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Bergboy123
02-09-2012, 08:58 PM
Hey everyone.

Obviously I want to be a pro and be the GOAT and rule the world, etc. I know I can't, and I know I can't even earn any decent amount of money from tennis. But I do love teaching tennis, and it's just another passion of mine. I have already had some experience teaching mostly children, (8-12 years old,) taught a few adult classes, and will soon be an assistant coach at a high school team.

I'm a freshman in college right now, and I don't have any idea what I want to major in.

So I was thinking ... what is the likelyhood of coaching tennis as a career? What would one major in in college in order to do this? Is this a viable career choice on a monetary level?

I don't even know exactly what kind of coaching I would do. Coaching a team? Coaching at a club? Coaching privately? The sky is the limit, hopefully.

Anybody with experience able to share with me?

Roddick33
02-09-2012, 09:13 PM
If you coach privately and charge $500/Hour CASH ONLY with 30 students and a full booked schedule, then I'd say you're pretty well off.

Yup, achieve that and I would recommend going into that field.

NLBwell
02-09-2012, 10:28 PM
Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX) has a program in Professional Tennis Management. I have a friend who went there and he made a decent living as a teaching pro.

tennis_balla
02-10-2012, 05:35 AM
You can get away with not having a certification as a coach but you'd already have to be known in your extended area as a very good player and transfer what you learned into coaching. However, a lot of tennis clubs do not like to hire uncertified coaches, mainly for insurance purposes. If you're teaching a group of kids, one of the swings their racket and the kid next to them gets it in the mouth and loses a tooth...stuff like that.

It all depends what you wanna be coaching, in the beginning most likely it'll be kids, so having a first aid certification will help you stand out more. Being certified just shows you know or should know what you're doing. Isn't always the case with a lot of coaches but on paper it's the right thing to have. Experience however is above everything else and most looked at by head pros when hiring. I got my big break by getting a gig with John Newcombe Tennis Ranch and even 6 years later its still helping me out from what I did there with jobs, getting new clients and even racket sponsorship.

papa
02-10-2012, 06:29 AM
Most, if not all of Tennis Balla's stuff is good, the above is no exception.

Like several others around here, I'm a tennis coach also - High School and Middle School. I'm also a certified (USPTA) instructor also which you don't have to be to coach but it helps.

There isn't a great deal of money in coaching although some places pay better than others. I've had the opportunity to coach at the college level and I'm certain that the money is better - in some instances, a lot better. Like most coaches, I enjoy working with kids at all levels but I think is tough to feed a family on what you earn unless you become a teacher/certified tennis professional also.

I happen to have several large programs with lots of community support and we have enjoyed great success with our teams. There are many colleges that offer sports type degrees - one that I'm familiar with is Springfield College in Springfield, MA. They have educated thousands of gym/sports professionals over the years and everyone in the Northeast is familiar with their record.

fuzz nation
02-10-2012, 06:56 AM
Hey everyone.

Obviously I want to be a pro and be the GOAT and rule the world, etc. I know I can't, and I know I can't even earn any decent amount of money from tennis. But I do love teaching tennis, and it's just another passion of mine. I have already had some experience teaching mostly children, (8-12 years old,) taught a few adult classes, and will soon be an assistant coach at a high school team.

The sky is the limit, hopefully.


Henry Ford used to say something along these lines: Whether you're convinced that you'll succeed or you'll fail with something, in either case you're right.

Rest assured that I'm on your side here - I'm very much in the same boat as you, but I'm also much older (46) and at a bit of a crossroads. Right now I'm trying to figure out just how much I can expand my background, including my education, to further my potential as a "tennis person". I recently had a conversation with my older sister and she gave me a much needed kick in the pants - gotta make a plan and take it seriously if I honestly want it.

I bolded a couple of things in your post because they seem to contradict each other. I don't believe that "you know you can't", just because if that was actually your position, you wouldn't have even posted here. If the sky truly is the limit, then you CAN make a living at tennis, right?...

If you love it, you're more likely to do it. Take that seriously - I think it's important for folks like ourselves. I certified with the USPTA a number of years ago (learned a lot there), I've coached high school teams off and on for several years, and also taught on my own, but I still haven't honestly jumped in with both feet. For me, the next step will be sitting down with a pal who has coached a local college team and run a very successful summer program for some years.

I want to talk to him about potentially useful classes aside from tennis specific courses. Areas of study could include business, human physiology, education, psychology with perhaps a focus on sports psychology, etc. I also need to strongly consider a flexible occupation that will keep me fed and clothed without "workin' for the man" in a 24/7 capacity. This guy's perspective should be invaluable for me.

I've got nothing but encouragement for you, especially since you've got a couple of extra decades in front of you to really make things happen. You may need to have some sit-downs with accomplished coaches, teachers, and even some players to get a feel of the landscape ahead of you.

One of my favorite tennis gurus is Vic Braden. Aside from his accomplishments in the sport as a player and instructor, he's also a certified psychologist and that directly contributes to his work in tennis. You may even want to get into broadcasting and save us all from the borderline unbearable talking heads on TV these days. Use that passion, amigo!

Ash_Smith
02-10-2012, 07:58 AM
I've been a tennis pro my whole career (15 years and counting) and I couldn't imagine doing anything else! I've had various positions through the years, coach, head coach, racquets manager, coach education tutor (training other tennis coaches) and currently am a National Coach for GB Wheelchair Tennis.

In general, you are your own boss, can work whatever hours suit you and can earn decent money (especially if you have a side line in racquet stringing or something)., plus it's a hell of a lot of fun (at least to me!).

In terms of getting ahead in the game, in Europe qualifications are everything, in the US it seems less so. All I would say is work as hard as you can to be as god as you can, take on information from as many sources as possible (even if you don't agree with everything they say), watch youtube, read websites, study match footage, work with other coaches (some good, some less so!), study human learning theory, psychology, physiology - basically become a tennis nerd like me!!!

If you put the hard work into being as good as you can be, you'll get the rewards!

Cheers

Ash

equinox
02-10-2012, 08:00 AM
$0 Volunteer mum/dads ball pickups.

