by Will Segraves
With GPTA being such a great avenue for job searching and networking, I thought I'd give some insight on what I, as a Tennis Director, look for in candidates when hiring for teaching positions.
1. Chemistry & Attitude
The way I see it, whomever I hire will spend a great deal of time with me, the members and the entire staff. It is critical that any new hire be a good fit with the culture and personality of my staff and the membership. I am looking for the teaching pro who loves this sport and can't wait to get to work every day! I need my pros to bring positive energy to each other and the membership.
2. On-court Skills
In addition to chemistry and attitude, I need the pro to teach a wide variety of levels, ages and interests. It's nice if your pro is a great player, but it's really about the on-court connection he or she makes with the students. At TPC Sugarloaf, our wheelhouse is all ages of beginner juniors and adults up to advanced recreational adults. We have some high-performance levels, but I need a pro that can teach a group of 5 year olds, then turn around and coach a senior ladies clinic, and then do a hitting lesson with a weekend warrior business executive.
3. Off-court Skills
If you really want to make it to the Head Pro or Tennis Director level, you need a great deal of experience and interest in doing the behind-the-scenes work. Being able to register teams and navigate adult and junior ALTA or USTA is an invaluable asset. Being able to communicate consistently via email or text and to reach out to members in person is a big part of administration. I also look for the pro who can run a mixer or round robin with ease and organization. Familiarity and experience with running a pro am is a plus.There are other important qualities not listed here, but if a pro meets most or all of the characteristics I mentioned, I am confident they will be a great hire. Remember attitude plus aptitude equals altitude.