John Embree, USPTA CEO

Anyone got any idea what this number means? And, why would I title my message with it? 

As everyone knows, we require our members to take 12 hours or six credits of education every three years. We started this program back in 2014 with the expressed purpose of elevating the standards of our tennis-teaching professionals and coaches (our mission). Having completed one three-year cycle at the end of 2016, the next three-year cycle ends on Dec. 31, 2019. 

You may or may not be aware that when the first education cycle ended, 9 percent of our domestic membership did not comply and were therefore dropped from our membership rosters. There were some who did not think that we would stick to our guns when faced with the attrition that would likely come from those who did not think that continuing education was important. The board of directors said otherwise. 

We are now five years into the mandate that every member be required to get those six credits of continuing education. It is now part of our daily dialogue. Divisions are doing a fantastic job of serving up regional education days, lunch and learns, workshops, etc., all to make it easier for our members to get the education that they need. Not only is it education that they need, but it is education that they want! In fact, there were 125+ educational events conducted in 2018 with 4,100+ USPTA members participating. 

Nationally, is a terrific platform to pick up credits and we continue to offer regular webinars. If you are unable to sit in on one of the sessions, you can always go to and listen to the course at no charge at whatever time is convenient for you. By the way, has recently undergone a makeover and should be easier to navigate on either your phone, tablet or computer.

In addition, we launched the USPTA Leadership Academy in July of last year to rave reviews. In fact, if you read last month’s Tennis Industry Magazine, the USPTA Leadership Academy was voted the 2018 Innovative Tennis Event of the Year in the Tennis Industry Champions of Tennis issue! That is a special tribute to Feisal Hassan, Sara Morse, Ajay Pant and Jose Pastrello who engineered the entire workshop. The next scheduled Leadership Academy is set for April 12-14 right here at our USPTA World Headquarters. 

Talk about innovative, our partnership with TPI and RacquetFit is another example of cutting-edge education. Led by Dr. Greg Rose and Dr. Sean Drake, there were four Level One certifications conducted nationally in 2018 and there will be at least six locations for RacquetFit certification workshops in 2019: the second of which will also be right back in Lake Nona on March 29 - 30. As some of the participants have told me, “RacquetFit will change the way one teaches tennis forever!” That is high praise. You owe it to yourself to make one of those certifications. 

Education and certification are the primary drivers of our Association. It has been and always will be our primary focus. Thus, you will be hearing a great deal about compliance of the 12 hours and six credits over the coming months. And, you guessed it, there are 5,920 current USPTA members in good standing who have until Dec. 31 to complete this obligation. 

Don’t wait until the last minute. Get started on the road now. 

Two other quick tidbits: 1) Anyone wishing to interview for a position on the National Board of Directors must submit their application on or before Feb 15., 2019. 2) The national awards deadline for submission is Mar. 18, 2019. Those awards will be announced and awarded at the 2019 USPTA World Conference in Las Vegas in September. 

On so many different levels, 2019 is going to be a year of unprecedented change for tennis and the USPTA. What does that mean? More to come…thanks to you all for making yourselves better as professionals.