Tennis Industry magazine


Courts: Image is Everything

You may not notice things wearing out and wearing down, but your players will. Here’s how you can keep your facility looking, and playing, its best.

By Mary Helen Sprecher

You see your tennis facility every day. But do you really see it? The image you think your tennis facility is projecting — that of a spiffy, well-cared-for set of courts, may fall short of that. Over time, a facility can lose its luster, not because of one big thing, but because of many small things that wear out, wear down and fade. You might not notice, but players, particularly those new to your facility, will.

Want to stay on top of those little downturns? Start by borrowing a new set of eyes. Invite a colleague from a different facility to come and walk your courts, and take note of the places where improvement is needed. Do the same for that person in return.

Three rules: First, neither one of you is allowed to get testy with the other over any observations made; in fact, it’s probably better if each person examines the other’s facility alone. Second, neither one of you is allowed to dismiss any of the other’s recommendations. If they noticed it, so have plenty of others. Third, meet at your local watering hole or coffee shop to unwind and trade these observations. There’s something about being off the premises that makes it easier to talk.

What kinds of things will come under scrutiny? Sometimes, things you never thought of (or perhaps you noticed them, but thought they weren’t important). And each change you make to correct those problems, minor as you may have thought they were initially, will bring your courts back to life and really make them pop.

Small changes can make a big difference in the image your facility projects. And as we all know, image is everything.

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About the Author

Mary Helen Sprecher  is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.



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