14 areas to look at when recruiting tennis coaches to your team
Over the last 13 years of business, I have had many different tennis coaches work for me at Scarborough Tennis Academy. Some experienced, some less experienced, some committed, some not. Some entitled, some not. I have been very careful about who I take on as a tennis coach as their positive or negative impact can totally make or break my business. For the most part, our coaches have been excellent and stayed loyal over many years but there have been plenty of lessons learnt also.
Questions for your potential coach recruit
Start with Why. Are they genuine in wanting to be a tennis coach?
They need to want the job because they enjoy being on a tennis court, helping others.
- Are they simply ‘looking for a job’ or are do they have genuine interest in prioritizing tennis coaching as their most desirable job?
- Are they prepared to ‘build’ their hours or do they want/need X amount hours straight away?
Do they know our training style?
There are many different ways to train people and each program will have different styles and also philosophies. We want our coaches to be on board with our core values and then create their own flair on top of that.
- Do they agree with our core fundamentals or is there a clash of styles/values?
Where did they play as a Junior?
There is no doubt that the juniors that have been involved with us are easier to train up and fit in with our coaching culture. This is because they have been through it all as a student and it makes for a seamless transition to coaching.
- What did they learn as a student/junior player that they would really want to pass on to others?
Have they done any Assistant Coaching or Community Service ?
Those who have offered their time or contributed to our program previous have already outlined that they are humble, keen and willing to take the chance to demonstrate a commitment to learning.
- Have they done any volunteer coaching with you or anywhere else?
Are they teachable?
The reality is that none of us ‘know it all’ and should be always working on our craft, learning new styles, drills and methods. Developing a growth mindset is essential and a fixed mindset will not fit in with our culture.
- Do they seem like they know it all already?
- Do they seem committed to constantly learning ?
- What qualifications do they have? (This doesn’t guarantee that they can coach but does demonstrate a commitment to learning.)
- Where else have they coached?
- For how long have they coached for?
- how many hours per week have they done?
- Did they do any other professional development to help them as tennis coaches?
- Do they have other non tennis qualifications which will make them better coaches?
- What did their junior tennis pathway look like?
- How far did tennis take them as a junior? Interstate? Overseas?
- What tournament success or what junior leagues had they reached?
- What senior tournaments or league level have they played and do they still enjoy competition?
- What does their attitude look like on a tennis court?
- Will they be a good role model on court?
- Are they committed to a healthy and fit lifestyle?
There are many different types of personalities who can be fantastic tennis coaches. However at its core, you need to be able to control, educate and entertain group’s of tennis playing children and adults. You also need to be honest and work as part of a team and small business. This is where their references can come in handy.
- Do they have great people skills?
- Do they have a personality that can provide leadership and motivation to the students?
- Do they demonstrate honesty and good ethics?
14 Areas to assess
So based on the above questions, you can then give the below areas a 3,2 or 1. (3 being the best) and this will help you make a better decision on whether they will be the right fit for your coaching team.
- People Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Trust and Honesty
- Senior and current playing level
- Junior playing level
- Role model
- Tennis coach qualifications
- Tennis coach experience
- Other relevant qualifications and training
- Growth vs fixed mindset
- Demonstrated volunteering/initiative
- Culture fit (coaching styles and values)
- Desire to be a tennis coach
- Willingness to build hours
Director of Tennis