Riches in Niches: Why Bill Parisi Focuses on Making Kids Faster

A photo of Bill Parisi of Parisi Speed School with the title "Riches in Niches: Why Bill Parisi Focuses on Making Kids Faster."

Mike Warkentin (00:02):
What happens when you know your niche in the fitness industry? Well, you can serve more than a million athletes in more than 100 facilities around the world and help more than 130 NFL draft picks perform at an elite level. That’s possible. My guest today on “Run a Profitable Gym” is Bill Parisi. He’s one of the founding fathers of youth performance. Bill was an elite javelin thrower. He earned a finance degree, he worked as a strength and conditioning coach, and then he developed his own system and brand, Parisi Speed School. Now you want some big names. If you travel in NFL circles, you’ll know these guys. Bill’s helped the likes of Phil and Chris Simms, Wayne Chrebet, Amani Toomer, Chris Long, and I love this story. In 2005, Bill helped Fabian Washington run a 40 time in the 4.2s. Now that’s super-elite, world-class numbers, and it came with a hefty signing bonus when he was drafted in the first round. Bill, did you lose your mind when you saw him put up a 4.2 in there?

Bill Parisi (00:54):
Yeah, I mean, the whole team—it was a team effort, right? A team of coaches that really worked with those guys, and that was amazing. It was an amazing time. We had an amazing 10-year run working with NFL Combine athletes from 2000 to 2010. And really, I feel helped kind of pioneer that industry as well and set the standard there with the team that we created to come up with the strategies on how to run Combine testing.

Mike Warkentin (01:22):
And for people who don’t know, running in the 4.2s is worth millions of dollars. Like that is like Bolt, I think, ran a 4.22 or something like that in a sweatsuit. But like, these are world-class Dion Sanders numbers, and if I could run a 4.35 right now, the Oakland Raiders would probably call me even though I’m 47. It’s incredible stuff that you’ve done in this niche. And so, I want to dig into this whole thing with you because you’ve specialized and created this incredible program working with youth performance athletes who get amazing results at the super-elite level and every other level. And it can help gym owners figure out what their niche is and how they can specialize. So, I’m going to ask you this: A lot of young gym owners, we try to get every single client, and it costs us because we’re fractured. We don’t know what we want to do. In your bio, it looks like you had your niche nailed like in your twenties. Like how did you manage to do that?

Bill Parisi (02:09):
Yeah, I mean, I grew up as an athlete in high school. You know, football and then went out for track to get faster for football. Found my passion in throwing the javelin, and that led me to compete and train on an elite level. Going to Europe, going to Finland in the summer of 1989 and really learning a lot of techniques, training modalities, that we all know today. But I learned them in the 80s and early 90s. Quote unquote functional training and training connective tissues. Now, there were a lot of things I learned back then that I didn’t understand, but I understand now at a high level. And that was really the impetus; that was the foundation. You know, I went on to become a Division I All-American for two years, went to the Olympic trials, competed at this elite level, and that allowed me to just take this training and bring it to field and court sport athletes. Because as a 5-foot-10 Italian javelin thrower, North Jersey Italian javelin thrower, we’re not supposed to throw the javelin really far. They’re normally 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 Norwegians, Germans, Swedes, Fins. You know, North Jersey Italians, we’re supposed to lay brick, make pizza, right? Give high interest loans for cash, collect garbage. That’s what we do in North Jersey, not throw the javelin too far. So.

Mike Warkentin (03:27):
So you learned some stuff early from personal experience, but you know, Chris has talked about focus being such a key entrepreneurial skill, but it’s so hard. Like, were you ever tempted as you were developing this to start thinking, “Oh, maybe I’ll do power lifting for strength instead of speed?” Like how did you stay focused on what was important to you?

