October-November 2009 -- I was raised in a tennis family, became a competitive junior, and played tennis on a full scholarship at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Of course, staying fit was crucial during my competitive years and I cross-trained for "cardio" using a heart-rate monitor and music off court. However, because of my traditional tennis upbringing, it never occurred to me to wear my monitor or use music on the court.
Then I received an e-mail about a free Cardio Tennis workshop from the USPTA in 2005, and I immediately decided to go. I took in all of the information and enjoyed the education immensely.
The Cardio Tennis workshop helped me to see that I could incorporate heart-rate monitors and music to bring new and existing players together on the court for a great workout. Not only was it a great way to train, it was fun - something that was seriously lacking in most exercise programs. After all, who likes to exercise when it's painfully boring? Instantly I knew that I had found my niche in the tennis world. I decided to bring this concept to life.
I agreed with the theory and utilized the tools and education provided by the Tennis Industry Association. I launched one class after testing and promoting the program and, in no time, it became popular. Soon I began adding more until I was running a variety of classes at clubs in the Sarasota, Fla., area.
In the last four years, I have discovered that Cardio Tennis is a broad category that can be segmented into goal-specific classes for different age groups, physical abilities, and skill levels. The original version is great to bring all skill levels together, but it can also be transformed to suit a multitude of needs - giving virtually anyone interested a specific class in which they can participate and feel comfortable.
The Cardio Tennis program has proved to be successful, expanding and branching off into more goal-specific classes. All of the classes have been a hit, with perhaps my most surprising success being the Men's Cardio Tennis 4.0-Plus. I have a pool of players who circulate in and out of the class, with a select few keeping it going, and I have to admit - the class rocks!
Using the proven class structure, the pro's gender doesn't matter as much as the energy level used to motivate men at this higher skill level. They are getting a great cardiovascular workout while having a blast, and improving their tennis skills simultaneously. Despite their busy tennis schedules, they add it in and even look forward to it!
My current classes include: Cardio 101 -
Starter/beginner players Cardio Fit -
Thirty-minute core-strength training, followed by 90-minute Cardio Tennis class on court Power Cardio -
2.5-Plus USTA-rated playersMen's 4.0-Plus Cardio Tennis -
To challenge the advanced player Ladies 4.0 -
Plus Cardio Tennis Private Cardio Classes -
For teams and groupsCardio4Kids -
Combined with the QuickStart Tennis Play Format; age-specificCardio Tennis Lite -
For players with less mobility
And the students say:
"I've been taking Samantha's Cardio Tennis class for about two years and it has done wonders for my conditioning and my tennis game. It's an extremely intense 90-minute workout, but it's so much fun that you don't even notice the pain and the burn that comes with working out. The drills and the games are competitive and fun and nonstop! I get many repetitions of all kinds of shots - much more than I would get in a match - while getting simple corrections and tips from Samantha. All this and great music - what's not to like?"
"I blame Samantha and Cardio Tennis for making me purchase a new wardrobe for work, as my waistline dropped several inches over several months even though I only attended weekly. If I ever attempt twice weekly, I'll probably be ready for the Ironman Triathlon!"
~ Wayne Osher, USTA 4.5 player and Cardio Tennis regular
~ Russell Scovill, USTA 4.0 player and Cardio Tennis regular