Music I’m Listening to this week-Adele-Hello! I’m sure everyone has listened to her new song. Her new album “25” is coming out soon.
I remember listening to her first album “19” and was a fan when I heard her for the first time on the radio. I remember buying her first album on ITunes and thinking this singer is going to be great.
I still joke with my daughters that I discovered before anyone else!
Favorite Article of the week-I'm galed to see that these stores are staying closed on Thanksgiving Day. I remember growing up as a kid and on Thanksgiving Day we would watch the Macy’s Parade and basically just hung out and ate all day with family and friends.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to endure going shopping and trying to get the best buy of the season.
Well it looks like a lot of stores are going to be closed on Thanksgiving Day and REI is going to be closed on Black Friday. Sounds good to me!
Social Media Post of the week-This is an Infographic from the TIA on The Physical, Mental, and Social Benefits of Tennis.
The benefits pretty much speak for themselves!
Quote of the week
What does a tennis professional need to do to breakthrough from average to being successful.
I know there are a lot of things that you need to do, but here are 5 keys that I want to share with you on a rainy day in Charlottesville:
1. Figure out where you are going and where you want to be.
2. Figure out where you are right now as a tennis professional.
3. Spend your time on things that move you from #2 to #1.
Just my random thoughts on a rainy Wednesday in Charlottesville!
Here are 4 Things I’m Thinking About This Week
Music that I’m listening to—Avett Brothers-A friend of mine who I went to Ferris State with Dolpheus Ramseur is the manager for the Avett Brothers and since they are coming to play this Saturday in Charlottesville I thought I would catch up on some of their music. They are a great band from North Carolina and have come onto the seen in the last 3 years. The YouTube Video Below is my favorite song and this is the video of them playing on the Letterman Show a couple of years ago.
Favorite article of the week—I saw this on fortune.com this morning and had to laugh. We go to New York every year and we always love going to the Flagship stores so this year should be interesting. We always go to Apple and Nike Stores so it looks like I’ll have to add the new Microsoft store to the list!
Social Media Post of The Week-15 Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn—this pretty much speaks for itself. Teach your kids life skills! https://www.facebook.com/4StarCampsUVA
Quote of the Week—This quote is for all of my Michigan football fans who got crushed last Saturday in the final seconds of the Michigan State Game. “In times of difficulty those brave enough to stay the course will be victors in the end.” Bo Schembechler
As a tennis pro I’m sure you have had to deal with burnout at some point.
Between the long hours on the court, demanding clients and club managers, and a never-ending pile of work, eventually, it can all become too much to handle.
I’m sure there are times when there’s no end in sight: Tennis Pros are now more likely than ever to skip their vacations, fearing that if their bosses find out they can live without them for a couple of weeks, they might be able to survive without them, period.
As a tennis professional, the burden is slightly different.
In addition to an intimidating pile of work on your desk, you face a steady stream of people whose lives often depend on you and your assistance.
And in my experience, that can cause an entirely new kind of burnout.
REALLY…are we really saving the world by working 70 hours a week.
At the end of the day you have to remember that our job is not to save the world.
Leave that to the doctors, nurses, policeman, and fireman who are really out there saving the world.
It may feel like it when you have the 2.5 team captain in your office complaining about how Susie didn’t cover the lob last night or the Mom who doesn’t think that Johnny is getting enough attention in the 3:30 Hot Shot program.
So, to stay at the top of your game, you’ll need a new strategy to fight that feeling of professional fatigue.
To help you get through it, here are two of the most common causes of burnout and a few ways that you can overcome them.
Burnout Cause #1: The Grind Never Stops
As a tennis pro we usually have an ebb and flow.
Depending on where you live you may be busiest in the winter and early spring—creating some downtime in the summer or you may be really busy in the summer so your winters are slower.
There are also clubs that are just busy all of the time.
So How Do You Deal?
1. Schedule Time Off
Take a look at your schedule and see if you can plan similar rest stops, even if it’s not a whole day off. If you know your deadlines and dates of big events ahead of time, plan breaks around them.
Big day of lessons on Thursday? Take off early on Friday.
If the last week of every month is packed with committee meetings, schedule a half-day off the following week to recover.
You have to take at least one day off per week to keep you game at a high level.
I’ve never understood the tennis pro who says they teach 50 hours per week.
Do you really want to be the person who is the 50th hour?
Are they getting the same lesson as the person who was the first hour of the week and if you aren’t taking time off then the hours just run into each other.
2. Prioritize and Delegate
At a club employees are encouraged to treat everyone and everything equally, including every task (urgent or not) on their to-do lists.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Not everything needs to be done immediately—or even at all. Learn to prioritize and delegate some of the work to your staff.
Remember you can’t do everything so make sure to prioritize what’s important and to have staff pick up some of the slack.
