A tennis coach is someone who trains either an individual or a group of tennis athletes. Tennis coaches can range from working with beginner and intermediate students at country clubs and park districts to an elite level, training the best tennis players in the world.
All tennis coaches must be certified. There are two main ways coaches can be certified: through either the USPTA, United States Professional Tennis Association, or the PTR, Professional Tennis Registry. These organizations are nationally recognized and offer a range of benefits to their members and coaches can belong to both.
Through the USPTA, coaches are certified to teach at all age groups at all levels and can then progress as they become more experienced. The steps to getting certified by the USPTA are become a full USPTA member, register for and complete the Coach Youth Tennis program, and study for and pass the USPTA certification test.
There are three levels of certification: professional, elite professional, and master professional. You must pass the professional exam to become an elite professional and must spend a decade as an elite professional to become a master professional.
The PTR focuses its certification on coaches working with a certain age group or talent level, then offering the chance to specialize within that range. The steps to become certified are to become a full PTR member eligible for certification, selecting a pathway and registering for a certification workshop, preparing for the certification test, going through a background check, and then taking and passing the PTR certification test.