a letter of recommendation.
**A discounted fee of $1,995 is being offered until October 31, 2021.**
No fee is paid during application but only after acceptance.
The fee for the course will revert to the regular price of $2,395 on November 1, 2021.
REQUIRED APPLICATION DOCUMENTS
To submit an application for admission to the Course please click on "Enroll in this Activity" and submit the following documents once you are added to the E-Learning Registration Site. Please don't click on the Enroll in this Activity button until you have the documents below ready to upload into the system electronically.
You will need:
A cover letter outlining how you are a suitable candidate for the certification and your career aspirations
your professional resume that includes at least 3 years of experience teaching tennis or a complementary racquet sport
a letter of recommendation from a superior explaining your leadership capability. The letter should include their role, their relationship with you and in what capacity they have worked with you.
a copy of your current certification certificate with PTR or USPTA (It is recommended that you have a certificaiton level of "Elite" for USPTA and "Professional" for PTR. )
NOTE: Those not USPTA or PTR certifed can still apply for the course for an additional fee of $400 upon admission.