If you are looking to make tennis coaching your career, you would probably want to understand whether it’s one you should go ahead with. Our expertise in having spoken to various tennis coaches helps us in this piece, which looks at the pros and cons of opting for a tennis coaching career.
If you love tennis, and you have skill, tennis coaching is obviously a great career.
As per any career in sports, there are going to be pros and cons, and ups and downs. The more you learn, the more chance you have of succeeding. The more you put yourself out there, the better a coach you are going to be. The more you put into your tennis career, the more you are going to get out of it.
Being a tennis coach is not just about the money! Not all good tennis coaches make great money!
Being a tennis coach means you are playing the sport you love, you are passing your passion and skill on to others, you are exercising and spending time outdoors most of the time, and you are constantly meeting new people.
If you get to the point where you are coaching professional tennis players, your career is going to reach a whole new level. But there can be tricky parts to being a tennis coach, and if you are going to go into tennis coaching, you should be aware of the good and the bad.
Let’s take a look at the pros of cons of tennis coaching.
The Pros Of Tennis Coaching, In Brief
- You are doing something you are passionate about
- You are pretty flexible with your time
- You are spending time outdoors and getting exercise
- You meet new people
- There is always opportunity
- You can make great money
- There is glory when coaching professionals
The Cons Of Tennis Coaching, In Brief
- Starting out can be hard
- The possibility of injury is real
- You are always outdoors and / or in the sun
- Coaching times can be limited
- Tennis coaching can be inconsistent work
- Tennis coaching can be stressful
- Professional tennis coaching can be cut throat
- Tennis coaching is seasonal
- You do need to have patience
- Burnout is real
Let’s take a look at all the pros of tennis coaching, on an individual basis.
Coaching Tennis Means You Can Follow Your Passion
If you love playing tennis and you are good at tennis, plus you have good people skills, coaching tennis means you can still do what you are passionate about. Playing tennis!
Imagine how lucky you are to have a career doing something you love and make money out of it.
Coaching Tennis Allows You To Be Flexible
It all depends on who and where you are coaching tennis, but many tennis coaches only work certain times of the day. If you are coaching school kids, chances are you are only coaching in the afternoons and evenings. You are lucky to have free mornings, unless you coach a few adults in the mornings.
If you are coaching at a college, chances are that your hours are flexible too.
If you’ve made it to the professional level, you may not have as much free time as you’d hoped, but your bank account would soar!
Either way, you get to choose your schedule and tennis coaching generally gives you a fair amount of flexibility.
You Are Outdoors And Getting Exercise
Being a tennis coach means you have to be in good shape and you have to be fit. You are constantly on your feet, running around, hitting balls, using all your muscles. You hardly ever see an unfit tennis coach.
If you enjoy being fit and in good shape, well, you have to be that way to be a tennis coach. And if you love being active, and the great outdoors, tennis coaching is going to give you that too.
Tennis Coaching Means You Get To Meet New People
The people you coach are going to change a lot. You may see some players for years, others you might only see for a term, a few weeks, or a few months. Players come and go, new people come in, some leave, and some progress and move on. You are going to meet new players and their families.
Tennis coaching can be pretty sociable, although you do need to focus on the coaching and not the socialising!
There Is Always Opportunity
Good tennis coaches are not a dime a dozen and there is always opportunity. Most people who learn tennis do it with a tennis coach. Tennis a serious sport and it does require learning and acquiring certain skills.
As a tennis coach, especially as a good coach, there is always going to be opportunity for you and you should always be able to find a job and further your career if you want to.
You Can Make Great Money As A Tennis Coach
It depends who you are coaching of course but even if you are coaching beginner tennis players, you can make really good money.
You do have to work hard at it, but you have to work hard at any career to succeed. The more players you coach, the more money you make. As you improve as a tennis coach, and if you start coaching the professionals, you are going to make really good money.
Tennis coaches who coach the world’s best tennis players do not only get paid for the coaching, but they generally get a cut of the player’s prize money.
To give you an idea, a new tennis coach can earn approximately USD 30 per hour in some areas of the USA, and up to USD 75 per hour in others. Some coaches charge USD 160 for a private lesson. Here’s more on how much do tennis coaches earn.
The more lessons you give, the more you earn. Of course you have to be able to keep up, and not strain or injure your body, or burn out, but you can earn well. And if you are coaching Nadal, well, you are likely to make a small fortune.
There Is Glory In Coaching Tennis Professionals
Imagine if you could say:’ “I am the tennis coach for Novak Djokovic.” There is definitely pride and glory in that.
To become a professional tennis coach, you have to be a brilliant coach, not just in physical technique but in emotional and motivational technique too. Most professionals get coached by teams.
You, with a lot of hard work, could make it to this high rank too. You need to be focused, committed, excellent at what you do, and – keep studying. There is opportunity for all good tennis coaches. You may have once dreamed of being a Wimbledon tennis player.
Now you can dream of coaching a Wimbledon tennis player. There is nothing to stop you!
