Music I'm Listening To: This week my daughter had me listen to the Musical Soundtrack of Hamilton. It's been awhile since I've listened to a Broadway soundtrack but this is pretty good so I've been listening to it on my Spotify.
Article I'm Reading: The NBA starts this week and with all of the changes from last year I still think that Lebron is the best player in the league and I'll never be a fan of Golden State. The question is who will be traded this season.
Social Media Post of the Week: This morning I woke up and saw that Snoopy was fired by Met Life. I can't believe that they are going with something else but I guess it happens. This article is on 8 Mascots that were fired by corporations. Its a good read!
Quote of the Week: Here is my Friday quote!
Music I'm Listening To: My Spotify music this week has been my usual mix and added Tom Petty to the mix. I've been a big Tom Petty fan since college and Free Fallin is my favorite song.
Article I'm Reading: With the new year coming I've been reading about trends to look for in 2017. This is a great article on 10 Business Trends that we should expect for 2017.
Social Media Post of the Week: This past week Nick Kyrgios is at it again with his lack of effort this week at the Shanghai Masters where he was a complete embarrassment for the way he played. At some point the ATP has to decide what to do with him.
Quote of the Week: This has always been one of my favorite quotes when I was in college. By going in the tennis business it allowed me to work in an industry that I love and it makes it easy to get up every morning to go to work.
Music I'm Listening To: This week I've been listening to some Marvin Gaye. His sound will always be classic no matter what generation that you like to listen to.
Article I'm Reading: This article is about how you use your email signature. I do look at how people sign off and what they use in their signature so this is a good article on how your email signature sets you apart.
Music I'm Listening To: This week I was in California and was on a plane listening to my favorite playlist on Spotify. I call this playlist Airplane because it's downloaded on my phone for when I'm on an airplane. This playlist has all of my favorite songs. I have 3 songs that are my favorite on this playlist and John Hiatt's Have a Little Faith in Me is one of my favorites.
Article I'm Reading: Since I was on an airplane this week I ended up reading a great book called Lead for Gods Sake by Todd Gongwer. Brian Boland who is the UVA Men's coach told me about his book and so I decided to read it on the plane. It's a great book and if you are a coach you should read it.
Social Media Post of the Week: This past week Rafael Nadal was playing in an Exhibition and a Mom in the audience couldn't find her daughter so the players stopped playing until the Mom was able to locate her child. Its a great story.
Quote of the Week: I decided to add this video of the top 10 Sports movie speeches. I won't tell you who the #1 speech was but there are some great ones in the top 10. If you are a sports fan you'll love this video.
Music I'm Listening To: It's funny how when you are driving in your car and you hear a song that you grew up with and you can remember that song word for word. In high school I loved ACDC and listened to all of their albums. One of my favorite songs was Back In Black which I heard on the way home the other night. I hadn't heard it in a long time but I knew every word to the song!
Article I'm Reading: Like most people who travel a lot and go on vacations you use the same hotels and airlines so you can secure points to use later on. I'm a big fan of Marriott and we normally only stay in Marriott hotels so now that Marriott is changing their reward structure we may have to start looking at some new hotels.
Social Media Post of the week: With everything going on in Charlotte and Tulsa Magic Johnson weighed in on what he thought about it. Here are his tweets
Quote of the week: Every Friday I send a text to my daughters saying something about it being Friday. Its usually short and it always includes a quote. So for my daughters Lauren and Hannah this one is for you!
Music I'm Listening To: This week I've been listening to a playlist that one of my staff put together that was all Lock'n Festival Bands. Lock'n is a Music Festival that is close to where I live here in Virginia and it always has a lot of Dead music. It's a great playlist and Shake Down Street is an area at the Festival so I thought this would be a great video to watch.
Article That I'm Reading: This article is on the Apple IOS 10 Update for I Phones. It talks about 25 secret features that you need to know to get the most out of the new update. I updated my phone yesterday and so far I really like it. They have a lot of new features and after reading the article I was able to learn a few more things about how to use the update.
Social Media Post of the Week: With the NFL in full swing. I saw this on Facebook which had the values of the top NFL teams. The Dallas Cowboys came in first with a value of 4.2 billion. Crazy to think that Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys for 140 million. I guess that was a good investment!
Quote of the Week: This is a quote I always tell my kids about telling the truth because when you tell the truth you don't have to remember what you said because you always remember the truth.
Music I'm Listening To: This week I've been listening a lot to Alabama Shakes. I really like Brittany Howard's voice so I've made a radio station on my Spotify Account with Alabama Shakes and it has been great to listen to in the office when I'm stringing rackets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbR999N5MiA
Article That I'm Reading: With the announcement of the new Apple 7 I'm deciding if I should upgrade and get the new phone. I'm up for a new phone in a couple of months so I'm not sure if I really want to upgrade yet. The New York Times has a great article about the phones.
Social Media Post of the Week: With the NFL starting this week it means it is Fantasy Football time! I only play on one team but it is a huge business. In the is article it says that it cost employers over 17 Billion Dollars of lost time by employees doing Fantasy Football during the season. That's a lot of time and money!
