Part 2 - What makes a successful Tennis Academy? Where do you want to be?

Updated: Sep 6

Last month we looked at: - What makes a successful Tennis Academy? Part 1 – what do you want?

To recap my May ’20 blog – https://

“So, what does a successful coach look like? It all depends on how you look at life and what you value. Words like “a great coach,” a much-loved coach,” or “a happy coach” comes to mind. What is your definition of the above? And how would you measure if you have achieved it?

If you choose to be “a happy coach,” you could end up a “much-loved coach” with multiple students, making you a successful coach. Or you could be called “a great coach” due to your technical abilities, but without being loved by your players, which could or could not make you happy – although outwardly successful… So, ultimately, I believe that your definition of what kind of Tennis Coach you want to be will significantly influence your vision and strategy for your Tennis Academy.

Remember your academy remains a business, and all companies need to be managed effectively with a vision, mission, strategy, and action plan to achieve your goals.”

It is essential to decide what you want and follow this as a guideline for your academy! As I have said before, the way you look at life and what you want out of life gives you gives. What is your purpose goal?

So, Purpose is about defining who you want to be, what difference you can make, and what your Tennis academy stands for. The next step is to put your ideas onto paper simply. By clearly defining your Vision, Mission, Strategy, and Action plan, you will help your team understand:

  • What you are trying to achieve

  • How are you going to achieve it

  • How will you measure it to track if you are achieving your objectives?

Not only will this help to motivate your team, but it will also enable them to make decisions independently.

Purpose, mission, and vision statements have some grey areas, and everyone has their ideas about what it means. The way to success is to not merely “have” a written Mission and Vision statement, but actually to believe in it and “be” it – thus to have the will to execute what you believe in! If you don’t believe in what you have construed, don’t even waste your time on it because it will not work if you don’t consistently follow it yourself. I love the following as a simple guideline for a very confusing topic:

This is probably the most logical and practical summary on one page - Reference -

Remember the saying “be careful what you wish for,” well? Well, the purpose is very much the same. PurposeThe purpose is the WHY? PurposeThe purpose is the reason you want to do something or make a difference to guide you in your decision-making. The purpose is what you measure by the impact you have on others. Your purpose of having an academy could be (to be stinking rich, to be a happy person, to have a balanced life, to be good to others, to develop kids, to be the greatest no matter what), or for whatever reason, that's important to you. Still, it’s easy to see how these can and will influence making decisions in your business.

Once you have decided your purpose, you can ask, WHAT?” I advise following a 4-step approach to put your ideas to paper, and this is probably the single most significant step to start, re-evaluate or improve your business/academy:

  • Step 1 – Mission statement

  • Step 2 – Vision statement

  • Step 3 – Revised Business Plan & Strategy (I’ve combined step steps one and step 2 in this BLOG, assuming that you have an existing business)

  • Step 4 – Action Plan to make it all happen and continuous evaluation of achievements

Remember, Keep it Simple – I start with the Mission statement is that I begin with Mission statement because it is focused on the present and is actionable NOW.

MissionA mission statement is a simple statement that explains your tennis academy’s goals and how you operate. It summarizes what your business does for its clients, employees, and owners. As I mentioned, it’s focused on NOW immediately actionable.

  • What do we do?

  • Who are our customers?

  • What benefit/service do we provide?

  • How do we get there?

You should write a mission statement if you want to identify your business objectives and get your employees, investors, and clients to understand what your academy is all about.

Vision - A vision statement is more inspirational or motivational. It focuses on the future and is more aspirational:

  • What do we plan or hope to be? What are our Goals for our business/academy?

  • Where do we want to be in 5 to 10 years?

In short: The mission is the “what,” and the vision is the “where and what you want to be.” And remember your purpose - your whyshould guide you. Many organizations even include the purpose meaning in their Vision statement.

The strategy and action plan represent the “detailed HOW.”

The following memorable and distinct vision statements may inspire you to write your own.

Here are examples of a few:

  • · Amazon: "To be Earth's most customer-centric company where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online."

  • · Ben & Jerry's: "Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way."

  • · Google: "To provide access to the world's information in one click."

  • · Habitat for Humanity: "A world where everyone has a decent place to live."

  • · Hilton Hotels & Resorts: "To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality."

  • · IKEA: "To create a better everyday life for the many people."

  • · LinkedIn: "Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce."

  • · Oxfam: "A world without poverty."

  • · Samsung: "Inspire the world, create the future."

Ok, now we have a mission (answers to these questions):

  • What do we do?

  • Who are our customers?

  • What benefit/service do we provide?

  • How do we get there?

And a vision - (answers to these questions):

  • What do we plan or hope to be? Goals

  • Where do we want to be in 5 to 10 years?

What then? The next step is to generate a Business Plan and Strategy, followed by an Action plan to ensure it happens! So many great mission and vision statements have never resulted in success due to no strategy in place. Remember, achieving something you believe in and genuinely want to happen is an end-to-end process. To achieve something you believe in and want to happen is an end-to-end process! An essential ingredient to success is to get your team on board with feeling in and behaving according to the Tennis academy’s mission and vision.

Business Plan – This part of the process is basically to:

  • Check if you have a viable business idea when starting a new Tennis academy; or

  • If it’s an existing Tennis academy, put a monetary value to your new ideas and plans.

Taking your Vision and Mission statements into consideration considering your Vision and Mission statements, determine the total of your potential expenses. Points to consider here include: how many kids you need to gain, the cost of new equipment, bigger, more significant, more extensive facilities, and better-trained Tennis coaches. Whatever your goals are, build them into your existing strategy. A business case is a regular income vs. expense finance sheet over a 3 to 5-year period, with a Net Present Value calculation. If you have an existing business, you will revise and utilize your current business figures in a new Business Plan to reflect your goals.

Look out for a complimentary Business Case Template in TopspinSA's next Blog!

Strategy – The experts have many definitions for design, but it comes down to one thing, it is an action to achieve your objectives (vision and mission), and if it does not work, you should change it!

Here is but a few that I’ve googled:

“Business strategy can be understood as the course of action or set of decisions which assist the entrepreneurs in achieving specific business objectives.” -

“Business strategy is the firm's working plan for achieving its vision, prioritizing objectives, competing successfully, and optimizing financial performance with its business model.”

"...the direction and scope of an organization over the long-term: which achieves advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations". - Johnson and Scholes

A business strategy can be defined as the combination of all the decisions taken and actions performed by the business to accomplish business goals and secure a competitive position in the market.

The definition of strategy is a long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or a set of objectives.

So, what should be included in our business strategy? Remember again to keep it simple and therefore break it down to answer these questions:

  • How can we achieve our goals aligned with our mission and vision statements?

  • How can we attract Tennis players to strengthen our market position?

  • What can we do differently to improve our competitiveness – e.g., Tennis coaches, training equipment, venue?

  • How do we react to unexpected and new market conditions?

  • What are the values and expectations of our stakeholders?