Bill Parisi (03:44):
Yeah, I got laser focused on speed because speed is the underlying athletic performance indicator that really separates kids from making teams or getting playing time on most field and court sports. So, at that youth level from say eight years old to through high school, if you’re fast, you’ve got a huge advantage to making the team and starting on the team and making an impact on the team. Now, when you go to college at the higher levels, you’re not on that team unless you’re fast for the most part, for your position. And pros, everybody’s fast. So, at a Division I college, everyone’s fast; pros, everyone’s fast. But at that youth level, that’s where we focus, and we make massive impact and change lives by helping athletes improve their speed.

Bill Parisi (04:30):
Because that’s the number one physical attribute, along with the specific sports skill, of course. You know, you’ve got to know how to dribble a basketball and shoot a basketball, and you’ve got to know how to hit a baseball. You’ve got to know how to block or catch a football and defend. I mean, those are sports skills, but the foundation for all athletic success is speed, strength, and injury resiliency. And strength is a byproduct of being fast. I mean, to be fast, you’ve got to be strong, but you’ve got to know how to get strong, and you’ve got to know how to apply, really got to know how to recruit and apply that strength to fight against gravity and create ground reaction force to optimize your body’s movement over time.

Mike Warkentin (05:17):
You must have crossed paths with Louie Simmons from Westside Barbell over the years, I’m sure. Is that correct?

Bill Parisi (05:23):
100%. Yep.

Mike Warkentin (05:24):
Yeah, and the reason I ask is because what you’re saying, I had the privilege of visiting Westside—not as an athlete, obviously, I’m not strong enough—but to talk to Louie, and he said the exact same thing. And I always thought that powerlifting was about strength, and it is to a degree, but he was so hyper-focused on speed, and it blew my mind. And you obviously got the same thing. Speed is the thing.

Bill Parisi (05:43):
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s speed of the bar or intent. You know, velocity-based training is very important now: how fast we can move bars. It’s being measured anywhere from 0.1 meter-per-second up to 1.5 meters-per-second. And there’s five different ranges on how fast you move the bar, whether it be absolute strength or speed strength or strength speed, power—you know, all these things are measured. But yeah, that plays a role from a strength training standpoint to get faster. But then there’s this skill of movement—you know, how you accelerate, acceleration technique, maximum velocity, sprinting techniques. There’s multi-directional speed. So how well you can decelerate. You know, you wouldn’t get in your car if it didn’t have any breaks. Why would you have athletes go and compete in sports if they didn’t understand and train their body to decelerate?

Bill Parisi (06:31):
Because your quickness, your agility, is a direct correlation to your ability—so, we teach deceleration. It’s a very important physical quality that we teach or as part of our movement literacy program—our motor vocabulary that we develop with our athletes. So we really have a system of training athletes to perform all these skills around speed, which are acceleration, maximum sprinting speed—you know, if you’re running at maximum speed, something really good is happening on the field or something really bad is happening on the field, depending on what side of the ball you’re on and what you’re playing. But then there’s multi-directional speed, which is the ability to change direction. The curves—curvilinear running. I don’t know if you know, but Patrick Mahomes runs faster on a curve than he does straight ahead.

Bill Parisi (07:19):
So curvilinear running is very important. That’s a skill. And tissue has got to be prepped to run on curves. And then there’s agility, which is reactionary or more cognitive. You know, not knowing what direction you’re going to go in, where change of direction determined, it’s closed chain. You know where you’re going to go. It’s the offensive wide receiver running a pattern, and agility is more reacting to the visual stimulus. So, all these things we teach, we break down in a very methodical way. And now it’s a specialty, and it’s a niche that is very attractive to parents, and they can really understand, “Hey, yeah, my kid does need speed. Like we do need to get him faster.” Because they can relate to why that’s important to getting playing time or making the team. There’s nothing more important to parents than their kids’ self-confidence and self-esteem. And that’s ultimately what we do. We use athletic speed development for field and court sports, all field and court sports. We develop an athlete’s speed to ultimately improve their confidence because when you improve a competency, you improve confidence. So, the market, the parents out there, what’s more important than confidence and self-esteem? So, and that’s where the niche—you know, I obviously focused on this niche for 30 years, but it really starts there. And that’s our end-product, and that’s what we work on.

