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tennis_pr0
01-06-2011, 07:55 AM
I am a full time teaching pro, and I was hoping I could get some opinions from other teaching pros on the board or anyone else who has some good words on this matter. I teach full time at a tennis club. I teach privately, and I also work a few hours a week for the club doing clinics that they set up. There are three full time teaching pros at my club, and lately I have been having a conflict on interests with the one.

All of the teaching pros at my club put in a few hours and work for the club with the clinics that they put together. It keeps the numbers up for the club, and it also is a great way for the teaching pros to meet new people and set up lessons. Lately, parents of the kids from one of the other instructors court have been coming up to me asking me if I can do private lessons with their kids. Now I am not soliciting in any way, as I would never do that nor would I even consider operating in that manner. Word of mouth has gotten around that the kids really like me and are improving much quicker with me than the other instructor.

The other instructor has been seeing some of the kids from his clinic taking privates with me lately and has been getting very upset. Like I said, these people are coming up to me, basically telling me they are unsatisfied with the other instructor and want their kids to take lessons with me. Basically, my questions here is, am I doing something wrong or unethical by accepting these lessons? Again, I am not soliciting or persuading anyone in any way to come to me, it is all word of mouth and these people are coming up to me and asking me. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks guys!

tennis_pr0
01-06-2011, 08:26 AM
Anyone????

mikeler
01-06-2011, 09:06 AM
As a club, you owe it to your customers to allow them to choose the pro they feel most comfortable with. I'd have a conversation with the other pro and just let him know everything you've told us. It will be uncomfortable but maybe they'll be less animosity between you and him afterwards.

10s talk
01-06-2011, 09:28 AM
Is there a tennis director, or club manager to discuss the situation with ?




you may get a better response in the tennis tips forum

MuscleWeave
01-06-2011, 09:32 AM
As a club, you owe it to your customers to allow them to choose the pro they feel most comfortable with. I'd have a conversation with the other pro and just let him know everything you've told us. It will be uncomfortable but maybe they'll be less animosity between you and him afterwards.

If he's not the understanding type, just ask the customer to request you through the service desk. That would protect you from an accusation of prospecting.

CoachingMastery
01-06-2011, 11:35 AM
The OP's problem is not uncommon among clubs with multiple pros, and, especially, clubs that are rather ambiguous in terms of creating communication between pros. (Or, clubs that basically rent out teaching courts with no continuety with pros thus each is their own independent contractor.)

Answer? If your tennis director does not create a monthly meeting (or any meetings among the pros), set one up with a discussion on how pros want to handle students switching.

As with any club, you will have some pros who are simply better, or are in higher demand. Egos need to be put aside and other pros need to recognize no one is holding a gun to any of the student's heads in where they decide to take lessons.

If you are truly not soliciting lessons, (and that means you are not insinuating, making sly remarks, like, "Johnny is sure having trouble with his serve"...right after taking lessons from another pro; etc.) then you teach the students that ask for you.

As a courtesy, you might want to talk to the other pros of whom the student had been taking and let them know that "Johnny's parents asked me to work with him for a while..." This is better than the other pro suddenly seeing Johnny taking a lesson from you without previous knowledge of the change.

Ideally, you will want the student to confront the other pro and let them know they will be changing pros for a while. A good pro will smile and wish them well. A bad pro will challenge the decision, say bad things about the other pro or simply destroy the bridge for that student if they ever wanted to come back.

I've seen some pros in my home town actually have students and parents sign an agreement that they WON'T take from anyone else...nor do they encourage players to attend workshops, clinics or competitive events at other clubs or with other pros. This is certainly seldom in the best interest of the student.

Hope this helps.

10s talk
01-06-2011, 12:06 PM
The OP's problem is not uncommon among clubs with multiple pros, and, especially, clubs that are rather ambiguous in terms of creating communication between pros. (Or, clubs that basically rent out teaching courts with no continuety with pros thus each is their own independent contractor.)

Answer? If your tennis director does not create a monthly meeting (or any meetings among the pros), set one up with a discussion on how pros want to handle students switching.

As with any club, you will have some pros who are simply better, or are in higher demand. Egos need to be put aside and other pros need to recognize no one is holding a gun to any of the student's heads in where they decide to take lessons.

If you are truly not soliciting lessons, (and that means you are not insinuating, making sly remarks, like, "Johnny is sure having trouble with his serve"...right after taking lessons from another pro; etc.) then you teach the students that ask for you.

As a courtesy, you might want to talk to the other pros of whom the student had been taking and let them know that "Johnny's parents asked me to work with him for a while..." This is better than the other pro suddenly seeing Johnny taking a lesson from you without previous knowledge of the change.

Ideally, you will want the student to confront the other pro and let them know they will be changing pros for a while. A good pro will smile and wish them well. A bad pro will challenge the decision, say bad things about the other pro or simply destroy the bridge for that student if they ever wanted to come back.

I've seen some pros in my home town actually have students and parents sign an agreement that they WON'T take from anyone else...nor do they encourage players to attend workshops, clinics or competitive events at other clubs or with other pros. This is certainly seldom in the best interest of the student.

Hope this helps.

well said.........

tennis_pr0
01-06-2011, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, especially yours coaching mastery. The head pro at the club knows I am not soliciting in any way, it's just the other pro is complaining and he being the head pro has to say something to me.

The clinic that the club does the teaching pros get paid per hour for them. The club has a strict policy about taking someone from the club's clinic and doing a private. As long as the student keeps doing the clinic, then it is ok, but if the student goes from the clinic to a private and stops doing the clinic, then the club loses money and then it's a problem.

Each teaching pro has his or her own court for the club's clinic, and usually the clinics go for 12 weeks at a time. I started teaching a fee kids that were on one of the other teaching pros court, because like I said word of mouth got around that the kids are having good results with me and like me. However, now that the parents see that their kids are having such good results with me, they do not want their kids to do the clinics again, so now I have a conflict with the club because a few of the kids are just doing privates and not the clinics. Parents have said to me many times, and this is not a secret around the club, that they are not seeing any results from the other teaching pro and the kids are just standing around.

So anyway, it's kind of a awkward situation with everything, but I don't feel I am doing anything wrong. I feel like I am just being rewarded for being a good pro.

max
01-07-2011, 05:31 AM
Like it or not, the whole thing won't be over until you talk to the other guy.

Some teachers just do better with certain ages or certain students. Doesn't reflect, necessarily, badly on your colleague.

But it's tough, so chin up.

tennis_pr0
01-07-2011, 10:40 AM
I guess this is just part of the business...