EDITION 4TH QTR / 2018
PAGE PRESIDENTâ€™S PAGE Executive Directors PAGE Dates of
PAGE around the
president’s message USPTA Eastern Members, We would like to thank you for your support of the USPTA, as our board completes its 2nd year of working for the Eastern Division we look forward to serving you in 2019. The biggest and most significant event in 2018 was provided at the USPTA general membership meeting during the TTC in New York City. USPTA will now be the only accredited tennis teachers certification association in the United States. (PTR also applied for provisional accreditation and as of this writing, they have not been accredited.)
Ryan Berthod firstname.lastname@example.org
What you need to know: • USPTA & USTA wants to provide education and career paths for new and existing members • USPTA wants to raise the standards for certification • Beginning in 2020 certification requirements will change • All members certified by Dec. 31, 2019 will be exempt from the new certification standards • Starting in 2020 all new applicants will need to meet the new requirements Given all this information we expect to see many more certifications and upgrades in 2019. Please spread the word to fellow USPTA members and other non-members that this is the
year to get certified and avoid a longer more involved process. Let PTR certified friends and colleagues know that USPTA will be providing certification equivalency by calling USPTA National (800) 877-8248. In 2019, look for events and certifications featuring alternative racquet sports like Pickleball, Platform Tennis, Padel and POP Tennis. In addition we encourage you to get more involved with your association. Please contact us if you’d like to join a committee, help run a district event or have an idea for something USPTA Eastern can add to our calendar of programing. See you On Court, Geoffrey Jagdfeld USPTA Eastern President email@example.com
A True Tennis Advocate... Rosemary Luther DeHoog, former president of USPTA Eastern, passed away on October 25, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was the consummate tennis professional, a vital member of Eastern’s tennis community and beyond. I first met Rosemary in 1984 at the West Orange Tennis Club in New Jersey at my certification testing. Rosemary was there to complete her tester requirements and I was one of her students. She was nothing less than kind and encouraging – and it was the beginning of our friendship that lasted until her passing. Rosemary and I shared many adventures through tennis and socially. Among my fondest memories are when we sipped wine while watching the Australian Open in the wee hours of the morning while at the Eastern Tennis Seminar in White Plains, NY. We enjoyed many clinics and conventions together. She always brought incredible expertise and enthusiasm to all her endeavors. Rosemary excelled as a player and as an instructor. She began playing tennis at a very early age, despite the fact that competitive opportunities for girls were few or none at all in Muskegon, MI. While at Kalamazoo College, she played the first singles position, reigning as the Women’s Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Singles champion for four consecutive years. She was a semifinalist in the NCAA championships in 1959. She remained a nationally-ranked player in her age group for many years. Rosemary taught tennis to generations of families in Syracuse, NY beginning in 1972 at Wolf Hollow Racquet Club, which eventually became Drumlins Tennis Club, now owned by Syracuse University. There she became Head Tennis Professional and an Adjunct Professor for Syracuse University. She owned and operated a tennis shop at Drumlins for many years. She managed the university’s
recreational tennis and tennis instruction programs. Rosemary was a certified USPTA Master Professional, becoming the first woman in the Eastern Division and 13th nationally to achieve this distinction. She also coached the Women’s tennis team at LeMoyne College and served as a tennis official. She was active in all aspects of tennis throughout the USPTA Eastern Division and USTA Eastern Section.