Quote of the Week: I figured it was only fitting that I use a Vince Lombardi quote this week since it is the first week of the NFL season. I'm a Lions fan so I hope we at least make the playoffs this year.
Music I'm Listening too-Silas and Range are a band out of Charlottesville, Va that have just graduated from Western Albemarle High School. My daughter Hannah turned me on to them a couple of weeks ago. You can find them on Spotify.
Article That I'm Reading: With the US Open starting this week I've been reading alot about the new roof at the event. It was used for the first time in a match with Rafael Nadal. http://www.espn.com/tennis/usopen16/story/_/id/17436769/2016-us-open-tournament-closes-roof-first-match
Social Media Post of the week With all of the talk about Colin Kaepernick it was hard not to read about him not standing for the national anthem. I'm definitely not a fan of him or the 49er's but it makes no sense to me to disrespect the flag. I'm not sure how you can be oppressed when you make $19 million per year.
Quote of the Week--Its only fitting to have a Roger Federer quote since its US Open week! I miss him not being in the tournament this year. Hopefully he gets better and can make a comeback!
Music I'm Listening To: With Lockn this week here in the Charlottesville Area I've been listening to Peter Wolf and the J Geils Band. When I was in High School we listened to a lot of J Geils and one of our favorite songs was Must of Got Lost so this week I went back to my high school days and fired up some J Geils on Spotify!
Article I'm Reading: This is an article about Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz about their journey to becoming a top junior tennis player and different their paths were. Their journeys couldn't have been more different trying to get to the top but now that they are there they will
Social Media Post of the Week; This is a post on Facebook about Vancouver rental property. Now that my daughter lives there I've been trying to figure out what she is going to do next year when she has to move out of the dorms. Rentals in Vancouver is crazy with only a .06 percent occupancy rate so it's not a great place to try and rent. Rent for a 1 bedroom is 1500 per month to live near the University so I hope we can find something that is reasonable!
Quote of the Week: This quote is about Education. With schools starting this week I thought this would be a great quote which came from Nelson Mandela.
It seems like yesterday Lauren started kindergarten and tomorrow I'm going to be taking her to the airport so she can fly to Vancouver, British Columbia to start her Freshman year at the University of British Columbia
Where did the time go?
Yep, I'm the dad who is a little sad to see their 18 yr old move across the country to go to college to follow her dreams.
When I was headed off to college I was just heading down the road to Mt. Pleasant to attend Central Michigan and now my oldest daughter is headed to one of the most beautiful cities in the world to live.
And I'm also the guy that vividly recalls the bus picking Lauren up for kindergarten at the top of our driveway on her first day of school. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
So I guess I just need to enjoy the moment.
On Friday Lauren and I did a great hike up to Humpback Rock at Sunrise and it was spectacular....I need to do this more often!
Our loved ones value out time. They value us being present. I know I'm not the best at that but I'm trying.
So Lauren heads off to college today...where did the time go???
Music I'm Listening To: Norah Jones-Carry On. I started listening to Norah Jones with my kids when they were younger because it was easy to listen to and we would always play it on our way home from skiing. This is her first song off of her new album. This past week on Spotify I've been listening to her Radio Station and its good music to listen to and still get work done.
Article I"m Reading: College Athletes Dominating the Olympics --With the Olympics going on right now its great seeing College Athletes participate in all of the different events. The school with the most athletes is Stanford with 30 athletes. Here at UVa we have 8 students participating in the events. Even Katie Ledecky the 19-year-old swimmer will have another title when she returns from the Olympic Games this fall – Stanford University freshman. How would you like to sit next to her in your Bio 101 class!!
Social Media Post of the Week- My favorite social media post of the week is definitely the Michael Phelps. This USA Today article has the best ones! http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/08/micheal-phelps-hilarious-tweets-memes-rio-olympics-swimming
Quote I'm Thinking About This Week-Don't Cry Because It Is Over, Smile Because It Happened--> Dr. Seuss This is one of my daughter Lauren's favorite quotes and since she is headed off to college this weekend I thought I would add this for her!
So this is my second day of my 7 days of posting on the blog.
You and I both know that the secret to running a successful tennis business is to get more people happily playing more and staying longer at the club.
The best way to do that is to increase participation and loyalty.
The fact remains that now is the perfect time to start increasing loyalty, and one of the best ways I know to do that is through monthly workshops.
Like most facilities you run your weekly clinics and programs and they run continuously throughout the year and are run on overdrive without any changes.
So to try and change it up and start adding workshops that will add a new program element to your already existing programs.
These workshops should be run by your teaching staff. it gives them a chance to be seen by more of your members, their friends, and others in the community.
The Workshop Topics should be educational in nature from the mental component of tennis to nutrition to fitness and will give your staff another opportunity to reach out to your existing members.
The purpose of the workshops is to increase participation and loyalty. Teach people how to play more effectively, eat more nutritiously, and anything that you can think of for a "workshop".
Running the workshop is easy. Simply ask each of your tennis professionals to list out 5 topics they feel would make for a good workshop; topics they know a lot about, and love to talk about.
If you have 5 tennis professionals, guess what? You now have over two years worth of monthly workshop topics!
