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Blog: Serving Up Tennis that Everyone Can Play

I refuse to be hypocritical and start out by saying that you know an exercise program has hit the big time when it appears on "The Biggest Loser." I hate reality TV - nothing and nobody can change that. So the fact that Cardio Tennis was featured on the show (and demonstrated by Anna Kournikova, no less) isn't the reason I'd give you to offer it. Really - it shouldn't take a TV appearance to convince anyone. You need only an interest in increasing the use of your courts and the knowledge that sports-specific fitness programs have been consistently popular for years.

For the uninitiated, Cardio Tennis is a high-intensity workout that combines tennis drills and skills (hitting forehand, backhand, volleys) with cardio training (running through cones, across fitness ladders) with upbeat music playing in the background. Basically, the program addresses all levels of athletes, from frequent players who want to stay in top playing condition all the way down to beginners who don't often venture out on the court. Because the program can utilize the lower-compression tennis balls currently being used to teach tennis to kids, there's less chance of a beginner getting all sweaty-palmed and self-conscious over his or her tendency to hit it out of the park. Plus the pro giving the class can tailor it to his or her attendees' level of skill and/or fitness.

The goal of the program? The same as everyone in the fitness industry: to keep participants having fun, seeing results and coming back. There's also a new companion youth program, Cardio Tennis for Kids, which could be a great addition to summer children's day camps.

Maybe the program brings people back to the sport after a layoff. Maybe they're beginners and they move up to taking tennis lessons, or maybe they just wind up trying other exercise programs in the company of the friends they met in class. No matter what, your club wins because the member has a good experience and stays active and involved. And hey, your courts get more use. Sounds like an ace.

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