June 2010 -- Does running the same program week after week challenge you? Do your programs tend to have peaks and valleys? Have you kicked off a program that starts out as the hottest new thing at your club, only to see the same program fizzle out? These situations occur many times when we put together new programs, so do not despair, don't give up. This article will give you some tried and true tools and ideas to keep your program fresh, exciting, and as dynamic as when you first put it out to your membership.
Programs like Cardio Tennis that occur year round and are scheduled many times per week can be challenging to the tennis professional. There are several reasons for this:
- Wrong person on the bus syndrome. We start the program with a professional who is very committed to and energized about the program, however this pro gets burned out. Too often we then assign a professional who is not as skilled or committed to the program.
- No spice! The program lacks creativity, the drills are the same old repeats and no games are being played. The watches are no longer used, the music is now classical, and the pro now talks too much instead of keeping heart rates up.
- Lost and not found. Oops! We've strayed from the main goal and objective of the program. This is different from being creative with the program - this situation happens when we totally change important attributes of Cardio Tennis. A key element, for example, is providing an environment that is safe and places students in their ideal heart rate zone. Getting lost occurs when we tweak the program and it becomes a Cardio Tennis technique program that is focused more on technique versus ideal heart rate zones. Always stay true to the main objective of a program.
Here are six ways to keep programs like Cardio Tennis alive, engaging, and continually going "blockbusters" for your club.
- Pro pump up: Cardio Tennis pros need to have high energy and they need to be pumped up. To be your best you need to take breaks and not overschedule yourself for these types of programs. Doing three Cardio Tennis classes back to back would be very tough, as would teaching 15 Cardio Tennis classes per week for 15 straight weeks. You need to pace yourself. Cardio Tennis pros should limit themselves to two back-to-back classes; it is much better to work them throughout your weekly schedule. Many great Cardio Tennis pros can run 12-15 hours of classes per week but they also give themselves a break every few months.
- Study up: If you have never been to a Cardio Tennis workshop, this is an incredible way to get motivated and pumped up. Even if you never do Cardio Tennis you will learn so many things that can be applied to all of your lessons and make you a better teaching professional. Visit www.growingtennis.com for the workshop schedule. Send an e-mail to one of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers (www.partners.cardiotennis.com, click on overview, speakers, photo). These 31 national trainers are the best in the business and love to give great ideas and tips to take your classes to the next level. Keep your drills and games fresh by using online resources and make sure you are spending most of the Cardio Tennis class playing games with low-compression balls.
- Theme it up: Creating monthly or weekly themes will engage your students and it will challenge you to change up the program enough to create excitement. Some examples are: Doubles Week at Cardio Tennis - all drills and games are designed with doubles in mind. Decade themes work very well, such as '70's week at Cardio Tennis - coach wears bell bottoms and a tie-dyed T-shirt and groovy music is played. Better yet, ask them to dig out their old wood racquets. Holiday themes can be very popular; everyone dresses up and the music theme takes center stage. Pros are being very creative. A pro in Washington who is originally from India runs Bollywood Cardio Tennis with Bollywood music and incorporates Bollywood moves into some drills. (Note, they are not dance steps, just aerobic movements she integrated into the drills). Her Bollywood class is full with the average ability level at 4.0. Heart Education Month at Cardio Tennis - the entire month is dedicated to heart health and education. Share two to three tips every class and re-educate people on the heart rate monitors.
- Staff and VIP it up: Your staff and team can bring additional excitement to your classes. Ask your fellow pros to take turns attending your Cardio Tennis classes. This is a win-win situation: The pro attending gets a great workout, helps to make all the activities run smoother and the other students get excited because their professional is in the class. Invite club or community VIPs or media to attend a class, creating hype and invigorating the participants.
- Free it up: A great way to create excitement and energy is to get new players coming to your program. We tend to offer free classes at the beginning of programs, however, having free classes throughout the life of a program gets new players to come out and experience the program and it keeps you fresh because you will need to re-introduce the product and sell it.
- Challenge it up: Create a challenge for your players; this will motivate them and engage them to attend more sessions. The Calorie Burn Challenge is a great motivator, and it can be done as a group or individual challenge for the month. The person who burns the most calories gets a Cardio Tennis survival kit (a heart rate monitor, a free Cardio Tennis pass) or whatever inventive prize you can come up with. If the group burns, say 500,000 calories in a predetermined period of time, you will submit an article in the newspaper with their picture. Everyone loves the challenge.
In summary, all programs will have a life cycle; there will be excitement at first, a time of maintained success, and then possible death. However, if you are proactive, continuously market and keep the program fresh by building in these suggestions, you will find your program will prosper and live a long life of growth and excitement. Good luck and keep your Cardio Tennis pumped up!