How much do tennis coaches earn? This is a question we have often heard from tennis fans and coaching aspirants and in this article below we try and dig deeper into this.
Let’s begin by trying to answer this in a paragraph.
What is a Tennis Coach’s Salary?
While there are a lot of factors which decide how much money a tennis coach makes, a newly qualified coach could start off with a basic pay of $30/hour for group sessions in the USA which could go up dramatically with one-on-one tennis tuition and with more experience and relevant coaching certification. At the other end of the spectrum are professional tennis coaches who earn six-figure annual incomes thanks to the bonus component in their contract.
Here’s a more in-depth explanation about this.
To become a tennis coach, you do need to be a tennis player. You do not have to be a professional tennis player but you should have more-than-decent tennis skills, a passion for the sport and a passion to teach others the sport.
On top of that you need to have good people skills, good motivational skills and a decent temperament. You need to be fit, a role model regarding discipline and manners, and have high levels of endurance. You may be spending 10 hours a day on the tennis court!
If you are going to be coaching players who take the game seriously and want to be professional, or are already professional, a good level of sports psychology is necessary too.
Levels of Tennis Coaching
There are various levels of tennis coaching and when you first start training to become a tennis coach, you will learn about the many levels and options available to you.
If you want to be taken seriously as a tennis coach, and earn well, you should become a certified and professional tennis coach, and work your way, metaphorically, up the tennis coaching ladder.
In the United States you do this through USPTA, The United States Professional Tennis Association. Each country had different levels and certificates, and demands, but the USPTA coaching certificates are recognised worldwide. Your country certificates may well be recognised worldwide too, so check that out when you sign up or sign on.
Professional Tennis Management
There are no hard and fast rules but if you look at the high earning tennis coaches today, those that coach the world top ten players, most have sports degrees, sports diplomas and sports management programs under their belt, as well has having done various tennis management courses.
Some coaches are brilliant anyway, without having studied for years and years, and coaching comes naturally to many, but if you want to earn well and be in demand, it’s a smart move to have studied sports management at a university, and to keep studying and learning.
Tennis coaching embraces not just tennis skill, but also, emotional skills, temperament skills, and the will to win!
Let’s get back to what a tennis coach earns…
This is a difficult question. It’s like asking what an accountant, doctor or football player earns. Some are brilliant and in high demand, commanding huge salaries, others earn on a mediocre level.
It depends on experience and it depends on expertise. It would be safe to say that Nadal’s tennis coaches earns really well.
And we know that Serena Williams gets coached by her dad, and while we do not know what any of their financial deal are, it is safe to say, these top players and their coaches earn fabulously large amounts of money.
Private tennis coaching v group tennis coaching
Let’s say a tennis coach is teaching a beginner tennis player.
If he or she is giving private lessons, the pay will be per coaching session. It could be charged on a weekly basis or a monthly basis. If the coach is teaching at a school or college, and is teaching in teams or groups, he or she may get a fixed salary.
It also depends on which area the tennis coach is in.
A coach in Manhattan and / or in a wealthy privileged area for example, will earn a lot more than say a coach in some of the other areas. This is an important note because while people across the world, of all cultures and all financial levels, play tennis, very often to be hugely successful you do need to have access to money – a court, a coach, lessons, etc.
Tennis coaches are more likely to earn better in areas of privilege, or with people who have money.
Let’s try give you an example of tennis coach earnings.
A newly qualified tennis coach might earn USD 30 an hour in some parts of the USA, USD 60 in other parts.
With a bit of tennis coaching experience, USD 75 an hour could be the norm. A shared lesson would cost less. A private lesson for an hour, with a really good coach, could go up to USD 160 an hour, or more.
Group lessons are obviously less. And a professional coach, say of a top ten professional player, would earn a good salary, probably in the thousands per month, as well as a percentage of the player’s winnings.
These are all estimates, some cities are more, some less, and as we say, it depends on experience, level of tennis coaching and expectations.
