By Ken Andrukow, Two-Brain Business Mentor
As gym owners, we know how great the “community” in our box makes us feel.
It’s amazing to see such a cohesive group having fun together. They work out together, they party together and they might even travel together.
When I asked my athletes what they liked best about my gym, the most popular answer was “the community”. That answer scared me. Here’s why.
My thought was this: “If the community is the most important part of why people come to my gym, then what am I doing there?”
I want people to come because we make them reach their goals (and thus make them happy).
I can assure you that no one ever joins your gym because of “the community.” A newcomer has no concept of what the community is all about. When they walk through the door of your gym for the first time, they have a personal goal. If you do a consultation instead of a “free trial”, they’ll tell you that goal. If you meet with them on a regular basis, you’ll stay on top of their progress and set new goals with them.
If an athlete progresses straight to group classes, you’ve lost them to the community agenda. Coaches are leading a class based on the goals of the class. A coach would be hard pressed to tell you the why of any individual athlete in a group setting.
What happens when the community fractures?
If you are meeting with your individual clients regularly and working on THEIR goals, you can mitigate the sometimes negative hold the community could have on the individual client.
Imagine a client who has had the goal of doing 10 pull ups unbroken for over a year but still has not achieved that goal. They could keep going to class, and incrementally work toward linked pull-ups as the class works on everything at once.
But if you meet with them every 90 days to reevaluate their progress and create a new optimal prescription (like one hour of individual coaching and 6 weeks of accessory programming), your relationship with the athlete will be stronger than their relationship with “the community”. In other words, you’ll be their coach…not just their host.
Every 90 days, meet with your clients to hold them accountable to their stated short, medium and long term goals. Publish those goals for your coaches to see in a private coaches’-only forum so they can help track their progress.
Soon the culture of “I’m here for the community” will change to “I’m here because my coach knows what I want and I am reaching my goals.”