April 2009 -- One of the great aspects of attending a well-run Cardio Tennis class is its party-like atmosphere. The fun factor can be attributed to an energetic tennis pro, fast-paced drills - and well-selected music. Music is a wonderful motivator for exercise and training, which is why it plays a key role in Cardio Tennis. It can also help serve as a distraction from fatigue that might set in during a fast-paced class. Selecting the right music
If your Cardio Tennis classes are anything like mine, you will probably have a core group of students who are regulars. Experiment with different styles of music and see what they prefer and use that to guide you in selecting your future playlists. Sites like powermusic.com offer a wide variety of genres ranging from country to classic rock to dance.
Run some of your Cardio Tennis classes with themed music. For example, consider having classes using music playlists such as: disco classics, the best of the dance divas, or Motown legends (maybe even have them dress up in tennis or workout clothes to match the format or era). During Halloween and Christmas, put together holiday themed music.
Choose the right BPM range for your Cardio Tennis class
Cardio Tennis is broken into three segments: warm-up, cardio and cool-down. For your warm-up and cool-down segment, a good range for beats per minute would be 110 - 125. Your cardio segment will require songs with a BPM of 120 and higher.
Getting started with a portable sound system
When considering the purchase of a sound system, it's useful to have a device that supports a portable music player such as an iPod (MP3 player). A portable music player allows you to keep a variety of playlists available so that you can keep your music fresh for each class and saves you from carrying CDs with you. A portable music player should have a capacity of at least 8 GB or preferably 16 GB. An iPod Nano will cost $149 for an 8 GB model and $199 for a 16 GB model.
There are two options to connect your iPod player to speakers. The price range typically runs from $120 to $400 for a good portable speaker system. The least expensive option is to use a CD boom box with a line input jack. One recommended system is the Sony CFDG700CP CD Boombox Radio Cassette, which retails for $130. You can plug your iPod player into the boom box using a cable such as the Belkin Retractable Mini Stereo Cable. The other option is to purchase a speaker system that was designed for iPods.
Most portable sound systems support an AC adaptor and some form of batteries. Always have spare batteries on hand and do not assume that your outlets are always working.
In training, I'm often asked where I find music for my Cardio Tennis class. The following Web sites are a great source of ready-made music for your Cardio Tennis program:
Official Cardio Tennis sites are eligible for a discount at powermusic.com and click.mix.com. Please refer to the music section under the "Sponsor Offers" section at partners.cardiotennis.com for additional information.
If your facility offers other fitness classes, such as aerobics, the instructor of these classes is also a great resource for music.
ClickMix is a new online music service for fitness and Cardio Tennis professionals. ClickMix provides a user-friendly interface allowing you to create your own custom mixes. ClickMix contains an extensive library of 32-count songs from different genres. You also have the option to browse and purchase mixes made by other ClickMix members.
As a ClickMix partner, Cardio Tennis has its own Web page on clickmix.com. This is where you can find the latest Cardio Tennis music mixes created by members of the Cardio Tennis National Speaker Team. We will be adding new mixes regularly so bookmark this page and come back often!
Creating your own mix using ClickMix is easy. You can search for music using the 'Find Tracks' menu allowing you to search for songs based on genre, BPM, and fitness class format. Once you find a track that you would like, just drag it over to your "Mix Tracklist." The order of songs in your "Mixed Tracklist" can be changed by dragging them to where you want them to be. You can also change the BPM for a song, preview a song, or listen to the transition between two songs.
Each song you purchase on ClickMix costs $1.98 and may be used in three additional mixes.
When you are ready to download your mix, go to the "My Mixes" section under the "Manage My Account Menu" and choose your mix. Select the "Download Your Mix" button to copy the mix to your PC or Mac, which will download a zip file called "mixfile.zip." Extract the contents of the zip file to a directory allowing you to import your mix to iTunes or burn a CD using the ClixMix 1-Click CD burner software.
You can also import your mix into iTunes. Create a new playlist in iTunes, select all of the MP3 files for your mix, and drag them to your playlist. You are now ready to sync your playlist to your iPod!
iTunes is an invaluable tool for organizing your music catalog or burning CDs. iTunes has added two new features that will want to take advantage of: DRM-free music and Genius playlists.
Starting with iTune 8, all songs will be iTunes Plus: free of burn limits and DRM (digital rights management). This allows you to play iTunes Plus music on any digital music player and use your iTunes library with Digital DJ software such as Tracktor or Mix Meister. If you have previously purchased DRM restricted songs, you may upgrade those to be DRM-free at 30 cents a song.
iTunes 8 also introduces Genius playlists and Genius sidebar. By playing or selecting a song in your library, you can click the Genius button and iTunes will create a playlist of other songs in your library that go well with it. If the Genius sidebar is active, the sidebar will display songs from the iTunes Store that are not currently in your library that go well with your selected songs.
Keep your CDs gapless
When creating a CD using iTunes or any other CD Burner, make sure that you burn the CD gapless so that your songs will be continuous. That is why it is important to purchase pre-mixed CDs, use a service such as ClickMix, or utilize digital DJ software to make the song transitions seamless.
Let your inner DJ out!
Have you ever been to a club or party and wanted to try your hand at DJing? DJ software allows you to easily create a professional quality mix automatically with smooth transitions between songs from songs in your iTunes library or any directory on your computer. Some of the more popular mixing software is:
- Tracktor Pro, http://www.native-instruments.com, PC MAC OSX
- MixMeister Express, http://mixmeister.com, PC
- DJay, http://www.djay-software.com, MAC OSX
- VirtualDJ Home Edition, http://virtual-dj.com, PC
All of the software packages above will allow you to quickly get started creating your own mixes which you can burn to a CD or save to a disk file that can be imported into iTunes.
Use your music properly
Tennis pros can play legally downloaded or purchased music at any facility that has a public performance license. Avoid making copies of music that you have not purchased yourself.
In order to use copyrighted music, your tennis club should obtain a public performance license. If your club offers other fitness classes such as step or aerobic classes, they should have already secured a license. This license helps ensure that the royalties due to artists and song copyright holders are paid. The ASCAP and BMI offer performance licenses, which represent the majority of copyrighted songs and artists. Please see www.ascap.com and www.bmi.com for more details. It is the responsibility of the club, not the tennis pro, to make sure the proper license is in place.
The fix is in the mix!
Cardio Tennis is one of the most exciting additions to the tennis industry in recent years. My Cardio Tennis classes are the highlight of my week on court. There is nothing better than seeing your players smiling and singing along, all while getting a great workout.
By keeping the music fresh and tailoring it toward my students' interests, I have kept my Cardio Tennis classes full and have attracted new participants to our club's other tennis offerings.
Have fun and remember: The fix is in the mix!