Why Your Club Needs Staff Meetings

By Denny Schackter

During my tennis career, I have experienced private clubs and public facilities that conducted staff meetings, and some thattennis_staffing_chicago_tennis_teaching_professionals_chicago did not. I cannot imagine why a tennis teaching facility would not have staff meetings, unless the owner or director was afraid of what might be said. The following reasons advocate staff meetings be conducted regularly with your club’s tennis professionals.

  1. Advocate teamwork among staff
  2. Get to know your fellow pros – personality, history, strengths and comfort zones, rather than just as one who teaches adults, kids, advanced players, etc.
  3. Discover teaching strengths and weaknesses
  4. Continuing education and professional development
    • special guest visit
    • assign professional workshop or symposia attendance
  5. Communicate participation in community events and tennis tournaments
  6. Share feedback from students
  7. Build relationships between Director, Head Pro and tennis staff
  8. Build consistent teaching philosophies and club branding, not only teaching staff, but with entire club staff
  9. Expose new ideas
  10. Exude pride in your facility
  11. Plan social events as a staff
  12. Nip potential conflicts before they fester
  13. Set goals and develop a mission statement for the staff
  14. Discuss upcoming events on site, including court maintenance, court reservation and availability issues
  15. Discuss student class and/or travel team assignments

Of these, I believe the most important is Number 7, regarding teaching philosophy. The lack of a consistent club teaching philosophy, mission statement and policy can wreak havoc if one pro substitutes for another. Having a singular, unified voice from the club’s instruction department is paramount to the patrons’ (and parents) understanding the club’s teaching direction, the measurement for success of the program, and student improvement.

In addition to the philosophy, I sincerely hope all teaching professionals take a positive tack when dealing with fellow teachers. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses, and we must be tolerant of the attributes and shortcomings of others. Telling a student that another pro’s approach is wrong is inappropriate. You can say, “S/he makes a great point. Let me show you another possibility and you can choose which one works best for you.” This statement makes everyone look good.

There are many reasons why every tennis facility should conduct staff meetings. If your club is not among them, use this article to generate the discussion.

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