Lesson Over? Not So Fast

If you have ever gone out to a restaurant, you know that the last thing you put in your mouth can be what really shapes your final opinion of the meal. You might not remember the deliciousness of the pasta if your chocolate cake is dry. And while a nice ending to the meal won't save an otherwise poor experience, it certainly can take something positive and turn it upside down.The same is true about pickleball lessons. 

The conclusion of your lesson is important, however its significance is often under-appreciated by instructors. Let's take a look at what makes your final minutes meaningful.

1) Praise and Encourage. If you'd your job well, your students were regularly on the edge of success and failure. They were put in situations where their limitations were exposed and then they worked hard to improve their performance. You should acknowledge that. Start the wrap-up by saying something like: "Wow, that time went fast! That's a really good sign because it means that you were concentrating and working hard. I know it wasn't always easy, but I'm really happy with how all of you did". Beginning with a comment like this shows that you saw their struggle and appreciate their effort.  

2) Remind Them of Their Journey. A good wrap-up help players to recollect the key teaching points from the lesson. If your players were focused and working hard during your session, there is a good chance that the great tip you gave them at the start of the day has slipped their mind. Use your wrap-up to revisit some of those key moments and reinforce the points you want to hammer home. 

3) Take Questions. While you have tried to make everything crystal clear during the lesson, there is a chance that some of your players might be unsure about a thing or two. Check with them to see if there is anything that needs revisiting -- you don't want your players walking away confused!

4) Tell Them What's Next. If this lesson is part of a series, give them a sneak preview of what's on tap next time: "We worked hard today on starting the point with our serves and returns, next week we'll get into the meat of the point by dealing with the third shot". If the lesson is a one-off, let them know what they can do next: "Now that you've completed the intro to pickleball, you are welcome to come out to any of the morning drop-in sessions we offer" or "don't forget that there is a tournament next week. The sign up deadline is Thursday."

Of course, you can also use the wrap-up to drive registrations for other programs and lessons: "Hey. If you liked this session, you'll really love our next clinic which is called How to Beat Bangers. Space is limited but I have the sign up right here." This is a way to use the success of this session to drive success for the next.

Bonus -- Send Them Stuff! If you have access to your players' email addresses, why not send them a little thank you note? You can include some of the key tips you discussed, link to relevant articles or videos, even send them a promo code (with a referral link so you get credit) so they can get discounted equipment. It's a win-win situation and helps keep you in mind as they look for more opportunities in pickleball.