So you want to be a Watersports Instructor?

These are some tips that can be applied to make you more employable by a watersports centre. Of course you can take or leave these tips. 
Before thinking about getting into a career as a watersports instructor you should consider this:
Do I love the sport enough to justify working in a job, long hours, little time off that pays really badly.
If that sounds right then It's definitely for you!
Sailing or windsurfing instructor positions have notoriously low pay.
STEP 1 - get good at one sport.
Circumstances will have a lot to do with this, for example, If you have a Laser and you can sail it every day, it's much better to focus on that and become extremely proficient than to set your sights on something that you can't do as often.
Of course, get out when ever you can on what ever you can but especially when you're young. Any time spent on the water is massively beneficial to becoming really good at it.
Every time you go out, spend at least a % of the time doing some focused and deliberate training. Make up some drills, research good things to practice and do them until you feel that you can nail them 100% in all conditions.
That's going to take a lot of practice.
Even if you're not interested in racing, race when ever you can .
There's no better gauge for your improvement than competition.
Race meetings are also a great place to pick up new knowledge and tips by speaking to the guys who are beating you.
If you can, spend some time crewing for people who are winning a lot. You'll learn a massive amount from them.
The main thing is time on the water.
STEP 2 - start volunteering and teaching
Get involved teaching when ever you can.
If you're able to get hold of a double handed boat you could even get experience from teaching your friends.
If necessary teach for free.
STEP 3 - Get Qualified.
Get on an RYA Instructor course (or what ever your country's governing body is)
For working in any watersports centre you need an instructor certificate, a powerboat license (make sure to get the ICC if you want to work abroad) and a first aid qualifictaion.
Once you've got qualified, keep an eye out for any endorsement courses going on near you.
For us at Wildwind the best ones to have would be:
Advanced Sailing
Multihull
Racing
STEP 4 - Diversify - not essential but well worth doing at some stage of your career
If you're a dinghy instructor, learn to windsurf and once you've reached the level, get qualified (and vice versa)
Get some cat sailing experience if you can, more and more centres are using catamarans, you'll be twice as employable if you can teach dinghy and cat.
If you can't get on a catamaran, there's some great resources on line. The best starting point has to be Joyrider TV on Youtube.
Get a SUP instructor qualification - everywhere has SUP s these days.
Get qualified in anything else that you are into - having and archery license might be exactly what a centre has been looking for.
STEP 5 - Apply for as many jobs as you can
Make sure, before applying for the job that you research each place that you're writing to.
Don't just copy and paste everything. Make everything specific to that place.
In your email/letter let them know why you want to work at their place specifically.
When giving your dates of availability give your widest possible period - longer availability is much more employable.
For us at Wildwind, If you could work from early May until mid October you massively go up the rankings of applicants.
Make sure that your CV looks good.
Find an attractive template and use that.
Make it easy to read
Put a head and shoulders photo of yourself on it, the employer would like to know what you look like.
Let the employer know if you have any other skills, talents or interests. You never know what might tip the balance and get you the job.
If you have applied for a position, make sure to check your emails every day and if you get a response, reply immediately.
If you don't seem keen or interested why should they.
If you get an interview, find out what platform that will be on, maybe download it and practice using that platform with a friend or family member so that you feel more comfortable when you're actually doing it, and so that you know that your internet connection wont let you down.
Pay attention to where your camera is pointing - Have the camera at eye level - no one wants to see up your nose!
Look at what is  behind you.
Don't be late for the interview.
STEP 6 - make it sustainable
Especially in Europe, there aren't many opportunities for instructors in the winter.
This is going to be the trick shot.
At the start of your summer season you'll want to be researching and contacting places in the southern hemisphere, maybe the Caribbean or you could do what Rick does and drive a van for Amazon (that way you'll get to see all of the Burnley home fixtures!)
STEP 7 - look after yourself
Once you're working at a centre, especially in a holiday resort, you have to take care of yourself.
Make sure that you get enough sleep - hitting the booze is a big part of this lifestyle, you can do it as long as you get enough sleep.
Drink a lot of water and try to eat as healthy as possible.
Wear shoes! Look after your feet - in the water, around the boat park, in the bars.
For some reason a lot of watersports instructors see it as cool to be barefoot, even when walking through town at night.
This is asking for a cut foot which will put you off the water for a long time.
If you start feeling something is wrong get it sorted before it becomes a real issue - that goes for wounds,  diet, relationships with others, pretty much everything.
STEP 8 - Get the most out of it.
Every guest or student or client that you teach (OK, maybe just the adults) are worth giving a lot of time to.
You never know what background they come from, what job they do, who they know.
It's great becoming friends with your students, that way, your job becomes even more fun and you never know where it may lead.
Even in Greece it rains sometimes!
Most importantly - Subscribe to Joyrider TV on Youtube. That's going to help a lot!