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The Up-Coach 90 Day Challenge

We want to make your coaches better. We train the two sides of a coaching brain: the left (analytical) and the right (emotional.) We want your coaches to know movements and people. A major part of good coaching is understanding why a particular workout was chosen for a particular audience on a particular day. The “Why?” should always precede the “How?” We call this type of deliberate programming “Benefits-Based Programming.” Choosing workouts that are “hard for the sake of hard” or because “we haven’t done thrusters in awhile” is “Features-Based Programming.” Here’s more on the topic: Benefits-Based and Features-Based ProgrammingStarting your programming from “Why?” will also help the programmer answer the questions that make for great workouts: What’s the best way to achieve the result I seek? What’s the simplest way? (The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule) What’s the easiest way? It will help the coach scale the workouts appropriately, by asking: What’s the intended result of this workout? How can the client achieve the result without X exercise? If I had to achieve the result without X equipment, how would I do it? It will help the client answer: What is this workout doing for me? Why did I choose this gym? Why did I show up today? Even if you don’t adopt Benefits-Based Programming forever, spending 90 days focused on the “Why?” of your workouts will help everyone.

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Restricted Area

Sorry, Coach! This area is private for subscribers to our Up-Coach Program. See the plans here: Up-Coach

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Are We Building Coaches, or Leaders?

Our modern definition of “Coach” comes from Oxford University, around 1830. The word had previously been used to describe a passenger vehicle on a train, but Oxford’s slang definition referred to a tutor who“carries” a student through an exam. An instructor tells his class the answers. A Coach carries them through the exam. An entry-level coach should know her cues, her faults and her standards. But a professional coach is more: a professional is a leader. If we placed fitness coaches on Elliot Jaques’ model of competence, the hierarchy would look like this: Level 1: Group fitness instructor. “Here’s the playlist, here’s the sequence of movements.” No variance, no individualized attention. Level 2: Functional movement group instructor. “We’re squatting today. I teach the squat with these cues. If someone can’t follow these cues, then I use this cue instead.” Level 3: Trainer. “Jim can’t squat properly today, but he usually can. What’s different? He seems to be falling forward at the bottom, indicating his glutes might not be firing. I’ll ask if he’s been sitting more than he normally does.” Level 4: Coach. “Jim, I’ve seen you do a better squat, and I know you’re not one to slack on your potential. What’s going on in your life?” Jim: “I’ve been sitting more than normal. Work is crazy right now.” Coach: “Well, let’s focus on giving your brain a rest. Follow my lead, don’t worry about the clock, and just squat as low as this box. Your goal today is to just keep moving.” Level 5: Head Coach. Develops Level 4 Coaches in her own image. If this were a real model, Pat Barber would be a fantastic example of a Level 5 Coach (so would most of the L1 Staff.) If you agree with my logic and stratification here, you might also like “The 5 Levels of Leadership” by John Maxwell. Because in the higher levels–ta-da!–we’re not really developing fitness instructors anymore, are we? We’re really developing leaders. Not every gym …

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Specializing Your Staff

John Wooden’s players had higher shot percentages than anyone else. Did he recruit the most accurate shooters? Did he create secret drills, or teach a different hand position on the ball? Most of Wooden’s players had higher shot completion rates than they did in high school. This is abnormal: usually, players become less accurate as they move to higher levels, because the shots become longer and the competition becomes more intense. But Wooden’s players drained a higher percentage of shots in college than they had in high school. As told in John Maxwell’s book, “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” Wooden took a different approach: he watched his players shoot, and noticed where they shot best. Then he stood the player in that spot, and told them “This is your spot. Shoot from here. I’ll design plays to put you in this spot.” True leadership isn’t about making everyone pretty good at everything. A good leader will identify where people can succeed most often, and put them in that position whenever possible. In your gym, you wear many different hats (probably 12 to 14, if we broke them all down separately. I suggest you do just that.) If we gave a name to each, these might be some of them: Account manager CrossFit Coach Personal Trainer Client Care Rep (our “Joy Girl,” which I wrote extensively about in Two-Brain Business 2.0.) Michael Gerber’s book, “The E-Myth,” will help you identify roles and assign tasks to each. From there, a good leader will identify the BEST person for each position. The qualities of a good Account Manager include: Attention to detail Rigorous review of records Personal contact with every member Inside-out knowledge of your booking/billing system Basic competence in bookkeeping General competence in math Diplomacy (they’re going to have to deal with other people’s money) Tact …and others. It’s not enough to be good at math; the Account Manager has to be …

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Episode 17: The "New-You Challenge" with Tommy Hackenbruck

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Building A Marketing Plan

You need a plan. Not an idea. Not a new “bullet.” A plan. A marketing plan will save you time. It will save you a ton of money. It will be more effective than any single strategy. You’ll stop chasing clients and start chasing excellence. First, you need to market your gym. Being the best coach in town is great. But the second-best coach can have a more successful gym if they’re better at business. Second, you need to market with excellence. This means tracking results and doing things consistently well. It DOESN’T mean grasping every marketing straw, copying everything you see online or throwing up “hail mary” passes. Third, you don’t need every client. Your marketing should appeal to *perfect* clients: happy folks who can afford your service. Not people looking for a discount; not people who fit the “average” demographic profile for your area. If you think “more clients makes a better business,” you’re probably falling into a trap of market->enroll->lose->market. You’ll spend all your time marketing and not enough coaching! Email marketing campaigns produce the highest risk of falling into that cycle. While automated campaigns have their place–maybe 10% of your total marketing plan–few campaigns show the retention rate we want in our gyms (over 80% year-over-year.) Most of your marketing should revolve around in-person conversation. This means conversation with you (best) or your coaches (good) or your members (pretty good.) Your plan should address all four stages of consumer relationships: Awareness – Interest – Integration – Retention. It should cover two main strategies: tell the story of your members, and establish your authority. And it should be executed almost the same way every month. Keep 90% of your plan consistent, and play with a different 10% every month. For example, in the plan below, 9 of 10 marketing strategies would be kept the same, with one changing depending on the season. A gym might try “Fit It Forward” …

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