$10-15 hour uncertified/basic only, inexperienced court assistant.

$20-35 certified development kids coach.

$45-70 certified private lessons head coach.

$90+ certified and degree qualified high performance coach.

I imagine coaching tennis as the sole means of income would be very difficult. Easy stuff would be talking with parents and feeding balls.

One would really need some good business acumen and basic qualifications to make it work over the long haul.

Not impossible, my former club located in a very rich area has a local who's been head coach for 20+ years, I'll assume nearly set for life at the club if he keeps the assistants well paid and actively challenged? Has a very good rapport with the local community. Helps to save money by combining book keeping with marriage duties. ;)

Ash_Smith
02-10-2012, 08:09 AM
Easy stuff would be talking with parents and feeding balls.

You've clearly never coached have you? :)

Larrysümmers
02-10-2012, 08:21 AM
i know how ya feel. i just graduated hs in may and i really dont know what i want to do. ive coached 7yrolds-10 yr olds in quickstart, and i loved it. the crap part about it for me is that tennis is basically dead here so im thinking about saving up for a little bit and hopefully be out of this town to some place where tennis is bigger, or somewhere i can get on as an assistant coach and work up from there.

so i know how you feel op, goodluck!

charliefedererer
02-10-2012, 08:41 AM
To be a successful teaching pro, it won't hurt to be:

1. smart - people who pay for tennis lessons in general have been successful and smart enough to accumulate enough money to pay for themselves, their spouses, or their kids lessons. They are more likely to be attracted to someone, and stick with them, if they their pro is as smart as John Yandell at tennisplayer.net, Will Hamilton at Fuzzy Yellow Balls, Ian at Essential Tennis, Pat Dougherty the Bolletieri Camp "Serve Doctor" or Jim McLennan at Tennis One.
The best way to appear smart is to actually be smart.
Take your studies seriously - have a first class mind.

2. able to communicate - all good teachers have to be able to connect with people. Join clubs and discussion groups, maybe even volunteer where you will be interacting with people and need to communicate. Note that communication is a two way street - if you can't/don't listen to your clients, and be able to communicate why your are pursuing a certain direction, don't expect to be successful.

3. enthusiastic. Practice having a positive attitude all day every day. It would be hard to turn on just for lessons. Be someone others enjoy being around. You might even find life is more enjoyable pursuing all activities with enthusiasm.

4. a teacher. My daughter volunteered as a freshman in college to teach SAT prep to disadvantaged high school students, found she liked it, and got part time jobs teaching SAT prep at and Kaplan and Princeton Review, even did some some private lessons and eventually got a part time job at a school. All yielded plenty of opportunities to interact with students and parents and "bosses" and interviewing for a job. Great life lessons that could benefit you if you look for similar opportunities and take advantage of them. (She's going to medical school, not be a tennis pro, but if you change your mind, whatever you do these could still be valuable experiences.) You could get your foot in the door as a teacher at college volunteering at a local school or camp. Or there may be classroom volunteering that could help develop skills.

5. a teacher. More literally this time. If you need a major, consider working to being certified in your state as a teacher when you have finished. The skills of teaching in a classroom would be helpful teaching on a tennis court. You'll have hedged your bets - if a career as a tennis coach doesn't pan out, you still have a job. And... teachers have long summers off. Time to maybe start developing a summer tennis lesson clientelle and having an enjoyable summer job that could become full time.

goran_ace
02-10-2012, 08:55 AM
Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX) has a program in Professional Tennis Management. I have a friend who went there and he made a decent living as a teaching pro.

Ferris State University in Michigan also has a tennis management program.

While you don't need a degree in tennis management specifically to get hired, these days it's getting more common that clubs require a college degree. Education or exercise science/kinesioology might be a good background from a teaching or training perspective, otherwise a business/general management program might be good for later on to move up to a director of tennis or other managerial position.

equinox
02-10-2012, 09:59 AM
..........

5263
02-10-2012, 10:15 AM
Interesting about DY there if that means Donald Young, since he has always been coached and held pretty close by his instructing parents.
Did he go with him to do some temp special work?

5263
02-10-2012, 10:27 AM
I'd like to plug the school teacher route, as
we need more tennis coaches who care about
tennis. Most in our area are wonderful folks
who know next to nothing about tennis!

Good benefits, vacation and days off, with a
chance to supplement your income with private
lessons.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 10:32 AM
Hey everyone.

Obviously I want to be a pro and be the GOAT and rule the world, etc. I know I can't, and I know I can't even earn any decent amount of money from tennis. But I do love teaching tennis, and it's just another passion of mine. I have already had some experience teaching mostly children, (8-12 years old,) taught a few adult classes, and will soon be an assistant coach at a high school team.

I'm a freshman in college right now, and I don't have any idea what I want to major in.

So I was thinking ... what is the likelyhood of coaching tennis as a career? What would one major in in college in order to do this? Is this a viable career choice on a monetary level?

I don't even know exactly what kind of coaching I would do. Coaching a team? Coaching at a club? Coaching privately? The sky is the limit, hopefully.

Anybody with experience able to share with me?

The coach's I know who have made very good livings had long term contracts with private tennis clubs. First, they had pretty impressive player credentials ie: played #1 on a D1 team, etc. A head pro at a successful club can make money teaching, managing the pro shop and running any junior and adult tennis programs the club has. Even if you're not a "head pro," one high level coach I know, who has been around a long time and had several head pro/management gigs, now only teaches 8-12 hrs a day 6 days a week, and keeps $45 an hour. That's probably more than players outside the top 100 ATP are making.

equinox
02-10-2012, 10:34 AM
Interesting about DY there if that means Donald Young, since he has always been coached and held pretty close by his instructing parents.
Did he go with him to do some temp special work?

I think, though not 100% he may have had difficultly sourcing training partners. Which he's continued to have troubles with over his short career. His parents though well meaning keep a tight leash.

Remember DY rejected rafa's offer as a kid..

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:44 AM
Henry Ford used to say something along these lines: Whether you're convinced that you'll succeed or you'll fail with something, in either case you're right.

