Have you always dreamed of working as a tennis coach in a foreign country?
It is important to prepare yourself before taking on a foreign job. In foreign countries, things are most likely different than in your home country.
Just like a tennis match, you must prepare yourself as much as you can, in order to be successful.
I've listed the 8 most important things:
1. You must sign a contract with the foreign organization before you go.
Tennis coaches who want to work in a foreign country are adventurous and not afraid of new things. But it's still very important to be careful with the contract. Is everything arranged properly on paper? Are the start and finish dates correct? Is your salary correct? Are they paying for your return flight? Is your job description correct? How many hours do you have to be on the tennis courts on a daily base? How many free days do you have weekly? How many days of leave do you have? What are the targets you need to reach each year?
2. Check if your housing is included.
Not only is your salary important, but also your housing. It's very common that your foreign employer has already arranged housing for you or will give you a certain amount of money to find accommodation by yourself.
I highly recommend asking locals to help you find a rental in order to get the best price. Rentals for foreigners are always more expensive.
3. Check which vaccinations are required
Always take your vaccination paperwork with you to prove that you have the required vaccinations. Most places require you to do a medical test next to your vaccinations. Sometimes, this can be done in your home country, and other times this needs to be done in the country of your employment.
When you travel to a foreign country, always put your medication in the original box, in case you run into problems with customs.
4. Arrange your visa ahead of time
You can only arrange an employment visa in your home country after you have received the contract from the foreign organization. When your wife or husband is going with you, you must also arrange a residence visa for him/her in your home country.
When you have a residence visa and your partner has a tourist visa, you will have a problem in a foreign country. You cannot change the tourist visa into a residence visa. Instead, you would have to leave the country when the tourist visa expires.
5. Receive your salary in a steady currency like US Dollar or Euro
When you receive your salary in a local currency, it can cause problems with a negative
exchange rate difference. In that case, it's possible that your salary is going down. Most
foreign organizations will try to pay your salary in the local currency, but be firm about this and demand a strong currency. Strong negotiation is needed before accepting the foreign
job. The best way is to open a local bank account with US Dollar or Euro account.
6. Prepare yourself with a language course.
With good knowledge of the English language, you're good enough prepared for most countries. Some countries might speak multiple languages besides English. There is no need to speak the second language fluently, but you must know some basic words and sentences. It's important to speak a little of the local language, especially when you travel by taxi from your house to the tennis courts. When you're familiar with the directions to the tennis courts, you can guide the driver.
It is also good to know some words in the second language for when you have official meetings with your foreign employer. As well as knowing several words concerning practice such as, "let’s come together," "pick up the balls quickly," "good job," "nice shot," "see you next practice," etc.
7. Get to know the culture
The culture can differ completely from your home country. For example, it is important what religion the country comprises. Every religion has its own norms and values. Also, the ways of communication can differ from your home country. Communication is very important, and poor communication causes problems. People will appreciate it when you are trying to adapt to their culture.
8. Always stick to your own tennis vision and integrity
It's good to adapt to the foreign culture, but stay close to yourself. They wanted a foreign tennis coach for a reason, otherwise they would have hired a local tennis coach. In the end, people will appreciate your independent vision and integrity.
You will never be a local and people will always see you as the foreign tennis coach, no matter how hard you try to adapt to the foreign culture.
Working as a tennis coach in a foreign country is a great adventure, and it will surely enrich your life. Your perspective on the world will change, and because of your foreign experiences, you are more than ready for the next tennis chapter in your life!