Mike Warkentin (08:42):
So is it fair to say that you see the results and the efficacy of the program, and that’s what keeps you on focus? Like you see these kids literally start at 10 years old and end up in the NFL? Is that how you stay laser focused on the speed program?

Bill Parisi (08:55):
Yeah. I mean, less than 0.1 of 1% end up in the NFL, right? Even less than that. I mean, we’ve trained over a million athletes, so our focus is really about helping kids reach their potential, their God given ability, and some of those kids, their potential is to be a high school athlete, some is to be college, some is to be professional. But we feel we can make any athlete, if they’re committed, a productive high school athlete, and your high school experience is really the real big thing for us because there’s 50 million, over 50 million, close to 60 million kids that play organized sports between the ages of seven and 18. 60 million. There’s only 8 million that play high school sports. So that means over 50 million kids get cut or dropped. It’s our goal to help those youth athletes compete and get a great high school career.

Bill Parisi (09:51):
That’s pretty important for parents. Because you know, that builds teamwork, it builds work ethic, comradery, collaboration—all those great skills you get from high school sports. And that’s really our mission. And when you explain it to parents in your community like that, that you can help kids improve their skill sets to excel at the high school level, that’s real. I mean, we don’t really talk much about scholarship. Yeah, parents have dreams and whatnot. For us, it’s really maxing out their high school—now, if they do well in high school and they’re playing at the varsity level as a sophomore, alright, now, OK, now we can say, “Yeah, there’s an opportunity to play in college.” Or if they’re playing at the varsity level as a junior and really doing well, alright. Because you know pretty quickly once kids get to high school, freshman, sophomore year, it’s a big eye opener for parents and for kids. You know, you’ve got to be a strong varsity athlete before your senior year if you’re going to go and play in college—for the most part. There are outliers and exceptions to that where kids develop late. I’m not saying that can’t happen, but in my 30 plus years of experience and training, our organization trained over a million athletes, we have a pretty good handle and understanding of what it takes to play at the high school level and then ultimately at the college level.

Mike Warkentin (11:12):
Yeah. So, you’re making an impact early, and that’s going to sustain them throughout life. And that applies to some of our listeners as well, where they have kids’ programs where they train, maybe not young sports performance athletes, but just young general people and want them to be fit for life. So, that really does link up with our gym owners. I’ll ask you this: In the functional fitness world or the gym owner world, we’re often tempted to discount kids’ programs. They’ll charge less than adult memberships for that, if you can believe that, in a lot of gyms, and it’s odd. Would you say that’s wise? Or how would you help them understand the value of youth services in a gym setting?

Bill Parisi (11:43):
I think the value of youth services is how I built my business. I started $50,000 in debt out of a van living in my parents’ basement. And I went around teaching speed to high school coaches, and I opened my first facility in 1993. It was 3,000 square feet, and it was youth performance focused. 1997, we did $957,000 in 3,000 square feet. In 1997. With 600,000 of that being youth performance, 300,000 being adult training, and that was in 1997. Then I opened the second facility, a third, a fourth, and then I had an $8 million business on my hands with 20% margins, and my clubs grew to an average size of about 25,000 square feet. But that facility that I opened in 1993 is still in existence today and is still, with all the additional facilities we opened—we opened about five other Parisi facilities in that market area.

Bill Parisi (12:44):
That facility is still doing 850 to 900,000 today, 30 years later, in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and anybody can come by and check it out. And our other flagship, and that facility is about 3,500 square feet of training space, and it does close to 900 today and five miles down the street, we have a 30,000 square foot facility that does over a million dollars in youth training. So, we dominate this market in New Jersey, and obviously we have a lot of facilities around the country, but we understand the youth, and that drives the adult market. You know, in my presentation I’m going to be talking about the power of family memberships and the power of having a family come to your gym—a parent doing training, group training, or one-on-one or whatnot, and then the kid is coming into the sports performance program. It’s how I grew my business from nothing from a van to an $8 million four club business averaging $2 million a club. Youth performance was the driver, and then we realized we had something special, so we started offering an affiliate program to that.

