When the Tennis Clinic Fell Short: Lessons from the Court

So my tennis clinic didn’t push through due to several factors. I jumped a lot of hoops to make it into reality. I thought that it was meant to be because the groups I needed (thought I needed) were all saying “good timing” or “perfect! we were just looking for something like this”. But it didn’t materialize.

The Spark of an Idea

I was joining a tournament my former coach (Marvin Suello) was organizing, so I asked my current coach why he hasn’t organized a tournament amongst his students. Since similar to my former coach, he has been teaching for years and have a roster of students. It seemed profitable anyway. He suggested instead a clinic.

That idea marinated in my mind. Especially when Marvin Suello showed me his excel file. Indeed, the tournament he made in CSA Bulacan and was well attended- meaning the slots were all filled up, didn’t earn him much money. Just around PHP 8,000 considering all the investment, preparation and time duration of the tournament (around 5 hours?)

I did the excel file on tennis clinic. It was way more profitable especially if it’s group training and you get them to commit for a number of sessions.

Initial Plans and Partnerships

I met with a friend and I told her the idea of a tennis clinic. She said that her boss which was the incumbent president of Rotary Taytay is looking for a fundraising event, a tennis clinic would be perfect. The idea of Rotary members helping me to market and get students sounds fantastic since I won’t be a one man team.

I also found a tennis court nearby. It’s inside a subdivision and we pass it all the time in Sumulong Highway. It’s outdoors, but amazingly or coincidentally, it was developed by the company of my brother’s Father in Law.

I know for a fact that the facility is not yet turned over since they haven’t reached the number of home owners required. So I needed to talk to the home owners association president, which I did. I was able to meet him because my friend is a home owner in that village

Upon meeting him he said “perfect”. They are delighted with the idea and they are also looking forward to market the event.

I got info that the President of Taytay Rotary has some issues, so talked with Rotary Antipolo instead. Coincidentally, they were looking for a similar project too. And coincidentally the husband of my friend is the incoming Rotary President.

The Rollercoaster of Venue Changes

The court wasn’t being used for a long time so I needed to find a contractor. I was also anxious of the time it would take to renovate it. I learned it would cost approximately PHP 300,000- 500,000 but only take 10 days to reconstruct

My brother talked to his father in law and found out that the tennis court was not part of the subdivision. It is owned personally by him, and he has other plans for it.

So plan B. The business model shouldn’t be dependent on a court anyway. Amongst all these btw, my Coach was still a go.

I talked to Eugenio Lopez. They initially agreed, but they decided to turn their tennis court into 3 pickle courts.

Details and Setbacks

  • 2 days a week (weekends Saturday and Sunday), 2 hours per session, and 6 hours a day- so that’s 3 groups a day of 2 hours each.
  • 12 sessions per student, PHP 1,200 pesos per session all inclusive (coach, court, ball boy, racket rental)
  • 300 per session per person would go to the Rotary for the benefit of Autism Society of the Philippines

I talked with Decathlon, and they were a go. But their available date is Wednesdays and Thursdays, and it’s also an outdoor court. They gave us the month of June to July to use their “playground”- which was the rainy season.

Cut to the chase, the event wasn’t well marketed. Rotary nor Decathlon didn’t help. I switched from “package of 12 session” to per slot. Since it’s only 1,200 per 2 hours, I got 20 slots filled out. But I gave them full refund instead since the weather is not conducive.

Reflecting on the Experience

There’s more to say, and I would probably fix this post later on. Bottom line, I learned crucial lessons about organizing events, managing partnerships, and the unpredictable nature of outdoor activities, but in the future, I definitely want to “earn” a (lot). I’m thankful that this was an affordable mistake; the effort, time, and money I spent were not regrettable. I also still think the idea is promising, but with better marketing.