Growing the game of tennis: Coach development and career pathway opportunities

AATC level 2 course

Ryan Henry

Ryan won multiple Australian national singles and doubles titles as a junior and was a key member of Australian team that won the 16/U world junior championships held in Japan. By the age of 18, he had achieved rankings of World No. 1 in U/18 Doubles, World No. 16 in U/18 Singles, 271 in ATP Doubles and 424 in ATP Singles and competed in the Australian Open Mens Singles and Doubles main draw. Ryan retired early from the game at age 19 due to repetitive injuries and has since focused on developing a career as a tennis professional.


  • AICD Governance Foundations Directors Qualification
  • The EDG business essentials program graduate
  • Dent Business Accelerator Program graduate
  • Tennis Australia Master Club Professional and Diploma of Business
  • Tennis Australia Learning Facilitator certificate
  • Strength and Conditioning Level 1
  • Olympic Weight Lifting Level 1

Career history

  • 2004: Tennis NSW High Performance Coach
  • 2006: Tennis NSW Academy Head Coach
  • 2008: Head Performance Coach at Langley Tennis Club in London
  • 2011: Co-founded Voyager Tennis Academy
  • 2017: Joined the Tennis NSW board as a Director
  • 2019: Co-authored and published book ‘Winning on and off the court’

Ryan is responsible for the overall management and development of Voyager Tennis and is passionate about helping tennis thrive at all levels from grass roots right the way through to the professional level.

What I love about Tennis?
I loved the intensity of competing as a player and all the life opportunities that Tennis has provided such as character building, world travel and helping me to build a career. I’d like to share these opportunities and help as many players as possible to develop to their full potential as both players and as people.

Voyager Tennis is delivering an accredited coaching course NSW in partnership with AATC

In the final of a series of blog posts we share our insights and approach to growing the game of tennis with a specific focus on providing coach development opportunities and rewarding career pathway.

Career pathways

We are passionate about providing a rewarding career pathway that enables coaches to progress into leadership positions that attract more responsibility and quality remuneration packages. Unfortunately, many former tennis players drop out of the game and pursue other non-tennis careers as they don’t view being a tennis professional as a viable career pathway.

At Voyager we run a part time assistant coaching program for our teenage players who support the 12/U programs and holiday camps. For the participants this program provides an employment opportunity that increases their own game and personal development as well as positively reinforces tennis coaching as a possible career.

Assistant Coaches supporting programs

Voyager’s part-time assistant coaching program for teenage players who support the 12/U programs and holiday camps


A critical component for any tennis venue is attracting coaches that align with your company culture and philosophy. This will vary for every facility operator. At Voyager, we identify, find, and develop leading coaches from around the world and strive to set the highest standards in all aspects whether that be facility presentation, customer service, coaching or competition delivery.

We have interviewed and trialed over a thousand coaches since Voyager commenced in 2011 and over time have developed a clear set of criteria that we assess in the recruitment process for all new coaches, to include:

  • A positive attitude and personality that fits in well with existing teams and customer demographic.
  • A minimum number of years coaching experience which varies role by role
  • A strong work ethic and drive to maintain full time coaching hours.
  • Good availability to meet customer demands which can include evenings and weekends
  • A strong standard as a player
  • Coach qualifications
  • An appropriate wage expectation that our business can sustain

Due to our strict criteria, only a small percentage of job applicants are successful which can vary and depend on the strength of the job market at a particular time. Each club should develop their own recruitment standards and take action on attracting the type of team members they are looking for. Your coaches are your brand ambassadors so it’s critical to get it right.

Luke at SOP

Voyager has a strict recruitment policy based on finding the highest standards of presentation, customer service, coaching and competition delivery

Coach Development

Delivering quality training to coaches is one of the keys to providing a great customer experience. Combined with providing career progression opportunities to tennis professionals, these factors help to retain and engage those individuals.

For new coaches, we provide a ten-week coach development program commencing at the beginning of each team member’s employment which is delivered by senior Voyager team members. The aim of this program is to align coaches with the company philosophy and enhance their skills. This training program ensures that Voyager coaches can consistently deliver tennis services that meet and exceed the customer’s expectations.

Smaller clubs that don’t have the scale or required skill sets to run their own internal coach development programs should investigate courses delivered by their tennis federation and offer these courses to new team members as part of their induction program and employee benefits.

By Ryan Henry, Managing Director of Voyager Tennis and Ex-Pro Tennis Player

The above blog post is an excerpt from an article written by Voyager’s Ryan Henry for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Coaching and Sport Science Review.

The ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review is the official coaching and sport science publication of the International Tennis Federation. The ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review is an Open Access scholarly peer-reviewed journal aimed to publish studies in different sub-disciplines within the world of tennis coaching. It aims to provide cutting-edge studies to players, parents, coaches, sports administrators, sports scientists and others.

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