Mike Warkentin (14:01):
Listeners, Bill is referring to the Two-Brain Summit. He is going to be speaking there, and there are very few tickets left at recording time. So, if you want one, go to the show notes right away, and hopefully there are still some left, but you will be able to hear from Bill in person in Chicago June 8th and 9th. So, you’re obviously, you are showing the success of niching down and what that’s done. Your singular focus has made you a world leader in this, and you’ve got the financial metrics that obviously prove it. Have you seen other people in maybe other disciplines or other niches that say like, “I’m going to become the expert”—and this could be even at a lower level in like just a small town or somewhere—“I’m going to be the local expert who trains hockey players or football players” or any other niche? Have you seen specialists do that, and then become that local expert to end up having lower-level financial success simply because they’re focusing on a small segment of the market?

Bill Parisi (14:48):
There’s no doubt. There’s lots of niche opportunities for sure. Whether it be drilling down to football wide receivers, like that’s a niche, right? Drilling down to infield play in baseball. Drilling down to soccer skills, basketball skills, shooting, shooting labs, if you will, out there, right? So, there’s lots of niches, and in niches there’s riches. For the facility owner, speed development is a great niche. Focusing on speed. And we created a system that clubs can offer this service right in their club, in their existing space. If they have a non-motorized treadmill and a little turf area, we can get kids faster. You know, that’s all you need, and if you don’t have a non-motorized treadmill, that’s just one modality that—we couldn’t do maximum sprinting training, but we can do acceleration training; we can do multi-directional speed training.

Bill Parisi (15:47):
So, it’s really understanding movement literacy and understanding how to get a young athlete strong and how to progress them to get them strong in a safe, effective manner. And yeah, I mean, definitely getting a niche and being known in your community as someone who really understands how to develop these skills in athletes. But also, the big takeaway is the underlying motive is really to empower these kids and raise their self-esteem and doing that through proper training. So, my example that I give a lot to everyone is that the science is important, and we’re knee deep in science. We have so much science in terms of evidence-based training modalities; we’ll point to the research studies. We have all that. So, we have a lot of meat in our product, right? But I want to give you an example.

Bill Parisi (16:39):
If you were to have a barbecue, would you buy your hamburgers from McDonald’s and serve them? Or would you go out and buy some good quality meat and make some good thick patties and serve them? Right? I would assume you go buy; you can make a better hamburger than McDonald’s. You wouldn’t be buying McDonald’s hamburgers. If you can make a better hamburger than McDonald’s, why not open up right next door to them? You know, why not? If you’re that good, and you know, absolutely, and I know you can, because McDonald’s, what makes them successful is their delivery system, not necessarily the quality of their product. So, to be successful in this industry, one, you’ve got to have quality product; you’ve got to have good training, good science, but you’ve also got to have an exceptional delivery. And we know there are some people out there who maybe don’t have a great quality product, but are really good at delivery.

Bill Parisi (17:28):
And they’re successful despite themselves. Now it catches up to you when somebody gets hurt or someone better comes to the market and gets better results. So, we understand that process of delivery. I mean, I have two full-time PhDs in educational psychology and sports psychology who work in our program, who develop our delivery system on how to communicate and motivate kids. The product is motivation. What we’re lacking out there is not science, but it’s people who truly know how to motivate and have a love to want to empower kids. If you have a love to want to motivate and inspire kids and get them successful on the sports field, this is a niche you should look at. And we just don’t have enough of those people out there because kids are getting beat up by their coaches and sometimes by their own parents. They’re not good enough. They’ve got to work harder. You know, coming to a facility where you’re getting empowered and you’re learning skills on how to improve your agility and your speed, that’s life-changing for a kid. And when you do that for a kid, those parents become raving fans. They tell everybody about your facility. And that’s how we’ve grown from negative 50,000 in debt to $8 million with virtually no marketing.