3. Take Some Time to Think
It’s also helpful to put some time on your calendar for deadline-free work. Whether you spend the time brainstorming, big-picture thinking, or reading about your field, you’ll feel better having a chunk of time each week when you’re not running around the office like a madperson.
Burnout Cause #2: Other People’s Lives Are on the Line—Really???
I know you may feel like the members lives are on the line by you showing up to work 7 days a week and working 70 hours a week. But get a grip and realize that the members will be ok if you take some time off.
That makes it hard not to feel guilty when you want—and need—to take a break.
That’s the trap that many of us fall into. Sometimes, it’s even reinforced by our bosses and co-workers.
How to Deal
1. Find a Community
Remember that you’re not the only tennis pro trying to balance your needs with taking care of others. In fact, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to surround myself with people who can relate to my situation. Try scheduling dinner or a happy hour with other tennis pros.
2. Really Disconnect
Even when you do take a day off or a vacation, it's hard to fully disconnect when there's work to be done and people to be helped. But remember, time off isn't exactly off if you spend it checking work email.
To ensure work can be done even when you're not there to do it, start keeping your staff in the loop about all your projects—even training them to take over for you in a pinch. You may not have a pool of assistants but there's bound to be a volunteer or someone who can help out.
Once you feel confident that you're not completely abandoning the people you're trying to help, you'll feel a lot less guilty about getting away.
Finally, at the end of the day, remember that you are only one person and you can only do so much in one day and one week.
So, you should feel OK about taking some time for yourself and doing whatever it takes to make you a happy, productive employee.
When you do, you’ll be less likely to burn out—and that will help everyone in the long run.
Let’s face it, there isn’t a tennis pro that doesn’t want to cut down on the time they have to spend managing their email on a daily basis.
It’s a subject that everyone deals with on a daily basis.
Yet, for some reason so many ‘productive tennis pros’ continue to be bogged down by the never ending abuse that their inboxes battle with – and not all that productive in the process!
Nowadays, email has become the go-to source for communication with members, staff members, and your colleagues.
Some of us have learned to handle it in ways that doesn’t stun our productivity, some haven’t.
To help in the fight, I decided to put together my top 6 tips to help you manage the inbox madness and become an insanely productive tennis pro in the process.
Keep in mind that email is a communication tool and it should not control your day.
Being a productive tennis pro is one thing but being a productive father, mother, coach, boss or whatever is even better!
Here are my 4 things I'm thinking about this week.
Music that I’m listening to-- Stevie Wonder-I know this is old school but when I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago all of the bands were singing Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.
When I got home I downloaded some old Stevie Wonder songs on my Spotify account and I’ve been listening to a bunch of his old songs.
He’s coming to Charlottesville in a couple of weeks so it’s been fun listening to his music.
Favorite article of the week-When I was working back at the club I used to hate when a member or another manager would email me late at night. It usually would mean that I had to answer it as soon as I read it. Here is a great article about sending late night emails.
Social Media Post of the Week—This is a post from Tennis Industry Magazine that’s making its rounds today about the USTA starting USTA University. It’s going to be led by Scott Schutlz who was my advisor when I was at Ferris State in the Professional Tennis Management Program. It’s an exciting time for the USTA right now with the new USTA facilities in New York and Orlando. http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/news/2015/10/usta_announces_usta_university.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
Quote of the Week
Just Play, Have Fun, Enjoy The Game—Michael Jordan
You’re Holiday Tennis Pro Shop Marketing Plan:The Three Most Important Things To Know To Crush It This Year
Yes, I know it’s only the second week of October.
But the holidays will be here before you know it. This is especially true when it comes to marketing your business for hopefully your busiest and most profitable time of the year.
So it’s time to get on the ball with laying out your holiday marketing plan.
Here are three ideas to get started for the holiday season:
1.Know your numbers
I’m sure you know the saying that numbers don’t lie. You need to look at your numbers inside and out and you will be ahead of the competition.
Run reports of last year’s numbers and see which items and categories was a success and which ones did not do well. Take a look at what were your busiest and least busy days so you can be strategic.
By knowing your numbers you can allocate the correct numbers for marketing and advertising.
2.Sales and Promotions
With families gift lists running a mile long, your customers are looking for deals and discounts this time of year.
Start planning the types of holiday-themed sales and promotions that will work best for your business.
Since you’re a tennis shop or facility, think about running a special on rackets for all ages, especially for kids. At my last club and at our pro shop we sell most of our rackets the week before Christmas. Also, think about stocking stuffers and how tennis grips, sweatbands, and tennis balls can fill stockings.
Make sure you are sending your best customers information about what sales you are having during the holiday season.
Update your Facebook page and your website so everyone knows what your sales are.
3.Gift Certificates and Gift Cards
Remember that gift cards and gift certificates go hand-in-hand with the holidays, because let’s be real: They’re one of the easiest last-minute gifts. It’s a good idea to think about how you can design gift certificates to be specifically suited for the holidays.
Remember that Christmas is only 73 more days so get ahead of your competition now!
