| By Steven Kaplan

The USPTA [United States Professional Tennis Association] and USPTR [United States Tennis Registry] are organizations that provide accreditation for tennis teaching professionals. In order to be called a "Tennis Professional" by these organizations, members must successfully complete a standardized competency test. The designation of "Master Professional" is the highest level of competency and it is a very rigorous standard of achievement.

Tennis clubs, require that it's tennis staff be a member of at least one of these professional organizations in most parts of the country. Long Island clubs are a bit more accommodating in that the title "Professional" is anointed by the clubs and "Tennis Professional" may be simply a name, rather then a conveyance of a standard of excellence.

Since "Tennis Professional" can be a marketing-driven term, why not call your best pros "Master Professionals?" No one could possibly confuse this title and infer that it means that these pros are USPTA/USPTR Master Professionals? I mean no one thinks Dr. Dre is a real doctor.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.