Building Youth Programs

Youth doing a stretching warmup - building youth programs

There’s never been a better time to start a kids program at your gym.

And it’s never been more important.

Kids and teens who play sports are finding themselves without teams this year. And kids who don’t play sports are more sedentary than ever.

At a time when health and fitness habits are more important than ever before, we’re failing to teach our kids how to take care of themselves. Schools around the world are cancelling gym classes. Sports are on lockdown. And most parents aren’t sure how to get their kids to exercise, let alone eat well.

We’re setting up the next generation to be less healthy than we are. That means more comorbidities, more dependence on medication and more susceptibility to disease.

Who can step in to fill this dangerous void?

It’s us. You and me. We’re the only ones.

Kids Fitness Programs: Growth and Retention

Our Varsity and Junior Varsity program went from six members to 54 membersand a waiting listin less than two months when we moved to this model a few years ago. That’s remarkable growth.

But with youth programs, recruiting new members isn’t the hard part: It’s keeping them.

How have we overcome these challenges of growth and retention in such a dramatic fashion?

  1. We demonstrate the value of the program first.
  2. We set up a progression systemmuch like a belt system in martial artsto show advancement.
  3. We allow kids to “graduate” to higher-level classes ahead of their age if they meet performance requirements.
  4. We show improvement to coaches and parents through a “report card” system.
  5. We have kids track mood, food and fitness every day.
  6. We no longer train the youngest kids.
  7. We introduced Junior Varsity, Varsity and Varsity Sport.

This week, I’m going to tell you how to build a good kids program. I’m going to give you the resources we use at my gym, Catalyst, and point you toward more. I’m going to tell you how to engage more kids and get more kids into your program, and I’ll tell you and where to find help training them.

Yes, your business will grow. Yes, you’ll make more revenue and create opportunities for your coaches. But none of us are in this fight for the money—we’re in this fight for our kids’ lives. Let’s get to work.

Two-Brain gyms: You’re getting a full new course on building kids programs on the Growth ToolKit this week!

Other Media in This Series

“Kids Programs: Pricing and Scheduling”
“Hiring a Kids Program Coach”
“Growing Youth Programs”
“Jeff and Mikki Martin: What’s Best for Kids”


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.