New coach, missed first lesson

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mazilla2219, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Mazilla2219

    Mazilla2219 Rookie

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    So earlier this week I scheduled a lesson with a tennis pro, I've been going to several of his fast feeds, for a time later on in the week. When the day came I was all ready and excited b/c during the fast feeds he has given alot of great advice that has improved my strokes and my game, but about ~1 before the lesson an emergency occured at work and I couldn't make the lesson. I called him and explained that I couldn't make the lesson and if we could reschedule for a later time that day or another day. He simply replied no and that he would have to refer me to another pro b/c I cancelled with such short notice. I understand that I did called to cancel in such a short period of time but I really would like to receive lessons from this pro b/c his advice seems to click more that others. What is the best way of approaching this situation?
     
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  2. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Usually, if you cancel on short notice you have to pay anyway. Was this the case here? If he didn't get paid, then I would suggest you offer to pay him if you feel he is the only game in town.

    Regardless, his response was unprofessional. I suggest you do a little research to find out just how good a coach he really is compared to others in the area. I'd be inclined to walk based on his actions.
     
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  3. EPaps

    EPaps Rookie

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    Yeah I agree. Offer to pay for the lesson you missed in addition to future lessons and everything should be fine after that.
     
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  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    If someone wanted to pay me even though they pulled a last minute cancellation, I'd be psyched!

    I'm not seriously established as a teacher, but when someone hits me with more than one short notice schedule conflict, I get pretty annoyed - it forces me to rethink our terms and I also become less accommodating with the "margins" of my schedule. Some knuckleheads will routinely leave their tennis commitments up in the air, either with lessons or with a regular playing group and what's unfortunate for you is that this attitude isn't exactly rare. That coach you want to work with may have already seen too much of it and just refuses to get burned anymore.

    If you contact that coach with the offer to pay for that cancellation, you'd be certainly making a kind gesture, but don't assume that you're back to neutral footing if the coach even agrees to work with you. You'll need to show up for several sessions to demonstrate some commitment, but if you also agree to pay for short notice cancellations in the future, this coach shouldn't have much reason to pass you up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
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  5. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I can understand the pro's point of view. Last minute cancellation means that he lost revenue for that hour. Typically, if you reserve something and cancel at the last minute, you have to pay a fine or pay the full amount.

    Because you did not offer to pay for the missed appointment, he may have decided that you are not a worthwhile client and made a decision to not take you on. Personally, I would find somebody else, the relationship is dead before arrival. Even if you had offered to pay, I don't think he'll trust you and you won't trust him either.

    If what you say about him is true, he's a popular coach, and does not have difficulties finding clients so ...

    At my club, if you reserve court time and cancel less than 24 hours before the reserved time, you will be charge the full amount and they do indeed charge. The system is automatic.
     
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  6. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    offer to pay for a series of lessons upfront so that he knows he is getting his money
     
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  7. Mazilla2219

    Mazilla2219 Rookie

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    I forgot to offer to pay at the time I called just because I was really thrown off by his response. I approached him yesterday and apologized and explained the situation again and offered to pay for the missed lesson, but he declined the payment and stated that 4 people had cancelled on him that day with short noticed and that he just took the whole entire day off. I probably will find a new coach but will continue to go to this guy's fast feeds and pick up any advice he dishes my way. Thanks for all your responses.
     
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  8. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well what happens when a pro cancels on you with short notice - do they pay you or give you a free lesson? Uh - no from what I have seen. I took my daughters to a class. Yes it was a beginners class for little kids and the pro was a no show and very bad form. Everybody was sitting around for 15 minutes when finally someone came out and said, "Oh he called in sick"
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    An emergency is an emergency. By definition, it is more important that a recreational tennis lesson.
     
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  10. pmacino

    pmacino Semi-Pro

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    I think that it was a matter of circumstance that it was your first lesson and you cancelled at the last minute.. I have a lot of clients that come to me the same way you did to the pro, and a last minute cancellation, is the sign of a flake.
    Now I have no doubt that you were sincere, but you need to look through his eyes.

    Like others have mentioned it is all about your follow-up that will drive the relationship.

    If he continues to blow you off or is rude, that is on him.
     