Rest assured that I'm on your side here - I'm very much in the same boat as you, but I'm also much older (46) and at a bit of a crossroads. Right now I'm trying to figure out just how much I can expand my background, including my education, to further my potential as a "tennis person". I recently had a conversation with my older sister and she gave me a much needed kick in the pants - gotta make a plan and take it seriously if I honestly want it.

I bolded a couple of things in your post because they seem to contradict each other. I don't believe that "you know you can't", just because if that was actually your position, you wouldn't have even posted here. If the sky truly is the limit, then you CAN make a living at tennis, right?...

If you love it, you're more likely to do it. Take that seriously - I think it's important for folks like ourselves. I certified with the USPTA a number of years ago (learned a lot there), I've coached high school teams off and on for several years, and also taught on my own, but I still haven't honestly jumped in with both feet. For me, the next step will be sitting down with a pal who has coached a local college team and run a very successful summer program for some years.

I want to talk to him about potentially useful classes aside from tennis specific courses. Areas of study could include business, human physiology, education, psychology with perhaps a focus on sports psychology, etc. I also need to strongly consider a flexible occupation that will keep me fed and clothed without "workin' for the man" in a 24/7 capacity. This guy's perspective should be invaluable for me.

I've got nothing but encouragement for you, especially since you've got a couple of extra decades in front of you to really make things happen. You may need to have some sit-downs with accomplished coaches, teachers, and even some players to get a feel of the landscape ahead of you.

One of my favorite tennis gurus is Vic Braden. Aside from his accomplishments in the sport as a player and instructor, he's also a certified psychologist and that directly contributes to his work in tennis. You may even want to get into broadcasting and save us all from the borderline unbearable talking heads on TV these days. Use that passion, amigo!

Hey, thanks for the encouragement! And when I say that I know I can't (play at a professional level/make a living off tennis, that is) I'm just trying to be realistic. I played varsity all throughout high school, but never made it through districts into state. I haven't been able to play on a college team, though I have reason to believe that that will change before I graduate (new coach, FINALLY making serious leaps in my skill level) but I feel like at 18, having never gotten beyond the final of a junior tournament, I can safely say I won't go pro. When I said "The sky's the limit" I was referring to coaching and how far I could go. I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude about this, which is easy since it's something I love as I said and I would be content to pursue this as a career.

Thanks for your post though, great information and I appreciated it!

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:46 AM
I've been a tennis pro my whole career (15 years and counting) and I couldn't imagine doing anything else! I've had various positions through the years, coach, head coach, racquets manager, coach education tutor (training other tennis coaches) and currently am a National Coach for GB Wheelchair Tennis.

In general, you are your own boss, can work whatever hours suit you and can earn decent money (especially if you have a side line in racquet stringing or something)., plus it's a hell of a lot of fun (at least to me!).

In terms of getting ahead in the game, in Europe qualifications are everything, in the US it seems less so. All I would say is work as hard as you can to be as god as you can, take on information from as many sources as possible (even if you don't agree with everything they say), watch youtube, read websites, study match footage, work with other coaches (some good, some less so!), study human learning theory, psychology, physiology - basically become a tennis nerd like me!!!

If you put the hard work into being as good as you can be, you'll get the rewards!

Cheers

Ash

Pretty much sounds like a wonderful life to me! Would you mind telling me a little bit more specifically what you studied in order to set yourself up for this? I mean it sounds like you have it pretty dang well, setting your own hours and all, so I'm interested to know how you got to where you are. Thanks for the post! Tennis nerds unite!

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:47 AM
$0 Volunteer mum/dads ball pickups.

$10-15 hour uncertified/basic only, inexperienced court assistant.

$20-35 certified development kids coach.

$45-70 certified private lessons head coach.

$90+ certified and degree qualified high performance coach.

I imagine coaching tennis as the sole means of income would be very difficult. Easy stuff would be talking with parents and feeding balls.

One would really need some good business acumen and basic qualifications to make it work over the long haul.

Not impossible, my former club located in a very rich area has a local who's been head coach for 20+ years, I'll assume nearly set for life at the club if he keeps the assistants well paid and actively challenged? Has a very good rapport with the local community. Helps to save money by combining book keeping with marriage duties. ;)

Interesting break down, and I bet it's pretty accurate. I wonder how many coaches are fortunate enough to be making $90+ an hour, haha. :)

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:48 AM
i know how ya feel. i just graduated hs in may and i really dont know what i want to do. ive coached 7yrolds-10 yr olds in quickstart, and i loved it. the crap part about it for me is that tennis is basically dead here so im thinking about saving up for a little bit and hopefully be out of this town to some place where tennis is bigger, or somewhere i can get on as an assistant coach and work up from there.

so i know how you feel op, goodluck!

Haha yes, we're close to being in the same boat. Thank you, and good luck to you too!

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:50 AM
To be a successful teaching pro, it won't hurt to be:

1. smart - people who pay for tennis lessons in general have been successful and smart enough to accumulate enough money to pay for themselves, their spouses, or their kids lessons. They are more likely to be attracted to someone, and stick with them, if they their pro is as smart as John Yandell at tennisplayer.net, Will Hamilton at Fuzzy Yellow Balls, Ian at Essential Tennis, Pat Dougherty the Bolletieri Camp "Serve Doctor" or Jim McLennan at Tennis One.
The best way to appear smart is to actually be smart.
Take your studies seriously - have a first class mind.

2. able to communicate - all good teachers have to be able to connect with people. Join clubs and discussion groups, maybe even volunteer where you will be interacting with people and need to communicate. Note that communication is a two way street - if you can't/don't listen to your clients, and be able to communicate why your are pursuing a certain direction, don't expect to be successful.

3. enthusiastic. Practice having a positive attitude all day every day. It would be hard to turn on just for lessons. Be someone others enjoy being around. You might even find life is more enjoyable pursuing all activities with enthusiasm.

