Director of Racquets

Middlesex Club – darien, CT
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Director Of Racquets

Middlesex Club – Darien, CT

Middlesex Club has an active and energetic program that provides its members with a range of tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball offerings which includes league, tournament and social play, as well as instructional programs. The Club has eight beautiful Har-Tru clay tennis courts and four platform tennis courts. Founded in 1963, the Club’s facilities are located on 10 acres of land and consist of a Clubhouse, a Tennis Pavilion, a Snack Bar, a six lane 25 meter swimming pool and diving tank with a one meter diving board. 

The Club is owned by the families who are its members. There are approximately 250 bond holding member families, which includes Regular, Limited, and Non-Resident member families. Overall management of the Club is the responsibility of the Officers and the Board of Directors. All these positions are both elected and voluntary. Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Club General Manager, who is a Club employee. Various social functions are held throughout the year, including Club picnics, cookouts, parties and dances.

 

The Club

Founded in 1963, Middlesex Club is a non-profit, private, tennis, platform, and swim club. Located in Darien, Connecticut, the Club provides exceptional services and facilities with family-oriented social activities. 

Middlesex Club has an active and energetic program that provides its members with a range of tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball offerings which includes league, tournament and social play, as well as instructional programs. The Club has eight new beautiful Har-Tru clay tennis courts and four platform tennis courts. The Club’s facilities are located on 10 acres of land and consist of a Clubhouse, a Tennis Pavilion, a Snack Bar, a six lane 25 meter swimming pool and diving tank with a one meter diving board. 

The Club is owned by the families who are its members. There are approximately 250 bond holding member families, which includes Regular, Limited, and Non-Resident member families. Overall management of the Club is the responsibility of the Officers and the Board of Directors. All these positions are both elected and voluntary. Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Club General Manager. Various social functions are held throughout the year, including Club picnics, cookouts, parties and dances.

Middlesex Club fields five women’s tennis teams that compete in the Fairfield County Women’s Tennis League (FCWTL) and the Darien/New Canaan Interclub League. There are four women’s teams that compete in the Fairfield County Women’s Platform Tennis League (FCWPTL). Five men’s teams compete in the Fairfield County Tennis League (FCTL) as well as seven men’s teams in Fairfield County Platform Tennis League (FCPTL).

The Role

The Director of Racquets (DoR) position reports directly to the Board of Directors and will work closely with the Tennis, Platform, and Pickleball Committee Chairs on a day-to-day basis. The position is comprehensive and must ensure the successful achievement of the mission and objectives of the Middlesex Club. Responsible for all aspects of tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball. This will include programming and staffing. The Director of Racquets (DoR) is a highly visible position requiring strong presence, leadership and communication skills with members and staff. The DoR is expected to be the leader of the facility by passionately promoting the game of tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball.

The Required Scope of Services

This is a full-time, year round position. Tennis courts must be ready for play  as early in April as weather permits. The DoR will oversee Middlesex Club staff in setup, maintenance and breakdown of the tennis courts each season. The DoR will own, operate and maintain the inventory in the Pro Shop. DoR must maintain the Pro Shop and the facilities, keeping them neat, attractive and organized, consistent with the standards of the Club and existing conditions. The DoRS is expected to be on-site for a considerable amount of this time, including weekends and holidays.

A successful DoR at Middlesex Club will create a culture of member engagement, inclusion, enthusiasm, fairness and participation at all skill levels. The DoR serves as the ambassador and pro for all Middlesex Club racquet sports. They will manage all racquet personnel with full responsibility for hiring, training, discipline, and performance reviews. They are responsible for designing, planning, and implementing all racquet programming, including events, clinics, and instruction. 

The general roles and responsibilities of the DoR will be to deliver a range of services customarily provided by a Master or Elite USPTA/PTR tennis professional. DoRS will provide such other services as commensurate with the position of Director of Tennis or DoR at other first-class swim and tennis clubs in the area.

Required Education and Experience

  • The ideal candidate should have a minimum of 3 years of experience as a Director of Tennis and/or Racquets/Head Professional in a similar club setting. 
  • Proven track record of excellence in tennis/platform tennis instruction and programming.
  • Ability to lead and direct a team of instructors and seasonal tennis shop staff, as well as to work and attract part-time platform tennis and pickleball instructors.
  • Ability to order merchandise and supplies for tennis shop and racquet sports activities. 
  • Ability to perform work at a high level with minimal supervision.
  • High level of attention to detail and ability to multitask.
  • Excellent speaking and written communication skills.
  • Organizational and managerial skills.

Personal Qualifications

  • Strong character and values.
  • Positive attitude, responsiveness, and passion for member service.
  • Enthusiasm and encouragement on and off the court.
  • Excellent human relations skills and the ability to work with all committees are of equal importance.
  • Possess verifiable ability to attract, hire, develop and lead a high performing team of professionals while setting and maintaining standards of performance appropriate to perpetuating the traditions and values of the Middlesex Club
  • A minimum level of 5.0 tennis playing competency, and comparable paddle skills.