Mike Warkentin (18:38):
Wow. So rather than the idea of like the scarcity mindset of saying, “I need every client, every single thing to make my gym go,” digging down and drilling into like a tiny vein of the market, becoming an expert, is actually going to give you better effects, and it’s going to be a financial success for you.

Bill Parisi (18:54):
Yeah, I mean, even—like we have gyms in our network that do an average, you know, our top facilities probably average 60,000 a month in youth training, right? And then you go to the next tier, they’re probably in that 30,000 a month. And then you go to that other tier that it’s just a program. These are gyms that just do youth performance. That’s their whole business, just youth speed training. Then you got the other gyms that are just running it as a program. You know, they average an extra 10 to 20,000 a month in their gym, just running a program. This is a program, just running a program. And what’s powerful about this is when you attract a young athlete and you get results with that athlete, they tell friends, but now their parents are talking about it, and their parents become members if you have a good, strong adult business. So, it really feeds each other. And that’s why we’ve been successful offering this program. We make it easy for coaches to become speed experts. I mean, you’ve got to put time in, right? But we have a complete system on getting them educated, certifying them, giving them the tools and resources, the online programming, all these things to ramp up fairly quickly in about six to eight weeks of education to be able to train a young athlete to get faster.

Mike Warkentin (20:16):
Have you formalized that referral program or a developmental thing where a young kid becomes an older client at your program, maybe after sports, or if they don’t make the next level? Or have you formalized that program where it’s like the kids’ parents or their friends come in or their parents come in? Or is that just something that happens organically for you?

Bill Parisi (20:32):
I mean, really both. I mean, we have over 100 affiliates, so a lot of facilities work it in different ways, but the reality of it is a lot of our facilities, they’re so successful in youth programming—I mean, the standalone ones that are—it just happens organically, you know, where parents are coming in. But when sometimes parents are coming in as members and you have a youth program, now they’re bringing their kids in and vice versa. But we found that parents, their main goal is really giving their kid the advantage. They really—they’re going to spend on that before they spend on themselves, and that’s been the ultimate driver. And a lot of that is also in terms of getting the parent involved, it depends on staff. You know, we all know staffing is always the challenge.

Bill Parisi (21:19):
You know, it’s all about finding and hiring and retaining quality coaches in this industry of—whether it be running a fitness club or studio or gym or sports performance facility. And we have a pretty cool recruiting and development process in that area for those people out there who want to coach kids. It’s a great gig for PhysEd teachers part-time to make extra money. They’re already in the industry. They already have benefits. They already have a full-time job. But to give you two, three hours a night, three nights a week, eight, 10 hours a night, that’s a great part-time gig for a PhysEd teacher, and they’re developing their skill sets to bring back to their job and their teams that they coach. So, with the right strategy, finding talent, going to every PhysEd teacher and asking if they want an opportunity to work as a performance coach in your facility,is a great way to add another 10,000 a month to your business as an existing club.

Mike Warkentin (22:19):
OK. That’s a good tip right there. Listeners, write that one down. You’ve got a finance degree, Bill, you’ve got a track record of success, hundreds of affiliates around the world. What would be your top advice for a young trainer right now or gym owner who’s listening and wants to grow a practice or is maybe thinking about opening a gym?

Bill Parisi (22:34):
Yeah, one, I would—you know, whatever you’re budgeting, add another 30 to 50% because the pricing is just outrageous, and you’re always over budget. Number two, hire slow and fire fast. Check references, do a deep dive in the hiring process. Most gyms fail because they just don’t have the right people, or they hire the right people; they fail to manage them correctly. So, they fail to provide the proper tools and resources. They fail to give feedback, and they fail to hold them accountable. So, communication skills, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, truly understanding how to hire is really key. And then knowing how to inspire your people and get them bought into your culture, your vision, and your mission. A successful gym really starts with a positive culture. And it really has to be built around the mission of the owner and the vision of the organization of the team.