The workshop itself needs to be organized in a way that makes your staff and your club stand out from the other clubs in town . Don't let your staff just wing it. It needs to be done professionally so that the members walk out of the workshop already talking about next month's topic.
No power point presentations are necessary but they will add that professional touch, no one has to dress up or be uncomfortable. The workshop can literally be one of your staff talking to a group about something they love talking about anyway.
If you have an extra conference room, the local library, pub, restaurant or even your house. The setting doesn't matter. What matters is that the members learn something and have a little fun. Depending on your facility you can even add food and beverages.
Here are a few workshop topics:
How to be a Great Doubles Partner
Tennis Fitness for the Club Player
How to take your singles game to the next level
Mental Toughness for the Club Player
How the Pros practice
These are just a few ideas that you can use for the workshops but it will depend on your staff and what they want to talk about. Don't assign topics to staff let them come up with the ideas so they feel like they have an investment in the program.
As for cost of the workshop will depend on what your cost is to put on the workshop. It could be free or you could charge a nominal amount. The workshop could be an add on to one of your other programs that you run.
You can allow members to bring a friend, family member, or colleague. Visit local businesses and let them know about the upcoming workshop and allow multiple employees to attend together. Contact past members and invite them to participate. Have all of your tennis professionals invite their clients.
Whether it is current members and clients, or prospects you would like to become members or clients, everyone can participate in the workshops. Those who are already loyal and paying, will become more loyal and will continue paying. Those who are new to your services will have fun and see that you offer more than your competition to help them become healthy.
Have fun with it, come up with some great workshop topics, and start providing these once a month to increase loyalty among your members and awareness among potential members.
It's been a while since I made a blog post so I'm planning on posting one blog post per day for the next 7 days before I go on vacation and then when I come back my goal is to post a new blog post 3 times per week. It might be a little ambitious but my goal is to improve my writing so I'm going to try and write every day.
Right now I'm getting ready to go on vacation next week and my daughter is getting ready to head to college next week so I've been pretty busy getting things done in all of my businesses so when I'm gone everything will be done so right now I am a productivity machine.
I've gotten more done in the last two days then I got done in the last week.
So what’s my secret to getting everything done?
I have two things that help me.
#1 I create a deadline as to when it needs to be done. This isn't rocket science but by creating a deadline it makes it more likely to get done.
#2 What is my MIT. An MIT is pretty simple--> My Most Important Task (MIT) of the day.
So let’s start with Secret #1. When we are getting ready to go on a vacation, we have a date that we are leaving and we have a specific time that we are leaving.
That’s our deadline for when everything has to be done.
So for me right now my daughter Lauren is leaving for college on Sunday with my wife and I'm leaving with my other daughter on Tuesday to meet them in Vancouver, British Columbia.
So right now I have two deadlines. One for Saturday for everything that has to do with Lauren's move to college at the University of British Columbia and the other deadline is Tuesday when I fly out with Hannah
And for me, during vacations I have mini-deadlines are in effect. If I want to work, I know that I’m going to wrap up by 8:00 every morning. I know that if I work after 8:00 then Patti and the girls will not be happy with me!
And that leads us to #2. The Most Important Task of the Day also known as my MIT.
When I get into work every day I set up my schedule of everything that I have to get done and then I create my MIT for the day.
My MIT is what I am going to get done first and then I have my other tasks that I have to get done based on the deadline that I have created for that task.
By creating a deadline, our our most important priorities move to the front.
Here’s my suggestion for you to help you get your stuff done on time and on task..
First, identify your Most Important Task that is going to help you move forward with your business goals. You should try to do this the night before. Right now my most important task is our 2017 Academic programs for next year.
Second, you need to schedule a time to do it. My schedule is kind of all over the place so I try to get my MIT done before 10:00. So I try to get my MIT for the day done by 10:00 everyday.
I know this sounds pretty simple but it works for me.
Like most people when it comes time for vacation you put everything into overload and you get stuff done because you know that you have to get it done before you leave.
So why not put those same ideas into your everyday work life or take more vacations!!
Music I am Listening To This Week-This week Lockn Fest announced their line up and one of my favorite bands My Morning Jacket is one of the headline bands. The main headliner is Phish which I'm not a big fan of. Now I just have to decide if I want to attend the festival!
Article I am reading this week-I am a big Spotify User and this article is a great article if you listen to Spotify. This article gives http://www.wired.com/2016/02/youre-probably-listening-to-spotify-wrong-be-a-power-user/
Video I Watched This week-This is a video of Monte Williams giving a eulogy for his wife who died last week. Just watch the video.
Quote of the week-If you watched the video above about Monte Willams then you will understand the quote.
Music I'm Listening To-John Hiatt is a singer songwriter who has been around a long time. You have probably heard of some of his songs being covered by other stars and you didn't know it was his song. He came out with a new album this week so I've been listening to his new album on Spotify. I saw him in concert in Charlottesville and ended up getting really good seats and one of the best songs I've ever seen in concert was him singing "Have A Little Faith In Me."