We know the above all sounds appealing, but now we are going to give you a few cons to becoming a tennis coach. Read carefully!
Starting Out As A Tennis Coach Can Be Hard
If you are a new tennis coach, it can be hard finding new players. You might strike it lucky and be employed by a school or a club, but if not, it may take you a bit of time to launch your tennis coaching career. Don’t stress. Put your name out there, approach the schools, clubs and colleges, hand out flyers, and work hard at marketing yourself.
Here’s how to find your tennis coaching jobs.
Once you have a few pupils, word will spread quickly and you should be able to start making a good living. As you progress, it gets easier!
The Possibility Of Injury Is Real
You have to stay fit as a tennis coach. You need to stretch, do your exercises and keep in the best possible shape you can. If you have an injury, and are coaching alone, you could be in trouble. As you get older, you are more prone to injury.
Should you have a back up plan? Maybe! Or, make yourself so good that your tennis pupils, beginner or professional, are happy to put up with your injuries!
You Are Always Outdoors And In The Sun
For some coaches this is a real benefit, but if you are prone to skin damage, the sun might not be the best choice for you.
As a coach, you generally spend time outdoors, unless you are playing indoor tennis, so make sure you enjoy the sunshine, don’t mind getting a little sunburned, and always use a hat and sunblock.
Saying that, most tennis coaches do get a little weathered before their time, so if you don’t want early wrinkles, you might want to cover up!
Tennis Coaching Times Can Be Limited
This is not a bad thing in that you can be pretty flexible as a tennis coach, but it may also be frustrating. If you are coaching beginner tennis players, you are usually going to be coaching in the afternoons or evenings, after school.
You might love having your mornings free, but it might not work for you.
Give tennis coaching some thought; the times you are needed as a tennis coach might be tricky for you. Of course, as you start coaching tennis professionals, you are pretty much going to work all day! And if you are coaching at a college or a tennis school, you are going to be in demand most of the day too.
Tennis Coaching Can Be Inconsistent
As a tennis coach there are going to be times when you are extremely busy and then there will be times when you are not busy at all. Some players will be with you for years but others will leave after a few lessons.
Some players might move on to a different coach. Coaching is inconsistent so you do need to be prepared for that. Unless you are employed by a school and getting regular work, tennis coaching can be a fairly irregular job.
Tennis Coaching Is Somewhat Stressful
Actually, tennis coaching is not usually stressful but it can be frustrating. If you are coaching young kids, they may not pay attention. You need to be pretty good with all ages and be able to handle their frustrations, moods and emotions.
You might have a fantastic tennis player who is just not making progress, or is perhaps going through a difficult time. No matter what level you are coaching at, tennis coaching can be frustrating and stressful at times. Not always though, and if you love tennis then you are probably going to love the good with the bad.
Coaching Tennis To Professionals Can Be Cutthroat
You HOPE you reach the level of tennis coaching when you are coaching the world number one players! You would probably be delighted to be coaching any of the players in the top twenties or thirties!
It’s also hugely satisfying coaching any tennis player that is playing in tournaments or professionals.
Tennis coaching, at these higher levels, can be a cut throat business. If your player is not doing well, he or she may well move on to another tennis coach.
You need to be really good to be the coach of a professional player and you need to keep learning, keep changing, and really keep on top of your game, and their game, to hold on to your job!
Tennis Coaching Might be Seasonal
In some parts of the USA, tennis is a summer sport. In states like Florida, people play tennis through the seasons, but in places like New York, tennis in winter is often just too hard, unless it’s indoor tennis.
At schools, tennis coaching can be seasonal too. Check out where you want to coach before you decide, because tennis can be a seasonal sport. It’s not always seasonal though; it depends on where you are coaching.
If you are coaching younger players, the holidays might be a ‘dead’ time for you. On the other hand, you can run tennis clinics over the holidays and do really well, so the seasons may just work for you!
You Do Need To Have Patience As A Tennis Coach
We touched on this when talking about the stress of being a tennis coach. While your players may experience some frustrations on court, you might also! It can be hard dealing with many different players in one day and it can be difficult when players don’t practice, are rude to you, do not listen or do not pay attention.
As a tennis coach, you are a teacher, mentor and motivator too, and you need to learn how to be patient, not to show your frustrations and how to guide your player, while guiding yourself, to becoming a good tennis player. If you don’t have good people skills, don’t become a tennis coach. You do need to be kind and gentle, while being motivating and strong too!
BurnOut Is Real
As a tennis coach, playing tennis seven days a week for maybe seven hours a day, you do run the risk of burn out. It is really important, no matter what level you are coaching at, to give yourself time out.
Take ten minute between lessons, if possible, and really, sometime take a morning or afternoon out. You also deserve holidays. Work hard but do not spend all your time on the tennis court coaching other people because you can get exhausted.
Look after yourself well and you will be able to look after your tennis players too!
If you have read everything above and are still really keen to become a tennis coach, and we hope you are, then follow your dreams. Tennis coaching is wonderful. Work hard, study hard and be the best you can be. And do your best to make a lot of money at the same time!