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Alternative Racquet Sports

At TCB we want to embrace many racquet sports and introduce you to the games and the forces that drive them. We're here to show you how to get into the sport and how to make money with it.

In July, we're posting the latest in regards to Padel instruction and certification, plus some POP Tennis videos, how Spec Tennis enhances the development of tennis, and Pickleball stuff.


Padel Instruction, Play, Certification

We found Padel information on the sites of the USPTA, USTA, and PTR Italia.



WEB PAGE(S): USPTA Padel Certification

SUMMARY: The United States Professional Tennis Association has partnered with ALL RACQUET SPORTS to offer USPTA professional padel certification. All Racquet Sports/ AFP Academy powered by adidas padel is the platform where teaching professionals perfect their knowledge and teaching methods. The developed methodology pushes professionals to complete specific padel training techniques in the technical, tactical, bio-mechanical, and physical areas of the sport.

CERTIFICATION DETAILS: "We offer 3 different levels of certification depending on the professional's performance, proficiency, and experience in a 2-day, 15-hour course.
LEVEL 1: PRO Padel Professional ($799)
LEVEL 2: ELITE Padel Professional ($799)
LEVEL 3: MASTER Padel Professional ($?)


All Racquet Sports website

COMMENTS: We're not quite sure how old that information is. Also, the Padel Certification Calendar has no dates. Not sure whether that certification is still available. Contact your local USPTA chapter for that.



WEB PAGE(S): Let's Play Padel

SUMMARY: "In collaboration with All Racquet Sports, the USTA National Campus will be adding four padel courts to the Nemours Family Zone this June."


COMMENTS: The USTA is offering 4 Padel courts to book for $40 per hour. They are also offering lessons, Junior Clinics & Adult Clinics.
Upcoming events: July 5 - Round Robin. Plus monthly tournaments and annual events. Since the National Campus feature Tennis, Padel, and Pickleball, "Tri-Racquet Olympics" are schduled for July 30th.


ORGANIZATION: PTR International (Italy)

WEB PAGE(S): Padel Education Program

SUMMARY: INTERNATIONAL PADEL CERTIFICATION - The International Padel Certification is the workshop that provides the basis for teaching and is valid , as well as as a PTR certification, also as a technical scientific module of the 1st level Padel instructor course of the Italian Tennis Federation . It is divided into two modules:

  • Theoretical module online

  • Practical module in presence

CERTIFICATION DETAILS: The obtainable PTR qualifications are:

  • PTR Padel Associate Instructor

  • PTR Padel Instructor

  • PTR Padel Professional

All further information is available at this link, in the PTR INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION EXAMS section. The last Padel Training session happened June 13 at the Aspria Harbor Club in Milan. The cost was €150 for PTR members.

The International Padel Certification consists of an 8-hour online course and a 2-day practical part. The cost is €310. The next date for the practical part in Castelfranco Veneto is September 17-19.

COMMENTS: Interesting that PTR Padel training and certification is "outsourced" to Italy. Where can we sign up?


POP Tennis


In case you hadn't seen our December 2020 interview with Mitch Kutner, President of the International POP Tennis Association, here is the link again. This month we'd like to show you a few videos we think are worth watching.


POP Tennis on the Today Show


Tennis Channel: POP Tennis in Venice, CA


USPTA - What is POP Tennis?


Venice, CA Champions


2 Real Life Examples of How Spec Tennis Can Enhance Tennis Player Development

By Nate Gross


Nate Gross created Spec Tennis in 2016. He has recently presented at the USPTA San Diego Convention, USPTA Eastern Webinar, USPTA Middle States Conference, Texas Tennis Coaches Association Conference, Between the White Lines Summit, and the USPTA New England Conference. Contact Nate:

When I first started using Spec Tennis in my tennis lessons, I figured it would be something that we used once in a while, maybe at the end of a lesson for 5 minutes just to mix it up. But boy was I wrong. The positive impact that it had on my players convinced me that Spec Tennis needed to become a major component of tennis player development. Regardless of the level or the age of the player, I witnessed firsthand how it accelerated the learning process with every tennis skill.

Today I’ll tell you two stories that illustrate this.


I had two ladies sign up for a weekly semi-private tennis lesson with me. On Day 1, I handed them Spec Tennis paddles and proceeded to teach them the same way I teach a tennis lesson. I explained to them that by starting with the paddles first they would be successful sooner in every tennis skill and that success would lead to faster improvement and more motivation to keep playing.


Very quickly I had them rallying with me, and it wasn’t long after that they were able to rally with each other. They felt they were actually playing tennis, not just hitting the ball.

Rather than me standing on 1 side, feeding them balls out of the basket like you see in many tennis lessons (which a lot of players find boring by the way), they were almost always in a rally-based situation either against each other or against me.


I had these two ladies once a week for 9 months. It became a routine that they would bring the paddles to every lesson and take them home after, so that they could practice outside of the lessons.

Did we use tennis racquets at all? Yes absolutely, but for every new skill that I introduced we always started with the paddles first, and then when they got it,  I had them switch to the tennis racquet.

Let’s talk about how powerful this was.

I’m sure you can visualize what two brand new tennis players look like, and you’d probably agree that if you asked them to execute a specific pattern they wouldn’t be able to do it (just having a simple crosscourt rally can be a struggle for new players)


I had them executing pretty advanced patterns successfully, for example, a pattern where Player 1 could only hit crosscourt until Player 2 hit down the line, and once Player 2 hit down the line she had to come to the net and volley.

This would not have been possible had we done it from the baseline with tennis racquets, but it was possible to do it with Spec Tennis.

Beginning players built up the confidence in knowing when to attack and were comfortable with volleying to the open court.

And yes after they got really good at this pattern in Spec Tennis, I had them do it with tennis racquets on the full court.

I was so impressed by how well this progression-based model worked that I now use this approach in all of my tennis lessons. I’m 100% convinced these two ladies reached a higher level in tennis using the hybrid approach (spec tennis + tennis) than they would have had we done tennis 100% of the time.



This first story highlighted players who were complete beginners, but what if you have an intermediate or advanced tennis player? The good news, I tested that out for you as well.


I taught tennis lessons to Adam Bain, who is the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Twitter. He was a 3.5 level player when I first met him. He wasn’t that comfortable hitting a two-handed backhand though and one day he asked if I could teach him a one-hander.


So I grabbed two Spec Tennis paddles from my bag (I always have paddles on hand) and gave him some guidance on how to hit a topspin one-handed backhand.

When he reached a point where he was able to rally with me from a very easy ball that he didn’t have to move to, then I challenged him by making him move and hit to various targets.


Only after he was proficient in each of these scenarios did we pick up the tennis racquet again.


Here’s what Adam had to say about the experience: “I think Spec Tennis is absolutely fantastic. I honed my technique on the Spec court and then brought that over to the tennis court and it immediately translated for me. It allowed me to advance faster, I think, because of the work that I did on the Spec court. To me, it doesn’t matter how advanced of a tennis player you are, starting with Spec Tennis should dramatically improve your tennis game.”


These two examples have made it very obvious (at least to me) the power that Spec Tennis has as a training tool for tennis.


It’s relatively inexpensive to get started with Spec Tennis in your program; you don’t need to modify your facility in any way. You can do so by simply going to to get a discounted coach’s package.


To learn more about Spec Tennis, head to or email me,


SPEC Tennis Exhibition (1'21")


Styrling Strother on SPEC Tennis


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