The deserving recipient of many awards during her tennis career, her favorites include Syracuse Post Standard Woman of Achievement in Sports, being a charter Inductee of the Kalamazoo College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the USPTA Eastern Division honoring her with the Tex Schwab Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as inducting her into their Hall of Fame. She was honored by the Big East Conference for advancing girl’s and women’s sports. Most recently, her hometown in Michigan recognized her with induction into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, Syracuse University and the tennis community of her adopted hometown of De Witt, NY renamed
Court One at Drumlins Tennis Club in her honor. It is now The Rosemary DeHoog Court. A frequent attendee at USPTA National Conventions, she was also a presenter. While at the convention in Hawaii in 1980, Rosemary noticed that the badges of male tennis pros’ significant others were the same color as the women pros. Through her efforts along with the National Women’s Committee, the color of the badges for all pros was the same in 1982! She was commissioned by the USPTA Women’s Committee to write A History of the National Women’s Committee (through 1992). She was instrumental in establishing a Women’s Liaison Network in the USPTA divisions in 1986. Rosemary was an ardent supporter of the Eastern Division from the beginning of her certification. She served in several positions on the board and was the second woman to be Eastern’s president. She was a certification tester and often hosted division events at Drumlins. She was always willing to do whatever was necessary to promote the game of tennis, and always with a smile. She passed along her love of the sport to her son, Victor, who is a USPTA member and instructor at Drumlins. Tennis was not the only interest about which Rosemary was passionate. She loved the arts and especially supported symphony, dance and opera wherever she went. We heard stories of driving her Miata convertible “topless” across country and other trips - she was a founding member and vice president of the Midstate Miata Club of NY. I think of Rosemary so often and want to talk to her about, among other things, my own tennis game. I’ve started playing again after a very long absence. When I struggle with my forehand or serve, I hear the words that Rosemary always said to her students: Keep moving! Thank you, Rosemary, for being the consummate tennis professional and a dear friend to us all.
meet your district presidents Metropolitan President Jesse Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
NewJersey President Justin Fernando email@example.com
Northern President Stephan Thirolle firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern President Heath Hoover email@example.com
Long Island President Position Open Please contact USPTA ED Paul Fontana for details
Western President Steve Pekich firstname.lastname@example.org
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Executive Director’s / REPORT
I would like to wish everyone a Healthy and a Happy New Year! 2019 is beginning to shape up into an excellent year for the USPTA! USPTA Eastern is expanding its relationship with the NY Open and we have
a High School Workshop connected to the tournament. Please check out the details in the Newsletter. The USPTA Eastern Division will be partnering with the USTA Eastern Division on January 25 and 26 at the Annual USTA Eastern Conference and Awards Dinner. This event has become a cornerstone of Eastern tennis and we are proud to be a major part of this historic event. This year we are honoring Laramie Gavin as the USPTA Eastern Division Professional of the Year. Laramie has been a major contributor to tennis on a local and national level for many years. Congratulations Laramie! The USPTA Eastern Division will be inducting Jeff Rothstein into our Hall of Fame. Jeff’s accomplishments and contributions to Eastern and National tennis programs and events has been extraordinary. Thank you Jeff and we are all proud of you for receiving this award. On May 3-5 we will have our Annual Conference at the Doral Arrowwood
Conference Center in Rye Brook, NY. Craig Cignarelli, Feisal Hassan and Craig O’Shaughnessy will be our featured speakers. Please save the date as it is shaping up to be a great conference. Finally, our World Conference will be held in Las Vegas from September 23-27. Again, save those dates and try to make it to Las Vegas in the Fall. The last World Conference held in Las Vegas was the most highly attend conference in many years. Try to be there. We have a full schedule of workshops and conferences throughout the division. This year begins a new cycle of education credits, so be current with your education. If you have any questions or concerns about your credits, please contact me and I will guide you through the process. Thank you again for being a member of the USPTA! Paul Fontana Executive Director USPTA Eastern Division
We have 661 active members in our USPTA section! “Together we are stronger”
PRO OF THE YEAR
Laramie Gavin is the Director of Racquet Sports at Midtown Athletic Club in Rochester, New York. There, he and his team of 16 racquet sports professionals provide quality tennis programming in a state-of-the-art facility. Offerings at the club include: beginner through advanced adult tennis programming, a complete junior tennis
pathway, USTA tournaments, USTA league play, Platform tennis, squash and pickleball. Laramie is a PTR Professional, USPTA Elite Professional, a USPTA Specialist in Competitive Player Development and a graduate of the USTA High Performance Coaching program. Also PPTA certified and PPR recently. Laramie’s road to Rochester came through Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, and before that, various clubs in the St. Louis area. A St. Louis native, Laramie’s first passion was baseball. However, a chance invitation to a tennis camp at age 12 and he was hooked. Hours of practice and competitive play landed Laramie a college scholarship to play for Southern Illinois University. From there, he continued his tennis passion by coaching the college team and getting involved in local developmental programs.
