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!