Coaching as a Career
We all know that the top tennis professionals make millions of dollars. In 14 years as a professional, Novak Djokovic has made over $100 million.
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So the most appealing career through tennis is becoming professional. The problem is that you really need to make it into the top 150 to enjoy the rich rewards that can come from being a pro tennis player.
So if you cannot make it to this level then you to look into alternative areas such as coaching, management and administration of the sport.
Good players definately are not assured of being great coaches. Coaching is about being able to influence a player or group of players. You need a great knowledge of all parts of the game and you need to be able to communicate that clearly and in a way that sticks in your pupils mind and game.
Coaches will normally either work at a grassroots club level working with beginner and intermediate juniors and adults. At club level the focus is on participation and coaching can help the club keep up a healthy membership. Coaches can be self employed or an employee of a coaching business
Some club programs will also include talent development and performance programs but normally most performance coaching will be done at independent tennis academies, state and national bodies along with as a tour coach.
A fulltime tennis coach should be able to earn between $40000 upto $100000 yearly depending on where they work and whether or not they are an assistant or head coach.
Coaching can be a dream job with the opportunity of being active and helping other people with their passion makes for a very rewarding, high quality of life. The downside of coaching is the hours can be inconsistent and you will nearly always have a split shift of work with morning lessons and then after school/work lessons.
Coaching isn’t the only career option for a tennis player. Tennis players find themselves in marketing roles, participation and development officer roles along with competition and tournament administration.
Coaches who develop their business skill will find themselves as the Director of Tennis, Program Manager and other leadership roles within their own or established tennis businesses.
I personally started tennis coaching part time when I was 15 when I was asked to coach a couple of groups at my local tennis club. I kept at it part time until after dropping out of university, I decided to enter the tennis industry as a fulltime tennis coach and I moved from Adelaide to Darwin to take up a job.
My first fulltime coaching role involved me cleaning courts, serving at the bar and cafe, cutting palm fronds off the surrounding trees, running competitions, doing school tennis days in remote areas out of Darwin and generally doing whatever the Gardens Tennis Complex and Tennis NT needed from me. I loved it and could not believe it was a real job…..
15 years later I still coach 20 hours a week and run a team of 10 coaches as Director of Scarborough Tennis Academy which I started 10 years ago. Playing tennis gave me these opportunities and I am grateful for the sport and the industry.
Finally as a tennis coach, the most annoying and very common question when meeting new people and discussing what I do for a job?
“So what else do you do? is that part time?”
Director of Tennis