Just like most sports out there, tennis has seen a massive surge in popularity over the years and this means that there are countless opportunities in the game. Few people will argue with the fact that it is incredibly difficult to forge a successful playing career in tennis, with the competition absolutely sky high and very difficult to break into. However, there are other options, with tennis coaching having the potential to be very lucrative. Whether an individual is merely looking to teach at their local club, or go on and coach the world’s elite, the tennis authorities have created a straightforward route that provides guidance on releasing these opportunities.
Fortunately, one doesn’t even have to be a world-beater to become an accomplished coach. While some players in the world are coached by former pros, others rely on coaches who have progressed up the teaching ladder and have no playing experience in the professional game. Therefore, whatever your age, the sky really is the limit when it comes to coaching in tennis.
Bearing the above in mind, it is worth taking a look at the pathways that can be taken in order to establish yourself as a professional and reputable coach within the sport. It is worth mentioning that this pathway is provided by the LTA – meaning that any coach who completes any part will be regarded in the highest manner by others involved in tennis.
This is the very first step on the tennis coaching ladder and often attracts a lot of children, as long as they are over 13-years-old. Practically any individual will be able to pass the Tennis Leader stage, as it really just covers the very basics of the game such as the formats, strokes and competition styles. Should one pass this section of the pathway, they will also have demonstrated basic communication skills as well as showing that they are able to put what they have learnt into practice in a court environment.
Coaching Assistant (Level 1)
As one may gather, Level 1 sees the pathway intensify and this stage has to be completed over a three day period. It is only targeted at those individuals who have a keen interest in getting involved in the sport on a more serious level and as well as receiving expert tuition, participants will provide three hours of their own coaching methods through the course. It would be fair to say that the main aim of Level 1 is to improve one’s delivery, with attributes such as motivation, communication, organisation and planning all being targeted. While a basic knowledge of the techniques of tennis is taught, there’s no doubt that interpersonal skills are the main target within this part of the pathway.
Coaching Assistant (Level 2)
As the name of this may indicate, Coaching Assistant (Level 2) is targeted at those individuals who want to enhance their position as a coaching assistant. With the course lasting five days, it is only designed for people who are willing to invest a lot of time in their tennis coaching development. This part of the pathway is where things start to get serious and upon completion, participants will be able to deliver a tennis lesson that complies with the professional coaching regulations. They will provide eight hours of their own coaching during the five days, thus providing them with crucial experience.
The simplistic name of this award highlights exactly who is being targeted. Any person who wishes to become a professional tennis coach should look to complete this qualification, as it not only provides the tuition that is applicable to individual and group lessons, but also business management if one decides to start their own coaching school. This stage of the ladder lasts twelve days in total, although it is broken down into three segments to at least provide some flexibility. Again, interpersonal skills are taken to the next level, although coaches will also be able to mentor Level 1 and Level 2 individuals as well as using their ability to improve the performance of the average tennis player.
The next steps
Once an individual has completed the Coach stage of the process, their future really lies in their own hands. The ladder breaks off into two directions, with one targeting those coaches who wish to teach in clubs and the other for those who want to become the dedicated coach of professional players. Both routes can be explained via the following.
Club Coach Route:
- Senior Club Coach – This is targeted at individuals who will be running a team of coaches in a members club, or anything similar along these lines. A lot more emphasis on technique is placed on this level and on completion, coaches will be able to improve all areas of their client’s game. The fact that this part of the scheme takes a total of fifteen days to complete, as well as additional experience, highlights how serious the badge is.
- Master Club Coach – As the name may indicate, this takes the club coach onto the very highest level. It is targeted at those who are looking to work within the top tennis clubs in the world and with this stage taking two years to complete, it’s no surprise that it is only appropriate for the most serious and talented coaches out there. It builds on all of the principles that have been built on throughout the ladder, with extra emphasis placed on coaching aids, technology and self-reflection.
Performance Coach Route:
- Senior Performance Coach – The intensity of this is very similar to that of the Senior Club Coach route, although it takes a slightly longer twenty one days to complete. It is targeted at those coaches who wish to work on a one-to-one basis and improve their player’s ability across all spectrums. As well as the training days, anyone wishing to complete this must have sixteen days’ worth of experience.
- Master Performance Coach – As one may gather, this is the very top of the coaching ladder when it comes to one-to-one teaching. Any individual who wishes to apply their teaching to any ability should consider completing this segment, although it does take two years to attain. All of the issues that are targeted within the Master Club Coach are implemented in this, although unsurprisingly they are more applicable to performance coaches. Anyone who achieves the Master Performance Coach grade will be able to improve a player’s performance quicker than any coach under the other badge umbrellas.
This piece was contributed to Liam, the owner of bonusbetting.org.uk. He has a keen interest in tennis and attempts to analyse the sport in ways which other writers seemingly avoid. Furthermore, for anyone who takes an interest in the gambling industry, his website also provides the latest tennis betting tips.