A move to Chicago gave Laramie a chance to work at Midtown Tennis Club, a leader in the tennis industry. There, his real passion, coaching kids, was given a chance to develop. He left his position there for Rochester as Junior Tennis Director and a job of rebuilding a struggling junior program. Through a shift in culture and a simple, principled approach to coaching, the team at Rochester has transformed the junior program into one of the best in the Region and a model for others, Nationally. When working outside the club, Laramie spends time with the USTA as a Sectional clinician, committee member and a Net Generation Ambassador. When not working, Laramie spends his time with his wife Molly and their two boys, Emerson and Elliott.
USPTA Eastern - Tips for Success in 2019
1) Always work together as a team and care about your teammates. 2) Focus on collaboration and great teamwork within our board. 3) Never accept the status quo – there are always areas to improve or things that can be done differently, and better. 4) Know what our members want; keep them up to speed with what we are doing. 5) Take advantage of the people who are willing to teach you and don’t hesitate to ask questions. 6) The growth of the association is on our shoulders. Work at it every day, even if it’s just 10 mins. 7) Get involved with other organizations PTR & USTA. They help give us more tools and ideas to keep our association healthy, fresh and growing. 8) Make your goal to provide excellent service to every USPTA Eastern member. 9) Take time to listen to what our members are telling us and ask for feedback. 10) Don’t wing it. Work on plans to make sure committee meeting time is organized. 11) Create and promote educational, social and charitable events for our members, Keep exploring new ideas. 12) Get other members involved. Encourage them to get on a committee. 13) Dress for success; lose the unshaven, old t-shirt, backwards hat, just rolled out of bed look. 14) Tennis Directors and Club Owners you know are the key to adding new members. Make sure they are always in the loop in your district. 15) Keep an open mind. The game is always changing and pros must change with it to stay relevant. 16) There are no menial tasks, there are only menial attitudes. 17) Do It!
Do It Right!
Do It Right Now!
RaquetFit Certification Dates: May 24th-25th 2019 Rutherford, NJ More info and registration please see http://www.racquetfit.com/ certification/seminar-calendar
USPTA February Testing Schedule https://uspta.com/default. aspx?menuitemid=2296
UPDATE FROM THE AROUND THE SECTIONS: Highlights from the Southern District
USPTA President Geoffrey Jagdfeld recently was the guest speaker at Manhattanville College the newest Professional Tennis Management Program in our area. We look forward to helping the students to becoming USPTA certified and we hope to help place interns in summer tennis jobs locally.
Manhattanville College, located in Harrison, NY, offers a new Professional Tennis Management program in a tennis-rich area. The PTM program prepares students to enter the tennis management field, while providing opportunities to make industry contacts.
