August 2010 -- You have been running your Cardio Tennis program for a while with success, but how can you make it better, grow participation and increase revenue? We will offer several ideas to help you improve your Cardio Tennis classes. A few good pros
One of the first things that can make or break your Cardio Tennis program is the tennis professional who is assigned to run your classes. I have seen many clubs train all of their pros and just assume that they are all willing and able to run a successful Cardio Tennis class. This is definitely not the case; you need to choose your Cardio Tennis pros wisely!
The following should be considered when choosing a Cardio Tennis pro. He or she:
- Is interested in teaching Cardio Tennis
- Looks like a fitness instructor
- Is a good motivator
- Enjoys working with large groups
- Is a reasonably good feeder
The pros you choose to run Cardio Tennis must really believe in the program and understand all of the core components of a Cardio Tennis class. If someone is not interested in Cardio Tennis, then do not force that pro to run your classes because your students will definitely know and won't come back.
The pro has to be creative, outgoing, and be able to think out of the box. If one of the activities is either too hard or too easy, then the pro must be able to quickly change it up.
Feeding is a key component to Cardio Tennis. Without good feeding skills, the pro will not be able to handle large groups effectively. This is a skill that many seasoned pros can improve, and the only way to do so is with practice (practice, practice.). We recommend that Cardio Tennis pros use the grab-and-feed technique when feeding. One of the best ways to improve your feeding skills is to practice using the Cardio Tennis feeding shootout diagrams. If you are interested in obtaining the diagrams, you can find them at: www.partners.cardiotennis.com.
To further the development of your Cardio Tennis pros, consider having them become certified fitness trainers or attend tennis-fitness- related training courses such as the Etcheberry Experience. I recently became an Etcheberry Certified Tennis Coach and came away with a wealth of new material for my Cardio Tennis classes.
Rotate your drills and games
I also recently visited a tennis club that had an existing Cardio Tennis program but was not seeing the participation that had been anticipated. One of the reasons for this was that the club had a laminated two-page sheet that contained the drills that were used for each and every Cardio Tennis class that they taught. There was no variety, leading to boredom and a loss of enthusiasm for the participants.
Cardio Tennis has a big advantage over traditional cardio workout activities such as the StairMaster and Elliptical because there is an endless variety of activities that creative Cardio Tennis pros can use in their classes. Keep things fresh by rotating your drills, games and activities. This will help keep the fun factor in your classes, ensuring your students do not get bored.
Just about any drill can be turned into a Cardio Tennis drill. Adding additional movement, including cones, hurdles, or a ladder can help accomplish this. Do not be afraid to experiment and if you are not achieving the success you had hoped, move on to a different activity.
In addition to http://partners.cardiotennis.com, there are several websites that have drills that you can utilize for creative ideas for your Cardio Tennis classes:
My personal favorite is tennisdrills.tv, which was created by Jorge Capestany, a National Cardio Tennis Speaker Team member and USPTA Master Professional. The site is loaded with drills, games and activities that are sure to enhance your classes.
The Cardio Tennis Drills DVD, Volume I and Volume II, can be ordered from the Tennis Industry Association.
The following books are good references for activities that you can use in the warm-up and cool-down segments of your classes:
- "Fit To Play Tennis," Carl Petersen and Nina Nittinger, ISBN 0-9722759-5-9
- "Complete Conditioning For Tennis," E. Paul Roetert and Todd S. Ellenbecker, ISBN-13 978-0-7360-6938-0
Consider ordering the Etcheberry Experience Coaches DVD set. This is another wonderful resource to obtain ideas to spruce up your classes.
Lastly, if you have not yet ordered your own copy of the "Cardio Tennis Kids Playbook," now is the time to do so. Many of the activities in the playbook are suitable for any Cardio Tennis class.
Where did you get those wonderful toys?
One of the ways you can make your Cardio Tennis class stand out is the use of training aids. Having a variety of training aids will help keep your class fresh and fun! At a minimum, make sure you are using ladders and heart-rate monitors (HRMs) in each of your classes.
The ladder is the ultimate training tool for your Cardio Tennis class. The ladder is fun and easy to move between activities, allows everyone to improve his or her movement (without even knowing!), and can be used for dozens of footwork patterns.
Adding HRMs to your program will allow your participants to make sure they are working out safely and monitor the intensity of their workout.
Additional training aids to consider adding to your arsenal are:
- Throw-down lines
- Medicine balls
- Etch Swing
- Transition balls: Red/Green/Orange
- Nats E-Fit
- TRX Suspension System
- Resistance bands
Transition balls are the great equalizer, especially when you have mixed levels, allowing points to last longer during your game segment. They are also ideal for helping players build technical skills during your drill segment.
If you are working with large groups, consider the use of stations utilizing aids such as the Etch Swing, Nats E-Fit, and the TRX Suspension System. This will help keep players active when they are not hitting balls.
Keep your music fresh!
In my April 2009 ADDvantage
article "Keep Your Cardio Tennis Clinics Moving To The Beat!" I discussed the importance of music in Cardio Tennis classes. Music is one of the keys to making a Cardio Tennis clinic a fun experience. Just like your drills, games, and other activities, it is also important to have a variety of music.
As a good rule of thumb, create four playlists for each Cardio Tennis class that you run. For example, if you are running three to four Cardio Tennis classes a week, consider having at least 16 different playlists, rotating them every class. I would also create themed-based playlists for the holidays and special occasions.
Look to add at least one new playlist each month. By continuing to expand your music library, you will give yourself options for freshening up your Cardio Tennis classes.
Enhance and market your classes
With any service or program, you have to constantly come up with creative ideas to market and promote to keep it in front of your consumers. Cardio Tennis is no different. Here are a few suggestions to help you promote and increase participation in your classes:
Wrapping it all up
- Offer discounts to participants who bring their own HRMs.
- Create discount cards. For our non-prime time Cardio Classes, we offer students a punch card so that after nine punches, their 10th class is free.
- Create a groupon.com program. A "groupon" is a group coupon that sets a discounted price for your Cardio Tennis program if enough people take advantage of the offer.
- Add specialty Cardio Tennis classes. Consider offering classes such as:
o Singles Cardio Tennis
o Doubles Cardio Tennis
o Family Cardio Tennis
o Themed classes: Use music with a central theme
o Cardio Tennis league warm-up: A shortened Cardio Tennis class to get your league players warmed up before their match
- Add a Cardio Tennis kids program and run it at the same time you run a traditional Cardio Tennis class.
- Offer Private Cardio Tennis. Allow your members to form their own Cardio Tennis classes with their favorite pro.
- Leverage the Cardio Tennis 'Get Fit' promotional package to run your own Cardio Tennis contests (e-mail email@example.com for more information).
- Use social media to promote openings in your classes and to offer discounts:
- Take-a-friend program. Bring a first-time Cardio Tennis participant and get your next class free.
Cardio Tennis can be one of the most profitable programs that you offer at your facility. To keep players coming back make sure you:
- Choose the right pro to run your classes.
- Have a variety of drills, games and other activities from which to choose.
- Invest in training aids and use them.
- Keep your music fresh from class to class.
- Be creative in the promotion and the variety of your Cardio Tennis offerings.
By following the suggestions above, I am sure your Cardio Tennis program will continue to grow and thrive!