The Role of the Professional
Who are Real Tennis Professionals?
All Tennis Clubs in the UK, with the exception of Falkland Palace and Hardwick House, employ at least one professional. His/her primary responsibility is to encourage the club members to play Tennis and to ensure the court remains in peak condition.
Larger clubs, together with two court complexes, will have a minimum of two professionals, with Queen’s and Hampton Court employing three. Often clubs will employ an intern on a short-term contract who will conduct some on-job-the training.
The Head Professional will normally report to a Club Chairman and his/her Committee; in some clubs the professional will be part of the management structure. The Committee monitors his/her performance against a set of objectives.
The T&RA has run a Club Professional Development programme until recently which provided additional staged training in key areas such as management, coaching, marking and equipment. The Professionals’ Association is currently updating this work to make it more accessible via distance learning opportunities.
The professional’s remuneration is set locally and involves several models; some employed, some self-employed. There is generally a basic salary plus income from Tennis lessons and an incentive which would typically be related to participation (based on court fees).
All professionals are encouraged to support Junior Tennis and most courts have opportunities for local children to sample the game.
There are currently around 50 professionals in the game, some of whom operate on a part time basis.