4. a teacher. My daughter volunteered as a freshman in college to teach SAT prep to disadvantaged high school students, found she liked it, and got part time jobs teaching SAT prep at and Kaplan and Princeton Review, even did some some private lessons and eventually got a part time job at a school. All yielded plenty of opportunities to interact with students and parents and "bosses" and interviewing for a job. Great life lessons that could benefit you if you look for similar opportunities and take advantage of them. (She's going to medical school, not be a tennis pro, but if you change your mind, whatever you do these could still be valuable experiences.) You could get your foot in the door as a teacher at college volunteering at a local school or camp. Or there may be classroom volunteering that could help develop skills.

5. a teacher. More literally this time. If you need a major, consider working to being certified in your state as a teacher when you have finished. The skills of teaching in a classroom would be helpful teaching on a tennis court. You'll have hedged your bets - if a career as a tennis coach doesn't pan out, you still have a job. And... teachers have long summers off. Time to maybe start developing a summer tennis lesson clientelle and having an enjoyable summer job that could become full time.

Awesome post! So far I'm doing pretty well according to this standard! Almost only A's in highschool (a few B's :( ) All A's in college thus far, with no intention of letting that slip! I have already taken 2 communication classes in college and they were my favorite ones. I am (thankfully!) a very enthusiastic and happy person. As far as being a teacher, I have had that recommended to me, and I have also considered it. I don't know whether or not I would actually want to do it, but what you're saying makes sense!

Bergboy123
02-10-2012, 10:52 AM
The coach's I know who have made very good livings had long term contracts with private tennis clubs. First, they had pretty impressive player credentials ie: played #1 on a D1 team, etc. A head pro at a successful club can make money teaching, managing the pro shop and running any junior and adult tennis programs the club has. Even if you're not a "head pro," one high level coach I know, who has been around a long time and had several head pro/management gigs, now only teaches 8-12 hrs a day 6 days a week, and keeps $45 an hour. That's probably more than players outside the top 100 ATP are making.

I am by no means a #1 player on a D1 team. :\ I do believe that in the next couple years I could play on the D1 team at my school, but I'm hoping that teaching tennis would be viable to me even if I don't have a glamorous personal career first. I will continue playing tournaments and learning throughout college though, and I know I'll have some success at the rate that I'm increasing! :) That one coach you mentioned has it set man!

Ash_Smith
02-10-2012, 11:28 AM
Pretty much sounds like a wonderful life to me! Would you mind telling me a little bit more specifically what you studied in order to set yourself up for this? I mean it sounds like you have it pretty dang well, setting your own hours and all, so I'm interested to know how you got to where you are. Thanks for the post! Tennis nerds unite!

Life story huh?!

Basically (like you) I realised I was never going to make enough (any) money playing tennis, so I decided I'd teach it instead. Started helping my own coach with her other lessons when I was 14, got lucky being in the right place at the right time when I was 17 and got a tennis assistant job at a new indoor tennis facility that was opening, took my first qualification as soon as I was able (18 over here) and went from there. I coached all the way through uni (much to my lecturers delight!) and went full time as soon as I graduated, working at several local tennis clubs and the indoor facility, as a self employed coach - I pretty much planned my own programmes and diary. I got to work with lots a mini tennis players and worked them up to play County Tennis over the first few years of my coaching career, which got me more recognition. It just built up from there, head coach at a smaller local club to working as racquets director at a commercial club and now as a National Programme coach for GB wheelchair tennis.

As i've gone along I've worked incredibly hard on developing my own coaching philosophy and I've worked with some phenomenal coaches (Emilio Sanchez, Dani Sorribas, Vicente Calvo(Verdsasco), Toni Colom(Rafa) and stolen as much from them as I can! Sure, i've been lucky in some of the situations i've found myself in, but i've worked my *** off to get as good as I am (I also realise I still have much to learn!), so I figured I made my own luck and ran with it!

It's a life which has led me to meeting Rafa, Rog, Serena, Ferrero, Murray, Roddick and countless other pro's, asking Sharapova out to dinner, meeting my wife (not Maria!) and most recently coaching the World Junior Wheelchair Masters Champion.

All in all I have no complaints and I can honestly say I have never said "I don't want to go to work today" - it's not work, it's a hobby I get paid very well for!

Cheers

tennis_balla
02-10-2012, 11:56 AM
one high level coach I know, who has been around a long time and had several head pro/management gigs, now only teaches 8-12 hrs a day 6 days a week, and keeps $45 an hour. That's probably more than players outside the top 100 ATP are making.

8-12hrs/day on court is a fair bit. That's definitely not defined as "only" and doing it 6 days a week just adds to it. Then again some people don't mind that however, its the type of lessons you do that make it difficult or not.

My view on all of this goes like this, you're going to start small and be someones b*tch pretty much in the beginning, like with any job. Its up to you to learn on your own, gather as much information as you can about coaching like Ash says and in my opinion most of all develop your own system of teaching. Make sure its consistent and always look to refine it and make it better.
Depending on what your goals are, and how much luck and skill you have in the profession there are chances of getting head pro/tennis director jobs at clubs or resorts. Spending 3-4 hours on court a day, having 3, 4, or 5 guys working under you, managing the operation and so on. Lots of jobs like that available. I'll give you an example....

A good friend of mine knew a guy when he lived in Southern Cal, he was a decent player but nothing special. One of his strengths were he was very good with people. Not the BS'ing kind, just very good. He went for an interview at an equestrian club close to L.A. for a tennis directors position. My friend had to convince him to go, cause he didn't think he'd get the job. Of course, he got the job. This was back in the late 80's, first year salary? something like $70,000. Bought a Porsche, found a hot girlfriend...er I mean she found him lol. He was set, spent a few hours a day on court and the rest of the time he was managing the operation, the tennis side of the club. In the end he only lasted about 2 yrs there, I can't remember why he left but those jobs are out there bu it depends if thats what you wanna do, teach high performance juniors, work in a regular club etc.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 11:59 AM
I am by no means a #1 player on a D1 team. :\ I do believe that in the next couple years I could play on the D1 team at my school, but I'm hoping that teaching tennis would be viable to me even if I don't have a glamorous personal career first. I will continue playing tournaments and learning throughout college though, and I know I'll have some success at the rate that I'm increasing! :) That one coach you mentioned has it set man!