Article That I am reading-This past week in Blacksburg, Virginia a 13 year old girl was murdered by two college students. The college students were 19 years old and one was on the cross country team and the other was their studying Engineering. It's a pretty sad story that these two kids would murder another person. When you look at the pictures of the girl who was killed and the two kids who killed her it makes you wonder how their lives could have taken them where they are now. Very sad.
Social Media Post-One of my favorite things on Facebook is reading the posts from Humans of New York. I've been following their posts for a few years and it's always amazing at how they are able to capture so much in just one post. A couple of weeks ago my daughter started an Instagram account for Humans of Western Albemarle High School and she has spent the last couple of weeks interviewing students and posting their information on the Instagram Account. https://www.instagram.com/humansofwahs/
Quote of the Week-With the Super Bowl coming up I thought it would be a great time to do a Vince Lombardi quote!
Music I'm Listening To-One of my favorite bands Lake Street Dive was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and performed Call of the Dogs. I'm a huge fan of this group and love the lead singer's Rachel Price voice and Bridget Kearney who is playing the bass is awesome.
Article That I am reading-Circuit City is Making a Comeback-When we first moved to Charlottesville 20 years ago Circuit City was the place to go to buy your electronics. I remember buying our first big screen tv from there 10 years ago right before the Super Bowl. It looks like they are going to try and make a comeback! http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270151
Social Media Post Of The Week-This past week the Virginia Men's Basketball team beat Wake Forest and scored 18 points in the final 1:20. Yes, 18 points...it was crazy watching it unfold and with no time left one of the players hit a three pointer. It was his only shot of the night and he banked it in! Crazy! Needless to say Social Media went crazy after he made the shot!
Quote of the Week-It's better to be lucky then good. After watching the UVA Basketball game this week it was only fitting to have this quote!
Most of a tennis professional’s day is pre-scheduled with lessons.
But tennis professionals do a lot more than simply teach lessons.
Tennis Professionals need to keep track of all of their lessons, meetings, extra help, and other time commitments.
All of this can be hard to manage but you can save time with Google Calendar.
All of us can be better teaching professionals when we can focus just on teaching and not managing.
There is so much for us to think about during the day. Keeping our schedules right should be the least of our concerns. Yet, there is nothing worse than when you think your day is done. Only to realize that you have another meeting or lesson that did not get put on the calendar.
Do you find yourself going out of your mind with too many things to do and your daily schedule is completely unorganized?
I would recommend you get organized and save time and headaches by consistently using an online calendar.
Everyone has a slightly different system of keeping track of meetings and appointments. Many still use paper calendars on desks and some use their phones.
Personally, I stay organized and save time with my Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is a free online calendar, and it’s easy to use to keep track of life’s important events. If you don’t just use Google, it also syncs with Outlook and Apple Calendar.
Here Are 5 Ways Tennis Professionals Can Save Time With Google Calendar
1. Schedule Sharing
You can share your schedule. Schedule your day and lesson plans. Share your calendar with family, friends and colleagues so they know what is going on. Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts to save time and get around the calendar quickly. Add events and even schedule your agenda to be emailed to you every day.
2. Always Access
You can access your calendar when you are away from your desk. Use two-way syncing to add your schedule to your smartphone or tablet. This way you will always know what is going on, and you will never forget another event. Set your calendar to be notified by email or text message when you need to be reminded about something. Use Google Calendar to list your events by participants, location or type. You will be able to see in an instant what you have planned for the day. Like I said earlier, this also works with Apple Calendar and Outlook.
3. Lesson Planning
Use Google calendar for lesson planning. Events are easy to repeat. Once you have set a schedule for one week, you can put in each subject or meeting on repeat. This way you do not have to continually add curriculum to a day. It’s already there. Just fill in the details. You can also change your date range view. Customize the date and style of the calendar to fit your needs. I personally setup my calendar using Appointment slots and just add my classes at the beginning of the week. I also add in what lessons I am teaching; setting them as “All Day” events. This makes it easy to move things around in case of a change of schedule.
4. Different Calendars
Google Calendar allows for a user to make different calendars. Most start with the default calendar but then you can add more as you go. All are color coded and easy to see what I am teaching on which day. I don’t have to keep on reminding myself of the upcoming topics and that saves me time.
An example would be to have a Junior Program and Adult Program calendar that you share with your staff. You would go in and edit each day as to what lesson plans you want taught each day and what needs to be accomplished. You would then share the calendar with your staff and they could log in each day and see the lesson plans.
5. Personal and Professional
Keep calendars straight by adding a separate calendar for personal needs as well. As I mentioned earlier, you can share Google Calendars. So I have my professional and my personal calendar, both being displayed at once.
I can easily schedule an event for either because both calendars are shared between accounts. My wife also has a Google Calendar account and we share our work calendars with each other. This makes the logistics of all of our kids events a little easier in our busy lives.
Anything you can do to make life a little easier is awesome. Google calendar will give structure and schedule to your classes, projects, meetings, and personal life. With Google Calendar and a Chrome app, you can have access to a read-only version of your calendar. This is awesome when you don’t have internet access and need to see your schedule in a hurry. You can also sync your calendar with a phone or tablet. Create or edit a calendar. Develop and add an event or share a calendar. Time is at a premium so take advantage of the tools out there.