The B.A. in Sport Studies with PTM track requires 90 liberal arts credits, two science courses, one statistics course, one writing intensive course, two ‘Core Sport Content’ courses (from a compiled list), and the five courses in the PTM track: • Orientation to Professional Tennis Management • Beginning Teaching Techniques • Marketing and Administration for Professional Tennis Managers • Advanced Teaching Techniques • Senior Evaluation Additionally, students may take up to three internships for credit. It is anticipated that most students would take an internship for one credit each summer. Internship opportunities abound in the greater New York City area, including many private tennis clubs, public tennis organizations, and the USTA itself. Learn More: https://www.mville.edu/press-release/2017/04/26/manhattanville-college-partners-usta-offer-professional-tennis-management
Newport Beach, California June 28July 3
Forest Hills, New York August 19 - 24
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida December 6 - 11
“Little Mo” Slam WINNER
WIN THE TALLEST TROPHY IN JUNIOR TENNIS - 6' tall! In honor of Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly's Grand Slam win in 1953 Open to players worldwide / Ages 8-12 "Big Mo" divisions (ages 13-16) will be oﬀered in California and Florida To register: www.mcbtennis.org
Update from the Around the Sections - Highlights from the Southern District (Continued) JANUARY 27th @ LIFE TIME 914 POP UPS (vendors and a night of tennis) to benefit Tennis Foundation for Ghana. T This organization helps renovate tennis courts and start programs in Ghana for underprivileged. 5:30-9pm We are excited to have USPTA pros giving their time to help make the night a great event. Come join us! MARCH 23RD @ LIFE TIME Sharing Shelf - 2nd annual event This event benefits the clothing bank of Westchester. Enjoy food and a fun tennis mixer. Please contact Ryan Berthod to get more details and to register for these events. RBerthod@lt.life
Highlights from the Northern/Western District The Saratoga Springs YMCA hosted a USPTA Instructors Clinic for National Education Month on Sunday morning, November 4 from 11am to 2pm. Steve Thirolle, Northern District President, acted as moderator His advanced class of juniors met 11am to 1pm at their usual time but Curt Speerschneider, Skidmore College Head Women’s Coach took over the class to demonstrate advanced drills used in practices for the Skidmore team. The USPTA attendees could come up close to heard instructions or sit on bleachers provided. When the junior class finished, Western President Steve Pekich gave a classroom presentation on court, “Tennis Fundamentals--Hiding in Plain Sight” until 2pm The Adult attendees of USPTA pros and other coaches all received folders and outlines of the drills used and the presentation. Besides the two Steves, USPTAs present included USPTA Stars Award winner Gwen Ritchie, Kay Nicholson, and Shao Beng Law who has just tested for USPTA.
We have 661 active members in our USPTA section! “Together we are stronger”
2019 USPTA CAREER AND LEADER PROGRAM MENTEE INVITE Fellow USPTA Professionals, Early in 2018 the USPTA launched the Career and Leader Program. The purpose of this program is to match mentors within the USPTA with qualified and interested mentees. We are excited to announce that the program is going very well, and if you are not already participating, we invite you to join us as mentees in this second phase of the program. Below is a link to the form to apply to be a mentee. The deadline to apply is February 15th. https://www.cognitoforms.com/USPTA1/USPTACareerAndLeaderDevelopmentProgramApplicati on We are aware that some divisions or districts already have mentoring programs in place. It is worth noting that this national program is not in any way meant to replace these programs. This is a separate, stand-alone program, designed to give pros who would like to utilize the experience and expertise of our mentor pros to further develop their careers and/or leadership skills. The program is a one-year commitment and includes four quarterly mentoring calls ranging from 30-60 minutes, and one monthly email exchange between the mentor and mentee for followups and updates. In case you weren’t aware this program counts towards continuing education credits for mentors and mentees. With the phenomenal response we received during the first phase of this program last year we HIGHLY recommend you respond asap to be considered for the program. We have about 100 spots available and we will make selections based on how quickly people apply AND how much detail they provide about themselves and their career and leadership aspirations. The more detail we receive from you, the easier it is to pair you with a mentor. If you would like a spot and sign up but are not selected for the program we will put you on the “first-in-line” list for the phase III which will launch sometime mid-summer. If you are already in the program there is no need to reapply. This is a great opportunity to get mentored by some of the top pros in the industry and to receive continued education credit while participating. We encourage you to apply today! Please contact us at USPTAMENTORING@gmail.com if you have any questions. Kevin Theos Chair USPTA Mentoring Committee