I'm not saying it's a prerequisite to have a big playing history. Not at all. I was just citing some examples of financially successful coaches that I know about. What did Bolletierri do as a player? It helps, especially before you have a teaching history. But, persistance is also very effective.

And, there certainly isn't a 1:1 correllation between playing and teaching. To be a great teacher, you have to love teaching, be an effective communicator, and have an in depth understanding of what you're communicating. I know some outstanding players who would be at a loss to teach others what they do.

LuckyR
02-10-2012, 12:13 PM
If you coach privately and charge $500/Hour CASH ONLY with 30 students and a full booked schedule, then I'd say you're pretty well off.

Yup, achieve that and I would recommend going into that field.

I'd say that if you are going to base your business model on people who can afford $500 per hour actually carrying cash, then you are doomed to failure.

chico9166
02-10-2012, 01:26 PM
I'm not saying it's a prerequisite to have a big playing history. Not at all. I was just citing some examples of financially successful coaches that I know about. What did Bolletierri do as a player? It helps, especially before you have a teaching history. But, persistance is also very effective.

And, there certainly isn't a 1:1 correllation between playing and teaching. To be a great teacher, you have to love teaching, be an effective communicator, and have an in depth understanding of what you're communicating. I know some outstanding players who would be at a loss to teach others what they do.
Wow, that's 2 things we agree on.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 01:46 PM
Wow, that's 2 things we agree on.

Speaking of which, I invite you to go to the "Former Pro Player" section, look for the thread on Lew Hoad, look for the pics I posted of Lew Hoad's backhand, and read (the print is small), lesson point #4 about leading with the elbow on the backhand.

Essential Tennis
02-14-2012, 09:01 AM
Hey everyone.

Obviously I want to be a pro and be the GOAT and rule the world, etc. I know I can't, and I know I can't even earn any decent amount of money from tennis. But I do love teaching tennis, and it's just another passion of mine. I have already had some experience teaching mostly children, (8-12 years old,) taught a few adult classes, and will soon be an assistant coach at a high school team.

I'm a freshman in college right now, and I don't have any idea what I want to major in.

So I was thinking ... what is the likelyhood of coaching tennis as a career? What would one major in in college in order to do this? Is this a viable career choice on a monetary level?

I don't even know exactly what kind of coaching I would do. Coaching a team? Coaching at a club? Coaching privately? The sky is the limit, hopefully.

Anybody with experience able to share with me?
Somebody already mentioned it earlier but I'd like to second their suggestion: check out the Professional Tennis Managent program at Ferris State University in Michigan.

http://www.ferris.edu/ptm/

I knew very early in life that I wanted to center my career around tennis simply because I loved being around the sport so much. Like you I had huge aspirations of playing on the tour etc but quickly learned that it wasn't in the cards for me. When my coach told me about the program at Ferris I flipped out. The idea that I could teach tennis and make a living doing it made me so incredibly happy.

The PTM program at Ferris is a four year Business Marketing degree and a minor in professional tennis. Classes include tournament management, racquet repair, teaching theory and techniques, etc. While there you get free, unlimited use of the four court indoor facility and can play for either their D2 NCAA team or club team.

Their program prepares you to follow a career in tennis no matter what interests you: teaching, pro shop management, manufacturing, club management, everything. I loved my four years there.

I'm not in any way affiliated with them besides having been a student. I believe really strongly in the program. If you love tennis and want it to be part of the rest of your life then I strongly recommend at least checking Ferris out.

Good luck :)

ATP100
02-14-2012, 08:34 PM
Get a job at a daycare, that will prepare you for a Tennis teaching job.

(I am not kidding)

Bergboy123
02-14-2012, 08:47 PM
Life story huh?!

Basically (like you) I realised I was never going to make enough (any) money playing tennis, so I decided I'd teach it instead. Started helping my own coach with her other lessons when I was 14, got lucky being in the right place at the right time when I was 17 and got a tennis assistant job at a new indoor tennis facility that was opening, took my first qualification as soon as I was able (18 over here) and went from there. I coached all the way through uni (much to my lecturers delight!) and went full time as soon as I graduated, working at several local tennis clubs and the indoor facility, as a self employed coach - I pretty much planned my own programmes and diary. I got to work with lots a mini tennis players and worked them up to play County Tennis over the first few years of my coaching career, which got me more recognition. It just built up from there, head coach at a smaller local club to working as racquets director at a commercial club and now as a National Programme coach for GB wheelchair tennis.

As i've gone along I've worked incredibly hard on developing my own coaching philosophy and I've worked with some phenomenal coaches (Emilio Sanchez, Dani Sorribas, Vicente Calvo(Verdsasco), Toni Colom(Rafa) and stolen as much from them as I can! Sure, i've been lucky in some of the situations i've found myself in, but i've worked my *** off to get as good as I am (I also realise I still have much to learn!), so I figured I made my own luck and ran with it!

It's a life which has led me to meeting Rafa, Rog, Serena, Ferrero, Murray, Roddick and countless other pro's, asking Sharapova out to dinner, meeting my wife (not Maria!) and most recently coaching the World Junior Wheelchair Masters Champion.

All in all I have no complaints and I can honestly say I have never said "I don't want to go to work today" - it's not work, it's a hobby I get paid very well for!

Cheers

Awesome story Ash, thanks for sharing! Now to just try and do something similar!!!

Bergboy123
02-14-2012, 08:49 PM
8-12hrs/day on court is a fair bit. That's definitely not defined as "only" and doing it 6 days a week just adds to it. Then again some people don't mind that however, its the type of lessons you do that make it difficult or not.

My view on all of this goes like this, you're going to start small and be someones b*tch pretty much in the beginning, like with any job. Its up to you to learn on your own, gather as much information as you can about coaching like Ash says and in my opinion most of all develop your own system of teaching. Make sure its consistent and always look to refine it and make it better.
Depending on what your goals are, and how much luck and skill you have in the profession there are chances of getting head pro/tennis director jobs at clubs or resorts. Spending 3-4 hours on court a day, having 3, 4, or 5 guys working under you, managing the operation and so on. Lots of jobs like that available. I'll give you an example....