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  11. D. Dokas

    D. Dokas Rookie

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    the coach shouldn't have done that.
    hey come on if he was the last lesson he could have gone home early whats his problem.

    dude if you had an emergency, and u didnt go because your coach will get mad and redirect you 2 someone else your a doosh.

    your paying the coach, hes working for you to teach you tennis.

    if he cant accept that fact that u had to be elsewhere on this pacticular day take ur buisness elsewhere
     
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  12. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    In the pros defense, if he had 4 people cancel on him that day then he lost a lot of revenue that day but he didn't have to be so gruff about the whole thing. Also, it's not your fault that the other people cancelled so he really needs to get his attitude in check. The fact that you're offering to pay should register with him as a decent gesture for his time that was "wasted".

    If I were you, I'd look for another pro for my one-on-one lessons and keeping to to this one only for the fast feeds. You may like his advice in the fast-feed sessions but I bet you can find another pro that's just as competent and will take your needs and schedule into consideration as well.
     
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  13. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    When my pro has to cancel on me and my group on short notice, we get free court time. That's a professional way to go about it. Sorry about your incident goober.
     
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  14. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    a cost of a court

    BTW: who paid an unused court time?
    you or a pro or a club or was it FREE?

    Does a pro have a right to choose students
    at your place?
     
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  15. guedoguedo

    guedoguedo Semi-Pro

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    Quoted for being wrong on every front! :shock:
     
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  16. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Lets say your boss came to you and said "your not working the next hour and you will not get paid. But hey, you get to go home early."

    Life is about priorities.

    The pro is in demand and she came to him. You make it sound as if she was doing him a favor. And no, pros do not work for the student, they work for the student's betterment.

    I agree fully with you there.

    -SF
     
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  17. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Must be nice to have parents pay for everything and emmulating how his parents treat everyone like the hire hand.
     
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  18. tennisguyak

    tennisguyak Semi-Pro

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    From my experience the best coaches are the ones that aren't doing it just for the business like this one was but to make you a better player. He has to understand that he's working in a field where you have to interact with people and if your going to cut ties with somebody b/c they cancel one time then I don't think he's as good a person as you say he is a coach. I've said this several times, but I think that finding a nice college student who might have had some academy experience before and will show you what to do and then just drill you and work you until you do it right instead of try to impress you with the "newest technique" that he just read out of a tennis magazine.
     
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  19. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    lawyers,dentists and doctors

    Lawyers,doctors and dentists charge for appointments camceled LATE.
    Why tennis pros are NOT allowed to do what LAWYERS,DOCTORS and DENTISTS do ?
     
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  20. Jackie T. Stephens

    Jackie T. Stephens Professional

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    Pick a new coach, he isn't worth it to me..
     
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  21. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    word. i like what he has to say.
     
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  22. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    Other than the fact that you have a large bias due to the fact that you are a pro, you have a good point. The thing is, tennis pros CAN do that, its just that if they dont make that clear and outright like most lawyers, doctors, etc... do, its the fault of the pro.
     
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  23. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I guess that makes my comments eight years biased. Funny how experience turns to bias . . .

    -SF
     
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  24. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Because lawyers, doctors, and dentists are generally well established AND are in high demand. Thus, they can afford to make a policy as such to ensure customers come on time, while still making up the losses of customers due to such a policy. Even the lowest of doctors, dentists, and most lawyers can afford to do this. This is simply because doctors and dentists rely more on insurance companies for their money, and lawyers of course are in such high demand that they can afford to charge an arm and a leg.



    Tennis pros are generally not in such high demand, unless the pro is a very well known and established pro (which are actually fairly rare). This especially applies to pros who are just starting out. They don't want to alienate potential customers. Tennis pros already do not get paid as much (as their wage depends on the amount of hours put in + salary paid by tennis center / company that employs them if they are apart of one) as doctors, lawyers, and dentists, and are highly dependent on customer volume (where as the latter professions do not).


    Anyways, if the professional did not understand that you had an emergency, you should take your business else where.
     
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  25. goober

    goober Legend

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    Where I am some Doctors do it, but it is a minority and really depends on specialty. Dentists don't do it at all. Lawyers bill you for just talking to them on the phone so they will get you one way or another.

    The fact of the matter is that you can do it if you want to as a tennis pro- but ultimately you are dependent on clients for your income. Unless you are very well established you are not likely fare well if a lot of your clients are unhappy with your policy and go around badmouthing you. I have seen new teaching pros get fired within a short time after a bunch of club members were unhappy with his policies and attitude and complained to the owner of the facility.
     