Bill Parisi (23:39):
And they have to be on the same page, and you have to have weekly meetings, and you have to constantly be developing your team from an educational standpoint, a cultural standpoint. You know, your business is like a newborn baby. You have to take care of that baby. You have to hold its hand. You have to feed it; you have to change its diaper. You have to do everything for that baby until that baby starts to mature. And it takes about 20 years before you let that baby go on its own. And that’s the same with a business where it’s going to take a good amount of time to get a business to be able to run itself. I’m not saying 20 years, but it’s going to take some time where people think, oh, they’re going to own a business, and they’re going to be the owner, and they’re going to build it up and sit back and collect.

Bill Parisi (24:23):
Well, in this business, unless you have an incredible manager who’s completely bought in, that you’re incentivizing correctly and have open dialogue with him every week and every month, and his bonuses are good and he’s happy, then you’re pretty good. But finding that manager, keeping that manager on point and keeping them inspired and motivated, I mean, that’s what we really do. I mean, our core competencies are really to help find, develop, and maintain staff. And we do it around performance. You know, all of our resources around helping coaches become better performance coaches—and what’s kind of cool, I would say about well over 50% of our content, probably more like 75, is used in the adult setting. Like you can use a lot of our training, especially if you’re a functional-type gym. You know, your client isn’t the 60-year-old who’s way overweight, and a big workout is just walking on the treadmill. That’s not our client, right? I mean, that’s a Planet Fitness client. That’s not who we’re training. And a lot of the clubs that are part of your organization, the Two-Brain group, are training adults who are relatively in the functional training space, and a lot of our content applies to them. So, it’s universal in a lot of ways.

Mike Warkentin (25:42):
Do you have a client avatar actually written out in your business? Or is it something that you just know from your experience? Do you have that person even by name or by definition laid out?

Bill Parisi (25:51):
Yeah, it is interesting. We do. And when you really think, first, when you look at our business, the parent is the client. The child is the consumer of this service. So, that’s what’s unique about—because when you think of a child, you know, whether it be anywhere from seven to say 20 or 22, who decides what food they eat? Who does the shopping? Who decides what schools they go to, where they live, what time they have to go to bed? Like that parent is the client. Because they’re making the decision. And typically, most of the time the parent finds us and brings the child, and the child isn’t even familiar with what’s going on 80% of the time. And after they come through our system one session, that trial session, the child’s completely bought in. But the client is typically, to answer your question, is probably around 12 years old, not doing that great in sports or wants to do better in sports.

Bill Parisi (26:49):
Definitely not the star. Someone who’s trying to make the team or trying to earn a starting spot on the team. And that could be any team, a club team or a town rec team. Someone who is a little behind maybe in terms of getting on that team. And that’s where we see incredible results and life changing experiences with these kids. Now we get some of those other athletes who are obviously higher level, but when you really look at that athlete pyramid, there’s only the top 10% of the top 10%. Those are the quote unquote stars who are going to probably go on to compete at the college level. We’re focusing on all these people down here—these 60 million kids playing youth sports. There’s less than a million who play college sports, less than a million. There’s 59 million kids down here; there’s 8 million who play high school sports. There’s 50 million who play youth sports. That’s where the market is. Let’s get these kids down here. That’s our avatar. Those kids. And then working with them through high school. And then once they get to college, they’re at college; they’re busy. If you’re playing a college sport, it’s 12 months a year. They’re very seldom around. They’re not a high paying client at that point.

Mike Warkentin (28:09):
Right. So, by knowing your avatar, you’ve built a business that’s well into the seven figures and you’ve got affiliates all over the world. How would a gym owner right now today—like give them something actual—how could that gym owner start dialing in on a specific part of their market? What would you tell that person? How could they get more specific?

Bill Parisi (28:26):
Yeah, I would say—are you talking about youth performance? Is that the goal?

Mike Warkentin (28:30):
Or anything. So, our audience is everything. We have 1,000 gym owners in the Two-Brain family. They run all kinds of gyms from access gyms to functional fitness gyms, one-on-one coaching gyms. But all of them need to know exactly who they serve, so they can tailor their offer, get their client journey in place. How would you tell them to do that today?

