If you are managing a junior program it’s that time of year again! No you didn’t get kidnapped by Dr Who and transported through time, or get jetted down to Australia, oh how I wish. But April is the month when you should have your preparations in place for the fall (September) session (term) and, although you might think this is early, here are some good reasons why.
Tennis is a Summer Sport, right?
Despite our efforts to the contrary parents have a glitch in their brains that associates more team sports with the fall (autumn) and tennis takes a back seat. These team sports also require a little more scheduling as parents are committing not just to practice but also to a whole fixture list of matches. Team sports ask for, and get, a greater commitment just by their very nature. So if you want to get a commitment you need to get in first.
We are not the Waltons Family but…
The earlier you get your information out the better chance you have of getting on what is already a manic schedule. Parents are not usually dealing with the activities of just one child and while they may not have 7 or 8 kids to move around (Apologies for the the reference to the Walton’s, if you have no idea what I am talking about you are obviously way younger than me, so go google it!), they do have a number of kids to get into different places at the same time. Organizing extra curricular activities is like a military operation.
It’s not the only piece of the puzzle!
We are pretty sure that u10 programming is not the only offering at your facility, but we do hope that it’s a growing and evolving part. Some kids will graduate and you may find that you are going to have more orange players this year than last year, so the exact number of spaces you need to offer at each color ball may need to change and you need to be the predictor; It will change court and pro requirements. The worst thing you can do is just assume that things will remain fixed. As the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky said ” I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been!” If you are going to get this right then you need to get your skates on now!
Where am I?
When you know the school dates you can start to map your milestones. Milestones? Yes, highlights that help you to keep your program on an exciting course that will attract, retain and develop young players. School vacation times for example are seen as a great opportunity to get a high number of players on the court but they are also a great way of attracting new players. Connecting your camps to your school session times gives you a much greater chance of hooking them, but this has to be worked out in advance. Equally on your map of milestones you should have a competitive calendar (not just a lesson calendar) and this provides key points towards which you are training, a purpose. These special events can provide a the extra spice that will inspire your players to greater commitment to your program, (and a happier you!).
At our July Conference we will also cover some of these key programming pitfalls and help you to avoid them. Things like
- Why a tennis program is like building a bike!
- Why selling lessons is a hurting your program!
- Why sending a sign up form is the pathway to a very slipper slope!
- Why Halloween is not just about dressing up!
- Red level lessons, where, when and why!
You will learn the secrets that our journeys around the world, working with some of the world’s biggest programs have taught us! We know from all our work that your program will grow and you will earn thousands more if you follow the steps we outline.
This event is unlike any other you have ever attended and if you run a junior program you really can’t afford to miss it!