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Director of Racquet Sports Specialization

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, pickleball, padel, or other complementary racquet sports and are interested in making it a lifelong career, our online master’s 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 related industry position, this online specialization can help you find success.

If you are already certified with one of the two national certifying organizations, US Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) or Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), then completion of this specialization also prepares you to become a “Certified Director of Racquet Sports.”

The UF Director of Racquet Sports specialization is made up of 12 credit hours of required work from the sport management degree program. The courses are also available to students who are not pursuing specialization – for those just interested in learning more about the racquets industry.

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:

  • Racquet Industry History
  • Current Trends in Complementary Racquet Sports (e.g., Pickleball, Padel, POP, Platform, SPEC, and Touchtennis)
  • Finance and Budgeting for Club Operations
  • Facility Operations and Logistics
  • Business Marketing
  • Enhanced Customer Experiences
  • Program Innovation
  • Business Leadership and Culture Development
  • Athlete-Centered Leadership

For more information, please contact Instructor Kim Bastable, M.S.

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Required Courses (9 credits):

SPM 5936 The Racquets 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 how to create powerful customer experiences.

A large emphasis is placed on building team culture and hiring and managing staff successfully due to the current shortage of certified teaching professionals, especially since the U.S. growth in tennis exceeded 6 million players through the COVID pandemic. Sleepy on-man-woman tennis club programs are a thing of the past since pickleball has now become a staple of most programs in the U.S. market while padel has had immense growth in Europe, and it is headed to the U.S.

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.

The final exam for this course and the final exam of Racquets Directorship (SPM 5936) both include questions from the exam designed by the members of the USTA’s Racquets Director Certification Committee. The exams include multiple-choice questions.

To be eligible to apply for the USPTA/PTR 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 6905 The Racquets Directorship.


  • PET 6177: Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership
  • SPM 5309: Sport Marketing
  • SPM 5506: Sport Finance
  • SPM 6905: The Racquets Industry

PET 6177 Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership (3)

Coaching sports is usually viewed from a perspective of the pursuit of performance excellence. However, studies have shown that performance excellence is, actually, dependent upon
personal wellbeing. A thriving, happy individual will achieve the best performances. The athlete-centered sport model provides for the creation of best performances by placing equal emphasis on the personal development of the performer.

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 6905 The Racquets 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 pickleball, 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.

The final exam for this course and the final exam of Racquets Directorship (SPM 5936) both include questions from the exam designed by the members of the USTA’s Racquets Director Certification Committee. The exams include multiple-choice questions.

To be eligible to apply for the USPTA/PTR Racquets Director Certification, students will have to achieve a score of at least 70 percent or greater on both final exams.

USPTA/PTR/USTA Certification Requirements

UF provides education and the education provided in this specialization is the only education in the tennis/racquets industry that is supported by all three governing bodies for tennis and racquets professionals in U.S.: United States Tennis Association (USTA), United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), and Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). (The USPTA and PTR both certify teaching professional members from outside the United States, as well.)

UF does not provide certification upon completion of the curriculum. Certification is done by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).

Students can enter the Director of Racquet Sports specialization in the sport management master’s program without being a Certified Teaching Professional with USPTA or PTR. Those who ARE certified, however, and complete the specialization could be additionally eligible for greater USPTA or PTR certification status, per the organization’s guidelines.

For students who are certified members of the USPTA and PTR, the UF course completion certificate must be presented to USPTA or PTR so the student, if qualified, can receive the designation of “CERTIFIED DIRECTOR OF RACQUET SPORTS.”

Additionally, for students who are seeking the Director of Racquet Sports educational curriculum but not the 36 credit hour sport management master’s degree, an additional education option is available. That program is: UF’s Director of Racquet Sports online, self-paced Certificate Program.

The certificate program is an online, self-paced version of the Director of Racquet Sports curriculum, not run on UF semesters. Completion of the certificate program does not earn the student a UF master’s degree, but the student will earn a completion certificate that will provide for USPTA or PTR DORS certification, if the student is fully eligible. The certificate program is designed for qualified, full-time industry professionals with at least three years of full-time industry experience and Level 2 USPTA and PTR certification. More information to compare the sport management master’s degree specialization program and the certificate program is available at www.UF-DORS.com.