February 2011 -- One of the keys for success with Cardio Tennis is to educate the consumer. This should be an ongoing process as CT is a great way to attract frequent players, new players and former players.
It is up to the tennis professional to educate the consumer on the format, purpose and benefits of Cardio Tennis, as well as using the heart rate monitor. In regards to format, the consumer needs to know there is a warm-up process that includes dynamic movement, tossing and catching skills, as well as light hitting. They need to know the cardio portion includes a lot of games and there will be a cool-down as this format provides a safe and healthy workout.
You should let them know that it involves a lot more than just fun and movement. The purposes of Cardio Tennis are to exercise in your target heart rate zone, train for tennis, and burn calories.
That means there are many benefits to explain to consumers:
- Participants are able to achieve their effective heart rate zones with ease because of the fun factor.
- You can burn more calories than with singles or doubles and many other fitness options.
- Cardio Tennis provides an interval training scenario, which is an effective way to
- It is a fun group activity where players of all ability levels enjoy tennis together.
- While you are "playing" tennis the primary focus is on getting a great workout.
- It fights the obesity crisis and offers a better fitness option for those not motivated to go to a workout gym.
If they are educated on the format, purpose and benefits, many of their concerns will be alleviated. However, here are some of the most common concerns and how to address them.
Consumers hear the words Cardio Tennis and think "cardiac attack," especially the senior population.
Reiterate that this is a safe and healthy workout tailored to the ability and fitness level of the player. Those classes made up of low-fitness/low-ability players will be much slower than a class with high-fitness/high-ability participants. Does that mean that the lower-level class is getting any less of a workout? Absolutely not, and the proof is in the heart rate monitor. The use of the heart rate monitor also ensures the pro can provide the safest and most effective workout for the individual. Seniors need this class more than anyone as this is the group that needs the most help with movement.
How can I improve if there is no formal instruction?
Remind them this is an incredible way to train for tennis. In Cardio Tennis players are constantly challenged, having to respond quickly, and get tons of repetition, which all make for a better tennis player. The feedback heard most often from a Cardio Tennis consumer is, "When I play singles and doubles I now get to balls I never got to before."
It will be too much work and maybe even painful.
The greatest benefit of CT is people get into their target heart rate zone with ease because of the fun factor. Cardio Tennis fully engages both the mind and the body for the ultimate workout. The intensity level of the class forces a person to stay focused and not let the mind wander. The best sign an activity is enjoyable is when someone loses track of time or they leave wanting more; most CT participants are surprised when the 60 minutes is up. A CT session should never be painful during the class or the next day. The use of heart rate monitors will help to avoid this and, of course, stay away from doing fitness-specific activities like push-ups or lunges unless it is advanced or boot camp CT sessions.
I am a beginner; is Cardio Tennis for me?
If a person has some hand/eye coordination they can do Cardio Tennis. CT is the best entry point for a starter player as the focus is not about where or how you hit the ball. However, if a player needs a technical correction, please address it as we do not want a player to get hurt. This can be done quickly on a water break or ball pick-up. Also, be careful and screen your classes so you do not end up with one complete beginner in a group of regular players, as this will be a tough session for both you and the other participants. If you do not have segmented beginner CT classes you can also suggest the true beginner take a 30-minute private before trying CT.
I don't like to or can't serve; is Cardio Tennis for me?
I love telling these people they are in luck because you don't have to serve in CT. There is not much serving in a CT session as serving tends to immediately slow down the pace of the class. Serving works well in the cool-down period or if you are working with higher skilled players with games. Once consumers hear they don't have to serve they are then more amenable to trying the class.
I am an advanced player; why should I do it?
- It is an ideal way to train for tennis.
- It will give players an opportunity to work on lots of different shots.
- It is more fun than running five miles (a two-out-of-three-set match does not involve running a straight line).
- Many professional players train this way.
If you are diligent in educating consumers about the format, purpose and benefits of Cardio Tennis, you will find your sessions filling up and may even need to add more.