The structure of tennis (tournaments) consists of the four Grand Slam tournaments - the Australian Open, the French Open, the US open And the Wimbledon, and the Davis Cup (for men) and the Fed Cup (women). (University of Texas: Introduction to Tennis - website)
The Agencies in the game of tennis are the governing bodies, the clubs and educational institutions where tennis is encouraged and played and also advertising sponsors and media, which have a marked influence on the fortunes of the game. The individuals involved in the game are the players, the coaches, the members of administrative bodies that govern the game, its patrons, the persons in decision-making positions in educational institutions, companies that sponsor the game and in the media; and most important of all - the individuals that comprise the audience.
How is the role of a tennis coach affected by the interactions among its various agencies, and those between the agencies and the overall structure of the game I propose to look at the question mainly from my own experience as a tennis coach for the past fourteen years, and shall also refer to the findings of a research study done for the Scottish Sports Council (Lyle, Allison & Taylor 1997)
Individuals are attracted to coaching to prolong an involvement with the game and to help others -mostly younger persons - and to a limited extent, the top performers in the game (those who coach top performers are less in number.) Wanting to put something back into the sport motivates many to become coaches.
Although in most sports financial reward is not a motivating factor for taking up coaching, in tennis this reason seems to be of greater importance, with 38% of the respondents stating this. This probably means that the opportunity for financial reward is also greater in tennis than in other games. A connection with job potential normally does not influence a person to become a coach, and present occupations have no influence on why people chose to coach. Tennis is a game where the proportion of new coaches is relatively higher than in other games, and seventeen percent of the coaches here state that they had taken up coaching as a career in the past two years. (Lyle, Allison & Taylor p23)
Coaches mostly function mainly within a club set-up, and then in the context of a school. Tennis coaches are also actively involved in coaching individuals. Roughly a fifth of tennis coaches coach teams; some work in the context of local authorities. (Lyle, Allison & Taylor ps 26-27)
The work involved in coaching consists of training the players, coaching them for specific events, and also some administrative work. Around 38% of tennis coaches are involved in administrative work, and this number is considerably less than for other sports, and this is attributable to the wide range of clients for a tennis coach, as compared to other sports where coaches are more likely to be tied up with a single agency. (Lyle, Allison & Taylor p28)
A good idea of the motivation of a coach to play his role can be gleaned from the reasons cited by coaches for leaving coaching: (Lyle, Allison & Taylor p36)