I've been using Google Calendar every day for the last 3 years and it has evolved over time and I'm sure most of these things can be done with other online calendars so don't be afraid of going to an online calendar.
This past week I had a friend of mine call me and asked me what I thought about Non- Compete Clauses and if he should start using them at his club.
First of all, I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know all of the legal aspects of non-compete clauses but I understand why clubs want to use them.
It might seem like the right thing to do having your staff sign a non-compete agreement.
After all, the last thing you want them to do is build up their clientele, then take all of them to another club in your area or down the street.
My question to my friend was…Is it worth trying to enforce?
Non-compete agreements have been around the tennis industry forever. I’ve heard of some standing up in court, and I’ve heard of some not holding up in court.
Every one of them ends up draining your time, energy, and often times your bank account trying to enforce.
What I want to discuss in this blog isn’t whether or not the non-compete clause will hold up in court; I’m going to discuss whether or not you should have a non-compete agreement for your tennis staff in the first place.
If you have a branded or trademarked product or system that provides you a competitive edge in your community, then some type of nondisclosure or non-compete clause is reasonable and likely important for you to have with your staff.
The problem I see is that a club will try to force all of their staff including the tennis and fitness staff into signing very aggressive non-competes, restricting them from training or teaching in the community again. To me this is a really bad idea for the club and the best pros won’t sign it unless they are forced to and if they do sign it then they are not going to be happy about it. So now you have this great non-compete clause with a bunch of unhappy staff…great idea.
So, let’s say you hire Roger the tennis pro to teach tennis at your club. Twelve months later, something happens and Roger is offered a great opportunity at another club, or maybe your club is struggling and Roger isn’t getting enough hours. What if Roger moves and his commute is now 30 minutes instead of the 10 minutes. Maybe you just don’t like Roger, or he doesn’t like you. Things happen.
Do you, the club owner, want to try to keep Roger from supporting his family? Do you really want to be seen as the bad guy in town?
I totally understand that you don’t want your teaching pros to leave and compete against you. You certainly don’t want them taking their clients with them to the other club.
In my opinion, if you feel the need for a non-compete agreement, keep the agreement specific and non-restrictive but don’t make it so strict that they can’t make a living.
For example, have your contract prohibit the pro from pursuing or recruiting their clients or members of your facility. Instead of forbidding them to work with any club in town, prohibit them from working with one specific direct competitor. You can prohibit them from recruiting any of your pros and other staff so you don’t have two or three pros leaving at the same time. You can also prohibit them from revealing or using any information they learned during their time with your business, information that would not be otherwise publicly accessible.
If you insist on putting some geographical or timeline limits in your agreement, try to keep them reasonable. Maybe they can’t work for another club within one to five miles of your facility for three months. Making your staff agree to never teach in the city again is definitely not reasonable. The shorter the duration and the less restrictive the language the more likely the staff will enter into a contract or employed position with your club.
Oftentimes, your part time instructors will work at your location as well as other locations in town. If you don’t want this to happen, you should be ready to get them plenty of students, or provide a working base until they build up their client base.
Here is the thing, if you really don’t want to worry about your staff, make everyone an employee instead of sub-contractors. A full time employee can be prohibited from teaching at other facilities or at clients’ homes, etc. They also cannot refuse lessons, and can be instructed to use specific methods and programs specific to your club. I would rather see full time employees over contract pros at a facility because the club is able to control what is being delivered. I understand that because of what it costs to hire full time pros this isn’t always the case.
With the competition to hire great staff in our industry at its highest it’s ever been, you want to be seen as a great employer so that you can attract the most talented instructors. You don’t want to be known as the club that has the non-compete clause. If you do, then you are never going to attract good staff with that approach.
Like most industries the younger employees will plan to use your club as a stepping stone, and that is expected. For those of you that know me know that is why I liked hiring young pros so they could use our club as a launching point. I always wanted my young staff to have that entrepreneurial spirit. I always wanted my staff to enjoy the time they spent with our club, make it a great experience for them, and I never wanted to burn a bridge and when they decided to leave I was ok with it. In our business attrition and turnover is just a part of what we do.
If you are going to be tough about controlling your staff, you won’t be able attract the best pros, and it won’t take long for the club to get a bad reputation. You need to realize that the industry is too small and word will get out pretty quick. Once the word gets out no one will want to work for you because the non- compete agreement will give you the right to treat them poorly and pay them poorly. Most good pros won’t be willing to take that chance on you or the club. The only pros that you will be able to hire are the ones who can’t work anywhere else.
Instead of worrying about your staff leaving you or hurting your business, you should be focusing on providing the absolute best working environment in the area so they have no reason to leave.
By focusing on keeping them happy it will allow them to focus on their jobs which hopefully will bring in more revenue for the club, it will keep the members happy, and it will provide a better experience for everyone.
If your teaching staff likes and respects you, even if they decide to go somewhere else, they’re likely to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt you or them, and they’ll communicate with you along the way so that you can make the necessary adjustments after they leave. A staff member who respects you is less likely to burn a bridge with you after they have left.
