The WTCA is excited and honored to have been selected as the Professional Tennis Registry’s first-ever ‘Partner of the Year.’ WTCA Chair of the Board Anni Miller received the award on behalf of the WTCA at the 2019 PTR International Tennis Symposium.
The WTCA and the PTR first partnered in January 2017 and put together the first annual PTR/WTCA Coaches Summit in Indian Wells, which was a monumental success. The PTR has also played a major supporting role at the internationally renowned WTCA Conferences New York.
Together, the PTR and the WTCA are working to further opportunities for females within the sport of tennis. “The PTR realizes that the WTCA has really made progress in changing the coaching culture to help females achieve their potential. We’re trying to build that confidence and courage for young girls and women to navigate this difficult maze of athletics because there still is a large void in terms of lifting all women to the forefront. The PTR is trying to change that as well,” explained Miller.
According to Miller, the WTCA Conference Paris indicated a major turning point for the organization in terms of making progress in changing the current coaching culture. With powerful women such as Justine Henin, Magdalena Maleeva and Yulia Berberian speaking at the event, the tennis community realized that the WTCA was truly a force to be reckoned with.
“From that time forward, it has been really important to focus on the WTCA and how significant we are as a group and how we, meaning the entire group of members that we have, are truly making a difference,” Miller explained. “We are going to make a difference. We have people who really believe in our mission, and we are going to fulfill that niche for the girls and women who need our support.”
As a Charter Member of the PTR, Miller is thrilled with the progress the WTCA and the PTR have made through the burgeoning stages of this partnership. Together, she believes that the two organizations can encourage more women to join the tennis scene as coaches and as professionals.
“We’ve seen many great teaching pros come and go because they weren’t truly supported throughout the years,” said Miller. “We have filled the void with the WTCA’s mission. I believe that the PTR feels this and sees this. We’re benefitting them by bringing in top-level coaches, talent and guidance. Likewise, the PTR is bringing their body of members and information to us. We’re trying to share this information and make the tennis world a better place.”
Miller believes winning the ‘Partner of the Year’ award demonstrates that the WTCA is on the path to achieving gender equality within the sport. “Receiving the award was extremely exciting for us. It brought the WTCA to the forefront, it validated the purpose of what we are trying to do and what the PTR is trying to do to. Girls are dropping out right and left because they’re not taught well enough. We as coaches have to care about our players and develop the whole athlete,” she said.
Moving forward, the WTCA and the PTR have exciting plans to elevate the partnership to new heights. First on the docket is the second annual PTR/WTCA Indian Wells Coaches Summit, where top-level coaches and speakers will educate and help further the mission of both organizations.
The WTCA hopes to draw upon the PTR’s educational pathways and incorporate tools for instructing coaches on how to work with female athletes. Additionally, a major initiative for both the PTR and the WTCA is to retain female coaching talent as well.
“If we don’t teach these young girls to play and how to understand winning, losing, support, and how to have fun, we’re losing them,” Miller explained. “That’s where tennis gets the statistic that girls are dropping out at an alarming rate, but we don’t do anything about it. We just talk about it. That’s where I’m hoping a partnership like this will demonstrate how we’re going to bring the next generation in tennis to where we should be.”
“This is a partnership with everybody, both our sponsors and our members. It’s about joining together as a group to make a difference. That’s what we’re really trying to demonstrate with the PTR. We’re truly helping each other and moving the needle,” said Miller.