I want to first take the time to thank all the division officers and national committee members for their service and their dedication over the past two years. All those men and women dedicated their time and energy in trying to shape our Association, which has given us all so much in our professional careers.
The new two-year term has just begun, and the various Board and committee members have grabbed the reins. As they take their positions, they’ll be looking for volunteers. And if you’ve ever been interested in getting involved with the USPTA, volunteering is a great way to start.
Nineteen years ago, I made the decision to give back to the Association that had given me so much. I was a young tennis professional trying to find my place in the industry and I had been mentored by numerous professionals that encouraged me to get involved with the USPTA. I remember asking myself and those professionals, “How do I get involved?”
I had been part of the USPTA for several years at that point, but my involvement didn’t extend far beyond the continuing education opportunities. But make no mistake, the division and national education offered by the USPTA are great. They’re where you network and build relationships with other professionals.
When I asked that question all those years ago, I was lucky because many of those mentors were serving on division boards or national committees, or they had done so previously.
Their strong example provided me with a road map on getting involved with the USPTA. By getting your foot in the door through volunteering, you not only contribute to our Association, but you prepare yourself for the bigger responsibility of serving on the division boards and national committees.
Division boards are so important in governing our Association. Nearly all national board members started their involvement at the division level. This is where you can make an immediate impact on the professionals in your area and learn what it really means to take on the responsibility of serving on a board of directors.
After serving on a division board, the next step in USPTA involvement is serving on a national committee. The USPTA has four national committees. They and their chairs are as follows:
Education & Certification
Rich Slivocka & Trish Faulkner
Mark Faber & Lane Evans
Bill Mountford & Jason Gilbert
In addition, each committee has several subcommittees dealing with different issues. Serving on these is a commitment, but volunteers with passion and subject matter expertise are tremendous assets. When everyone works together, the conference calls, projects and task forces are worth it. Everyone involved would like to leave the Association in better shape than they found it.
Just as seasoned tennis professionals offered me a road map when I was young, I hope this article provides you with the same map. Getting involved in the USPTA can change your career – really, your life – in ways you never imagined.
When the USPTA says it values its members, it’s because everyone has something, some way they can contribute. As coaches, we all know the importance of continual learning. Getting involved in the USPTA is its own sort of education, and over time, volunteers become agents of change and progress.
If you have any questions about getting involved, please reach out to me or your division boards and we would be happy to assist you however we can.