Hi everybody and welcome to my first blog post of hopefully more to come.
This is the first of my Coaching Insight series.
Unlike a lot of professions and 9-5 jobs, tennis coaching comes with unsociable working hours and usually requires some flexibility. Coaches must be prepared to work as late as 21.30 at some venues catering for a wide range of adult groups as well as putting in weekend shifts. Weekday mornings normally consist of working with middle-aged or retired folk if you are based at a private members club. Some coaches fill their hours working at prep schools with a younger audience before returning to their primary club for the remainder of the day. In some cases you can encounter students and young professionals which have the timetable to cater for fitting in their lessons in the morning or early afternoon.Performance tennis coaches based at academies, will have a more regular working day helping players of a similar level which all share the goal and drive to succeed at the highest level possible. Of course these coaches still open their doors to various clientele to fill any spare hours in the day they might find.
A few things to consider if you are thinking about going into schools to coach. Some job adverts will list hours such as 8.00-14.00, initially it sounds appealing as it would come across as a great potential earner alongside club work. However normally in this time period, you will only coach a total of 3 hours. Seems strange? well its simply because not all schools are running tennis programmes which allow the children to come out of class to partake in their lesson. Consequently this can mean some down time whilst on site, for some people it works, for others i have seen it doesn’t. Furthermore not every school surrounding you is running a programme, which usually means having to travel further afield. I suggest to factor everything in before taking the plunge.
If you are a self employed outdoor coach, staying busy and being productive with your time is something you have to get used to. The elements can have their way resulting in cancelled lessons and loss of earnings and suddenly some free time in the day appears. Some coaches aim to do some re-stringing, admin work (phone, e-mails, diary work, invoices, banking) and others simply reward themselves with a good old slog on the PlayStation or enjoy a movie marathon, you catch my drift. In summer months when the work can be coming in hard and fast, idle time due to cancellations can sometimes be a nice change of pace and a time to take your foot of the gas. Many coaches in the summer season are only giving themselves 1 day off a week, you could argue its not enough, but with cancellations thrown in, its usually enough to keep yourself in check.
As a result its vital to either manage your money well or consider a second stream of income while you develop your client base weather it be what i have mentioned with the re-stringing, or holding down an additional job. The high potential hourly rate normally makes up for the idle time as long as enough daily coaching hours are available to you but initially this might not be the case if you are new to the industry or a new coaching role.
Finally all the money you accumulated during the peak months, hang on to some before you buy your new sports car you never know when you might need it.
“Patience is a virtue”