So, my opinion is that it is okay to have a non-compete clause, or at least a non-disclosure agreement in the contract with your pros as long as it is reasonable and doesn’t restrict the staff member. I believe that it is reasonable to have them agree not to recruit their clients or other members at the club to go to with them when they leave. I do believe it is not okay to heavily restrict their opportunities if they decide they want to leave the club.
As I said in the beginning I’m not a lawyer but I am a business owner who understands the business and it’s important that the club and the employee are on the same page when it comes to the hiring of the pro and when the pro decides they want to leave.
That is why every club and teaching pro should have some type of contract which lays out the contract and what is expected of them. The main reason I believe in having a contract is for when they decide they want to leave so everyone understands what is expected of them when they do leave. It just needs to be clear on both sides.
Music I'm Listening To This Week-With the death of Glenn Frey this week I've been listening to a lot of the Eagles. Growing up I was never a big Eagles fan but I remember listening to them and liking some of their music and especially Hotel California. This is a video of them doing the song unplugged on MTV in 1994 and it is awesome.
Article That I Am Reading-This past week was the start of the Australian Open and unfortunately the article on tennis betting came out on the first day of the tournament. Obviously it would be more credible if it didn't come from Buzzfeed but none the less it was an eye opener. It looks like this has been going on for quite some time. I do find it hard to believe that the ATP hasn't addressed this earlier. The player at the center of the controversy is Nikolay Davydenko http://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/the-tennis-racket#.qgqqpRM9z
Social Media Post Of The Week-Today we are expecting up to 20 inches of snow over the weekend and its funny reading all of the posts on Facebook and Twitter and from the local news. School was cancelled at 4:00 on Thursday and they have pretty much cancelled every event in the area. Hopefully we make it through the weekend! Where we live we normally don't get out until a couple of days after a big storm so I'm hoping we get out on Monday! We have had a pretty mild winter so I'm looking forward to having some snow.
Quote of The Week-I think it's only fitting that this weeks quote is from Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt retired yesterday from the tour after spending the last 20 years competing on the ATP tour. He became the #1 player in the world when he was 20 year old and was a great ambassador for the game. You could always count on him to give a fist pump or something to get himself fired up!
Music I'm Listening To-With the death of David Bowie this week I've spent a lot of time listening to his old music. I remember growing up in the 80's and listening to all of his music and I was a huge fan. Still to this day my favorite song is when he sang Under Pressure with Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Article That I am reading-Three Winners Win Powerball Jackpot-This past week I did something I thought I would never do which was buy a Powerball ticket. I had never purchased one before so I didn't even know how to buy one so I googled it and watched a video on how to do it! It's funny how once you purchase the ticket you start to wonder what you would do if you actually won. At the dinner table on Wednesday we talked about what we would do with the money. My wife and oldest daughter Lauren said that they hoped they didn't win because it would mean that there life would change for the worst and me and my youngest daughter Hannah said we would take the money and have fun!! Even though we didn't win it was great to think about what would happen if we did win. http://www.forbes.com/sites/vanessamcgrady/2016/01/13/win/#2715e4857a0b3a27e10e80bd
Social Media Post-This is a article I read on Facebook from the Washington Post that talked about Daniel Radcliffe's relationship with Alan Rickman. Over the last 10 years I have watched all of the Harry Potter films and loved the character Snape. My favorite scene in all of the Harry Potter movies is when Snape is dying and Harry takes one of his tears and then finds out that Snape has been helping him his whole life. His other great character was in Die Hard when one of the main character Hans Gruber. Great actor who will be missed.
Quote of the week-Once a week I send my daughters a text that say's Smile it's Friday! I've been doing it for a few years and so today I thought it would be great idea to post a Friday quote!
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
My first Four Point Friday post of the year!
Music I am Listening to this Week-This week I've added a new playlist to my Spotify account called Play it Forward. Basically, Spotify created a Playlist based on what I listen to. It's been great listening to new music and a new song I found was First by Lauren Daigle.
Article I am Reading-Here is an article written about the USTA's new USTA University initiative.
This is a new program that is being started by the USTA and run by Scott Schultz who was the Director of the Professional Tennis Management Program when I was at Ferris State.
I like the idea of more PTM programs but am worried about how it will affect Ferris State's program. This year we are celebrating our 30th Anniversary so I hope that the program continues to be successful with all of the new programs starting.
Social Media Post of the Week-I saw this picture last night on FaceBook and absolutely loved the picture and the post from Proactive Coaching. I think the picture pretty much speaks for itself.
Quote of the Week-I think it is only fitting to put up a John Wooden Qoute for this week. He has so many quotes to choose from but my favorite is "Don't Mistake Activity with Achievement."
With the new year upon us I’m sure everyone is working toward making their business a success this upcoming year.
Success revolves around constantly doing the little things better than everyone else.
I know this sounds simple but by being consistent in everything that you do it will lead to success.
When you put your attention on a few small actions business will become easier... like creating more income which creates more revenue, managing your team more effectively, lowering your stress, and in the end getting more done.
