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Wed, March 20

My Point: Tennis has grown by degrees

If you think you might like to work in the field of tennis in one capacity or another, such as a teaching professional, club management, tennis director, pro shop operations - racquet repair, maintaining facilities, programming and business in general, the following colleges offer quite a few different options for your consideration.

Everything from a one year program/certification in tennis to two-year associate degrees to a Bachelor of Science degree in business or marketing (with an emphasis on tennis management) are offered.

Ferris State University, located in Big Rapids, Michigan, has a great four-year program; Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and more recently Grand Canyon University in Phoenix also offer four-year degreed tennis programs, with Tyler Junior College in Texas with a one-year certificate program or two-year associates degree in tennis management.

Do you have to have a degree or certificate to teach the game of tennis?

No, you do not have to have a degree; however, to be respected in the industry and for most management positions, you are not even interviewed without a degree as such.

The four-year colleges want to make sure you're well-rounded with your tennis management education, whereas the two-year degree and 1-year certification are a shorter version of jumping into a portion of what the tennis industry has to offer with helping you earn your USPTA/PTR teaching credentials.

It hasn't been all that many years ago that to get into the world of tennis you apprenticed with a "Head Tennis Professional" and/or "Director" and learned the business under their direction in a hands-on aspect, whereas today you get the theory of what will take place and also internships with a more directed slant on all aspects of business related to club management from A to Z.

Job placement for most of these institutions is very high and helps start you out in the best manner possible within the tennis industry.

If you think you might like to look further into the great field of tennis management to join in on - go online and ask for packets that go into finer detail to what you will learn exactly, courses - credit expectations, costs and entry-level job salary projections.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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