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Director of Racquet Sports Specialization

In today’s world, there is a huge shortage of trained leaders in the tennis industry. To be successful, a Director of Racquet Sports must not only be masters of the game they teach, but also have a firm understanding of business practices, communication, and leadership and be a bit of an entrepreneur. Because of this, the UF Director of Racquet Sports specialization combines an in-depth knowledge of the racquet sports industry with essential finance, communication, marketing, leadership and event management skills needed to capably run and grow a program that may encompass several racquet sports, many event forms and a vast array of participant ages and abilities.

If you have a passion for tennis and are interested in making it a lifelong career, our online masters in sport management with a Director of Racquet Sports specialization is the right fit for you. Whether you are looking to develop new job opportunities for yourself or to enhance your leadership potential in a tennis-related position, this online specialization can help you find success. Completion of this specialization also prepares you to become a certified Director of Racquet Sports with the United States Professional Tennis Association, accredited by the US Tennis Association.

The UF Director of Racquet Sports specialization is made up of 12 credit hours of required work plus 3 elective credit hours from the sport management degree program. The courses are also available to students who are not pursuing specialization.

Learn what it takes to be a successful director of racquet sports and business teammate through interactive, online classes designed by experienced leaders in the field. Through this track, you will develop your expertise in:

  • Athlete-Centered Leadership
  • Sport Event Management
  • Racquet Industry History
  • Sport Marketing
  • Facility Operations and Logistics
  • Program Innovation
  • Business Leadership and Culture Development

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Required Courses (12 credits):

SPM 6905: The Racquet Sports Industry (3)

The Director of a racquet sports program is the expert in the room for all things facility-based for racquet sports, however, most good players who become teaching professionals know very little about the court they actually play on. This course will examine general costs, timetables and needs related to building hard and clay courts, including the costs and considerations for court maintenance and lighting. A section will be dedicated to understanding the options for structures that can make courts weatherproof, such as air structures.

Many clubs are branching out from tennis by incorporating a variety of racquet sports, such as pickle ball, padel, platform tennis and POP tennis due to their short learning curve and high level of sociability. To prepare for this reality, this course will enable students to gain a competent general understanding of these sports, including their rules, facilities, marketability and costs, and the advantages and disadvantages to including them in a racquets program.

This course will also require students to gain an in-depth understanding of the history, current status, and trends in the tennis industry and insights on how to navigate a successful career as a tennis director.

SPM 5107: Sport Event Management Principles and Applications (3)

Sport Event Management introduces students to the planning and management of sport events through the strategic and systematic process of event management, exploring the phases and structural domains associated with the EMBOK model. Students learn key managerial issues associated with risk management, event marketing, sponsorships, human resources, operations, and evaluations among other topics through case studies, readings, discussions, lectures, and assignments.

SPM 6905: Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership (3)

This course is designed to explore the various applications of the Athlete-Centered Sport Coaching model. Students will learn how elements of this model impact daily coaching, team, school and recreational program development, groups in business, life outside of sports, program and individual development. Further emphasis will be given to the analysis of coaching perspectives including the pursuit of performance excellence and its dependence upon personal wellbeing and the strong correlation between sports and business leadership.

SPM 5936: The Tennis Directorship (3)

This capstone course is designed to provide tennis professionals with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the broad skill set necessary for running a multi-court/multi-sport racquets program at a country club, indoor club, public park facility or resort setting. Students will learn the fundamentals of marketing, budgeting, communications, human capital management and tennis event management that the Director of Tennis or Director of Racquets position involves.

Due to the nature of private clubs and community-based facilities where expenses may be subsidized by members or taxes, a “successful program” might never turn a profit. This class will help directors have a clear understanding of what other parameters can define and are necessary for “success,” such as participation, program growth, facility usage, food and beverage sales, a low student-to-pro on-court ratio and an emphasis on service.

For for-profit country clubs and indoor racquet and tennis clubs, a vastly different set of goals will be necessary. Expense management and marketing and promotions are key when operations depend on profit. Students will establish goals, objectives and strategies for both types of facilities by exploring income options such as variations in student-to-pro ratios, staff sales goals, social media marketing, creative events and product specialization. Digital marketing strategies for reading members and prospects and to enhance member experiences are also addressed in this course.

The final exam for this course will require students to take the USTA Tennis Director Certification Exam. The exam, designed by the members of the Tennis Director Certification Committee and external educational advisor, is a multiple-choice exam that covers the content brought forward in the 12 credit hour Tennis Director Specialization curriculum.

To be eligible to apply for the USPTA Tennis Director Certification, students will have to achieve a score of at least 70% or greater on this exam. Thus, students will be required to pass this exam with a score of 70% or greater in order to receive credit for SPM 5936 The Tennis Directorship.

Prerequisites:

  • SPM 5107: Sport Event Management: Principle and Applications
  • SPM 6905: Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership
  • SPM 6905: The Racquet Sports Industry

USPTA and USTA Certification Requirements

All UF students that successfully complete this specialization will have met the educational requirements and will have passed the USTA/USPTA Director of Tennis Certification Exam.

However, in addition to passing these educational requirements conferred by UF, the USPTA and USTA requires the following additional qualifications to be eligible to receive a USPTA Director of Tennis Certification:

  1. Minimum of three years of experience as a tennis professional.
  2. Minimum of one year’s experience in a supervisory or leadership role within the tennis industry (e.g., tennis director, head tennis professional, assistant head tennis professional, program director, etc.)
  3. USPTA Elite Professional Rating
  4. Complete a program application that includes the following:
    • Letter of recommendation from current supervisor
    • Copy of most recent resume
    • Be a member in good standing of the USPTA

Upon completion of the UF Specialization and completion of and submission of the USPTA’s requirements, the candidate will receive a certificate designating them as a certified USPTA/USTA Director of Tennis. Tennis professionals who earn their Director of Tennis Certification can keep their certification current by maintaining a minimum of 15 credits of USPTA-approved continuing education every three years.