USPTA PARTNERS WITH IPTPA TO BRING PICKLEBALL CERTIFICATION TO THE ASSOCIATION IPTPA WILL HOST PICKLEBALL CERTIFICATION COURSES AT USPTA DIVISION CONFERENCES LAKE NONA, Fla. – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) has entered into a three-year partnership with the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA.) Under the terms of the agreement, the USPTA will work collaboratively with the recognized world leader in pickleball teacher certification to certify USPTA professionals in pickleball. Starting in 2019, the IPTPA will host specialty courses in pickleball across USPTA division conferences, where interested professionals will be able to earn their Level I certification in pickleball. “We realize that our members have been asked about pickleball and many are being encouraged to start a pickleball program at their facilities. With that in mind, our board of directors has recognized that USPTA members should have education about pickleball,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “The IPTPA has proven to be a well-respected and outstanding organization providing opportunities to improve teaching skills through continuing education programs. However, it is not our intent to get into the pickleball certification business.” The pickleball certification course will include classroom sessions, on-court teaching sessions, and an on-court playing session. The cost for the five-hour workshop is $240, which includes the pickleball certification testing, access to the specialty course, and a one-year membership with the IPTPA. The courses will be hosted at USPTA division conferences. “As highly trained teachers, USPTA professionals are great communicators, can break a skill down to its simplest components, understand the importance of a great lesson plan, and are passionate about teaching,” said IPTPA CEO Seymour Rifkind. “We condensed our workshop into a format that will allow USPTA members to recognize the distinct differences of pickleball while becoming familiar with the IPTPA methodology which has become the world standard in teaching pickleball. IPTPA is thrilled to be partnering with the USPTA.” About the IPTPA The IPTPA is the world’s leading association of Certified Pickleball Teaching Professionals, viewed and highly respected as an organization of knowledgeable experts and industry innovators. The IPTPA delivers an on-going program of workshops, seminars, and other learning experiences to continually raise the quality of each of our members. Their intent is to raise the standards of Pickleball excellence on a worldwide basis and to work in conjunction with the USAPA to help grow the sport of Pickleball. About the USPTA Founded in 1927, the United States Professional Tennis Association is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 12,000 members worldwide, the Association raises the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and promotes a greater awareness of the sport.
Our Story A passionate company with unique history
Led by founder Jim Fromuth and CEO Pat Shields, we are a tennis wholesale distributor based in West Lawn, PA. We first opened our doors nearly 50 years ago. The Fromuth Family liked and played the game of tennis, so they bought a stringing machine and had a few tennis frames to sell in the shop. In the late 1970s, tennis began to be televised and business took a different direction. Fromuth Tennis was born. As the tennis industry grew, so did our selection of racquets, strings and apparel. We began helping small pro shops get the product they needed to boost their own business. Then & Now CEO Pat Shields and Founder Jim Fromuth
Today, we have a 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse. On a busy day in August, UPS trucks are lined up outside waiting to load more than 800 packages. Although bigger, we are still a family-owned operation with more than 70 employees who share a passionate drive for tennis and helping our customers.
USTA National Campus Pro Shop
Fromuth is the Official Distributor of Nike Footwear and Apparel to the USPTA
We lead all operations including staffing, merchandising and stringing services at the USTA National Campus Pro Shop. This 2,800 sq. ft. store in the Welcome Center of USTA National Campus features the newest product releases from top tennis brands such as Nike, adidas, Babolat, HEAD and Wilson, as well as unique National Campus memorabilia.
For more then 10 years we have provided Nike product to USPTA members. We are proud of our relationship with an exclusive community of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches promoting excellence in the tennis industry. USPTA members receive a 30 percent discount off retail prices when purchasing Nike goods through Fromuth. The Official Distributor of Nike Footwear & Apparel to the USPTA.
