April 2007 -- I love Cardio Tennis – teaching it as well as participating in the class. That is why this high-energy tennis program is not only a part of my club’s year-round programs, but it is also a big part of any charity/special event in my community of Atlanta. It has become a tradition to run a mini-cardio class whenever we go to community events. I also run Cardio Tennis before any special event for juniors or adults at my club. There is nothing better to get everyone ready to play and compete than Cardio Tennis drills that keep you moving and engaged in the action. Listed below are a few events where using Cardio Tennis provides participants a great workout and has them asking for more information about your facility’s Cardio Tennis program:
- Charity events
- Club mixers
- Junior academies
- Member-guest events
- Ladies team drills
- Pro-am events
Charity events are an excellent way to do something nice and give back to the community. An added bonus is that you will probably meet a lot of people, do a little networking and find opportunities to promote yourself with Cardio Tennis by including it in your drill offerings. In October 2006, I was invited to participate in a community charity event to fight breast cancer. I went into it knowing we would have six to eight people per court, but when I got up that morning and realized it was raining, I knew the event would be moved indoors, meaning less court availability. I ended up having 10 to 14 people on the court and having a blast with four different groups (all levels) divided into 30 minirotations. The ladies were sweating and had lots of fun, which is extremely important. They had an awesome workout and were asking where they could do this cardio class again. It is truly an effective way of promoting yourself and creates a base of new cardio participants for your club.
My club mixers are a blast! We always have a theme and we try to add a special element to them. This year we added Cardio Tennis to our mixers. I find that having a condensed Cardio Tennis class with mainly play-based drills is a great way to have everyone warm up and get ready to play. We spend 30 minutes doing Cardio Tennis as the kickoff to the mixer and this eliminates the need to monitor warm-up time and it also helps the situation for those who arrive late. As the participants check in, the staff directs them to the two most visible courts at the club. I want to make sure that anyone walking by those courts gets to see the action. When they see what is going on and all the fun hopefully they will want to try tennis too!
In the 30-minute cardio pre-mixer we include two quick warm-up games using foam balls to even out the tennis level of participants. Also, we do two to three play-based drills and a cool-down game that’s usually team oriented. With all the mixer participants on two courts doing Cardio Tennis it is an ideal way for everyone to meet and that, of course, is the purpose of a social mixer! Now everyone is friends before they start “mixing.” Make sure to advertise the event in the club newsletter or on the bulletin board, send e-mails, talk it up, etc. It is a great idea to provide a coupon for a free Cardio Tennis class to the mixer participants. The mixer gives them a taste and gets them excited and they will want to come back for more. As a result of this promotional idea, I still have Cardio Tennis followers who got introduced to Cardio Tennis at the Hawaiian mixer.
We also incorporate Cardio Tennis into our junior academy. I highly recommend you use it in your after-school programs because, when it comes right down to it, kids want to run around, play games, have fun and listen to music. During the winter season the program comes in handy because it is the best way to keep them warm and hit lots of balls. With the junior academy, I like to do more play-based Cardio Tennis because they love the games and competing against one another. Incorporating it into the junior academy has proven so successful it led us to create Teen Cardio, which we are implementing this month. If you are in a position where you are offering multiple cardio classes you might want to consider starting to segment them. For example, create classes for Teen, Starter, Advanced, Team, etc. Visit www.partners.cardiotennis.com and click on “Key marketing and media tools,” where you will find specialized logos.
Our adults all play in the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association, which is our local league program. The ladies like to warm up and get going with Cardio Tennis. It prepares them for competition and we run a cardio drill session for 45 minutes before their matches to get them pumped up. The best thing is their opponents’ faces when they are walking toward the courts and they see our ladies having tons of fun, getting a great workout, and getting ready to take them on next! These drills have captured the interest of many ladies who are now part of regular Cardio Tennis classes. One of the best methods for getting Cardio Tennis rolling at your facility is to start by doing a sampling (15 minutes) of it during your regular ladies team drill sessions. Before you know it you will find your ladies asking for two drill sessions per week – one for technique/tactics and the other a Cardio Tennis session for their fitness.
As a teaching professional, you are meeting people constantly and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So take advantage of those events you run at your club or the ones you get invited to in your community to promote Cardio Tennis and yourself. It is a win-win situation.
Carmen Garcia is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She came to the United States in 1995 with a full tennis scholarship to Jacksonville State University, where she coached from 1999 to 2001 as an assistant coach. She has been working with Silvia Tennis Academy, a tennis management company based out of Atlanta, since 2002. Garcia is the director of tennis at Seven Oaks Tennis Club in Alpharetta, Ga., and part of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team.