A strong venue and coach relationship is integral to the success of your club or centre. Together you can drive participation, add value for your members and grow each other’s player base.
The key to success is to ace the five phases in managing your coaching services arrangement at your club and creating a win-win partnership with your coaching services team.
The Five Phases of Coach Recruitment
Get your team together
For tender and review, get together a small and knowledgeable sub-committee group of 3-5 people from the committee, parents or members to manage this process. Engage your region or association tennis representative to help with some starting advice too. Tennis NZ’s Coach Development department are also happy to help.
What are you looking for in a coach?
Understand what you are looking for in a coach that aligns with your clubs’ vision, goals and objectives. Then seek the right coach and/or coaching business for your club’s needs.
TIP: Write down a list of key roles, services and types of programmes that you would like a coach to bring or work together on to drive and grow your club’s participation, we recommend that you review the contract schedules at the bottom of this document for ideas. This services description will shape your advertisement and appointment criteria.
Go to market and attract a good pool of coaches
If you are searching for a new coach, it is important to advertise on the Tennis New Zealand website to reach New Zealand coaches and coaching businesses.
TIP: Ensure you sell the potential of your club and what it offers. Ask coaches to apply addressing the criteria and why they would be a good fit for your club.
As applications close and you have reviewed all applications against the selection criteria (screening, minimum qualifications, experience etc.) you will need to schedule first round interviews with shortlisted coaches and your selection committee.
First round interviews are generally ‘off-court’ interviews and are a chance for the club to get to know each candidate in more detail and assess their potential fit at the club. It is also a chance for the coach to assess if his/her coaching philosophy aligns with the vision and objectives of the club.
Ask the relevant questions in the interview linked to the criteria and services descriptions, and link in a scoring system to help judgement.
TIP: Request the coach make a 5-10 minute pitch at the interview why their coaching business would deliver the best coaching service and would develop a win-win partnership.
Your club may wish to conduct an ‘on-court’ interview to see the candidates in action, if this approach is taken then it is recommended that you have a non-biased observer who has a formal coaching qualification(s) as well as a great deal of experience in the area of coaching being assessed.
The key responsibilities of both venue and coach underpin the future success of the relationship and are ultimately defined in the club-coach contract.
The agreement sets up the framework for the relationship and coaching services for the term of the contract.
It’s important not only to set the key terms and fees but to also get down to the responsibilities and service requirements of both club and coach, shared objectives on how you can work together, and set expectations with a brief set of KPIs.
TIP: Ask your region or association representative for advice and review the schedules at the back of this document to help you include all the right things in the agreement.
We recommend that you appoint a Coach Liaison, usually the President and/or Junior Coordinator to take responsibility as the relationship manager with the coach. Ensure there is a process for the committee and members to put forward requests, issues and feedback to the liaison. Otherwise issues of miscommunication, club politics and unnecessary distractions can create stress or impact negatively on relationships.
TIP: Ensure the coach liaison/s and club coach catch up over a coffee in an informal setting at least quarterly to help manage a positive and effective relationship.
It may also be beneficial to schedule more formal catch ups throughout the year, for example the coach may present a coaching programme report to the club twice a year and you may have an annual review of the KPI’s to ensure things stay on track. The club should also be providing a copy of its meeting minutes to the coach as well as any relevant correspondence.
It’s important to take the framework of the agreement forward into a positive working relationship with constant communication and support for each other with both sides playing their roles and holding up their side of the agreement, while continuing to find ways to work together in a one team approach so that both businesses succeed in a win-win partnership.
TIP: It’s important that coaches as a ‘service provider’ for the club do not have a governance or formal role on the committee, particularly in executive positions as it is a conflict of interest. Invite the coach as an ‘invited guest’ to each committee meeting, this way the coach can still provide handy information and feedback without being involved in decisions where they may have a conflict of interest.
Renew the contract or go out to tender? Get your sub-committee team back together at least 3 months before the end of the contract term. The group must assess whether the current coach or coaching business contract should be renewed, or should the club go to market?
It’s vital to be professional and act in the best interests of the club and take personalities out of it. The preference should always lean towards renewal first, as it provides the most stability for the club and coaching services, but only if the relationship is positive and both club and coaching businesses are growing.
TIP: Have a scoring system with your coach sub-committee to rate your coaching services in relation to each goal and target as well as areas that are important to the relationship. Ask your coach to do the same, and then meet altogether to compare scores and feedback and provide the coach the opportunity to pitch for the renewal.
Assess coaching services partnership annually
It’s important at the end of the financial year or around the club’s AGM that the coach provides their own basic annual report, addressing the annual KPI’s, targets, highlights and challenges of the coaching services. This provides a good opportunity to discuss how the relationship is going, understanding progress and areas for improvement on both sides.
TIP: Table the coaching report at a suitable committee meeting with the coach in attendance, allow the coach to talk through the report and take questions from committee members. The coach and committee may also like to discuss ideas for improvement in identified areas and even ways the club could assist too.
Revise your club and coaching plans and targets annually
Following the annual report and review meeting with your coach, the club should work with the coach to ensure both parties understand where they are at and adjust any goals and targets or even areas of the relationship that have
TIP: It’s important that the coach liaison sits down with the coach to mutually agree upon any adjustments to KPIs and objectives to ensure they are fair and realistic.