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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:

  • Athlete-Centered Leadership
  • Racquet Industry History
  • Facility Operations and Logistics
  • Sport Marketing
  • Enhancing Customer Experiences
  • Finance and Budgeting for Club Operations
  • Program Innovation
  • Business Leadership and Culture Development

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 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 9 credit hour Director of Racquet Sports Specialization curriculum.

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.

Prerequisites:

  • SPM 5107: Sport Event Management: Principle and Applications
  • PET 6177: Athlete-Centered Coaching and Leadership
  • SPM 6905: The Racquets Industry

PET 6177: 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 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.

Prerequisite: SPM 6905: The Racquets Directorship (3)

USPTA/PTR/USTA Certification Requirements

UF provides education but does not certify students for their capability in the industry. That is done by USPTA and PTR, which are the professional certifying organizations recognized in the racquets industry and by the US Tennis Association.

Therefore, upon completion of the educational requirements of the UF Specialization, students will receive a certificate of COMPLETION. The UF Completion certificate signifies that the students will have met the EDUCATIONAL requirements of a director of racquet sports and have passed the Director of Racquet Sports Certification Exam. This Certificate must be presented to USPTA or PTR to receive the designation of CERTIFIED DIRECTOR OF RACQUET SPORTS. The Certification can only be granted if the student also has the appropriate level of USPTA and PTR certification necessary and if they are current in their membership status.

To become a fully certified director of racquet sports, USPTA and PTR will require:

  1. Minimum of three years of experience as a racquets professional.
  2. Minimum of one year of experience in a supervisory or leadership role within the racquets industry (e.g., director of racquet sports, head tennis professional, assistant tennis/pickle ball professional, program director, etc.)
  3. USPTA Elite Professional or PTR Professional Rating
  4. Be a member in good standing of the USPTA or PTR on a continual, ongoing basis

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.