June 2007 -- MVP Sportsplex is a state-of-the-art, full-service fitness facility in Grand Rapids, Mich. Our club has six indoor tennis courts and on many days all six are full of Cardio Tennis participants.
MVP Cardio Tennis started as soon as MVP Sportsplex opened in March 2005. The original schedule contained two classes that were open to players of all levels. The program started with about six to eight participants in each class and continued to grow to its current volume of seven Cardio Tennis classes with an average of 16 to 20 participants per class. The program has been large enough for the past year and a half to support classes specific to different levels of play. We currently offer beginner Cardio Tennis classes, advanced Cardio Tennis, and extreme Cardio Tennis. The plan is to also offer Cardio Tennis for kids and eventually for families.
The MVP way of running Cardio Tennis is to run primarily live-ball drills. Our feeling is that the intensity of the workout increases when competition is involved. Every class is started exactly on time. As the players trickle in, they take an open position on a court in a format that has the doubles team on one side at the net with the other side at the baseline for our warm-up drill. The pro staff is constantly jumping in and out of the warm-up drills to accommodate the different numbers of participants that we get on a day-to-day basis. We play many short, pro-fed games with points played immediately after one another. After the short game is complete, the players rotate to a new position. Sometimes this structured rotation lands players in a new position on the same court and oftentimes they are rotated to an adjacent court. All of our Cardio Tennis classes are multicourt classes so the rotations from court to court are an integral part of the workout. We usually do a certain drill or game for about 15 to 20 minutes and then we gather everyone together for a quick drink during our demo of the next drill. Each Cardio Tennis class consists of four to five different drills and always ends with a fun cool-down game as a finish.
We have experienced much success with Cardio Tennis at MVP due to several key factors. Because the club was brand new in 2005, we were able to offer Cardio Tennis during prime times without the loud music upsetting existing tennis players. We currently have more than 8,000 members at this facility. Large speakers in between each court are hooked to a receiver and CD player in our tennis office. This sound system can be operated by remote control from the tennis court. We have wireless microphones for the tennis pros on the court to be able to communicate over the loud music. We have a phenomenal pro staff, all with energetic personalities to motivate our Cardio Tennis players all of the time. We have an open-minded fitness manager and group exercise team leader. Both not only bought into the idea of MVP running Cardio Tennis, but they - and their entire staff - also openly support and recommend the program to their clients. For the above reasons, our Cardio Tennis Program accounts for about 22 percent of our total clinic revenue and about 60 percent of our adult tennis clinic revenue.
One of the best things about Cardio Tennis is that the program is so unique, we haven’t felt the need to spend money on advertising. We list the class schedule in our program guides as well as on our Web site. We have two banners hanging in our club, one on the tennis courts and the other in our main group exercise room. Our biggest advertising comes from the program participants through word-of-mouth recommendation. Another successful marketing position we took was to let club employees do the class for free as long as the class was not full. Consequently, many employees have participated in Cardio Tennis at some point or are currently participating. This becomes a real positive because now when asked about the program, most of our employees can give a very accurate description of Cardio Tennis as they help promote it.
We have recently opened MVP Athletic Club in Holland, Mich. The tennis program at that club is under the direction of USPTA Professional Matt Gahan. Matt was instrumental in launching our Cardio Tennis program here in Grand Rapids and he has carried the Cardio Tennis culture that was created here to his new club. Furthermore, the MVP Athletic Club has installed a new and improved sound system with two speakers for every court and is also equipped with wireless microphones. Matt is starting his program with seven different Cardio Tennis classes and we will work together on the implementation of new classes and times at each facility.
Right now, I firmly believe that Cardio Tennis is the best vehicle in this industry for getting new players into the game, and bringing former players back to the game. At MVP Sportsplex, our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals and families in our communities through exercise, sports, and recreation, by providing world-class facilities and programs, all within an environment of active fun! We have recognized that Cardio Tennis is a world-class program that fits into our mission perfectly and for that reason, along with the success that we have already seen, Cardio Tennis has found an identity in this company and will continue to be a part of "who we are" as we open clubs in more and more locations.
David Oom is a USPTA Professional and director of tennis at MVP Sportsplex in Grand Rapids, Mich.