Tennis is one of the most popular sports in America. To attest this fact, the country has consistently produced the world’s No. 1 female tennis player in the mold of Serena Williams. Tennis coaches have an important role in not only making the sport popular but also training players who can become world beaters. If you are a tennis enthusiast, read on to know how you can become a tennis coach.
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1. What Do Tennis Coaches Do?
Their duties include:
- Scouting potential players
- Preparing for training sessions
- Instructing players about the rules of the game, including the scoring system, the court and the various types of tennis matches
- Coaching players to develop their technical skills and exploit their sporting abilities (on-court coaching)
- Ensuring the health and safety of players in training
- Accompanying the players or team to tennis contests
- Ordering the purchase of tennis balls and other pieces of training equipment
- Creating tennis programs for schools and sporting centers – This involves making travel arrangements
- Helping team managers to organize tennis competitions
2. Work Environment
Tennis coaches often work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. Evening training sessions are also common. Contests can be held on any day of the week, so you face the prospect of working the entire week.
Since training sessions can be held in outdoor and indoor courts, you may be exposed to all types of weather conditions when working outdoors.
The job also involves regular travel as you have to accompany your players to tournaments held in local or foreign cities.
According to PayScale, tennis coaches earn an average annual salary of $40,476.
4. Entry Qualifications and Experience
Even before talking about the professional qualification you need to become a tennis coach, you must be a lover of the sport. Without it, you will hardly be successful.
To start you off, pursue a bachelor’s degree in sport coaching, such as the one offered at the University of Southern Mississippi. Although the program doesn’t offer specific training in tennis coaching, it will equip you with coaching skills and techniques that can ready you for this job. You will also learn about physical conditioning and how it relates to the human body.
To move into tennis coaching, complete a training program offered by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The association offers youth, college and adult training programs and the one you choose to pursue depends on the age of players you want to coach.
It is advisable to start by coaching youth or college teams. This will enable you to gain the experience you need to coach professional, high performance players.
5. Important Qualities
To be an accomplished tennis coach, you need:
- Superb communication skills
- Physical fitness
- The ability to motivate players
- Excellent organizing and planning skills
- The ability to spot talented players
- Strong teamwork skills
- Approachable and welcoming
- Friendly and enthusiastic
- Good time management skills
- Good analytical skills to assess players’ qualities
- Good instructional skills
- Skills in goal-setting and performance evaluation
- Good budgeting skills
6. Career Advancement
How do you advance from coaching youth and college teams to professional teams? Well, you need the experience and the determination of a world beater.
If your team can beat opponents and win contests over and over again, your reputation will grow, and so will your chances of going pro.
USTA also offers a high performance coaching program [302 from http://www.usta.com/About-USTA/Player-Development/Coaching-Education/USTA_Coaching_Education_Department/] that you should pursue to heighten your advancement prospects. Membership opportunities are also available.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of tennis coaches include:
- Primary and secondary schools
- School districts
- Resorts and other recreational facilities
- Professional sport teams
- Pro players
With experience, professional coaching credentials, and a proven winning reputation, you can be hired to coach professional teams and top tennis players. You may also pursue a master’s degree in sports management if you wish to move into the business side of the sport.
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Lastly, between 2012 and 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average job growth (15 percent) for all sports coaches and scouts
So, if you love teaching other people new skills, and you aspire to become a tennis coach, there will be enough job opportunities for you.