On Staying Positive

by Denny Schackter, USPTA Elite Professional

I thoroughly love watching my fellow teaching pros on the court. I love comparing styles, communication, enthusiasm and knowledge. More times than not, I discover something that I can add to my teaching and, perhaps, make me a better Pro. Sometimes, I observe an occurrence that I wish I could go down on the court and tell the Pro you might want to handle that statement a bit differently. I am sure you have all been in that same boat.

Recently, I watched a younger pro giving a group lesson. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and personable. The way he handled a correction to a student, in my mind, could have been handled better.

Years ago, I observed an older pro giving instruction and one thing really stood out. Before vocalizing a correction, he told the student something positive. An example might be, “I loved your footwork on that shot. It was a thing to behold, but you got there so fast you over ran the ball. Let’s take smaller steps as you approach the ball and you will see the results.” He started with a positive and finished with a correction. I wished younger pros, such as the one I observed, could have watched the older Pro I watched years ago.

I truly feel in this difficult game how we sell and how we teach determines success or not. A positive statement before the negative one, will keep more students in the game.

Keep up the quality work and we will find more players to enjoy our great sport.

Read the complete Winter 2021 USPTA Midwest Division Newsletter HERE.

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