Return to Article | Print this Page
ADDvantage magazine
Why Should You Become a Master Professional?
by Fred Burdick, USPTA Master Professional
During each World Conference, there is a Master Professionals meeting.  In 2017, there were about 30 of us in attendance.  These are some of the top professionals in the industry.  A question was raised as to why any teaching professional would seek the Master Professional rating?  It’s very time consuming and you cannot even apply until you have been an Elite Professional for 10 years.  Let’s look at some of the responses from those in attendance:
President Gary Trost: “As a tester I wanted to make sure that I was educated to the point that I could test at the highest level.  I’ve always respected the tennis professionals that became Master Professionals, they mentored and inspired me to become one.”

Jack Justice: “Like any brotherhood or fraternity, being a Master Professional brings you together with a great group of professionals doing what you do and at the level to which you aspire. By the time you are ready to move up to Master Professional, you realize the benefit of exchanging ideas
with peers.”

Ken McAllister: “While it is obvious that it adds to your resume to help you get the better jobs, it is also a source of pride for each employer to be able to say his or her tennis professional is one of a limited number of Master Professionals.  It is a designation that is strongly vetted by the USPTA making it very credible in the tennis industry.”

Chair of the Master Professionals Committee  Mark Centrella: “To me, getting your Master Professional Certification is akin to getting your doctorate in the teaching profession. My feeling was and is - why not strive to be the best you can be if this is what you have chosen as your career. Why just stop at an undergraduate or graduate degree?”

Diane Selke: “I became a Master Pro because when I first looked at the application, I finished most of the criteria in my first 10 years of service. I met new pros and learned a ton of teaching techniques from them. I wanted to share mine. Why not be the best you can be?  Being a Master Pro gave me a better position in the job market!”

Former WTA Player Bunny Bruning: “I became a Master Professional because I love to learn and improve my knowledge and skills. As I traveled to countless workshops and conferences, I got to know many incredible professionals and mentors all over the world. Then I wanted to give back to the USPTA what it had given me. The USPTA is in my blood.”

The education should be enough motivation to seek the Master Professional Certification. The friends, rewards, and the people you help along the way makes a lifelong memory of service in the tennis teaching profession.
If that is not motivation enough for you then maybe you are motivated by something else. INCOME!

A few years ago, when I was the executive director for the Southern Division, I did a survey.  If you’re an Elite Professional and want a 28 percent salary increase, become a Master Professional.  If you’re a Professional and want a 40 percent increase in your income become a Master Professional.  If you’re a Recreational Coach, then give yourself a 55 percent increase in your income by earning your Master Professional rating.  These are just the averages.  Can you imagine what the “famous” Master Professionals are making?  

So why seek the Master Professional rating?  If you cannot find a reason from the above information, read it again.  What if you try and don’t achieve it?  It is not the destination, it is the journey along the way that provides all the rewards both personal and professional.  Go for it!


About Fred Burdick Fred Burdick has more than 40 years in the tennis industry and is currently the owner of Mountain View Tennis Club in Dalton, Georgia. Fred began his tennis-teaching career at what was then Dalton Junior College Continuing Education Department.  He later taught full-time for Cobb County Parks and Recreations Department in Marietta, Georgia and spent 15 years as director of tennis at Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton, Georgia.