A good friend of mine knew a guy when he lived in Southern Cal, he was a decent player but nothing special. One of his strengths were he was very good with people. Not the BS'ing kind, just very good. He went for an interview at an equestrian club close to L.A. for a tennis directors position. My friend had to convince him to go, cause he didn't think he'd get the job. Of course, he got the job. This was back in the late 80's, first year salary? something like $70,000. Bought a Porsche, found a hot girlfriend...er I mean she found him lol. He was set, spent a few hours a day on court and the rest of the time he was managing the operation, the tennis side of the club. In the end he only lasted about 2 yrs there, I can't remember why he left but those jobs are out there bu it depends if thats what you wanna do, teach high performance juniors, work in a regular club etc.

I like what you said about having my own teaching method and sticking with it. I obviously don't have anything like that yet, but I feel that you're very right! Thank you!

Bergboy123
02-14-2012, 08:50 PM
Somebody already mentioned it earlier but I'd like to second their suggestion: check out the Professional Tennis Managent program at Ferris State University in Michigan.

http://www.ferris.edu/ptm/

I knew very early in life that I wanted to center my career around tennis simply because I loved being around the sport so much. Like you I had huge aspirations of playing on the tour etc but quickly learned that it wasn't in the cards for me. When my coach told me about the program at Ferris I flipped out. The idea that I could teach tennis and make a living doing it made me so incredibly happy.

The PTM program at Ferris is a four year Business Marketing degree and a minor in professional tennis. Classes include tournament management, racquet repair, teaching theory and techniques, etc. While there you get free, unlimited use of the four court indoor facility and can play for either their D2 NCAA team or club team.

Their program prepares you to follow a career in tennis no matter what interests you: teaching, pro shop management, manufacturing, club management, everything. I loved my four years there.

I'm not in any way affiliated with them besides having been a student. I believe really strongly in the program. If you love tennis and want it to be part of the rest of your life then I strongly recommend at least checking Ferris out.

Good luck :)

I will have to seriously think about that! Sounds exciting and interesting!

Bergboy123
02-14-2012, 08:52 PM
Get a job at a daycare, that will prepare you for a Tennis teaching job.

(I am not kidding)



Haha not gonna lie, I had similar thoughts last summer teaching kids when two of the girls had a "crisis" about best friends betraying each other and one of them was running away from everybody crying.

OTMPut
02-14-2012, 09:48 PM
My 2c:

1. Try and get a certification in fitness, exercise and nutrition.
2. Brand your offering as little more than Tennis. A lot of people can afford either a gym membership OR tennis classes and not both. You can structure your tennis lesson as an "outdoor fitness" program with body weight, cardio and tennis training integrated.

I do not think many offer this kind of program. With something like this you could differentiate yourself from the run of the mill ball feeders.

For all you know, you might end up attracting a lot of women.

I have this in mind and i have just applied for a part-time diploma program in fitness and exercise studies.

Bergboy123
02-14-2012, 10:47 PM
"For all you know, you might end up attracting a lot of women."

Hahaha! I see what you did there. :)

wihamilton
03-04-2012, 05:51 PM
Is this a viable career choice on a monetary level?

Yes

I don't even know exactly what kind of coaching I would do. Coaching a team? Coaching at a club? Coaching privately? The sky is the limit, hopefully.

Anybody with experience able to share with me?

Send me an email - will.fyb@fuzzyyellowballs.com. I have a few unconventional recommendations and resources you should check out.

Essential Tennis
03-04-2012, 07:28 PM
I have a few unconventional recommendations and resources you should check out.
Sounds shady......

wihamilton
03-04-2012, 07:51 PM
Sounds shady......

More sketchy than shady

Bergboy123
03-04-2012, 08:12 PM
Sketchy, shady, whatever :P Hahaha

maverick66
03-04-2012, 08:17 PM
Haha not gonna lie, I had similar thoughts last summer teaching kids when two of the girls had a "crisis" about best friends betraying each other and one of them was running away from everybody crying.

Try coaching womens usta teams it makes that sound easy.

Its easy to coach its incredibly difficult to be a good coach.

I dont know if its been recommended but get out and play as much as possible in tournaments so you can share experiences to with your players on how to win matches.

FearOfTheDark
03-05-2012, 12:41 AM
Hey Will!

:D

Dan - FSU PTM
03-05-2012, 07:25 AM
Ferris State University in Michigan also has a tennis management program.

While you don't need a degree in tennis management specifically to get hired, these days it's getting more common that clubs require a college degree. Education or exercise science/kinesioology might be a good background from a teaching or training perspective, otherwise a business/general management program might be good for later on to move up to a director of tennis or other managerial position.

If you want to have a career in tennis then Ferris State is the place to be. I am a senior in the program and have enjoyed my time there. PTM opens sooooo many doors to the tennis industry.

rufus_smith
03-05-2012, 08:12 AM
You guys make coaching sound so good. I see many young tennis coaches having it tough. They seem to have to switch clubs every year and sometimes go from city to city. Club members and parents can be really fickle. No tennis coach wanted to coach my daughter high school tennis team so we have a track coach doing it. I also see coaches try to start high-end tennis academies all the time and most fail after a couple of years. Seems like you have to have a famous name to have a chance at that. I'm not a coach but just a senior player that plays at a lot of different clubs private and public and sees a lot of coaches. You guys work hard. Its not just knowing about tennis technique but trying to get a kid at any age to focus and trying to please parents.
Anyway good luck to all of you.

wihamilton
03-05-2012, 09:01 AM
Hey Will!

:D

Sup!

10 char

wihamilton
03-05-2012, 09:06 AM
You guys make coaching sound so good. I see many young tennis coaches having it tough. They seem to have to switch clubs every year and sometimes go from city to city. Club members and parents can be really fickle. No tennis coach wanted to coach my daughter high school tennis team so we have a track coach doing it. I also see coaches try to start high-end tennis academies all the time and most fail after a couple of years. Seems like you have to have a famous name to have a chance at that. I'm not a coach but just a senior player that plays at a lot of different clubs private and public and sees a lot of coaches. You guys work hard. Its not just knowing about tennis technique but trying to get a kid at any age to focus and trying to please parents.
Anyway good luck to all of you.

