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Tennis Coaching Jobs
A 7-Step Guide for Job Seekers
Tennis is a worldwide sport with more than 87 million players globally, so it’s no surprise there’s a strong and growing demand for experienced coaches and professionals.
Like any sport, tennis coaches play a fundamental role in the development of athletes, but their contributions extend far beyond skills, technique, and strategy. The best coaches and instructors are ambassadors for the game who help encourage participation, provide mentorship, and share their passion.
Whether you’re new to coaching and just getting started, or you have years of experience, and you’re looking for your next role, this guide aims to support your job-hunting process for finding that dream opportunity.
Step 1: Get Clear on Your ‘Why’
Step 2: Do Your Research
Step 3: Prepare Your Resume & Cover Letter
Step 4: Clean Up & Develop Your Online Presence
Step 5: Ask for References
Step 6: Reach Out to Your Network
Step 7: Find Tennis Jobs
Step 1: Get Clear on Your ‘Why’
If you want to work in tennis, one of our favorite recommendations is to start by getting clear on what’s drawing you to a tennis career and what you hope to get out of it. In other words, your ‘why.’
Your specific logic or reasoning can be anything, and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what it is. However, getting clear on your motivations will help focus your efforts to track down an opportunity that aligns with what’s important to you.
Ideas for Your Why
To help get you thinking about your why here are some of the more popular or common reasons we hear people want to work in tennis.
One of the top reasons we hear players want to coach tennis is their passion for the sport. From our standpoint, it’s an excellent reason to get into coaching as we believe it’s fundamental to success.
A job in tennis requires you to live and breathe the sport, so if you’re not passionate about it, you’ll be more likely to burn out.
Plus, some of the best coaches we’ve had were passionate about tennis, and we’ve experienced how infections it can be first-hand, which goes a long way toward keeping players engaged.
We find there are varying degrees of passion when it comes to tennis. Some people love to play, others enjoy watching, while some get a kick out of teaching and seeing their students grow. In most cases, it’s not black and white, but you may find yourself skewing a specific direction. Again, there’s nothing wrong with a particular slant, but it’s helpful to know where your passion leans to identify the right opportunity.
If you love being active, spending time outdoors, and enjoy being around other people, then a tennis career might be right up your alley.
Many people gravitate to coaching tennis because of the lifestyle, which contrasts the typical 9-5 desk job. If you can’t stand the idea of working behind a computer all day and prefer an active lifestyle, then that’s another excellent reason for getting involved in coaching tennis.
Tennis is a global sport, so you’ll find players eager to learn in virtually every corner of the world. As a result, there are opportunities for coaches to travel and see the world while getting paid to do what they love.
In the United States, you might seek an opportunity in Florida, Southern California, Colorado, New York City, North Carolina, or Atlanta, to name a few, all of which are hot spots for tennis.
Outside of the US, countries like Australia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa, China, and Greece are a few popular locations for landing a coaching job.
Regardless of where you want to travel, it’s likely tennis can take you there with a job that you can perform seasonally or year-round.
If money is a motivator, you shouldn’t be ashamed or bashful about it as a baseline income has been proven fundamental to happiness.
However, depending on your aspirations, you may want to focus your energy on specific jobs or opportunities where the potential for earning is higher. Many tennis coaching jobs will have a relatively hard ceiling regarding pay with small yearly increases.
Write it Out
To help you get clear on your motivations for getting into tennis, we’d encourage you to write it out, even if it’s as simple as developing a brief statement that outlines why you want to get into tennis.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be one thing that’s driving your interest. In fact, for most, it will rarely be one thing. Here are a few example statements to help get your creative juices flowing.
I’d love to get a part-time job teaching tennis to kids during the summer so I can spend more time outdoors and make some extra money in addition to my full-time high school teaching position.
I’ve been a Tennis Manager for seven years at a prominent country club, so I’d like to take the next step and find a Director of Tennis position to earn a higher salary and ideally spend a little less time on the court.
I’ve been a Tennis Professional at my local club for five years, and I’d like to spend a few years in Europe teaching and exploring. I’m not overly concerned with pay; I’m primarily interested in the experience.
I’m ready to trade my desk job for something more active. I’ve been playing tennis my whole life and taught part-time in college, so I think it would be a good fit. However, I need to make sure I replace my current income with a reliable full-time teaching position at a reputable club.
I recently started playing tennis and fell in love with the sport. I’m in marketing and want to find a job working for a tennis organization or business to use my skills to help them grow.
Step 2: Do Your Research
Once you have a handle on why you’re interested in a tennis career and what’s motivating you to pursue it, it’s time to dig in and do some research on what the world of tennis has to offer.
