During this session on the Coaches Couch, Richard and Nigel talk about one of the many challenges facing coaches running their own tennis business; recognising when it is time to recruit to grow. Maybe you’ve felt that weight… you recognise that you’ve reached saturation; you can’t work any more hours and you need to get more help?
BONUS: download a copy of this transcript Coaches on the Couch #1: Abbreviated Transcript
Traditionally clubs started with a club pro who did everything in the club; they did all the coaching and they ran the pro shop. More and more it’s now about building a team.
It’s important that what you do when thinking about building a team is to break the programme down in to different areas and to think of almost finding specialists for the different areas – say mini tennis or adult tennis. What you’re trying to do is to build a team with different skills and different specialities.
We found that admin is a pretty critical area in the club. It might be great to do a great job on court but unless you’ve got the admin support off court it won’t really work. As a general rule, we’ve found that most coaches are better at what they do and what they love which is being on the tennis court and the admin is something they don’t want to do.
In a lot of cases we look to bring in a specialist administrator and let coaches do what they do best and get them out on the court. The administration function quite often doesn’t cost the same amount; to take a coach off-court so they’re not earning an hourly rate, versus to have an administrator for 3 hours for the same amount – that’s quite a compelling argument to put in a bit of admin support.
It puts your admin in the hands of someone who wants to do it rather than a coach rushing around between lessons trying to get it done and often running out of time to do it.
As you start in a small club you’ve got 1 coach and when you look for a 2nd coach you’re looking for someone to complement what you’re not good at. As you grow to a team needing 3, maybe 4 coaches that’s when you’ll start to be able to break your club coaching roles down into small areas; who’s good at social tennis, who can do older juniors, maybe at that point adding in a performance specialist. Sometimes we’ve added in titles like Head of Performance Coaching as roles and responsibilities have grown.
Lastly, you have to be careful not to recruit too quickly or you’ll bring in too many coaches and what you’ll have is a team of people who aren’t busy and almost scratching around and not get financially to where they need to be. That means unhappy