6 Essential Tips for Hiring Top Water Sport Instructors and Coaches

  • Published on June 21

When it comes to recruiting water sport instructors and coaches, finding candidates with the right skills and experience is crucial. Whether you're hiring for positions in sailing, swimming, kite surfing, surf foiling, stand-up paddle, or surfing, it's essential to attract qualified individuals who can provide excellent instruction and ensure the safety of participants. In this article, we will explore six best tips for recruiting candidates for water sport instructor and coach positions, focusing on specific advice tailored to the needs of various water sports.

1. Clearly Define Job Requirements

Start by clearly defining the job requirements for the water sport instructor or coach position. Outline the necessary certifications, experience level, and specific skills required for each sport. For example, for a sailing instructor, the candidate should have sailing experience, communication skills, and certification from organizations such as the American Sailing Association or U.S. Sailing. Make sure the job description highlights these requirements and mentions the targeted water sport prominently.

2. Utilize Job Boards and Websites

Take advantage of job boards and websites that cater to the water sports industry. Platforms like Sportiwork or industry-specific job websites can be excellent resources for reaching a relevant audience. Craft compelling job descriptions with clear information on the position, requirements, and application process. Ensure that your ads comply with labor laws and include a concise summary with a link to the complete job description if needed.

3. Highlight Relevant Skills and Qualifications

When advertising the position, emphasize the essential skills and qualifications needed for water sport instruction. For example, key hard skills for sailing instructors include CPR, boat handling, and being a role model. Soft skills such as customer service, communication, and leadership abilities are also vital. Tailor your job description to highlight these skills and provide specific examples of how they are important for success in the role.

4. Leverage Industry Networks and Associations

Tap into industry networks and associations to reach potential candidates. Engage with local sailing clubs, swimming associations, or other relevant sports communities to find qualified individuals. Attend industry events or conferences where you can network with professionals who may be interested in the positions you're offering.

5. Conduct Thorough Interviews and Assessments

Once you receive applications, conduct thorough interviews and assessments to evaluate candidates' suitability. In addition to assessing their technical knowledge and experience, consider their teaching style, ability to adapt to diverse student needs, and problem-solving skills. Practical demonstrations or mock teaching sessions can provide valuable insights into a candidate's instructional abilities. By focusing on a comprehensive evaluation process, you can ensure you choose the best fit for your water sport instructor or coach position.

6. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

To attract top talent, it's essential to offer competitive compensation packages and attractive benefits. Consider factors such as pay scales, housing opportunities, and the potential for additional income through private lessons. Creating a fun and supportive working environment can also contribute to staff retention and enhance your club or program's reputation as an employer of choice.


Recruiting water sport instructors and coaches requires a targeted approach that aligns with the specific needs of each sport. By clearly defining job requirements, utilizing job boards, highlighting relevant skills, leveraging industry networks, conducting thorough assessments, and offering competitive compensation, you can attract qualified candidates who will excel in their roles.