Tennis Lockdown – Part 3
During Tennis Lockdown – Part 1, I discussed the frustration of being shutdown. In Tennis Lockdown – Part 2, I discussed what to do during lockdown. This final blog is about getting back into business and in the meantime totally restructuring our program to be better than it was before.
The focus from the media on the virus was incessant. I made a personal decision many years ago to not follow the mainstream media/daily news cycle. For me, the benefits of knowing all the news and keeping informed is far outweighed by the fear, division and sensationalism of the corporate media. So although I did follow the newscycle during the early stages of Covid-19, once tennis opened back up again, I stopped watching and started focusing on areas of life I can control.
What kept springing up in my mind was that we really should focus on what we WANT, not what we DON’T WANT. So what’s the opposite of ‘not getting sick’ ? It’s staying healthy and focusing on wellness of body and mind. Sport does indeed focus on the wellness of body and mind and can also be the catalyst for people to look further into ways to stay and keep fit, practice mindfulness and focus on nutrition.
So private lessons were back on and we got in contact with all of our Term 1 private lesson students to see if they would like to get back into training. The school term was officially starting and we were communicating with our clients that at this stage that we will be running a private lesson program and may not run our Hotshots,Squads or Adult Program for the term.
But within a few days yet another rule change came in, which effectively meant that we could have 4 players on a court. This came more quickly than expected and meant we could run some type of group lesson program. The problem was that our entire Hotshots, Squads and Adult coaching program was designed for between 6-8 players per coach.
Since starting the Tennis Academy in 2006, our program has grown and grown. Programs had been added at random times to fit in with coaches schedules and requests from players’ families. Our Hotshots program, in particular, had become hard to manage the progression of players and we still from time to time got feedback from parents that their child was getting bored and not improving.
So while there was the chaos and uncertainty of things returning to normal, I made the decision to totally restructure our program. The reasons for this was to:
A) Create a better program and lesson structure with lower coach/pupil ratio and better management of player progression.
B) Be able to commit to running a normal term program under the current restrictions. (4 per court)
So we got busy.
- Step 1 was to go to our Intennis class management and delete all 67 classes listed for Term 2.
- Step 2 was to get Andrea, our coaching coordinator, to create the ultimate schedule to be able manage the progression of players, maximise the capacity of courts and to create specific days for squads and Hotshots. Also important was that to meet the numbers of children enrolled in Term 1 as our program is based on auto-enrolment and all of our players had at least 2 weeks of credit.
- Step 3 was to take that restructured program and create a new pricing model. We had reduced the length of the lessons to meet the 4 players maximum ratio but this needed reviewing and number crunching.
- Step 4 was to create these new classes on Intennis. We were not going to open these classes publicly until all of our current term 1 enrolments has the chance to enrol back into the new program. Anthony, our office manager, then individually created credit vouchers for all of our players.
- Step 5 was to send newsletters to our Hotshots and junior club squad players to explain that we are back with a brand new program and that they will be receiving an personalised email with their credit voucher and private link to enrol.
- Step 6 was the individual emails to the currently enrolled term 1 clients. We had to be upfront that they may not get the exact time they had last term but the new program will assist in better attention and engagement from the students.
- Step 7 was to create the coaches’ schedules based on the new programs and ever-changing enrolment numbers.
- Step 8 was to redo the website pages with the new program information and open up our programs to any new enquiries.
So now after running our new program for 4 weeks I am noticing far higher quality lessons being run by the coaches. The class sizes of between 2 and 4 means lots of attention and opportunity for improvement for the players.
The rules have opened up even further now and we could choose to run larger groups again but for Hotshots classes this won’t be happening and the 4 player groups will be a permanent change. We will expand some of our squad sessions to go for longer and have more students but generally the 4 player sessions and our new program are a huge success.
This concludes the 3rd and final part of the Tennis Lockdown blog series. It has been a bumpy ride but has really proven to be an opportunity for improvement as a coaching program and as a business.
Thanks to my coaching coordinator Andrea and office manager Anthony along with my great coaching team who have all been willing to adjust to the changes and do the work neccessary to be back doing great things on court again.
It’s nice to be back!