You Gotta Have Heart!
It was vintage Jim Baugh — laser pointer in his right hand, slide projector clicker in his left, explaining the latest development in tennis. All of Baugh’s excitement about the sport was there, as always, and he was thoroughly prepared, as usual.
But rather than addressing the usual group of industry bigwigs, Baugh was talking to a group of tennis teaching professionals about something dear to his heart: fitness and tennis. This was a free workshop for teaching pros about Cardio Tennis, a program that Baugh conceived and is bringing to fruition, together with the Tennis Industry Association (of which Baugh is president) and with support from the USTA.
I took part in this four-hour workshop, which was held at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., in June and, even though I’ve known the details of the program for many months, I was impressed and amazed. This was one of 21 workshops being held across the country from May to September to give teaching pros an in-depth look at the program and to help them deliver Cardio Tennis to their players. If you haven’t been to one of these free workshops, you need to go. (There’s still time to sign up for workshops at Stanford, Los Angeles, Orlando, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, and Hilton Head. Visit Cardio Tennis on the web or call 866-686-3036.)
The workshops begin with a lively and informative hour and a half presentation, then participants actually run through Cardio Tennis on court, wearing heart monitors. Then it’s back in the classroom for a quick wrap-up. The excitement from the nearly 40 people in the workshop was great to see. They clearly understood the benefits for players, for their own businesses, and for the future of the sport.
The goal of Cardio Tennis is to get players moving, getting the heart rate into the “Cardio Tennis Zone.” I was constantly on the move, and got an amazing workout, burning, according to my heart monitor, more than 1,240 calories in just over an hour. And it was fun; I had a blast. Cardio Tennis lives up to the hype.
Key, of course, is the teaching pro, who needs to be able to keep the group moving and not stop to correct strokes or technique. Facilitating on court at my workshop were Michele Krause, the TIA’s national Cardio Tennis business manager; Bill Mountford, the director of tennis at the NTC; Dr. Sophie Woorons, the director of tennis at Performance Tennis at Brookstone Meadows in Anderson, S.C.; and former touring pro Katrina Adams. All were fantastic, keeping things moving while still taking time to explain various aspects of the program to the pros.
The program will roll out to consumers during the US Open, with fitness expert and Cardio Tennis advocate Denise Austin taking part. And every week, more facilities are signing on to become Cardio sites.
If you haven’t looked into offering Cardio Tennis to your players, you need to. It’s good for your players, and that’ll keep your business alive.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.