Five years ago, a group of tennis-teaching professionals walked into the
2013 USPTA World Conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in
Orlando, Florida wearing orange shirts. Vibrant and young, the group
made their presence known and many began to take notice of the USPTA
U30. To shed a light on young professionals, members were brought
together to film the “USPTA U30” commercial.
The U30 is a team of
tennis-teaching professionals under the age of 30 working to create
opportunities for young professionals. Their primary goal is to develop a
voice for their generation that will magnify the impact they can have
in their careers, community and culture of tennis.
Initiative is led by Director of Competitive Tennis at USTA Florida and
USPTA Florida Division President, Jason Gilbert. He saw the USPTA’s
aging demographic and knew he needed to find a group of young
professionals that would help the USPTA. Since its inception, 15 out of
the 17 USPTA divisions have implemented the U30 initiative and it
continues to increase in members.
“It’s so exciting to see U30
professionals get together, network, and get mentors with experienced
tennis-teaching professionals within our organization,” Gilbert said.
“It has been an amazing initiative that we are very excited to continue
The initial process for applicants under 30 to join
the U30 Initiative is becoming a USPTA member. After passing the
on-court certification exam, young tennis-teaching professionals are
invited to join the USPTA U30 Initiative by members like Kyle LaCroix.
LaCroix, a Florida Tester and U30 member, was brought into the
initiative after speaking with Gilbert and has been dedicated to growing
the next wave of young tennis-teaching professionals ever since.
role in the USPTA U30 as the Florida Tester, is that I get all the
U30’s coming into the USPTA during the application process and I educate
them about the U30 Initiative,” LaCroix said. “From there, I make sure
the applicants know they will receive a call from either Jason or
Gregory Heartt who oversees recruitment.”
Heartt, a USPTA Elite
Professional, and U30 Recruitment Chair said one of the strategies he
utilizes to get young tennis-teaching professionals into the U30
Initiative is sending an email congratulating them on joining the
association and inviting them to be a part of the U30 meeting.
remember the first conference I attended, I felt lost because I was
younger and in a world where everyone knows everyone in the tennis
industry,” Heartt said. “You’re a fly on the wall and one of the great
things about the U30 Initiative is that when you’re at a conference,
immediately you’re recognized by U30 members and we all attend the
sessions and then hang out afterward. It’s a great feeling to be a part
of the U30 family.”*