This is a new post that I’m looking to do every Friday. I started this a couple of years ago but I got away from it so I’m bringing it back!
Music that I’m listening to-- Lake Street Dive-I heard the lead singer a couple of weeks ago covering Jefferson Airplane at Lockn' Fest and I’m now hooked on their music.
Favorite article of the week-I’m ok at remembering names but I’m not great at it. This article is a must for people who can’t remember names --Never Forget A Name Again.
Social Media Post of the Week--if you are following your tennis friends on Facebook a lot of them are at TennisCongress this week presenting. Tennis Congress started a couple of years ago and it looks like a great event. http://www.tenniscongress.com/
Quote of the Week
One of my favorite coaches growing up was John Wooden. He has a lot of quotes to choose from but my favorite is “Don’t confuse activity with achievement.”
Its been raining now in Charlottesville for the last 8 days and its getting pretty old. I started writing this when I got back from the World Conference last week and I finally finished it this morning.
As you know starting out in the tennis industry can be nerve racking and if you have been in the business for any length of time these tips may be reminders of things you should be doing or helping your staff achieve.
I’ve been in the business now for close to 30 years and I have seen a lot of so hopefully these tips will help you.
1. Improve your communication skills with your clients.
In our industry – as much as you may think it’s unfair – a lot of people are going to assume that you are on the court all of the time and all you do is hit tennis balls.
You’re “feeding” into that label each time you send an email with all lower-case letters or fail to utilize correction punctuation.
Take the time to actually read the email or text message before you hit send. If you are a pro that only sends text messages make sure the message makes sense and make sure that the words are the correct words.
When writing emails format them so it easy to read on a phone.
Most people will read your email on a phone first so make it easy for them to read it.
2 Continuing Education
Don’t make continuing education harder than it needs to be.
Your goal should be a minimum of 52 hours per year, or 1 hour per week.
It stuns me to think that it’s hard for people to not be able to do 6 hours over the course of 3 years of personal development.
Come on people we're not that busy.
3. Incorporate video into your coaching.
Many clients are visual learners who do best when they see themselves performing an exercise.
With cameras being on your phone this should be a no brainer.
4. Make it easier for potential customers to recognize your skills and knowledge.
There are a so many different avenues you can use to do this.
For instance, don’t expect a Facebook presence to mean much to your students who are 14-18, as they’re all on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Understand your client base and market towards that base.
5. Look professional
Yes, it does matter.
Dress the part, wear clean clothes, and be properly groomed.
There is nothing worse than seeing pros who are wearing dirty clothes and smell like they haven’t showered in a couple of days.
Clean it up.
6. Social media
Use social media as a means of building rapport with your customers and possible clients, celebrating customer’s achievements, and also in positioning or reaffirming your skills.
Don’t use it to be negative. People do look at your pages and what you are posting and tweeting.
7. Never be afraid to refer another professional
Remember that our top priority is to help customers.
I see too many pros that are afraid to refer their clients out to other professionals because they’re afraid the customer won’t come back and they’ll lose their business.
If that’s the way you’re thinking, then you should be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I create a better relationship with that customer?”
If you do a good job, you should create a sense of loyalty in your customers – this shouldn’t even be an question.
8. Watch what you are saying.
Don’t swear on the court or in the office…ever.
Understand that people are listening to what you are saying so if you talk bad about someone realize that it’s going to get back to that person.
There is no reason to be swearing in the office or on the court.
Watch what you say in front of kids. Kids talk and they will tell their parents as soon as they get in the car or at the dinner table what you said during the clinic or lesson.
When you see a tennis pro with a busy schedule, don’t think, “That pro is terrible why would anyone take a lesson with him. I should have way more lessons than he does.”
Instead, ask yourself, “What is that person doing so well that he makes people go to him?”
10. Never speak badly about another pro, club, or business.
This goes without saying.
11. Always be on time.
If you want customers to respect you as a coach and professional, you need to respect them first – and that begins and ends with showing up on time and being ready to coach.
Organized facilities/trainers/pros attract (or help to create) organized clients.
If a customer perceives you as disrespectful you may never be able to make that person change how they feel about you.
12. Religion, Politcs, and work is a bad idea
Never, ever, ever discuss religion or politics on the job...It’s just a bad idea.
Don’t just work to create a good network of teaching professionals around you, but also a great network of specialists.
Not all tennis pros have identical skill sets.
Some pros are great with adults and some are great with juniors.
Not everyone is the same so get to know everyone on your staff and your community.
14. Be GREAT at One Thing
You need to be great at something.
Be really great at one thing. Be the go to person for something. Find your one thing and you will make it in this industry.
However, before you can be really good at something, you should be proficient at a lot of things.
Remember that proficiency precedes popularity. You’ll get really busy when you’re really good at what you do.
Remember John Wooden’s quote that says “Never Mistake Activity for Achievement”.