Bill Parisi (28:48):
I would say, what aspect of fitness or recovery are you passionate about? You know, what really excites you about this industry? And I would say once you identify that, then do a deep dive into that. And it could be anything from youth performance training. It could be anything from recovery strategies. I’m really big into fascia and connective tissue and managing connective tissue. That’s where a lot of our pain comes from. A lot of fibrosis is created within the paramyosin and the connective tissues. And there’s lots of opportunities for revenue through recovery and different stretching programs. You know, obviously, yoga. I mean, there’s all these different modalities. What is it that you’re passionate about? And then go learn everything you can about that specific modality and that specific service and really understand the science.

Bill Parisi (29:45):
You know, really do a deep dive into the science of that modality. And then you figure out how to monetize it, right? What kind of service you can do to bring that modality to your market. But you’ve got to own it from an educational standpoint. And I think people get into this without truly owning it. And to own it from an educational standpoint, you’ve got to go to the workshops, you’ve got to go to the seminars, you’ve got to, in person, got to unpack it. And then obviously the online courses are important. I mean, we offer an online course and then to get our certification, it’s a three-day live, in-person education on top of the six-week online program, which is about 10 hours in length of self-study. Then you’ve got to really apply it. So, once you do that and you have a service that you’re passionate about, because that passion’s going to drive the motivation to go and follow up and do these things to learn more, then you create your service lines around that skillset, and you price it out, and you start lecturing on it.

Bill Parisi (30:50):
You start going out and educating people on that modality or that specialty and why it’s beneficial and how it can help. And you kind of uncover and unpack all the benefits around it. And you’ve got to link those benefits to the problems your market has. So, to be successful, you’ve got to solve a problem, right? So, my problem that I solve in youth performance is kids aren’t getting enough playing time. They’re not making the team. You know, like how many parents out there are not happy with the fact that their kid isn’t getting enough playing time, or not on the team, and why is that? Well, they’ve got to get stronger, they’ve got to get faster, they’ve got to get more confident. It’s very simple. I’m solving that problem. And that’s a really important problem in the household today: the kid having a positive experience in sport.

Bill Parisi (31:36):
And we, I mean that’s why we’re so successful and have such a long-lasting brand, 30 plus years, because we’re solving a specific problem. It’s not about ego; it’s not about training the NFL guys or anything like that. That’s what most people think it’s about. You know, they think that’s what makes you successful. No, I was with Bobby Stroupe three weeks ago. We did a joint seminar. Bobby Stroupe trains Patrick Mahomes. He’s been training Patrick Mahomes since he was nine years old. And he shared with me that training Patrick Mahomes doesn’t do anything for his sports performance business.

Mike Warkentin (32:09):

Bill Parisi (32:10):
Yeah. Yeah. Like it wasn’t—in some ways it was the distraction.

Mike Warkentin (32:15):
That is fascinating, Bill.

Bill Parisi (32:16):
Yeah. I mean, and Bobby and I—he spoke at a clinic I gave, and he’s aligned, we’re both aligned in empowering youth. And really what’s most important to a parent: that this trainer trains Patrick Holmes, or what are you going to do for my kid? You know, that’s great, and Bobby trains Patrick, but the guy who’s training Patrick Mahomes isn’t going to train your son. You know, I mean, he is busy training pros. Well, who’s the guy training my son? That’s most important. So, finding that trainer who’s bought in, who’s tied to a mission and a vision of an organization that’s really bought into helping that kid feel better about themself, not that how many NFL guys he’s training or how cool he is. Because he had his athlete jump on a 50-foot box, and he is going to post it on YouTube or on Instagram. It’s changing the paradigm, and that’s where the hiring process comes in. Find people who really are just stoked about empowering kids, not training an NFL Combine athlete.