Yep, hit the nail on the head. I've never told this story before (at least not on the interwebs) but I quit coaching "in real life" for many of these reasons in 2006. Got offered a job in government (I live in Washington, DC) and almost took it, but then on somewhat of a whim I decided to start a tennis website instead.

Bergboy123
03-05-2012, 09:14 AM
Yep, hit the nail on the head. I've never told this story before (at least not on the interwebs) but I quit coaching "in real life" for many of these reasons in 2006. Got offered a job in government (I live in Washington, DC) and almost took it, but then on somewhat of a whim I decided to start a tennis website instead.

And who would have guessed, but now thousands of us tennis players (myself included!) watch your videos repeatedly and gain so much from them! I'm glad you didn't quit completely!!!

Essential Tennis
03-05-2012, 09:58 AM
You guys make coaching sound so good. I see many young tennis coaches having it tough. They seem to have to switch clubs every year and sometimes go from city to city. Club members and parents can be really fickle. No tennis coach wanted to coach my daughter high school tennis team so we have a track coach doing it. I also see coaches try to start high-end tennis academies all the time and most fail after a couple of years. Seems like you have to have a famous name to have a chance at that. I'm not a coach but just a senior player that plays at a lot of different clubs private and public and sees a lot of coaches. You guys work hard. Its not just knowing about tennis technique but trying to get a kid at any age to focus and trying to please parents.
Anyway good luck to all of you.

I also agree, full time teaching pros work HARD. Depending on the club it's often a very thankless job. If you really love tennis and have a passion for teaching you'll probably be very surprised (as I was) to find out how few students will actually give you a full effort, or even listen to what you have to say in some cases. I know it sounds hard to believe that somebody would pay $70+ for an hour of a professionals time and then not try or even care what he/she has to say, but believe me it happens extremely often.

That's really the main reason why I started my own web site. Like Will I was pretty disillusioned after several years of grinding it out on court and knew that if I could find a way to make it work online I could spend time with only those that actually shared my passion for the sport. Of course, it's never possible to please everybody (especially on the internet, haha). However, overall I'm really happy that I made the move.

That being said, I do NOT want to make it sound like I hated my job teaching on court or anything like that. The hours that I spent with people that listened intently and gave me an honest effort always made up for the lessons that frustrated me. With those students time always flew by, and it was incredibly rewarding.

papa
03-05-2012, 10:50 AM
You guys make coaching sound so good. I see many young tennis coaches having it tough. They seem to have to switch clubs every year and sometimes go from city to city. Club members and parents can be really fickle. No tennis coach wanted to coach my daughter high school tennis team so we have a track coach doing it. I also see coaches try to start high-end tennis academies all the time and most fail after a couple of years. Seems like you have to have a famous name to have a chance at that. I'm not a coach but just a senior player that plays at a lot of different clubs private and public and sees a lot of coaches. You guys work hard. Its not just knowing about tennis technique but trying to get a kid at any age to focus and trying to please parents.
Anyway good luck to all of you.

Actually, I enjoy the process as a HS coach. Sure, there are times when things get a little wacky but that goes with the territory - like any job there are ups and downs but I love it. Some programs are rather small, ours is very large. I also do a Middle School program that is rather large.

My kids are good athletes, work extremely hard, respectful and for the most part very good students. I have very few problems with parents or administrators - I make it a point to review how I see my function every year and what my expectations are for my players and parents. I don't encourage others to do my job and I don't expect to do theirs.

I like what I do - maybe that's the difference.

tennis_balla
03-05-2012, 12:24 PM
There are so many little things that a person needs to learn to be a good coach you could write a book...well, others have already haha. I don't feel I'm close yet to where I want to be as a coach, and its a constant learning process. You think about it all the time, it just never stops. To be a good tennis coach its not a job, its a lifestyle. Its something thats either in you or isn't.

I don't want to throw out percentage but a large portion of coaching is communication and how well you can talk to and deal with people. Understanding not only technical aspects of the game but understanding psychology and different personalities, being adaptable to different situations, able to teach the same thing a number of ways for different individuals. I love watching people, talking to them, learning how people react to different things, personalities etc. It really helps you understand better how to deal with problems on court. Coaching is more then just learning to hit a tennis ball over the net. When to talk, when to shut up, when to use verbal instruction, when to use visual instruction and so on.

Finding out what coaching philosophy you like the best is a must, but always be open minded in learning new things even from sources you might not always agree with. Even if its learning what not to do. Also, if you want to know where the game is heading then watch top ITF juniors and the pros as I believe that players change the game, not coaches. Coaches analyze whats happening and learn to teach it to others.

Ash_Smith
03-05-2012, 12:46 PM
^^^Great post Balla

It works the other way too - learning to understand psychology and read people's personalities has made me a great negotiator when it comes to haggling for stuff! Over the years I've learned how to read people pretty well and pretty quickly (which helps massively when it comes to teaching) and i've never had a car salesman who hasn't been almost crying before we've sealed a deal since!

Cheers

Fuji
03-05-2012, 06:44 PM
Hey all! Not meaning to hijack here, but I got offered the chance to become a certified coach here, and I'm thinking it would be a fun thing to have and a great way to get involved in my tennis community.

Is coaching something you can do on a "part time" basis since I'm still in school? (University next year)

-Fuji

papa
03-06-2012, 06:06 PM
Hey all! Not meaning to hijack here, but I got offered the chance to become a certified coach here, and I'm thinking it would be a fun thing to have and a great way to get involved in my tennis community.

Is coaching something you can do on a "part time" basis since I'm still in school? (University next year)

-Fuji

You can but depending on the type of coaching your looking for will depend on materials, classes, certifications, references, background check you'll need. Schools generally will demand excellent references and require you attend/pass various courses. Tennis clubs will also require references and in most instances certifications. Sometimes you can find a YMCA or other place where tennis is offered and they might not be as fussy in the "requirement" department or let you start and get your stuff together as you go along.

