Leading a Larger Team

A coach leading a group exercise class - leading a larger team

By Per Mattsson, Certified Two-Brain Fitness Business Mentor

As your business grows, you need to grow your team. As you grow your team, you need to grow as a leader and spend more time actually leading.

The challenges in leading a larger team are more complex than leading a small team, but the rewards are also bigger. When you grow your team, and when your team members grow, you as an owner will have more freedom.

But if you don’t learn how to delegate and coach your team, you might end up working more than before because you will have more people to “control” and help all the time.

In one of my gyms, CrossFit 162 West, we are currently at 275 members and 175 kids and teens. We have a lot of sport-specific training, a “Mama CrossFit” program, a physio center, a nutrition coaching service and a bootcamp. It goes without saying: We need a large team. At the moment, we have 22 staff members excluding owners.

Here is how we coach our staff in their specific roles.

Group Training Coaches

Group coaches make up around half of our team. They coach kids classes or adult classes or both. 

Here are the regular touch points:

  • Performance reviews three times a year.
  • Career Growth ToolKit meetings twice a year.
  • Staff meetings every month.

We make sure they know what’s expected, and we ensure follow-up on everything. These coaches don’t have to take an active part in audience building—such as making social media posts or creating content—but we encourage it. 

4/9ths Coaches

This is what we call coaches who are are paid using the 4/9ths Model or “provision model,” as we call it in our gym. We use this model for nutrition coaching, personal training, manual therapy, sports-specific training, online coaching and more.

Here are the regular touch points:

  • Performance reviews three times a year.
  • Career Growth ToolKit meetings twice a year.
  • Staff meetings every month.
  • Individual meetings every other week.

In the individual meetings, I coach my staff members to succeed in their specific roles. Four-ninths coaches must learn about audience building, intrapreneurialism and leadership. Besides all that, they must follow all our standard operating procedures and deliver service according to standards—just like everyone else. 

To get the most out of people in these roles, I step up my coaching and my leadership, and we meet more regularly. Accountability is key. My job is to challenge these staff members and help them grow, to make sure they find structure and learn how to be efficient. I help them in every possible way because they are our key players.

The 4/9ths coaches are the ones who have said they want to do this for a living. The stakes are higher and so are the rewards, so I give them as much as I can!

Mastermind Group

Some individuals always want more. Perhaps they dream of running their own gym one day or perhaps they want to become managers and take on more responsibility.

Here are the regular touch points:

  • Individual meetings every other week.
  • Monthly group meetings.

We have a couple of these people, and I coach them in our “Mastermind Group.” They are 4/9ths coaches who have expressed an interest in running their own gyms or learning more about running a business. This is a perfect opportunity for me to really find “the best of the best” and coach them to growth in key roles in our business. One of these people might be our next GM, our next partner in our next gym or just a very bright star in a current gym. It makes perfect sense for me to spend lots of time and energy on helping them develop as leaders.  

These people still have individual meetings with me, but we also meet as a group once a month. Our meetings are focused on growing their personal brands, building our shared audience, developing leadership skills and learning more about every part of running a business. They might already be responsible for different revenue streams in our gym, such as Mama CrossFit, the physio center, nutrition or Mini Kids. 

Every meeting is also based on some sort of previously assigned homework that is often connected to a book we are both reading. 

Rewarding Interest and Initiative

This is just a high-level overview of our basic structure, but you can imagine how detailed our processes are to ensure we always get great results.

The main point I want to drive home: With more than 20 staff members, I can’t coach everyone the same way. The more they want to do and the more they want to learn, the more time and effort they get from me.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.