Sunday, June 11, 2017

3 Important tips for Watching the US Open Live!

Want to see the top tennis players in the world? Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and almost all top player are in NYC at the biggest Tennis Stadium in the World!
JC Tennis Photos

If you're a real tennis fan in the USA, you gotta go see the US Open at least ONCE in your lifetime!  NYC Summer fun!

It's your chance to catch a glimpse of 2017 Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal!
Below, I show you how to get the best US Open experience and tickets...

Please subscribe to get all my tips sent to your email (in bite-size nuggets of wisdom). So you can read it over later and take with you to the US Open!

Free 2017 US Open Ticket Discounts and Tips

About the author:
I have personally attended over a decade's worth of Grand Slam tennis (all four). Been to NYC dozens of times in my life, with family and friends there.

The sport has given me an insider's view at all the Tennis Majors as a tennis fan, player, coach, and now as a sports media photographer and journalist.

The purpose of this article: I want to share my experiences and tips with others to get the best experience possible for new fans. Because I get asked in person all the time, it was just easier to write it down.

As an USTA Organizational Member and USPTA Professional - I'm committed to making the US Open Experience fun, affordable for ALL my fellow Americans.

Tickets are still sold by fans in June-August, even on so-called "sold out" sessions it's not too late!  Holiday Weekend Tickets get sold more quickly. However, prices and new tickets are updated daily, so bookmark this and check back!

Our Facebook Updates keep you in the loop about upcoming schedule and player changes.

The US Open is located in NYC around late August to early September. A great time to visit the beautiful city of New York around Labor Day and enjoy some great tennis, food and summer fun.  Below are some great tips for enjoying your tennis experience below...

Tip #1) How to get great value out of your US Open tickets

Which ones to buy or avoid, and most importantly where to look; one secret site unknown to many fans...

Read this...before you buy tickets! Free US Open Tips.

In my emails, I'll cover tips for this year based on the new Ashe Roof and Grandstand Stadiums:

Top 3 Fan Tips plus more Q&A below: 

1) How to get great, cheap tickets but still be able to see your favorite Tennis star up close

2) When and where to go to get Autographs, pictures with the pros

3) Which seats you should try to choose (the best game perspective, the best pictures, the most comfortable (shaded seat) in at each stadium 

How to get the best value on US Open Tickets
First thing is to buy tickets - without these, you can't go in. Figure out when you want to go and look up the prices.

If this is your first time, and you want to just experience some tennis - try to go the first week.

My advice given in my email list is to wait for the summer promo codesas this is when there is a good deal (around $80 for Ashe tickets) - they usually go on sale as early as May for USTA members. But worry not - you can still get them as late as the month of August without a membership...

Here is a great tennis ticket tips site with lots of US Open promo codes.

1) TicketMaster owns all original US Open Tickets.

Use TicketExchange to buy them anytime and re-sell if needed 

My best advice is usually to wait until July-August to look for the best deals. For example on 8/3/10,  they released an annual code "WFANDANGOin the morning which has seats available for $12 for both the 1st week and the 2nd week.

These codes were last available back in 2011, but google "Tennis Bargains" to get other US Open promo codes.

There are also 2-for-1 (buy one get one free) tickets that are around $25-$35 each that are for the Upper and Lower Promenade, which is a bit closer.
You can always sell your extra ticket here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

USPTA Professional Exam - Tips and Course Review

USPTA and Tennis Coaching

Prior to getting my USPTA certificate, I had coached tennis for over 10 years. I have taught for various tennis programs, at local county and club levels. Through the years, I've also dabbled in some freelance tennis coaching on the side - mainly for Juniors and Beginners students.

I have not been paid to do this review but simply want to share my experience with prospective exam takers. Also, I hope this blog post can help encourage other candidate tennis teachers. I too was a bit hesitant to spend the $350 at first and unsure if I could pass it because I am not a full time teaching professional. But if I can do it, so can anyone who studies for it*

USPTA References

If you decide to apply for an USPTA membership - please consider putting me as your referral.
It is found in the "References" section of the USPTA Online Application Form when you sign up.

Hopefully, you find my tips and helpful below in this article. If you do mention my name, I will be very grateful as it will save me $50 on next year's dues!

I will be happy to answer of your questions and also try to reply to any in the comments section below. The goal is to get more Tennis Education out there in the USA for aspiring coaches of tomorrow*

2-day course vs 1-day course

When you sign up for your on-court exam, you can choose between the 1-day or 2-day courses held across the US during different times in the year.

I signed up for the 2-day course and here's why...

The first day was basically what I would call "rehearsal" and Q&A about any questions on the test. We had the test in a bubble, at a local country club. The instructor covers everything you need to know the first day. If you listen and follow their advice, you should do fine.

On the flip side, I noticed that there were a few "1-day" students who ended up having to repeat (and redo) portions of the group lesson that they failed during our 2nd day.

USPTA Certification Paths: One-day vs Two-day Options

Day One: Q&A
All the fellow students (5 total) in my class had some former teaching experience. Their levels ranged from a high school teenager, former ATP Top 300 player to a teaching pro with over 30 years experience.

I was very fortunately to have a good instructor (Ted) that explained everything and set expectations clearly from day 1. It was great chatting and networking with the other tennis instructors too. We went out for lunch together and helped each other with studying for the test. Your fellow students will also be used for various portions of the test.

Day Two: Lesson Plan Testing
The bulk of the on-court tests happened on the 2nd day. Sometimes they compress some into the end of the first day to save time (which I liked). The group lessons are comprised of 3-4 random students they pick from the club. Most are between NTRP 3.0-3.5 in my opinion.

The schedule was 8am-3pm both days, but the second day was spent completely on taking turns to do the private and group lessons (~25 mins per person). You get about 90 mins for lunch, plenty of breaks, and time to ask additional questions.

Selecting an Exam Date - USPTA Exam Calendar

Benefits for USPTA Membership

The great thing about any USPTA certification is that it offers Nike wholesale discounts on personal tennis gear. Plus, the members' site offers excellent online resources (movies and diagrams) for tennis drills. You also receive a subscription to their "Tennis Industry" magazine that is also a top-notch publication and even better than Tennis Magazine. You can also buy on-court liability insurance for an added fee.

The USPTA and USPTR certs are the most widely recognized tennis credentials in the USA - Basically, it helps you land a job in the tennis industry. Any full-time professional you consider hiring for tennis lessons should be able to produce this. For test takers, if you can get the test fees and dues paid for by your club, that's even better! They offer an ADD discount program for "economically challenged" pros starting out as well.

Receiving your Test Preparation and Online Study Material

Recommend you spend some time reading through the USPTA PTCA1 pdf prior to coming to class. They will send you this pdf when you register for the USPTA Professional test. I found it helpful to print it out and put it in a binder to take notes and review.

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