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58 How social media can grow
your coaching business Leading coaches are embracing social media. Shouldnâ€™t you?
60 Feeling the burn
Meet Mark Cook, Cardio Tennis guru.
61 Taking your business to the next level Expansion brings risk and reward. Our roadmap navigates past the pitfalls.
62 The backhand volley
Analysing the progression of the stroke, from red-ball players to yellow to green.
Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
Social media is a boon for small business.
How social media can grow your coaching business By Natasha Kersten, Places to Play Resources Coordinator
ocial media has opened the doors of small business to millions of users and transformed the way business interacts with customers in a way which wasn’t affordable or possible less than six years ago. While at first social media was seen mainly as a way for friends to stay in touch, it has now become one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet – one which your coaching business cannot ignore. The speed at which social media has grown has surprised the business community, leaving many coaches uncertain of how and why to use social media.
Top 5 reasons to use social media 1. Social media will work with any budget. Social media is inexpensive, and the biggest sites – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – are free to use.
2. Access to millions of potential customers. Facebook has over one billion registered users, including thousands of potential customers living within close proximity to your business. 3. Quick and easy communication. Once a loyal following has been achieved, marketing campaigns can be communicated to a mass audience in seconds. 4. Gathering feedback. Traditionally, seeking information from specific consumer groups was a lengthy and difficult process. Social media is an 58
Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
easy and instant way of gaining feedback directly from customers. 5. Simplicity. While many coaches may not consider themselves technologically savvy, social media is dead easy to use and does not take more than a few hours to get your head around.
Top 5 tips for using social media 1. Conversation v broadcast. Don’t confuse social media with traditional marketing channels. Social media is a conversation and not merely a broadcast mechanism. Herein lies the true value of social media as it engages consumers in dialogue and is not just one-way messaging. Social-media users quickly tire of businesses which constantly shout out sales promotions and company information. If you give people value for following your business and encourage interaction and conversation, it will also help increase the visibility of your business on social media and create a loyal following. 2. Quality over quantity. Many small businesses dive into social media and set up a range of accounts on every social media platform out there – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Although social media is cheap, it still requires thought and time to be executed correctly. Rather
than spreading your efforts too thinly and struggling to gain traction, focus on just one site to start with and do it well. 3. Don’t argue with critics and customers. This may require quite a bit of selfrestraint. It is not easy to stand back when you want to defend yourself and your business; however, striking back and justifying your position will likely backfire and get even more users offside. Remember, the customer is always right. 4. Do not use your business account as your personal account. Consumers expect a certain amount of professionalism from businesses. Using your business account as a personal account can send mixed messages. Checking in at a local pub, updating a status on a personal matter or commenting on a political issue may get some of your followers offside. Make sure you always stay professional and consider the various demographics of your customers before you post. 5. Be aware of the sensitivities around using social media. Communicating with young users is a very sensitive issue and there is a fine line between inappropriate and appropriate interaction. Avoid private conversations with young users and any conversation not related to your business activity. Remember, if the thought “Should I send this?” goes through your mind, then don’t send it and ensure you adhere to the social media user guidelines.
SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY COACHES Nick Bollettieri
The 82-year-old founder of the IMG Academy and former coach to several world No.1s, Bollettieri is on Twitter (24,400 followers) and Facebook (16,933 Likes), as well as serving up instruction and tips (including an old coaching series with Andre Agassi) on YouTube.
Former Aussie champion and commentator is delving deeper into coaching and biomechanics. His socialmedia platforms carry self-described “shameless plugs” for the Pat Cash Tennis Academy App. Cash is on Twitter (over 21,000 followers), Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as blogging at his website, www.patcash.co.uk.
Sven Groeneveld Founding coach of the Adidas Player Development Program, and with over 20 years’ experience on the pro tour, the multilingual Groeneveld is on Twitter (over 8000 followers) and Facebook (nearly 5000 Likes), as well as writing a tennis blog – in English, Dutch and German.