Although I'm not a college coach I spent many years at a major university with the athletic department. I can tell you that colleges are very rigid (at least we were) in checking out prospective coaches - we would not take chances on anyone without checking them out competely.

dennis10is
03-06-2012, 06:14 PM
Hey everyone.

Obviously I want to be a pro and be the GOAT and rule the world, etc. I know I can't, and I know I can't even earn any decent amount of money from tennis. But I do love teaching tennis, and it's just another passion of mine. I have already had some experience teaching mostly children, (8-12 years old,) taught a few adult classes, and will soon be an assistant coach at a high school team.

I'm a freshman in college right now, and I don't have any idea what I want to major in.

So I was thinking ... what is the likelyhood of coaching tennis as a career? What would one major in in college in order to do this? Is this a viable career choice on a monetary level?

I don't even know exactly what kind of coaching I would do. Coaching a team? Coaching at a club? Coaching privately? The sky is the limit, hopefully.

Anybody with experience able to share with me?

You should give up coaching as a profession. With the internet, nobody needs a coach anymore, they have youtube and this forum. Enough to turn anyone into a GOAT and millionaire if they want to.

Fuji
03-06-2012, 09:29 PM
You can but depending on the type of coaching your looking for will depend on materials, classes, certifications, references, background check you'll need. Schools generally will demand excellent references and require you attend/pass various courses. Tennis clubs will also require references and in most instances certifications. Sometimes you can find a YMCA or other place where tennis is offered and they might not be as fussy in the "requirement" department or let you start and get your stuff together as you go along.

Although I'm not a college coach I spent many years at a major university with the athletic department. I can tell you that colleges are very rigid (at least we were) in checking out prospective coaches - we would not take chances on anyone without checking them out completely.

Very true! Thanks for the input! I'm not aiming to be a world class or college level coach by any means, but I figured it might be helpful to have.

I think I will end up getting certified, (Heck it's only a two weekend course and it's pretty fair priced!)

-Fuji

luishcorreia
03-08-2012, 04:38 AM
Very true! Thanks for the input! I'm not aiming to be a world class or college level coach by any means, but I figured it might be helpful to have.

I think I will end up getting certified, (Heck it's only a two weekend course and it's pretty fair priced!)

-Fuji

Here in portugal, a level I coach certification was also a two weekend thing. Now its all been restructured, to a 600 hour course. People who have a degree in physical education with a major in tennis, automatically have equivalence to this level I. Then you have level II and level III.

I thought about getting level I last year..annd should have done it. Now...its much more complicated..

papa
03-08-2012, 05:44 AM
You should give up coaching as a profession. With the internet, nobody needs a coach anymore, they have youtube and this forum. Enough to turn anyone into a GOAT and millionaire if they want to.

Well, although I would certainly agree that there is plently of information available through the web, books, DVD's, magazines, etc, its one thing to understand something intellectually and quite another to put it into practice. Many players know how the basics of stroke mechanics but simply cannot get themselves performing the stroke - what they think there doing and what they actually do, often/most of the time is very different.

Some can do it and improve without on-court help, unfortunately most can't.

luishcorreia
03-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Let me just say I am enjoying this thread a lot. Much more interesting than "would federer beat sampras in his prime" thread...

Really cool having ian and will participate here.

Big fan of essential tennis.

Sorry will. ;) i also like fuzzyyellowballs..

Bergboy123
03-08-2012, 05:57 PM
Yes I'm loving this too, and I've gotten way more answers and advice than I had hoped for. Thank you everybody!

Essential Tennis
03-09-2012, 09:25 AM
Big fan of essential tennis.

Sorry will. ;) i also like fuzzyyellowballs..

:D

Ya, FYB is ok I guess.....

JohnYandell
03-11-2012, 11:35 PM
What was Sharapova's response to the dinner invite, if you don't mind me asking...

Limpinhitter
03-12-2012, 08:19 AM
8-12hrs/day on court is a fair bit. That's definitely not defined as "only" and doing it 6 days a week just adds to it. Then again some people don't mind that however, its the type of lessons you do that make it difficult or not.

My view on all of this goes like this, you're going to start small and be someones b*tch pretty much in the beginning, like with any job. Its up to you to learn on your own, gather as much information as you can about coaching like Ash says and in my opinion most of all develop your own system of teaching. Make sure its consistent and always look to refine it and make it better.
Depending on what your goals are, and how much luck and skill you have in the profession there are chances of getting head pro/tennis director jobs at clubs or resorts. Spending 3-4 hours on court a day, having 3, 4, or 5 guys working under you, managing the operation and so on. Lots of jobs like that available. I'll give you an example....

A good friend of mine knew a guy when he lived in Southern Cal, he was a decent player but nothing special. One of his strengths were he was very good with people. Not the BS'ing kind, just very good. He went for an interview at an equestrian club close to L.A. for a tennis directors position. My friend had to convince him to go, cause he didn't think he'd get the job. Of course, he got the job. This was back in the late 80's, first year salary? something like $70,000. Bought a Porsche, found a hot girlfriend...er I mean she found him lol. He was set, spent a few hours a day on court and the rest of the time he was managing the operation, the tennis side of the club. In the end he only lasted about 2 yrs there, I can't remember why he left but those jobs are out there bu it depends if thats what you wanna do, teach high performance juniors, work in a regular club etc.

Hey Balla,

I just noticed your reply. I meant "only" as in only teaching, not proshop management or tennis director. Hahaha!

Limpinhitter
03-12-2012, 08:29 AM
You should give up coaching as a profession. With the internet, nobody needs a coach anymore, they have youtube and this forum. Enough to turn anyone into a GOAT and millionaire if they want to.

IMO, you couldn't be more wrong! There is no substitute for 1 on 1 coaching on the court. Internet lessons can be very helpful. But, an internet coach can't see you play, can't see if you are interpreting his advice as intended, or doing what he's instructing, and, therefore, help you make necessary corrections.

Ash_Smith
03-12-2012, 01:04 PM
What was Sharapova's response to the dinner invite, if you don't mind me asking...

Not at all John. Yuri said NO!!! I like to think Maria was on the verge of saying yes before he cut her off! :)