What’s on the menu?
Travelling the globe helping clubs with their programs always sounds glamorous (it’s not what it seems) but there are certain constants that the tennis industry brings. The baseline is always in the same place and the net the same height, (well usually), coaches all want to know the same type of things like “How do you work with the one kid that really shouldn’t be in the group!” and “Got any good drills for the serve!” But there is one other constant that always struck me as odd.
Open up 90% of brochures on the kids tennis program and you will see only one thing. A list of classes and lesson times. I understand why we lean that way, but I am not sure that is the only thing that should be on the menu. A good program is way more than lessons and it is all the other things that really add value to a child’s tennis experience, and ironically make them want to take more lessons.
A child who is involved in competition, feels like they belong, gains some social advantages, makes friends and is supported by parents who are really looked after by the program will put tennis way higher on their priority list than one that just takes lessons. Purpose and the connections that the program brings will always create more excitement in a child and motivate them to want to do more.
And the value of this child is not just financial, although if you click here you can calculate the value of an active child in a good program, and for sure a kid who is really in to tennis will spend more. It is also about teaching kids who are improving and motivated and are retained as long term players.
If you want to feel valued and work with players who love the game then you may want to look again at the menu you are selling. Lessons should be a path to somewhere, but if those things don’t exist in your program it could be a path to no where, and a revolving door in your program!
Come and spend a few days with us in July when we will show you global best practice in kids programming at the Junior Directors Conference, at College Park, MD, USA!