USPTA COACHES CLINIC Hosted by the Wilton YMCA & Sponsored by The USPTA and the coaches of Skidmore College
Saturday, March 23, 2019 11AM-3PM Welcome all tennis players and practitioners to a USPTA hosted educational on court workshop Saturday, March 23, from 11AM-3PM at the Wilton YMCA, 20 Old Gick Rd, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. All high school coaches, pros, or interested tennis players are welcome to this event. This clinic will bring my good friend and Skidmore’s most successful coach Curt Speerschneider back to the Wilton Y to do a kind of “Part 2” to the coaches clinic we gave in November during the USPTA’s Education Month. We will focus on bringing JV and Varsity level players and teams into focus as they prepare for the end of the season and the post season. Each attendee will receive a folder with a course outline, and pen and paper with which to take notes and track play.
Each attendee should bring tennis gear because they may be called on to participate in the drills and exercises presented. The cost is $20, and $10 for USPTA members (cash please) thank you! Most schools will reimburse coaches for this event and most schools will give a professional day as well. Receipts provided. Please respond to Stephen.Thirolle@srymca.org or call me at my office at 518.587.3000 x160. If you are USPTA, please leave me your membership number, please leave and a number / email to get back in touch with you to confirm. Thank you and see you out there! Stephen Thirolle Northern District President of USPTA Eastern Director of Competitive Tennis at the Wilton YMCA Asst Coach Women’s Tennis at Skidmore College
NORTHERN/WESTERN The Saratoga Springs YMCA hosted a USPTA Instructors Clinic for National Education Month on Sunday morning, November 4 from 11am to 2pm. Steve Pekich, Western District President acted as moderator. His advanced class of juniors met 11am to 1pm at their usual time but Curt Speerschneider, Skidmore College Head Women’s Coach took over the class to demonstrate advanced drills used in practices for the Skidmore team. The USPTA attendees could come up close to heard instructions or sit on bleachers provided. When the junior class finished, Steve gave a classroom presentation on court “Tennis Fundamentals--Hiding in Plain Sight” until 2pm. The Adult attendees of USPTA pros and other coaches all received folders and outlines of the drills used and the presentation. Besides the two Steves, USPTAs present included USPTA Stars Award winner Gwen Ritchie, Kay Nicholson, and Shao Beng Law who has just tested for USPTA.
Approach your game with confidence and style.
Shop online at uspta.fromuthtennis.com for all your Nike Footwear.
The Official Distributor of Nike Footwear & Apparel to the USPTA.
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2019 COACHES CLINIC ANNOUNCED! HOSTED BY ELEVATE FITNESS DEWITT & SPONSORED BY THE USPTA
Friday, March 22, 2019 9AM-3PM The 36th Annual Coaches Clinic will be hosted at Elevate Fitness (formerlyGold’s Gym) of DeWitt. The date is Friday, March 23, and the time is 9AM-3PM. All high school coaches, pros, or interested tennis players are welcome to this event. Lunch is included in the cost of the clinic. This is a coach’s workshop and not a 10 & Under workshop. It is oriented toward helpful drills and practices to benefit a coach or instructor of players 12 and up. Each attendee will receive a folder with a course outline with room to take notes along with other educational materials. Each attendee should bring tennis gear because they will be participating in the drills and exercises presented if desired. The cost is $30 ($20 for USPTA pros), made out to “Elevate Fitness”. Most schools will reimburse coaches for this and most schools will give a professional day as well. Receipts provided.