From the different types of jobs to available certifications, salary expectations, and benefits, it pays to dig in and understand what to expect, so there are fewer surprises down the road.
In this section, we’ll touch on a handful of different topics that we’d encourage you to dive deeper into yourself. Our goal isn’t to be exhaustive here. Instead, we’re aiming to provide you with some food for thought when it comes to worthy areas for research.
Types of Tennis Jobs
One of the best places to start when considering a tennis career is to have a broad understanding of available jobs. Here’s a list of some of the more common job titles you’ll find in tennis.
- Tennis Professional (Pro)
- Head Tennis Professional
- Assistant Tennis Professional
- Tennis Instructor
- Tennis Coach
- Head Tennis Coach
- Assistant Tennis Coach
- Tennis Director
- Tennis Manager
- Tennis Lead
Many of these titles will come in variations with modifiers that help clarify who you’ll be teaching. Here are a few examples:
- 10 & Under
Once you’ve completed step one, you should be better able to determine through a bit of research and by review job descriptions which opportunities best align with your needs.
Here are a few areas to emphasize in your research:
- Duties & Responsibilities
- Requirements & Qualifications
Knowing these will help you narrow the jobs you’re eligible for, as well as which roles are most appealing based on expectations.
Depending on the type of job or coaching position you’re interested in, you may benefit from going through a certification program.
Of course, not all jobs require certification, but some will, so you’ll have to weigh the option. If you’re new to coaching, it’s often beneficial because the hiring individual can assume a level of competency that they’d otherwise glean from your experience.
There are many different tennis certification programs worldwide, so we’ve listed some of the leading organizations below.
We’d encourage you to explore the certification programs available to you, including their costs and time commitments.
Many of the leading organizations for tennis certification have sections of their websites dedicated to jobs, which are excellent resources for job seekers.
Salaries & Pay
If you’re looking to kick off a career in tennis, it’s helpful to understand what you can expect in terms of compensation.
Below we’ve highlighted a selection of popular tennis jobs and salary or pay ranges you can expect for each. However, keep in mind that compensation for any tennis position depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few that a hiring manager might consider:
- Years Experience
- Number of Direct Reports
With that in mind, we’d encourage you to use these figures as a rough guide rather than the source of truth.
Also, keep in mind that although many individuals in the tennis industry may command a high hourly rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re able to fill their schedule for an entire day’s work.
Another area of emphasis that might be important in your research is benefits. Depending on the role, your employer may or may not provide benefits, so we’d encourage you to keep this in mind in your search.
Here are some of the common benefits you’ll see offered in tennis:
- Paid vacation
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Retirement Plans
- Training & Education Opportunities
If a robust benefits package is essential, then you may have to tighten up your job search and emphasize larger organizations that are typically more competitive when it comes to compensation.
Step 3: Prepare Your Resume & Cover Letter
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to put together your resume, which will showcase your relevant experience, work history, skills, certifications, and accomplishments.
Your cover letter will help personalize your application and allows you to share with hiring managers why you believe you’re a good fit for the role.
Many online resources discuss resume and cover letter writing. With that in mind, we won’t spend much time here. Instead, we’ll touch on a few notes worth considering for each as you put them together.
If you’re new to coaching but have relevant experience, we’d encourage you to emphasize that part of your background.
For example, perhaps you played college tennis, but you never worked as a tennis instructor before. The skills and experience you gained in college are directly relevant to teaching, even if you haven’t coached before.
Likewise, if you’re a second-grade teacher, then your experiencing working with groups of children might be a huge bonus for teaching ten and under tennis if that’s the type of job you want.
Ultimately, the hiring manager is looking for relevant experience, so you’ll benefit from highlighting those areas even if it doesn’t account for the majority of your work history.
Many people view cover letters as outdated or an overly formal and unnecessary part of the application process.
If that’s you, we’d encourage you to rethink its purpose. Rather than simply reiterating what your resume states, think of your cover letter as an introduction where you get to show a bit of your personality.
For starters, the hiring manager will look at your resume and cover letter before ever speaking with you or shaking your hand. As a result, it’s the first opportunity you have to make a positive impression, and it will influence whether you receive a formal interview, so make it count.
Beyond taking the cover letter seriously, we’d encourage you to make it as personal and specific to the role you’re applying to as possible. Many candidates make the mistake of writing a generic cover letter once and repeatedly applying for jobs.
There’s nothing wrong with having a template you work from, but when it comes time to apply, make sure you personalize your cover letter to be as relevant to the position at hand as possible.
