Good morning Michele, its fantastic to have you here today… Firstly, could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do Michele?
I am the Global Education Director for Cardio Tennis, I am also the co-founder of the program and have been leading the charge since its inception in 2005. I oversee everything that has to do with Cardio Tennis, including curriculum, education pathway, presenting, marketing, social media, the Global Trainers, working with all our partners such as federations, growing the program in the US and globally.
Thanks very much… So, Michele, you are an extremely qualified tennis coach, but you specialise in Cardio tennis. Why is that and what made you start Cardio Tennis?
My coaching style had always been very “cardio-like”. My teaching philosophy has always been that in one hour a person should leave the court having experienced fitness, fun and learning. About 4 months prior to the Cardio Tennis opportunity presenting itself, our town was hit by Hurricane Charley and destroyed, my house was condemned, and our club was hit very hard. It was interesting times to say the least, and then I saw the job listing for Cardio Tennis Manager. I sent my resume and they picked me out of 100 plus applicants. I wanted the role badly as it was/is the perfect fit for me. I love Cardio Tennis today just as much as I did in 2005.
For those unaware, please explain exactly what cardio tennis is, who it is particularly aimed at and why you love it so much?
Cardio Tennis is a party on the court! (thats the short description)
Cardio Tennis is a group fitness activity using tennis (touches on the ball) as the vehicle to provide the aerobic and anaerobic workout. Think in terms of what the bike does in a spinning class. It is aimed at pretty much everyone. It is about adult fitness however it is very appropriate for kids ages 13 and up. It is equally aimed at men and women, tennis players and non-tennis players, and seniors.
I am from the UK, living in Ireland and even here it is becoming hugely popular… Why do you think it has been so successful and what is the future for Cardio Tennis?
It is successful because it checks all the boxes. It is what consumers want, regardless of the country. Consumers are looking for the following:
1) Group fitness (of course the US leads the way here)
2) They want a social experience. I will argue that Cardio Tennis is the most social of all group fitness classes because of all the interaction one has with others in the 60 minutes, the partner activities, high-fives and games. Nothing else has this level of interaction.
3) Community and culture. Cardio Tennis like other fitness activities has this as well. It has its own language and sense of belonging.
4) Wearable technology has been the #1 fitness trend for the last 2 years in a row. Cardio Tennis has been using heart rate technology since 2005, we have been the leader.
5) Learning and/or improving in a skill which in the case of tennis can be played your whole life.
6) A product that can be scaled to any fitness or ability level. Keep in mind fitness is almost more of a factor that skill level.
7) It is the most mind/body engaging fitness activity out there. Most people lose all sense of time when partaking in Cardio Tennis. This is probably the best definition of fun.
The future for Cardio Tennis is huge as I feel strongly it has not even come close to reaching its potential. I am attaching a slide on US growth numbers which is very impressive. Nothing has or does grow like Cardio Tennis in the US with this level of consistency and this is with very little resources.
To reach its full potential…….
- The level of coaches education must continue to happen (there are way too many “uneducated” coaches delivering Cardio Tennis) and this creates a big problem for the brand. We have a very formal pathway of education CTTCL1, L2 and TRXCT.
- The industry, tennis coaches in particular need to start treating it as a group fitness class and not a tennis lesson/session
- We need more fitness professionals delivering this product.
Cardio Tennis seems to be the next big thing, do you think before long Cardio Tennis will become the next qualification that every tennis coach will need in order to develop further?
Love this question:). Cardio Tennis should actually be the very first thing any new coach should learn. (O f course I am biased but I am not the only one who thinks this). One of the many great things about our education is that even if one does not end up delivering Cardio Tennis they will be a better coach because of it. As an industry we have got to stop putting so much emphasis on technical coaching (unless you are high performance) and that group is a very small group. All coaches would be off to a much better start if their initial education started/included Cardio Tennis.
And finally, who are your tips to win Roland Garros this year? Cant believe its only a week or so away!
Is it terrible that I am often out of the loop on the pro game:). Now ask me who trains with a heart rate monitor on the pro level and I can tell you that. That being said any smart person will put their money on Rafa:). I can’t even guess on the women. What I do know is we are very lucky that we are still having the privilege of watching Federer and Nadal compete at such a high level.
Michele can be contacted for further information on Michele@cardiotennis.com, or you can check out her website www.cardiotennis.com and also on cardiotennistraining.com where you can find all sorts of useful information on the Cardio Tennis Courses.