6. Use visuals and images rather than text. Use images to convey the message wherever possible. Humans are visual creatures and there is a growing emphasis on sharable visual elements (photos). Due to lack of time, and a shortening attention span, it is important that you get your message across quickly. Images are more likely
Darren Cahill Ace analyst for ESPN, former coach of Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi and still coaching with the Adidas Program out of Las Vegas, Cahill’s gift for communication is apparent in his quality offerings on Twitter (over 33,000 followers).
to attract users’ attention than a long piece of text. Your ability to express a message with a single image will be valuable, especially if followers find the image compelling enough to share. Social media provides a cost-effective marketing solution for coaching businesses across Australia, however, getting the
Social media provides direct, instant feedback.
most out of this powerful resource is not inevitable unless used with purpose. If you would like more information on how to get the most from social media you can access a range of sites and forums online offering useful information on getting started, best-practice guidelines for Facebook and Twitter, developing employee guidelines and a range of case studies.
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EnquiriEs throughout AustrAliA wElcomE Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
MY TENNIS LIFE
Feeling the burn Former Englishman Mark Cook has played and won on the manicured courts of the All England Club. Nowadays he’s based at the state-of-the-art Queensland Tennis Centre, pushing adults to achieve their fitness goals. I always knew I was going to be a tennis coach. I’ve been coaching for 27 years now, but it really doesn’t feel that long! I spent 12 years coaching in the UK and US, as well as for the ATP. It all started for me at the age of five with my father and brother at our local club in England. Winning the D’Aberon Cup – the English Schoolboys’ championships – played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, is the highlight of my playing days. Playing on the grass courts at Wimbledon and being in the players’ locker room and lounge was truly amazing. I remember being in awe of the whole atmosphere. All competitive sports provide an opportunity to see who shines and who retreats. I love watching the player who wants to have the ball at crucial times and is able to deliver when the pressure is on. This can be seen in various sports, from rugby, AFL, basketball to soccer. For me, it’s looking to the coach and seeing how they inspire a player or team, and in essence shape their attitude and direction. I became the Head Coach of Adult Programs at the Queensland Tennis Centre in 2011. Before this I spent 10 years as Director of Adult Coaching at the Pat Cash International Tennis Academy at Hope Island. I simply love the interaction with so many different and interesting people.
As my main role is with adults, motivation and being driven are core elements they look for in a session, so I need to ensure I’m providing this for them. I love being able to incorporate Cardio Tennis in my program. It’s a high volume of ball-hitting coupled with high intensity, high noise and allround high-energy coaching. There’s a whole new demographic coming to our centre, finding their challenge points and then it’s all about moving the goal posts to push them even further. Once they realise how hard they can actually work and keep pushing themselves is when the program is really in its element. The use of heart-rate monitors has been revolutionary as the participants are now accountable for their work. But the benefit is that they always want to beat their calorie burn or set a new heart-rate height and continuously drive themselves. My focus the last two years has been on Cardio Tennis and some amazing friendships and stories have developed during this time. Craig Horton burned an incredible 80,000 calories and 15 kilograms since he started Cardio Tennis. Emily Major dropped seven kilograms and three dress sizes, and is now attempting her first marathon. They are both inspiring people and a joy to run around the court with. Cook loves to push and motivate his players: “You can do more than you think.”
Na me: Ma rk Cook Qualifications: USTPA leve l 2, LTA, Tennis Australia Clu b Professional coach Venue: Queensland Ten nis Centre, Bri sba ne Other: Cardio Ten nis me ntor
My goals now are to take Cardio Tennis into more clubs and drive the Cardio Tennis in schools program with the Tennis Australia Cardio Tennis team. The biggest wins have been in the increase in the adult programs at the Queensland Tennis Centre, largely due to Cardio Tennis. The numbers have increased from 135 to 226 a term, and we hold six Cardio Tennis workouts a week. You can do more than you think. Be open to hard work and have the will to push yourself. If you commit to this you will see positive results after only a few workouts, but I’m positive you’ll also enjoy it. The energy that a class of 18 people brings is amazing. They are all here for the same reason and the program is incredible in offering customer satisfaction and relationship building. It has been such a success story from the start and we are always looking for new ideas and ways to add to the exercises, so it keeps all the coaches learning too.
The entire team at the Queensland Tennis Centre is responsible for the success and each member makes working here so enjoyable. Tennis has offered me opportunities to travel and develop long-lasting relationships and great friendships. When I’m not coaching, I enjoy spending a day with my wife and two beautiful daughters, playing or watching any sport. 60
Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
Taking your business to the next level Business expansion brings risk and reward. LEONIE TAYLOR, Partner at Bentleys Chartered Accountants and Treasurer of Tennis Queensland, lays out a roadmap that navigates past the pitfalls.