To make it custom and personal, do some research before you write the cover letter. For example, if you’re applying to a country club, read up on the club’s history, review their website and social media accounts, and peruse the staff on LinkedIn. Anything you can do to find little tidbits you can incorporate into the cover letter to make it custom and personal.
Doing so shows you took the time and care to do some research while also helping make the cover letter as relevant and personal as possible.
Beyond the cover letter, think about what you might do to help you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you record a personalized intro video that shows a bit of personality, displays your skills as a tennis player, and highlights a recent lesson you taught. Get creative and show the hiring manager that you want the job – most people won’t go the extra mile.
Once you finish writing your resume and cover letter, we’d encourage you to step back and look for gaps in your experience that might prevent you from getting the job you desire. Don’t let these gaps prevent you from taking action and applying to your dream tennis job, but as you start the job hunting process, do what you can to fill those gaps.
Perhaps you’ve been teaching for a few years, but you never took the time to get that professional certification. If you think it will help you land a job, find a way to make it happen and fill that gap.
Once you sign up and begin the certification process, you can even list on your resume that your certification is in progress and highlight an expected completion date.
If you’ve only taught kids, but you’re applying for a position with adults, spend some time volunteering as an assistant coach or instructor who trains adults to get some experience under your belt. Ultimately, you’re looking to fill any gaps to help strengthen your candidacy for the next job.
Step 4: Clean Up & Develop Your Online Presence
Like it or not, your online presence is relative when searching for a tennis job. Researching social media accounts, industry profiles, and personal websites have become an integral part of the hiring process, so it pays to make sure you’re proud of what others can dig up on you.
Before you start applying for jobs, search for yourself the same way someone else would and see what pops up.
If you have social media accounts or profiles that you don’t want a hiring manager to peruse, clean them up or make them private before applying for jobs.
Likewise, if you have a profile on an industry website, but it’s out of date, then take a few minutes to update it. Now that you have your resume together, it shouldn’t take much time.
Many people don’t have much of an online presence. If that’s you, that’s okay, but we’d encourage you to take some time to build it out.
Some websites like ours allow you to create a professional profile that showcases your experience, which is helpful when applying for jobs. Not only can you point to it on your resume, but it can help you get exposure when someone that’s hiring is browsing our website.
If you want to set up your TennisCompanion profile, click here. It’s completely free for candidates to create an account and showcase themselves.
Step 5: Ask for References
References are valuable simply because what others say about you is significantly more powerful than what you say about yourself.
If you’ve finished your resume and cover letter but don’t have any references, we’d encourage you to start asking for them and not let the fact that you don’t have them prevent you from applying.
If you’re looking for a written reference, it can take a few weeks before an individual might be able to write it. If time is of the essence, you can alternatively ask the reference if it’s okay if the hiring manager calls to speak with them directly.
Ideally, the references you choose are relevant and timely. That is, if you’re applying for a tennis manager position, it would be ideal if your previous manager is willing to vouch for you. Furthermore, it would be better to have your most recent manager as a reference than someone you worked with five years ago.
If you’re just getting started with coaching, then do your best to keep the references relevant to the position at hand. For example, if you’re coming from a desk job, you might list your manager at that job as one reference and include a reference from your high school or college tennis coach who can vouch for your tennis skills.
Step 6: Reach Out to Your Network
Once you’ve finished putting together your resume and cover letter, one of the first things we recommend doing is reaching out to your network and let them know that you’re on the hunt for a new job.
If you’re currently employed, use your discretion as you most likely don’t want your existing employer to know that you’re hunting for a new job.
Here are a few places you might consider reaching out to:
- Immediate family members
- Extended family members and relatives
- Existing coworkers you trust
- Old coworkers you trust
- Old teammates
- Old coaches
- Old instructors
It’s a small world. You might be surprised at some of the connections you have when you start looking for them, so don’t underestimate the power of your network, even if you’ve never made a concerted effort to expand it.
Let your network know about the type of tennis job you’re interested in and see what kinds of doors it opens up. Through this process, don’t underestimate connections. Perhaps your aunt used to take tennis lessons at a country club years ago, and the instructor still works there, so she’s willing to make an introduction.
Get creative and use technology where applicable. Websites like LinkedIn are excellent resources for helping you learn what connections you might have, which can help lead to an introduction.
Step 7: Find Tennis Jobs
As most job hunters can attest, it often takes a bit of time, patience, and persistence to find the perfect opportunity that excites you.
With that said, the right resources and niche websites can make a world of difference when looking for a job. To help you kick off your hunt for your next role, here are some of our favorites.
Tennis Job Sites
The following websites are dedicated exclusively to the sport of tennis when it comes to job hunting.
