Recently, I left the club where I had been for five years. The contract offer they came with clearly showed that they wanted to profit from my success, even though it would have been much more successful for them to profit from the dues of the member retention I created for them. It’s a pretty common experience for tennis coaches that the organization will see that cash cow and want to take a chunk of cheese. I left, because I wasn’t going to accept a pay cut, and also add more rote tasks at a lower rate of pay to ‘Boost my income’. What I wasn’t prepared for is that I am even more successful, with greater freedom, and in the course of 6 weeks became fully booked, raised my rates, and then got really burnt out. All this while transitioning to using public courts on a permit basis.
Control Is An Illusion
We try to convince ourselves that we have a lot of control over things, but that’s only true if we actively say yes or no to things. Even so, the injuries, illnesses, travel schedules, and other circumstances of our clients also affect us directly. I kept saying yes to new clients, and now I have figured out what my true limit needs to be. The good news is that I can raise my rates by saying that I am fully booked and develop my waiting list. Having a waiting list is great, because then when a cancellation occurs, there is a greater chance of filling the slot.
Change Is Constant
Being ready to move at the right time, and change with the changes makes us more valuable. For instance, my student who wanted to work on his backhand, then asked me to drill him only on Forehands. He as adamant about that. Being able to flow with a certain amount of nonsense is ok, but also knowing when to direct the person to a better path, accepting the consequences of that is also a good thing. When one client leaves because they are not capable of collaboration, then they make room for one who can. I knew that questioning him on the choice to drill only forehands was not going to go well. I drilled him only on forehands, while his wife with whom he was sharing the lesson drilled forehands and backhands. At the end, I suggested that they take a one on one private lesson at some point, because this guy seems to have something to prove in front of his wife with me present. Alone, I might be able to reason with him. Somehow, I think they are going to make space for more collaborative clients and more rest for me.
Success Is Something That Needs To Be Managed
If we keep saying yes to everything with no limits, we run the risk of overworking, over stressing ourselves. That’s where I have been up until yesterday. Frankly, I was bone weary, mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent. But one really good night’s sleep, finishing up the winning summit project, and a full afternoon of doing almost nothing seems to have me almost on track. I have decided to reduce my court time limit by two hours. It was a mirage to think that limiting to 20 hours would be magic, but it seems like 18 might be better. If that doesn’t do the trick I will lower my number by one hour a week until I find the sweet spot.
Sharpening The Saw
I had gone a few weeks without a massage or chiropractic appointment. Finally, I got in, and really prepared this time, doing some neck exercises to make the difficult neck adjustment easier for my chiropractor and it really paid off. As work on the Winning Summit talk coincided with my super low energy, I found that I was not in the best head space or energy level to do it, so I had to ask for an extension on my deadline, which I also then did not meet. Anyway, after finishing that, I made sure to max out on rest. I took a full 90 minute nap, which I rarely do. Normally, I take a 45 minute nap if I have slept under 7 hours. If I slept more than 7 hours, I might take a 20 minute nap. Sleep pressure is a thing, if you haven’t slept enough the pressure will make your day more difficult, but if you over sleep, then you might find it difficult to sleep that night. Be careful with naps, don’t take them for too long, or too late in the afternoon.
Next blogs will be back to strategy, brain stuff, and athlete centered coaching!
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