Buyer Beware: Teaching Pros

Discussion in 'Talk Tennis Europe - English' started by tennisabroad, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. tennisabroad

    tennisabroad New User

    Oct 28, 2009
    Teaching Pros beware!

    I feel strongly that this post be recognized by teaching pros worldwide.

    I was introduced to an Argentinian ex-PBI teaching pro recently who did nothing but speak about PBI, it's methods, travel opportunities, glamor, glitz, and yes cult like feel. He is now teaching for a top resort in Gran Canaria, Spain (no longer with PBI or so he says) and when i applied for a teaching position with him for 3 mths he gladly brought me on board. Brought me on board from the USA that is! I am a top teaching coach with much experience in both public, private & resort sectors. He claimed he couldn't offer me a VISA but his word was good and he was eager to bring a young woman on board as part of his teaching team.
    For the first time i took a risk...based on months of emails, skype conversations, and promises. I gave up my home, job, and clientele. I got an apartment where he advised, and off i went for my new teaching adventure with a supposed reputable pro. Because the PBI method takes many hours of learning, 2 hrs on court with Sr. Navoni wasn't near enough and when he immediately had me run a clinic and i didn't do the method perfectly, I was berated on court in front of clients. When I finally stood up for myself after the clinic -- he fired me. Because he could. No conversation, no professionalism, just approached me with another male employee from the resort. Yelled at me some more and drove off. Guess a female pro who had personality and asked questions wasn't what he had in mind.

    Moral of the story teaching pros we always want more from the teaching experience. More diversity, travel awareness, newer teaching methods, anything to expand our horizons.

    But buyer beware! Make sure you know who you are dealing with...the individual -- not some fancy organization they constantly quote & stand behind. People's word truly is not always as its seems. This individual's character is noteworthy for sure!
    Make sure you have the contract solidified. I'm sure with the current state of affairs this head pro is now dealing with his own corporation, he wishes he had done the right thing from the start. Not everyone tolerates bad behavior and in this case...I didn't.
  2. String|Guru

    String|Guru Banned

    Jun 17, 2007
    I would agree with this. Be careful...

    I had a similar, but not nearly as bad situation with a company in Texas. They promised me amounts of money, but never followed through...

    Make sure that your contract or employment agreement is well written and clearly states what is expected and how you will be reimbursed... Especially if you are relocating.
  3. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

    Jun 18, 2008
    Also make sure the contract is enforceable BY YOU in the country you will be working in.

    Anybody who does business will understand that everything said should be put into writing. They've been there, and frankly, most will respect you MORE as it shows you have a good head on your shoulders and actually helps to build trust. When "golf course" agreements aren't held up by one party, the other doesn't get revenge right away. They know eventually paths will cross again and the failing party will be the one in need. They won't get that need or they'll pay a very hefty sum.

    And OP,

    At least you took a chance. It may come back to help you one day and it could have easily have gone the other way and been a really great experience.
  4. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    I had a decent contract with one of the Kuwaiti clubs in the Middle East. In fact my daughter started playing tennis there while we were in Kuwait. Unfortunately, the Kuwait Tennis Federation, had things embedded in their minds and would not take good advice from a coach like me because they were used to "ass-lickers". I tried to fix the system there but no one would listen. I mean I really wanted to help them but they would listen only to one "ass-licker" coach from Egypt. After 4 years of service there I resigned and re-started my own private coaching program in Islamabad club. After I left they tried several expensive coaches from western countries but no one was as good as I. The players also approached the Management and told them, "Mahboob Khan was really good with us, we learned from him, please bring him back". They sent me work visa a few years back but I declined. A few months ago they again approached me but I could not take on the offer because of my own program here and my daughter's tennis as I need to travel with her.

    Our good work always stays back. When I was there, I guess in year 2000, there was a 9 years old Kuwaiti boy taught by this Egyptian coach but this little kid whose name was Abd ar-Rehman would come to me after or before his class with this coach for some help (with grip, swing, etc); because he was a nice boy eager to learn, I always helped him and kind to him. I left Kuwait in 2002 and started my own program here in Islamabad club. I am happy because I am in my own country, own surroundings, with sense of belonging.

    I have been travelling with my daughter to ITF World Juniors and coming across Kuwaiti and other people from other countries. We discuss tennis, we discuss religion.

    In fact, whilst in Damascus, Syria, I came across one Arab Jew, we would discuss Tora and Al-Qur'an. Since Arabic was his mother's tongue he had a great respect for Islam and remembered many Quranic verses by heart. I helped him with his tennis strokes and played sets whenever I was not working with Sarah. His actual name was Eid but I called him "Mr. Yahood" and he would always laugh it off.

    A couple of weeks ago, while we were on-court in Dubai in connection with the Dubai ITF World Junior, a lanky 17 years old boy approached me and said, "Coach Mahboob, do you recognize me I am your student Abd al-Rehman from Khaitan, Kuwait". We embraced each other with eyes full of tears. Throughout the course of the Championships, he would come to our practice court on regular basis, and I helped him with some technical matters on his strokes. This reunion which was the result of my good work in Kuwait provided a joy I will never forget.

    Your good work always stays!

    Mahboob Khan

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