*Shameless plug. We recently launched a job section to help connect job seekers and employers. We’re just getting started and appreciate your support as we build awareness to help the tennis community.
Popular Job Websites
The following websites are a handful of the best known and most reputable websites for finding jobs.
Keep in mind that most of these are expensive to post on, so you won’t always find smaller tennis clubs and organizations using them. In other words, don’t rely solely on these websites for finding a tennis job.
It’s worth noting that Craigslist is a bit of a sleeper. Job posts are relatively inexpensive for employers compared to some of the more prominent job-specific websites, so you may be surprised at how many jobs you can dig up in your area using the website.
College Tennis Jobs
The websites mentioned so far may list college coaching jobs for tennis, but the following are some of your best resources.
- NCAA Market
- College Websites
Here are a few different places to try and dig up tennis jobs. It might not be the first place people think of, but they’re well worth checking out.
- Job Section for Tenis Certification Websites
- Job Section for Tennis Tournament Websites
Beyond these websites, we’d encourage you to do some more granular searches on search engines to see if you can come up with undiscovered jobs. Here are a few search term ideas to get you started:
- [Season] Tennis Professional Jobs
- Example: Summer Tennis Professional Jobs
- [Location] Tennis Professional Jobs
- Example: San Diego Tennis Professional Jobs
- [Club] Tennis Professional Jobs
- Example: Indian Wells Tennis Professional Jobs
Armed with these resources, you should be well on your way to discovering an engaging tennis job near you.
Bonus Tips for Landing the Perfect Tennis Job
Now that you have your hunt for a tennis job underway, let’s run through a few tips to help increase your likelihood of locking one down.
Set Up Job Alerts
Some job websites allow you to set up notifications, so you’re alerted when an employer posts a new job. Others will notify you on a regular cadence when you sign up for an account.
We’d strongly encourage you to set up alerts and use the highest frequency of updates, i.e., daily, so that you know when a new job hits the market. Often, positions in tennis go quickly, so it pays to see them sooner than later and to apply promptly to increase your likelihood of being seen and considered for the role.
If you have the time in your schedule, an excellent way to make a soft introduction to a club, camp, or business is to volunteer your skills and time to get your foot in the door.
Not everyone will be open to the idea, especially if they perceive your help as work or a distraction on their part, but don’t let that discourage you. Many people will gladly accept an extra hand, which may lead to an opportunity or, at the very least, can serve as a resume builder.
Go to Industry Events
If you’re new to the world of tennis, an excellent way to meet other talented individuals is to attend industry events. Every year there are a wide variety of tennis events to attend. Here are a few:
- Racquet & Paddle Sports Show
- USPTA World Conference
- USTA Annual Meetings
- TIA Tennis Industry Forum
- ITA Coaches Convention
- ITF World Participation Conference
- PTR International Tennis Symposium
If you’re low on cash, you might consider volunteering for a conference to get your foot in the door.
Join the USTA or Similar Organization
The USTA offers a host of opportunities for tennis players and like-minded individuals to connect. If you’re not currently a member, you might consider joining to take advantage of their tournaments and events.
Play More Tennis
As simple as it sounds, another great way to extend your network is to play more tennis but to break free of your routine. If you typically play tennis at the public courts down the street, consider joining a club or attending a tennis Meetup.
Use Social Media
If you’re on the hunt for a job and you’re not using social media, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with people who are already in the business.
If you take this path, we’d encourage you not to start up social media accounts solely to reach out to people and ask for favors or job opportunities. Like any relationship, it takes time to build trust with people online, just as it does in person.
With that said, following, liking, commenting, and participating in the conversation with relevant individuals on social media is an excellent way to get on someone’s radar, but be respectful, patient, and professional.
If you’re willing to relocate, you may be able to expand the opportunities you can consider drastically, especially if you move to a larger city.
Although it may be out of your comfort zone, it may well be the step you need to take to land your first job in tennis.
Brainstorm a few places you might consider living and search for jobs in those areas. You might be surprised what you find.
Start Your Own Business
Although starting and running a business isn’t for everyone, if you have the skillset and are willing to hustle, you might consider teaching tennis as an independent instructor.
An excellent way to approach growing a business for coaching tennis is to do it on the side to build up some clientele slowly. Once you start filling up your schedule, you can consider taking it full time with less risk.
Finding a tennis job isn’t much different than finding any other job. It takes hard work, persistence, and a lot of patience.
Hopefully, what we’ve shared in our guide to starting up a career in tennis helps provide you with a path for getting hired or, at the very least, offered some ideas you can incorporate into your search.
We wish you the best of luck on your hunt and hope you’ll consider creating a free profile to gain some additional exposure while you’re here.
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