Here are three easy actions that you can implement in your business for 2016 if you want to make your life easier and grow faster.
Set Up A Meeting Series
You need a meeting series for you and your team to make sure everyone is on the same page, and to get everyone moving in the same direction.
Here are a few meeting series ideas that you can use:
• Weekly Team
• Quarterly Leadership
• Annual Planning
If all you did was review your weekly sales and lesson programs with your team while spending some time to discuss issues and opportunities in your business, you’ll be surprised at how much things will change with everyone headed in the same direction.
Take ‘Think’ Breaks
Set up a scheduled time weekly or every couple of weeks to spend a minimum of 60 minutes working on your business.
If you do at least 60 minutes per week where you schedule it just like a lesson think how much you will get done.
It’s not time to do busy work or catch up on your emails. This is time to work on your big vision and do the planning needed to get there. These 60 minutes are what is going to take your business to the next level.
You can also use this time to focus on your big priorities for the week, month, or quarter.
Create A Marketing Strategy
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of running your business and not think about marketing…
...until you need more money and more clients, but by then it’s usually too late.
So, create a marketing strategy for your business by identifying who your Ideal Client is.
Just doing this one thing will help you determine what marketing activities will attract more of your Ideal Clients.
Start out with a simple marketing calendar with the activities and actions you need to take to grow your business.
You might do this in one of your thinking breaks or in one of your team meetings. It’s important to involve your team to find out what they think is important so don’t try and do it all yourself.
Putting these three activities in place over the course of the year will result in big growth for your business.
Good luck this year!
This time of year most tennis professionals and business owners set out to do some planning for the upcoming year and like most people they will have great plans for the upcoming year and then by the end of January they are back to where they were in November.
I’m going to give you the very simple planning process that I personally use right now.
The Simple Success Planning Method
The first thing that we all need to accept is that we’re all busy…but usually we’re busy just doing the things needed to get though the day rather than the things that will move us toward our Ultimate Business as quickly as we would like.
To avoid that, you need to plan how to move things forward in a simple process that actually has real benefits that you can use.
If you are like me then I’m sure you are reading different blogs and posts from successful entrepreneurs on how to achieve business success.
So what you need to do is set aside about an hour (no more than 90 minutes) to develop your business growth plan and the strategy you are going to use to make it happen.
I need you to pull out a single sheet of paper and you are going to answer these 3 questions:
1. Where do you want to be by the end of next year?
2. Where are you now?
3. How will you get from where you are now to where you want to be?
Once we answer those questions you will be prepared with everything you will need to take your business to the next level.
Where do you want to go?
For me this encompasses my Vision…what I want to be known for…and my Yearly Objectives…how I will measure success.
Here are 4 simple questions to help you figure out your Vision:
1. How good do you want to be?
2. What are you providing?
3. Who do you serve?
4. What is the geographic scope of your business?
My Vision is to be the #1 Solution For Helping Tennis Entrepreneurs to Build Their Perfect Businesses.
Objectives are measures of your success and your business performance.
To list your objectives:
1. Determine what you are going to measure. Use the KISS method and Keep it simple and straightforward.
2. Decide how you are going to measure it.
3. Describe specifically what the target is for each measure.
My Yearly Objectives aren’t quite done yet, but here are some ideas that you might use for your tennis programs:
Where are you now?
Once you have figured out where you want to go you need to be clear about where you are today and what has to change for you to get to where you want to be.
For each of us there are probably a lot of little things standing between us and our Perfect Business – but for the purposes of planning we’re going to focus on the 20% that will give us the 80% of the results we’re looking for. Remember the 80/20 rule because it works.
So in your business or businesses:
What has to change in your Marketing, Selling, and Promotion to hit your goals?
What has to change in your Personnel and Staffing to hit your goals?
What has to change in the Training and Coaching you deliver to hit your goals?
What has to change in your Business Management & Finances to hit your goals?
What has to change in YOU to hit your goals?
Now, once you’ve written down the things that need to change, go through and rank them in order of importance. Then, starting at the top of the list - start thinking about what strategy would directly address and resolve that issue for you.
Keep that strategy list handy because you will need to refer back to it.
Here are some ideas for your Junior Programs
How are you going to go from here to there?
This is where you are going to develop your Action Plan…a combination of your Strategies, Policies, and your Priorities.
Our Strategies and Policies are crucial because they give us the focus and clarity we need to set our Priorities by serving as the bridge from where we are to where we want to be.
Here’s a simple way to get clear on your Strategies:
Desired Outcome using Strategic Decisions / Actions
Here’s an example:
Increase Membership by Implementing Referral Programs with our current customer base
Improve the Coaching and Training that We Deliver by Providing Better In-House Staff Development during our weekly meetings
Once we’ve decided on our strategies, all that remains is to set priorities – to decide which Specific Actions we’ll take and when we’ll take them by.
Now the trick for you is to focus on the action and completing the task or project by a specific date.
Here are a few examples of Priorities:
You should try to limit the number of Priorities to about 3-5 per Quarter as you only ‘get paid for done.’
The real strength of this sort of approach is that it makes your business growth plan come to life.
