How to find tennis coaches

Finding good coaches to work for you when you need them can be a challenge.

What is particularly challenging is the dilemma of having not quite enough coaches to expand your programme as you want. If you have 30 hours coaching per week to offer, that should be easy enough to advertise and recruit a coach. But let’s say you have a new school on board and you want to offer a couple of hours per week after school club and all your coaches are busy already. That’s a tough one – where are you going to find a coach who is available for a handful of hours per week?

Here are some thoughts…………..

Recruit from within your programme

As your programme becomes bigger and wider ranging, this becomes easier. We have quite a steady flow of kids from our programme who start helping us out with the coaching. Usually it’s a voluntary thing at first, but often this will lead to us giving them paid work.

Of course, it’s very important to say that they are only doing what they are capable and qualified to do – in the beginning that would be just working under close supervision of a coach and never on their own with the children. But some of those juniors will get to 16, 17, 18 years old, start to take their coaching qualifications and be capable of taking on a bit more. We even push them to take their coaching qualifications and often pay for it.

Other methods

I suggest that you start immediately to build up a database of coaches who you can call upon. On this list, put all your current coaches, any coaches who have helped you in the past, coaches who send you their resumes/CV and any coaches who enquire about work.

Ideally you’ll have a regular team, but if you do need extra help, you can fire out a message to this database to see if any of them are available to work.

Advertise with your governing body and trade associations

In England, you can certainly advertise for coaches on the LTA web site and on the Tenniscoachuk web site (this is the tennis coaches association).

Linkedin

I’ve not yet explored the full possibilities of Linkedin, of which I think there are many. But ‘groups’ are one useful option. For instance, there’s a group called ‘Tennis Coach – Jobs and careers in Tennis‘ where people post jobs they are offering – or offer their services.

Pro Tip - share resources with other clubs & coaches

This has worked SO well for me - talk to other local clubs and coaches. Hopefully you have a good relationship with them anyway. It may be that either they can 'lend' you a coach - one of their coaches who needs a few more hours and is available at the relevant times - or you may even put a package of hours together between your 2 clubs which is enough to advertise for a coach.

Universities

look up the courses and contact the course leaders directly ask them if they do placements, particularly sports ones. Some of their students may have coaching qualifications and be very keen to find work in their holidays. Ask the universities about advertising in their publications / newsletters or on notice boards.

Coach Education Providers

They may be willing to contact their newly qualified level 1,2,3 coaches on your behalf.

Parents, club members, recently retired people

Among those groups, there may be people who have time on their hands and are up for some work at those odd hours where you have the problem.

Just to repeat, we’re not talking here about using people who are not properly qualified or capable. It all depends what you need – if it is someone to assist an experienced coach on court with young children, they don’t necessarily need qualifications and experience (but they do need safeguarding measures like a criminal record check). If it is someone who will be on their own coaching, not assisting, then of course they do need the necessary qualifications.

Places to advertise for coaches

This is a little trick that I also use for advertising our programme:

  1. Do a google search for ‘tennis jobs’ or tennis coaching jobs’ in your area.

Here is what that brings up for me:

2. Look at the names of the websites that are listing those jobs. So we can see here that the first one is Jora UK, then JobLookup, then Linkedin. There are LOADS of them.

2.    Then go directly to those sites to see how you go about placing a job ad – some will be free and some will be paid. I’ve never paid to place a job ad.

It’s not the worst idea to have job ads running even when you don’t specifically need a coach. This will get coaches sending you their CV/resumes, and you can put suitable ones on your database.

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