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The Tennis Club and the Tennis Coach
by Peter Farrell
"In Ireland we are fortunate to have a large number of highly professional, dedicated and motivated tennis coaches. They play a very important role at all levels of the game in this country, specifically in terms of recruiting, developing and retaining players" Des Allen - Tennis Ireland CEO
Due to the hard work of the club committees over the past fifteen or twenty years, the playing facilities at tennis clubs throughout Ireland have been vastly improved. An even more recent development has been clubs hiring a part or full time administrator to deal in the most efficient way with essential documentation, newsletters, website updating etc. As Coach Development Officer the Tennis Ireland Coaches Association www.tica.ie I would like to ask all tennis clubs to look closely at the role of another person who plays a vital role at the club - your tennis coach.
What Factors Would Encourage You To Play Tennis?
1. Combine tennis with a good physical workout.
2. Availability of lessons to improve skills.
3. Regularly scheduled matches.
Source - International Tennis Federation (ITF)
Not that long ago coaching in Ireland was on a very ad hoc basis. Few clubs had a Club Coach, and most coaches travelled to a number of different venues on a weekly basis. There have been improvements in this area of late, as many clubs realize the importance and value of appoointing a dedicated Club Coach, or a Director of Tennis - someone who is committed on a professional basis to providing an overall coaching service that is designed to meet the needs of all the sectors of the membership.
Why Do Kids Play Sports?
1. To have fun.
2. To improve their skills.
3. To stay in shape.
Source - United States Tennis Association (2001).
Given the quotes dotted around this page, it becomes clear that the role of the coach within a tennis club is a very important one. How can a club ensure that it retains its coach, or is able to attract a new high level candidate when necessary? Below are some questions I would like to ask you to address in relation to your club, in the interests of developing and improving relationships with coaching staff.
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