How to Become a Tennis Camp Counselor or Coach

Becoming a tennis camp counselor or coach is an exciting career path. In addition to allowing interested individuals to interact with kids, teach lessons and plan fun events, being a tennis camp counselor or coach will allow for interaction with families and the creation of fun summer memories.

There are many different ways to pursue becoming a tennis camp counselor or coach. Interested parties should call their local tennis foundations and organizations or the camp they hope to work for in order to obtain more information on certification, requirements and education preferences. Here are the basic steps individuals will need to take to become a tennis camp coach or counselor:

Becoming a Tennis Camp Coach

The most direct way to become a tennis coach is to go through a nationally recognized organization, such as the U.S. Tennis Association, the United States Professional Tennis Association or The Professional Tennis Registry. The certification requirements for most of these organizations are the same. The Professional Tennis Registry, for example, requires full membership, which entails an annual fee, as well as the submission of an online application.

After the online application is completed, applicants can choose a certification pathway, such as 10 and under, 11 to 17, Performance, Adult Development or Senior Development. Individuals interested in becoming a tennis coach at a tennis camp may be interested in the 11-17 specialty, as this is the age group typically found in youth tennis camps. The next step in the certification process is to complete an online training module, which may vary in format depending upon the certifying organization.

Once the online module has been completed, applicants generally register for a certification workshop. These workshops are held across the country and provide a specified number of on-court hours to verify that the applicant is proficient at the game of tennis and possesses the needed skills to be an adequate teacher. In addition to providing important on-court instruction, these workshops are also a great way to meet other tennis coaches and begin to network.

At the end of the workshop, the applicant is required to take a certification test through their certifying organization of choice. If the test is passed, the individual becomes a certified tennis coach and can then apply for a myriad of different jobs. Coaches interested in applying to teach at tennis camps should contact the individual camp directly and inquire about potential openings as well as the requirements for that position.

Becoming a Tennis Camp Counselor

Becoming a camp counselor provides individuals with a chance to work directly with kids and families in a positive and fun outdoor environment. Those interested in becoming a camp counselor do not generally need to pursue any special certification or education, although this may vary from camp to camp. Most camp counselors will be required to obtain a general CPR/First Aid certification prior to obtaining employment and a select few may need to go a step further and obtain Wilderness First Responder or Swift Water Rescue certifications.

Most summer camps offer counselor in training (CIT) programs within which experienced counselors take on the task of teaching new counselors the ropes. These courses are somewhat informal, as they require no application or fee, and may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

The first step for parties interested in becoming a camp counselor is to take a related job to gain some experience. Lifeguarding is a great option, as is working in childcare or at a child-centered sports camp. Individuals who want to be tennis camp counselors should consider teaching youth tennis lessons or workshops before applying to become a tennis camp counselor.

In addition to the required management, organization and planning skills required from camp counselors, the job also calls for strong interpersonal skills and leadership abilities. Being a camp counselor is a rewarding job and, as such, is in high demand across the country. Individuals who want to increase their chances of obtaining a position as a tennis camp counselor should first work in related fields, improve their own tennis skills, secure great references and certify in the required fields before applying.  Applicants may also want to consider attending a tennis camp, if they have not previously, to get a feel for the environment and the structure of tennis camps in general.

Becoming a tennis camp coach or counselor is an immensely rewarding decision that allows individuals to spend their summers being active, having fun, learning new things and helping to shape the confidence, games and skills of young players across the country.

Those interested in becoming a tennis coach should begin the path to certification as soon as possible, as it is somewhat time-consuming and involved. The first step in certification is choosing a reputable organization and becoming a member. After that, interested parties can contact the organization in question to enquire about the requirements for becoming a certified coach. Occasionally, there are certification grants and scholarships available to help offset the certification fee, which varies depending upon the organization.

Individuals who are interested in becoming a tennis camp counselor, on the other hand, do not need to pursue specific certification, although CPR/First Aid is likely to be required anywhere there is an open position. Working in related fields before applying to be a camp counselor increases the odds of being hired, as does having previously attended tennis camps as a student.

Regardless of whether one chooses to pursue becoming a tennis camp counselor or coach, it is obvious that both of these positions are important within the tennis community. Tennis camp counselors and instructors help to shape the skills of young people and instill a love for the game that will last for many years.