Someone said to me a while back ' Glenn you are a good tennis coach , but a lousy Businessman', if he was looking for an argument then he wasn't going to get one. I don't charge much to teach the game of tennis , sometimes I do it for nothing , depending on the circumstances, but one thing is for certain , I do not treat my teaching as a Business. When you go from a hobby to being reliant on it for an income certain things change , most of the time to the detriment of the consumer. I refuse to teach in groups of more than 4 students per session and perhaps this is where my lack of 'business brains' are evident. The way I see it is that if you have more than 4 students on a court with you at a time then no matter what series of drills you do , replicating an actual game of tennis is an impossibility , as 4 per court is the maximum number allowed when playing matches. I like to refer to my tuition as 'reality' , not 'gimmicky' or one that would be simply a money making exercise.
I am hitting the road this weekend for a coaching clinic where I do all sessions without an assistant , seven hours ahead of me on one day , with a maximum of 4 players per session , plus a one on one session thrown in. Is this a money making exercise ? Yes I will make something out of the seven hours I put in but I consider it good value as the students will hit a lot of balls each session and won't be waiting around for a turn to hit .
Most coaches would probably charge more and take an assistant , halving the time spent on court but my theory on this is simple . Unless your assistant is just as qualified as you are as a leading coach then the pupils are not receiving what they have paid for and that is a session with the person who has offered it . I have taught this game for I believe now 27 years as I am 45 and began when I was 18 and with the game of tennis you really can't beat experience , especially with tuition.
I have a theory on most things in life but with my coaching I believe in giving value for money , not a token gesture as is typical with the way the sport is now heading . Will I ever lose my sense of humour ? Never , it's what keeps me sane.........