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Mon, Oct. 14

Howard: Degrees and careers in tennis
Column: My Point

Each of our high schools (Prescott and Prescott Valley) have tennis teams for both boys and girls and its quite often, just like all sports, that some of these young adults will become quite proficient and wonder if they just might be able to get a job in this unique field.

Nice thing today is that there are a few colleges that cater to students who want jobs in the field of tennis and offer two to four-year degree’s (as well as certificates) to train them in most every aspect. They also tout having a very high job placement percentage to further the cause.

Each of the following colleges/universities offer the possibility of playing on their tennis team if you make the grade, paid internships, on-the-job training, facility, hospitality and food and beverage management, event organization and implementation, merchandising, teaching skills, how to repair racquets, and USPTA certification.

Here in Arizona there’s a relatively new program that is run by Grand Canyon University that has a tennis and golf course management degree, where students learn all aspects of these respective industries.

It’s a 120-credit curriculum incorporated in their hospitality program. You are taught the skills to become an effective instructor and students are required to get at least 100 hours of experience in service before they graduate. The oldest and model of most college tennis programs in the United States was first started at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

The have unbelievable facilities, practical internships, certifications, learning by doing, managing tennis as a business. Their University’s Racquet and Fitness Center serves as a working laboratory, where they merge theory and practice.

Wish that was there when I needed it, but leaning on the job under others was the way things went before these degreed programs were offered

Other four year universities/two year junior colleges to go on-line and read about are: Berry College, Hope College, Manhattanville College, Methodist University, San Diego State, University of Central Florida and Tyler Junior College in Texas.

I always like to say to young adults, “You might as well have a job that you love going to each day, and for me being in the tennis industry has been just that.”

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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