Directions to Elevate Fitness, DeWitt From I-690 East or West, take Bridge St. exit and go south. Immediately get into the far left lane. Within ¼ mile, come to Widewaters Parkway (Home Depot opposite). At this light, go left. Follow Widewaters ½ mile, see “ELEVATE FITNESS” in big gold letters on the right. Park and come in. 315-446-0376 Register by emailing Steve at:
USPTA High School Coaches Workshop Day:
Time: 2:30-6:00pm Site:
Carefree Racquet & Health Club 1414 Jerusalem Ave, North Merrick, NY 11566
Agenda 10:30-4:30pm 2nd Annual NY Tennis Expo “FREE” at Nassau Coliseum (Note: 12:30pm Draw Ceremony for the New York Open) 2:00-2:30pm
Travel to Carefree Racquet & Health Club
2:30-3:30pm “Blazing Drills” Tennis/Managing Partner Sportsplex 3:40-4:40pm
Mark Savage; USPTA Master Professional and Director of
“Drill Progressions” Conrad Singh; COO & Director of Coaching for Center court
4:50-6:00pm “Coaching Practices and Matches, What to Look For?” Australia High Performance Coach/Motivation and Activation Speaker 6:00-6:30pm
Travel to Nassau Coliseum
Meet and greet with ATP tour player
Emma Doyle; Tennis
7:30pm NY Open - Exhibition Match; Featuring Andy Roddick Just click below to register for the workshop using PayPal or email Paul Fontana Registration Fee: (Includes ticket to Saturday Exhibition match at the Nassau Coliseum) Click here to register: https://mailchi.mp/ffee690398f3/uspta-hs-coaches-workshop-long-island-616579
USPTA members get 20% off tickets for every session at the NY Open Follow the link http://nycbgroups.com/uspta USPTA Night at the NY Open – Thursday, Feb. 14, Quarter-Finals (See attached pic, NYOpen.jpeg)
Tennis Professional of Sales By Geoffrey A. Jagdfeld Tennis Director Solaris Sports Clubs
Most commercial tennis facilities value sales ability very high – if you are good at bringing new players, you’ll rise through the ranks faster, make more money and grow your professional track record faster than you ever thought possible. And there’s a good reason for that as most people find it very hard to combine being a great teacher with being a great seller. It’s like, ‘I got into the tennis teaching business so I wouldn’t have to do sales’. I have been fortunate enough to be both on the teaching side and the manager side of tennis for close to 3 decades, and been involved in what probably amounts to several hundred programs. And over that time, I’ve seen how the very best tennis professional sellers are different – in three distinctive ways. They Accept They Are In Sales. When I was a young tennis teaching professional, this was probably my toughest challenge: to acknowledge and accept the fact that I was in sales (too). You see, there was a little voice inside telling me “you didn’t go to college, in order to become a salesperson.” Or “you’re an elite tennis player; you shouldn’t have to be selling as well”. Over time, I started seeing just how much this attitude was holding me back. And I wasn’t alone – over the years, many have told me they have similar hangups about sales that hold them
back from success. The very best, however, understand that sales is just part of what they do – and perhaps even the most important part. They accept it, and in most cases even enjoy it. They Act Like Chameleons. Pros that can adapt and figure out what the client wants from their on-court experience will have repeat customers. I have categorized three main types of clients: The Wanna Work-out – this client wants to sweat and run around the court. The might like a tip here and there but don’t pause longer than a few moments to show them anything. If you do they will be chomping at the bit to get back to running. These players like to rally with the Pro or you better have 2 carts full of balls so the ball pick-up is at a minimum. The Student – for me these are the most rewarding lessons to give because these players want all the information you can offer. They ask questions, tell you about their match experiences and in general seek your knowledge to improve their game. The Social Hour – for this client you need to build a more personal relationship like a bartender or hair dresser. They want to tell you about their week or what their kids are doing. Also they want to know more about you. How was your week? What are you doing this weekend? Been to any good
shows or restaurants lately? You might not hit that many tennis balls in this lesson but if you keep the conversation going they will be signing up for the package of lessons. They Ask and Educate Their Buyers. My old mentor always said if you are not teaching enough hours then how many people have you asked to do a lesson today? Truly outstanding tennis teaching professionals look for ways to ask and educate potential clients. The key word here is ask – you need to deliver insights about the players game and how you can help them take it to the next level by getting on court with you. In summation those who succeed are successfully marrying the skill sets and competencies of the great tennis salesman. The true rainmakers in any organization are admired, valued and almost always first in line when it comes to future opportunities for their career development. Yet, most companies are plagued by the same phenomenon: a relatively small number of individuals bring in a disproportionate amount of all lessons. By following the three principles outlined above, you now have the option to choose to become one of them.
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