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Six Common Mistakes Tennis Club Managers Make

tennis-management-resourcelyBecoming a director of a tennis program can be an exciting time. After years of working in the field, you finally have the power of making a change for the better and grow your tennis program.

Now it's the time to create a plan on how to do that!

Through our own work as tennis directors and tennis program managers, we have recognized few things that often get overlooked. So our team put together a list of six common mistakes that tennis managers make, which we hope will be helpful to you! Tackle these and your work (and life) may just become a little bit better!

Mistake #1: You don’t pay enough attention to what your customers are looking for

If you pay attention and understand the reason they came to your club and their individual needs, you'll be able to provide the most relevant information and suggest the right teachers and classes for them. If you do not, your whole conversation would just sound as a heavy sales pitch, which (let's face it) no one really appreciates.

Mistake #2: You’re not welcoming people in the right way

Produce customer-centered contentPeople come to your tennis clubs from all over the area and for all sorts of reasons - maybe they’ve never stepped on a tennis court before or they could be life-long tennis players and tennis fans. If they are a complete beginner, chances are they are a little scared of trying this new sport. Having a friendly face welcoming them, showing them around and getting them excited about the first class would certainly help starting the relationship on the right note.

Mistake #3: Not responding to inquiries in timely manner 

Clubs could keep new tennis players and members happy for a long time if they would simply call back or write an email reply in a timely manner. We understand you probably are receiving hundreds of emails daily. If it takes you longer typing the replies back, it might be faster to pick up the phone and call. If you are unable to answer everyone's inquiry, you can always ask a colleague or the front desk person to help you out (or delegate the work). Any email that takes longer than 24 hrs to be replied to is late and can appear unprofessional.

Mistake #4: You are not managing negative feedback properly

Negative feedback will happen. In fact, it's close to impossible to make every single person happy. You can, however, try your very best to do so and show people who complain that you care. Customers can occasionally show up in the office and express how unhappy they are with a teacher or class. You may not have enough information to solve the problem right away. However, it is the right approach to let that person know that you will investigate the problem and call him or her right away (and actually do so). After that, suggest some alternatives (if possible). Most people will appreciate your time and effort.

Mistake #5: Fun during tennis lessons is off the menu

Tennis is not always all about winning. It is also chance to have some time out, get some exercise or have some family time. Life is serious and tennis is a difficult sport to master but it really helps to not take it too seriously all the time. Have your tennis pros help their students to learn all the basics but also give them a chance to have some fun.

Mistake #6: You are micromanaging

Are you asking everyone to Cc you on all their emails? Are you asking for frequent updates on everything? Are you frequently finding yourself not quite satisfied with your team results? If yes, you are probably micromanaging.

Micromanaging is a hard habit to break. According to Muriel Maignan Wilkins, coauthor of Own the Room and managing partner of Paravis Partners, “Micromanaging dents your team’s morale by establishing a tone of mistrust—and it limits your team’s capacity to grow.”

Remember, a good manager trains and delegates, so if you are finding yourself micromanaging, it might be time to rethink your approach.

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