Should You Teach Tennis?
If you have ever considered yourself a stellar tennis player you may have had the idea of teaching tennis cross your mind. The freedom and flexibility that this provides can be almost unmatched and it also provides a great excuse to play more tennis. If you thoroughly enjoy the sport then this is the perfect thing to seriously consider. However, before you go jumping into a new career there are some things that you should take into consideration to ensure that it is a good match for you and your personal goals in life.
The first consideration is do you really like tennis. Some people simply tolerate tennis; if this is you then teaching tennis may not be the best idea. Someone who is successful at tennis absolutely loves it and there are few things that they would rather be doing than play tennis. This love is part of what drives the most successful instructors and it is also what has been known to produce the best coaches at the higher levels. Ensuring that you love tennis is a great first step because as a teacher you will need to practice yourself, plus spend time on the court teaching others.
You should also consider your people skills. While a teacher certainly does not need to win a popularity contest based upon their individual style it is important that they at least know how to successfully talk to people. Having good people skills will ensure that not only can you teach people, but you can also gain the trust of people as well. Someone is not going to be likely to pay for an instructor whom they dislike. It is important to treat people well in order to have students who return after the first lesson. Of course you could always have poor people skills and still attempt at teaching; however you are not likely to be very successful, have few good references and also have problems with students returning after the initial lesson.
You are also going to need to look into the certification process to become a certified teacher. This may seem frivolous if you only plan to teach occasionally, but it shows that you are dedicated to teaching the proper methods rather than simply turning someone loose on the tennis court with a racquet and a few balls. By being a certified teacher you can command higher rates for your time, plus you show your perspective students that you care before they have even met you.
The final thing you need to consider before taking on a new career is exactly what your skill level is. If you are just a beginner at tennis yourself then it is impossible for you to teach someone else. This means you are going to have to wait on your career change until you have the skills necessary to really successfully teach someone else. If you are a highly skilled player then this is not a concern for you, but the old saying of the blind leading the blind is never good. Especially in the situation where someone is paying you to teach them a skill, if you do not have all of the techniques mastered yourself you will not be able to teach someone else. If you are at least an advanced player you generally have enough skill, there is no reason to not teach just because you are not a professional tennis player.