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  26. tennisguyak

    tennisguyak Semi-Pro

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    And heres another point. People HAVE to go to a doctor and a dentist, when people get in trouble or somebody does something to them, they HAVE to (or at least should) go to a lawyer.

    People don't HAVE to go to a teaching pro. Its not like there's people lining up to see the pro at most country clubs. So IMO they should be as friendly and personable as possible because people do talk and eventually when he burns the bridge with enough people he won't have any business to cut ties with anymore.
     
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  27. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    This is one of those situations where he should have let you away with it once but said that next time you would have to pay for the hour. I think that's fair. If you then do it a few more times then he would be right to ask you to look elsewhere. The nature of emergencies is that they do happen but they rarely happy at the same time each week :)
     
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  28. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I do announce my policy to new students

    Hi,
    just to clarify:
    I do make my policy clear to new students.
    Majority of public and private clubs in Massachusetts simply charge a credit card of a member
    if a lesson canceled less than 24 hours,some of them 48 hours.
    A policy is stated in a membership form signed by a member.
    Just to give some ideas about prices involved
    An average price of one hour tennis lesson in Massachusetts PAID
    TO A TENNIS CLUB
    is around $70 per hour,at some places the price is $90-$120per hour.A court fee is a half of a price of a lesson.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
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  29. NineMileSkid

    NineMileSkid Rookie

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    Pay him for the lesson.
     
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  30. goober

    goober Legend

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    What's your policy if you have an emergency and you cancel your lesson with the student?

    It's all supply and demand. If you can get students or their parents to pay that much and agree to that policy- more power to you. I would personally never enter into such an agreement or pay that much (up to $90-120/ hr !). But that is just me
     
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  31. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Clubs do have policies

    Generally if canceled by a pro/a club a lesson is rescheduled but there is
    no free lesson.As I have said clubs/club managers do decide.
    To some extent it is a function of a country and a part of of a country.
    The point I am trying to indicate is that very often a pro is paid 35%-40% of a lesson fee.The rest goes to a club.
    I do NOT know what was a situation described in a post which started this thread.I do NOT know which country a lesson was taken/scheduled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
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  32. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A usage of word "yours"

    Generally it is NOT up tp a pro.
    I am in NorthEast ( suburbs of Boston)
     
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  33. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Quite frankly, I would have done the same. Granted, you are telling the truth here, however, coaches hear a lot of excuses from players missing practice at such short notice to avoid paying the pro.

    If you gave the pro little time to recover to find someone to fill the void, it is your responsibility to make it right. Emergency or no emergency.

    If this pro is busy and you got in to his schedule but missed the lesson, he is just going to move on to someone that will make his practices so he can earn his living.

    Sorry to sound harsh but a pro trying to earn a living with people not showing up to practices for whatever reason is harsh as well.

    You can talk with him, certainly pay him, and see what he says. If it was me? I might give you another chance or just tell you to find someone else.
     
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  34. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Missed First Lesson . . . et cetera!

    First off, calling to reschedule one hour before a first lesson is not good form.

    Secondly, asking him to reschedule before any mention of making it up to him (i.e. paying him) was the wrong order of working things out.

    Then, when you saw him face-to-face to explain things, finally offering to pay him is one thing, but putting $$ in his hand (by force if need be) would have been much more effective, since it wouldn’t have required him to actively “accept” or “take” anything, and it would have showed the true depth of your remorse and your respect for his time.

    I’m not saying you were trying to be cheap, because I don’t know you or your financial situation, but one thing you should know is that if your pro senses that you value his time in a real way, over the long haul you will get way more back in return for whatever you have to pay up front. In my world, “good” clients always seem to get extra time, both on and off the court.

    MG
     
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  35. Mazilla2219

    Mazilla2219 Rookie

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    To all those who advise to pay, when I saw him face to face, I had the money in my hand and was in the motion of giving it to him while further explaining why I had an emergency at work. I was on call that day and didn't expect to be paged but was paged and therefore couldn't fulfill the lesson. I know that it isn't the best way to start a pro/player relationship but that's life, emergencies happen. Well, I tried to pay but he push the money back at me saying that it was fine and that he insisted on me not paying and that it was just a bad day for him. I didn't want to push the situation any further so I just apologized again and stated that I would see him at the next fast feed.
     
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  36. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    You Tried!

    It seems you tried to make it up to him as best you could. If he's someone you really want to take lessons from, just keep asking . . . and letting him know you value his help.

    MG
     
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