Chris Turner

Job title Talent Development Coach

Employer Table Tennis England

Nurture future stars as a Talent Development Coach

Explain what being a Talent Development Coach involves…
Building a localised pathway and support structure to support the development of young players and raise the quantity and quality of players entering the England pathway. The overall objective is for England to be more successful on the international stage. The pathway locally involves opportunities for young people to receive significant coaching and competition support.

The job can be very full on and can involve meetings with partners in the morning or admin work and then school based sessions in the afternoon followed by Talent Development Centre sessions in the evening.

Nurturing talent must be a rewarding job?
Seeing young people improve in the sport and how this positively affects their education and overall confidence, is great. Seeing projects come to fruition, too. For example, a new centre for table tennis is now being built which has taken a lot of work but will allow young players to receive significant coaching time. And being part of the England Youth Squad, and having opportunities to travel the world, are amazing.

“Seeing young people improve in the sport and how this positively affects their education and overall confidence, is great.”

What are the main challenges you face?
The unsociable hours. Performance sport is a lifestyle and involves significant evening and weekend work as well as time away from home. Having to work with volunteers who want to maintain the status quo and try and knock back initiatives to drive the sport forwards.

What qualification and experience do you need?
A degree is useful as well as coaching qualifications and CPD opportunities. On top of that, I would recommend you coach a group of players and do all you can to support their development, which isn’t just coaching the odd session here and there. Try and work with different coaches and ask questions, especially high-performance coaches. Get a mentor who can help challenge your ideas and reassure you.

Salary Range
£23,000 upwards. It can be dependent on the sport and level you’re working at. Performance directors can get very good salaries.