To keep the plan current try to follow this kind of pattern:
Sometime this week complete the planning approach I just listed…then at least every quarter, review and reset priorities…and celebrate the progress that you and your staff has made.
And that’s your Simple Success Planning Method for 2016.
Nothing too complicated and it’s really effective if you use it.
So take the time this week or at the beginning of next week and plan out your 2016 so it is a huge success!
Music I'm Listening To This Week-With the Christmas Season upon us I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music. A friend of mine Jeb Byrne has been posting a Christmas video everyday on his Facebook page so I've had a chance to see a lot of Christmas videos. One of my favorite Christmas songs is Joy To World and Pentatonix's version is awesome. I hope you enjoy it!
Article I'm Reading This Week-Time Management Tips from a Google Exec.-This is a great article for me because these three items hit pretty close to home.
I think I do a pretty good job with knocking out what I need to do each day but I also know that in the early part of the week I definitely have more energy then my Fridays!
Also, I know that I have to try and knock out as much of my work by lunch because I'm a morning person so I can get a lot done by 12. Once 2:00 hits I'm pretty much done with trying to get much done.
Social Media Post Of The Week-http://fortune.com/2015/12/17/adele-tickets-sold-out/ I was one of the many fans who got shut out when tickets went on sale yesterday. I logged in early but still couldn't get through.
Quote of the Week-Believe in the Magic Of Christmas! I love this time of year and hope that everyone enjoys the holidays!
This week someone asked me what I do.
I'm sure as a Tennis Professional this gets asked to you all the time by your friends that you grew up with or someone who just doesn't understand what it is we do.
They didn't ask what I do for a living…rather what role I play in my business…basically, how I spend my time.
Like most businesses as a tennis professional you wear a lot of hats. As an entrepreneur you probably do a lot of different things.
It’s an interesting question for all of us to think about because we often end out spending a lot of time doing things that aren’t our strengths and things that we aren’t particularly excited about doing.
This week I ran a USPTA Directors Workshop for 35 tennis professionals, taught 10 hours, attended a Committe Meeting at the Club we manage during the summer, strung 15 rackets, wrote two blog posts, worked on two newsletters, updated our website with our designer and registration company for our camp, had two phone conferences which each lasted one hour, decorated a Christmas tree, and spent last night with my family at our church's annual Christmas dinner. So needless to say its been a busy week. I'm sure like most of you this is pretty typical of a week.
So here was my answer when they asked me what I do:
Coaching, Teaching, and Training - I spend a great deal of my time coaching, teaching, and training.
This time of year I'm only on the court 5-10 hours per week based on what the weather is doing. During the summer my coaching ramps up to basically 40-50 hours per week. This includes on court coaching and also coaching and training staff at our summer camp that we own, 4 Star Camps.
I’m a strong believerthat experience is of great value in coaching or teaching…and I wouldn’t want a coach or teacher who hadn’t ‘been there’…I wouldn’t want a business professor or a business coach who hadn’t owned a successful business - so I plan to be coaching for a long, long time. I’ve been coaching for over 30 years and if you asked me what I would want to be remembered as professionally if I ever retire - it would be as a coach.
Creator- I have to create a lot of content…newsletters for the USPTA Mid Atlantic Division, our weekly summer camp newsletter, blog posts for 3 different businesses, etc.
I have really grown to love the creation side of things. I’d have never guessed I’d enjoy writing a decade ago, but now I rarely go a day without doing it. The creation side of what I do has really provided me an opportunity to reach (and hopefully positively impact) far more people than I could coach directly - so it’s been a huge positive but it;s time consuming. Having to research articles and to put your thoughts together takes time.
I think one of my strenths is that of project manager because I'm juggeling at least 1/2 dozen different things at any one time.
Connecting - I’ve long been more of a ‘relationship guy’ than anything else. It’s not only been at the core of my marketing efforts, but I think of it as part of my identity. I try to spend some time virtually every day connecting with friends, colleagues and tennis entrepreneurs who I want to get to know better.
Converting - Make no mistake, I’m running a business here so conversions or selling is something I have to do daily or we wouldn't be able to exist.
I know that some people are turned off by selling but if you can't sell then you are going to struggle in the tennis business. This isn't a hobby.
These four things - or variations of these four things - make up about 80% of how I spend my ‘business time’. The other 20% is spent on the stuff that needs to be done to support these four.
So why don't I spend 100% of my time on these four things?
I consider the time I spend in transit to host an event or do a presentation part of that 20%. Plus things like meeting with my staff and partners takes time as well. So it won’t ever be 100% for me…but 80% makes for a really great business to run.
So how do spend your time?
Are you doing the things that you’re best at and that you enjoy most?
Are you doing things that allow you create the business you want?
How much of your time is spent on those activities versus the ones that you don’t feel fall into that category?
And finally…what are you doing to shift the way you’re spending your time to be doing more of what you’re great at and less of what you’re not?
As you know it's not an overnight process…but if you’re aware of it and progressively working toward improving it - you’ll get to a point where business is really enjoyable and far less stressful than it is for most tennis entrepreneurs.
So the next time someone asks you how you spend your time in your business you have some ideas on how to answer.