How to Become a Tennis Instructor

Learn how to become a tennis instructor. Research the education, career requirements, and experience required for starting a career as a tennis instructor.

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  • 0:00 Should I Become a…
  • 1:02 Career Requirements
  • 1:24 Steps to Become a…

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Should I Become a Tennis Instructor?

Tennis instructors are coaches who work to improve a player's game. While some instructors focus on teaching beginners the fundamentals of tennis, top level instructors could work with players at the professional level. Tennis instructors may teach players individually, in groups, or on teams.

During instruction, tennis coaches evaluate a player's game to determine their strengths and weaknesses and improve their skills. Some tennis instructors travel to their players' matches and tournaments, and work could be performed outdoors in cold and rainy or hot and sunny weather. Instructors might also carry out evening and weekend lessons, and matches may be played on weekends, too. Busy sports seasons can make for long hours and work weeks of more than 40 hours in length. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reported in 2015 that the median annual salary for coaches and scouts was $31,000.

Career Requirements

Experience Experience playing tennis is required
Key Skills In addition to tennis knowledge, instructors must have strong communication skills and be able to assess a player's game
Certification The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) offer voluntary certification

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); Various Job Postings (October 2012); USPTA and PTR

Steps to Become A Tennis Instructor

Step 1: Gain Experience

According to the BLS, any type of athletic coach or instructor is required to have an immense amount of hands-on experience and knowledge about their sport of choice. Tennis instructors have usually played tennis for many years, often at the competitive level. They must be extremely familiar with all of the rules and regulations of the sport and be able to clearly communicate this information to their players.

Success Tip:

Consider earning a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is often a prerequisite for instructors looking to teach tennis at the high school or college level. The degree could be in education, physical education, or some other type of fitness or physiology major.

Step 2: Work as an Assistant

One of the best ways to learn how to become a tennis instructor is by assisting a professional tennis instructor or coach. By doing this, you will gain experience with the techniques and training involved in a typical tennis lesson or practice. Working as an assistant also offers the chance to begin working with players and learning how to communicate with them.

Step 3: Earn Certification

While certification is not usually a requirement to become a tennis instructor, some private clubs and organizations will prefer to hire certified professionals. The two major certifying associations in the United States are the Professional Tennis Registry and the United States Professional Tennis Association. After training for the certification exam and passing the test, you can become members of these organizations and enjoy benefits such as liability insurance and continuing education opportunities.

To become a tennis instructor, you will need years of tennis experience and a skid knowledge of the game.

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