Tennis coach earnings are different in suburb, area, state and country.
Tennis coach earnings also differ from country to country. Tennis coaching in the Balkans, who have produced some incredible tennis players, is less expensive than it is in the USA. Tennis lessons in Japan are going to be more than in Slovenia for instance.
In South Africa tennis lessons will seem relatively inexpensive – USD 20 for 45 minutes, but that is because the exchange rate Rand to USD is really bad. Or good, depending on which way you look at it.
There are so many variables that it is difficult to give exact figures. What we can say is that when a tennis coach is good, he or she will earn good money. It’s a great profession for someone who loves tennis, is dedicated to the sport and to his / her pupils, wants to make a difference, has strong endurance levels and is extremely motivated.
How Much do the Top Tennis Coaches Earn?
The top world-ranked tennis players often have more than one tennis coach.
Rafael Nadal is coached by Carlos Moya, who was himself a world class tennis player, and Frances Roig, another world class tennis player although his speciality was doubles.
Moya is the head coach, Roig the alternate coach. Then there is Rafael’s uncle, Toni Nadal who has also had a huge role in Nadal’s career.
What do these tennis coaches earn? We wish we had the exact figures but what we do know is we can provide you with a few approximations. One thing’s certain, they earn big!
Here are a few examples of what salaries the top tennis coaches earn
The coach of a tennis player who is highly-ranked will make anything from USD 40k to 300k/year, and of course this can decrease, or increase, according to the player’s performance and the coach’s performance.
Most top tennis coaches earn a salary and then a percentage of the player’s winnings per annum, or per month, as well as special performance bonuses. Most salaries are private, as well as the percentages, but we can give you a rough idea, based on 2019. We are basing this on 2019 because 2020 was such a strange year.
In 2019, Djokovic earned $50.6 million. In total, he has earned approximately $143 million in prize money, for both singles and doubles.
In 2006, Djokovic hired Marian Vajda to be his tennis coach and he would have earned around 10% of Djokovic’s salary, plus their own private bonuses or percentages.
Nadal won more than $11 million in 2019, excluding all his promotions and sponsorships, giving his coaches a mere $1.1 million or so.
Federer is said to have earned over $9 million in 2019 and Ivan Ljubicic his coach, together with Severin Luthi would have also earned around 10% of that. Again, approximate figures but you get the ball-park.
Do women earn less than men? Yes, they do, it is a known fact and one that tennis players and activists are trying to change.
Saying that, someone like Serena Williams earns a lot of money, and it is said to earn approximately $8 million per year, but that does not include endorsements. She’s a popular figure and so she earns extremely well via her endorsements, including Nike and Kraft Foods.
Serena’s coach is currently Patrick Mouratoglou, from France, and his earnings would be high, percentage wise close to USD 800k. Remember, Serena’s dad used to also coach her and while he has now stepped back, there is a team that works well together.
Tennis Coaching Does Not Have to Be Expensive
At least to begin with.
The outlay of a tennis racquet, tennis shoes, finding a tennis court that you can use, and the tennis balls, can cost a fair amount of money in the beginning.
You might be lucky and have a friend, or a parent, who can coach you for free. Your school might offer free tennis coaching; many do! Once you have learnt the basic tennis skills, you can spend hours on your own, practicing and improving.
Yes, tennis lessons can be costly, but they don’t have to be. If however you are thinking of becoming a tennis coach, note you can make good money. And the higher level of player you coach, the higher you earn.
It is why so many good tennis players land up as tennis coaches. They are playing the sport they love, and sharing their skills, while earning money.
Thinking of becoming a tennis coach? Do you have what it take? Are you fit, motivating, inspiring, somewhat demanding, and do you have good ball skills? Are you a people’s person? Is tennis a game you love? Can you spend hours and hours on the tennis court and do you have loads of patience? If yes, tennis coaching may well be the sport profession for you!