Talk about a loaded question…clearly, it means different things to different people. Certain business minded professionals enjoy matchmaking, programming and weekly meetings, and love being the leader in their department. Whereas, other tennis professionals just love to teach all day and not worry about the daily round robin. And then there are plenty of specialists: Adult coordinator, junior academy director and the Cardio Tennis clinic organizer.
Often there are several different types of tennis jobs: Tennis clubs only, golf and tennis, camps and public parks. In order to win the interview, pros must do their research and have a clear understanding of each job description. In other words, when applying for a tennis job at a well-known golf and country club, the applicant must be keenly aware of some of the limitations or this person might come off too bold for the hiring committee. In other words, if golf is king, understand the boundaries.
Therefore, an experienced tennis pro is keenly aware to negotiate the best possible package before arriving at the new position. The moment the new professional begins his new job; most of his leverage is gone.
Ok, there are some exceptions, but for the most part, win the interview and go for the gusto. On rare occasions, the initial contract may be low, but filled with outstanding financial incentives.
To me, the best scenario is to design the best win-win agreement so both parties are happy. Never get too greedy because it will leave a bad taste with management. A pro must remember that he wants to begin this new chapter with everyone on board and excited about the future.
At the end of the day, there are several key components that must align to create a special long-lasting career job, and following isa short list of important contractual points. The best jobs in the workplace offer nice packages which include salary, health, 401K, meals, courts to teach, excellent on-court compensation, education benefits (including travel) and housing, if necessary.
In a perfect world, the club administration values the tennis department and will make a robust effort to land the best possible professional, and offer a solid work agreement or contract.
Moreover, the supervisor will allow the new pro the opportunity to implement his/her plan to take the facility to the next level. Additionally, the tennis committee will be happy to assist the new pro with their new ideas and play a big role in supporting this new hire.
Talented tennis professionals know how to put their stamp on their new and exciting opportunity. Expect the new person to come to the job with endless enthusiasm and a solid work ethic. The best in the tennis profession quickly learns members’ names and strive to learn the needs of the members. In short order, more people are playing on the courts and spending more quality time at the club.
Finally, it’s important, if not crucial, for the new pro to have a great respect among his peers at the facility. Make it a point to meet and greet everyone (members and fellow employees) to help facilitate communication. When the entire club team is on the same page, the business runs smoothly and it is a joy to come to work.
Good luck and enjoy this new great opportunity.
Since 2000, Doug Browne was the Collier County Pro of the Year three times, and has been a USPTA pro in the area for 28 years. Doug was also honored in the International Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island) as Tennis Director during the 2010 summer season. Doug has been writing about tennis for the last 19 years.