Dreaming of a bigger business? You’ll need a business plan.
ne common trait of all successful people is that they play to their strengths and find a way to compensate for weaknesses. Unlike elite sportspeople, in business we have the benefit of being able to offset our weaknesses by partnering with, or outsourcing to, someone with the required skills.
Make sure the foundations of your current business are secure. 1. Do a financial health check. 2. Prepare cash-flow projections showing the surplus available for business growth activity. Remember to include all income tax, GST, loan commitments and all other financial obligations (including living costs). 3. Ensure you have the time to work on your business rather than in your business.
Develop a three-year business plan. 1. Consider what you want your business to look like in three years. 2. Consider the avenues to explore that you believe are most likely to succeed. This could entail building on and developing what you currently do, and/or exploring new initiatives. Only pursue these if there are good prospects of an acceptable return for investment of time and/or money. Identify the risks and rewards of all the alternatives. 3. Make an action plan – who, what and when for all steps and activities necessary for implementation.
4. Monitor progress and modify the plan as it progresses and develops.
Know your own capabilities and the resources at your disposal – remember, very few people have all the skills. 1. Identify what you are good at and most comfortable doing – play to your strengths. 2. Identify who can best fill the gaps – an employee, a partner, a service provider. 3. Research Government Assistance for small business development and employment subsidies.
What traits are common to, and what tips can we take from, highly successful business people? 1. Be organised. 2. Analyse your competition and identify opportunities and threats. 3. Analyse your business for your own strengths and weaknesses. 4. Be prepared to take calculated risks. 5. Differentiate yourself. 6. Maintain standards and codes of practice for yourself and all who work
with you. Let everyone know what those standards are. 7. Respect everyone you deal with – employees, pupils and their parents, competitors and suppliers. 8. Encourage your employees to reach their potential via training and support. Their loyalty and support can pay you back tenfold. 9. Provide great service and be open and friendly to all you deal with – even in difficult circumstances. 10. Be consistent. 11. Passion is contagious – use yours to ignite others. 12. Challenge yourself to keep improving and learning. 13. Invest in systems and processes to drive efficiencies. Be open to innovative practices. 14. Be reliable. Have back-up plans, not excuses. 15. Bigger is not always better. Business cases are essential for any expansion. Success comes from both Left Brain – strategic, logical thinking and Right Brain – creative thinking. Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
Before embarking on a significant growth path, ask yourself the following questions: 1. Am I prepared to make sacrifices, in terms of time, money and lifestyle? 2. Do I have the required focus, passion, discipline and perseverance? If the answers are yes, here is a basic plan of attack:
Backhand volley: from red to the progression in red ball, orange ball and green
6 years old
at the backhand
RED BALL PLAYER
This month we look
ball players. While there are
11 years old
12 years old
various stages of
differences in their
ORANGE BALL PLAYER
are also key
GREEN BALL PLAYER
Swing phase â€“ back swing
Tennis Australia â€“ Manager,
All three players assume a basic athletic ready position and are tracking the ball ready to turn side-on to the oncoming ball. The non-dominant hand supports the throat of the racquet. A continental grip is used.
The players turn side-on to the oncoming ball, tracking the ball and positioning themselves according to the flight of the ball. The nondominant hand supports the throat of the racquet. The Orange and Green ball players are more dynamic than the Red ball player, meaning knees flexed, outside (left) leg loaded ready to drive into the shot.
Coach & Talent Development; Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) Human Movement; Tennis Australia High Performance Coach
Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
Swing phase – forward swing
Swing phase – follow through
Weight transfers from the back foot to front foot. Eyes focused on the ball. Racquet face is behind the ball.
Racquet face is approximately vertical to give a large contact area. Small amount of underspin is used for control. Arms are beginning to separate, although the Green player doesn’t separate as much as recommended. The Red level player is developing arm separation. Eyes are focused on the ball. Body is moving forward.
Wrist and forearm remain stable. Arms separate. Racquet follows a path towards the target.
Australian Tennis Magazine | August 2013
orange to green ball