Essential Job Functions

  • Serve as an ambassador of Middlesex Club racquet sports programs across the Club and with colleagues.
  • Train/coach entire tennis staff to be knowledgeable and engaged in promotion of events and in creating an appealing and fun environment at facilities. Make tennis and platform tennis facilities “the place to be” for Middlesex Club members.
  • Hire and supervise Head and Assistant professionals to ensure that adequate professional coverage at all times the club is open.
  • Provide quality leadership and a positive, highly visible and engaging style. A genuine, accessible and approachable personality is an essential element of success. Responsible for hiring, training and scheduling seasonal tennis shop attendants, and teaching staff. 
  • Ensure that all fees for lessons, clinics, events and other programs are charged correctly and entered into the Clubs accounting systems.
  • Communicate programming effectively through emails, newsletter, posting on notice board, verbally from pro-shop and in person, and any other effective avenue.
  • Plan regular meetings with GM, Tennis, Platform and Pickleball Chairs and/or Committees as necessary to review how the Racquets operations are functioning.  
  • In conjunction with the committees, develop a detailed calendar of events each year, balancing the number of events while driving attendance.
  • Create a communication plan regarding inclement weather which is to be discussed with the General Manager.
  • Explore ways to improve all aspects of the club and member experience, through a consistent presence across the racquets seasons.
  • Observe and abide by the Club rules as established by the Board of Directors  of the Club (the “Board“) and the Tennis and Platform Committees and ensure that members and guests observe the rules and maintain good order in the entire racquet facilities.  
  • Arrange for informal tennis, platform, and pickleball match play when requested with reasonable advance notice.
  • Monitor guest visits and submit daily charges for guest fees.  
  • Maintain a culture that emphasizes traditional etiquette and sportsmanship, as well as proactive, personalized service. 
  • Manage a facility atmosphere that includes excellence, tradition, and understatement. 
  • Be a passionate ambassador for the games of tennis, platform, and pickleball with the ability to transfer that passion to each member of the staff.
  • Maintain a close working relationship with other Fairfield County professionals.
  • Continue to seek ways to increase workflow efficiencies to save costs.
  • Assure a consistent, efficient, seamless daily operation of Club wide racquets operation, provide members and guests with an environment that meets the values of the Club.
  • Oversee operations and programming, with exemplary service and connectivity to members and staff.
  • Be a strong “consensus builder,” recognizing the importance of having effective skills to reconcile differences and inspire solutions for a better operation and member experience.
  • Provide tennis and platform tennis facilities oversight and management of day-to-day operations, as well as inspection and supervision of court maintenance and related equipment.
  • Develop, organize and manage both adult and  junior programs to include clinics, coaching sessions, tournaments, intraclub ladder play, and other organized activities.  Middlesex Club youth compete in the boys’ and girls’ leagues. The DoR will ensure that the appropriate staff are present at intra and interclub (both home and away matches), providing feedback and coaching to junior members when needed as well as coordinate appropriate transportation to and from away matches in a timely fashion. Provide private and group instruction at rates approved by the Club.  
  • Attend or designate a teaching professional to all home interclub league matches and provide feedback to team members.
  • Produce a written season-end report for review by the Tennis, Platform, and Pickleball Committees that summarizes program highlights and recommends remedial actions required for program improvements.
  • Oversight and management of men’s and women’s team tennis and platform programs including working with tennis committee chairs and captains to establish annual rosters (may include challenge playoffs), running and staffing weekly practices for each of the five teams, working with the captains to establish lineups, ensuring that court time and match hospitality has been arranged for each home match.

Compensation

The compensation structure for this position was recently refined, resulting in a package which meets industry standards. 

The Selection Criteria

The primary selection criteria to be used in evaluating a candidate will include:

  • Breadth and depth of experience as a racquets professional
  • Degree of experience in similar settings
  • Demonstrations of technical competence
  • Ability to articulate a compelling vision for the future of the Club’s programs

Preferred Experience

Possess working knowledge of tennis and platform tennis instruction and programming; exhibit high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image; possess working knowledge of member owned club budgeting and accounting practices. Submissions not meeting the requirements outlined above will not be reviewed, nor will any supplemental submissions be solicited or accepted.

It is the intent of the Club to award the position to the candidate that submits the most thoughtful and comprehensive response, has compensation requirements in line with the Club’s expectations and successfully demonstrates through the application and interview process that they will make a strong contribution to the growth and vitality of the Club’s tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball programs.

Credentials Submission

If you are a qualified candidate and interested in this exceptional opportunity, please submit your resume, list of references (must include name, phone number, email and relationship to candidate), a cover letter summarizing the reasons why you feel that you are uniquely qualified for the Director of Racquets position at the Middlesex Club. Submissions should be done exclusively on the Tennis Pro Search website under the Listings tab no later than 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 9th.  All correspondence should be addressed to the Middlesex Club Search Committee. 

IMPORTANT: Save your resume, letter and references in the following manner in Word or PDF format:

  • “Last Name, First Name Cover Letter”
  • “Last Name, First Name Resume”
  • “Last Name, First Name References”

No phone calls will be accepted by the Middlesex Club or Tennis Pro Search regarding this position. All inquiries regarding this position should be sent to mark@tennisprosearch.com.   

Timeline

  • September 12 Outreach to industry network, job posting on industry sites, identify potential candidates
  • Week of October 10 Review applicant pool, identify suitable candidates
  • Week of October 17 Select 8-10 candidates to forward to committee for their review
  • Search Committee will select five candidates to interview
  • Week of October 24 Schedule interviews with selected pool of candidates
  • Week of November 1 Perform personal and on-court interviews
  • Week of November 14 Search Committee selects and makes an offer to top candidate

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