Feisal Hassan, USPTA First Vice President

When the USTA offered a collection of tickets to the opening week of the US Open as a part of being fully accredited, it presented the national staff with a dilemma. How exactly would they decide on who were to receive tickets to the US Open? The solution to this “good” problem to have was quickly fleshed out: offer the tickets to the USPTA’s top educational earners from the previous year, 2018.

In 2013, the USPTA agreed to the requirement of educational credits as a mandate to maintain certification. It was met with general approval and excitement at upgrading the association standards, but yes, there was a little push back. We understood that this requirement could be looked at as a sticking point with our members. In keeping in line with our Association’s stated mission to elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches, this change was necessary.

Continuing education has become a cornerstone of our certification and was integral in meeting our requirements for accreditation with the USTA. We are the only fully accredited tennis-teaching association by the national governing body and the educational component of the USPTA is a significant reason for that. We placed a responsibility on you, our members, and you stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park, or should I say “aced it.”

So when the USTA generously offered us a group of US Open tickets, it made perfect sense to make sure those members who have done the most to earn those continuing education credits be offered the opportunity to attend. 

Our members already receive the benefit of tickets to many of the Open Series events. All of that information available on the USPTA website at uspta.com/openseries, but the US Open is the most special event in our sport. It is the highlight of the tennis season here in the United States, the showcase for the game we love. We understand that this benefit was significant and wish we were able to extend it to more of our members. We thank the USTA for their generosity and hope this perk inspires others to continue to grow and learn.

Continuing education is about more than maintaining your certification and being eligible for Open tickets. It’s about bettering yourself as a tennis professional and as a person. It was the great USPTA professional Arthur Ashe who said, “I have tried to keep on with my striving because this is the only hope I have of ever achieving anything worthwhile and lasting.”

That quote can be interpreted a few different ways, but to me it is a statement by one of the best players to ever step on the court, one of the most intelligent men to play our game. He acknowledged that even he must continue to strive, continue to learn and continue to expand his knowledge base if he truly wanted to achieve anything worthwhile. None of us are Arthur Ashe, but we all can take his message
to heart.

Every time you make the effort to learn, you are developing a skill set that can be passed on to your colleagues, your students and possibly a young pro who has not yet had the opportunity to experience what you have been able to in your career.

You are well aware of all of the great continuing education opportunities offered at USPTA. We will continue to promote some of the best opportunities like our Leadership Academy, at which I have the honor of presenting, and of course the World Conference in Las Vegas next month, your division conference, a local regional education day, or one of the free USPTA online webinars will help you to achieve something “worthwhile and lasting.”

So those who will be able to take advantage of US Open tickets, congratulations of what you have done. I hope this token of appreciation may inspire others to increase their engagement with our association for this year, and inspire us all to keep 
on striving.

Now for a little housekeeping...

This year is the end of the 3-year  educational cycle. If you are in need of credits to maintain your certification, you should have received an email or two letting you know where you currently stand and how you can fulfill your educational credit requirements. 

Visit USPTA.com/GetYourSix and you will be offered a host of free opportunities to earn those credits before the end of the year.