Mike Warkentin (33:23):
Listeners, if you can solve problems for a segment of the market better than anyone else in the world, you’ll become a very successful gym owner. I can tell you that based on what Bill just told us. Last thing to ask you, Bill, Two-Brain Summit, June 8th and 9th in Chicago: You are speaking there. What are people going to learn from you at that talk?

Bill Parisi (33:41):
Yeah, we’re going to get into the new science of how to stand out in a crowded coaching crowd or crowd that’s crowded by coaches, right? How do you stand out? And we’re going to go over and unpack some of these strategies. We’re going to identify new scientific discoveries around the body’s fascia system that’s going to allow you to point to some evidence-based, non-negotiable science once you get your arms around it and be able to communicate it to get coaches, sport team coaches and parents and club presidents and booster club presidents, and all these people around teams—we call those “steers of influence”—how to really get them to say, “Wow, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that.” And then how to take that information and bring it into a free trial. How to really get a team or an athlete to experience this training modality that’s really amazing.

Bill Parisi (34:40):
Because when you go through a specific speed development warmup and you go through a protocol that really prepares the body’s fascia system and prepares the muscles in a way, and you start to teach and unpack movement literacy just in a very fundamental first session approach, it’s life-changing for an athlete. They feel faster immediately in one session. So, understanding how to deliver that one-hour session where a kid is moving faster and easier; it’s easier for him to run faster. And we have a methodical approach over 30 years, a million athletes, that we teach, and we’re going to uncover and share these strategies on how to do that and the importance of doing that. And that’s how we took a gym of 3,000 square feet and brought it to 980,000 in revenue by doing that over and over again.

Bill Parisi (35:36):
You do that right, one session, one hour: Boom. They’re buying a 10 pack for 800 bucks, or they’re buying a group pack for 600 bucks, or they’re signing up for a membership, which we average 200 bucks a month, like our youth membership is 199 a month on average around the country for a typical six-to-nine-month commitment in our program. So, you’re selling $1,200, $1,800 packages all day long if you can just get that kid to take your free trial, and you get that kid to understand how to move a little bit more efficiently, understand how to just put force into the ground effectively in the right direction, at the right speeds, they’re going to catapult their body faster. It comes down to physics, comes down to biomechanics. It’s the laws of nature that we make really simple to understand.

Mike Warkentin (36:28):
Listeners, June 8th and 9th in Chicago, Bill will be there to talk about this. Very few tickets left. Get them. Bill, how can a gym owner find out more about Parisi Speed School programs?

Bill Parisi (36:37):
Yep. We have tracks for athletes; we have tracks for coaches. Very simple. If you want to develop yourself as a coach, we have a whole track for people to go on for education, mentorships, affiliation, and then we have obviously tracks for athletes to find one of our facilities and train in one of our facilities. So, we’re super excited to be part of Two-Brain You guys—I’ve been in this business for 35 years. You guys are by far the best consulting mentorship group out there, bar none. And I’ve seen them all. I’ve seen them all. So, you give the best value; you give the best information. We have about five of our facilities right now online with you guys and more coming. And we just had one or two that stepped out of other mentorships, quit those to join yours. So, we’ll have about five facilities of Parisi at this event. They’ll be happy to answer questions as well.

Mike Warkentin (37:32):
Oh, perfect. That website one more time, Bill?

Bill Parisi (37:35): It’s Paris with an “i,” Parisi School, And yeah, there’s a ton of info about our programs for athletes and for coaches on that site.

Mike Warkentin (37:47):
Bill, thank you so much for teaching us the value of the niche. Thank you so much for this.

Bill Parisi (37:52):
My pleasure. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Warkentin (37:53):
It was Bill Parisi. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” I’m your host Mike Warkentin, and my request on the way out is hit “subscribe,” so you don’t miss another show like this because we have world-class experts like Bill on here all the time. Hit “subscribe” on your way out, and now here’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a final message.

Chris Cooper (38:08):
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners, just like you, have already joined. In the group, we share sound advice about the business of fitness every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars, and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

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