Our Wodify Guest Blog Series is part of our growing initiative to open our doors to the fitness community around the world that uses Wodify, so they may share their experience, news, and advice.
Guest author Aaron Adams is a 3x USA Weightlifting National champion in the 62 kg Weight Class. He has coached from Louisiana to New Jersey and has worked in gyms both large and small.
When operated correctly, gyms tend to grow fast. But unlike a traditional business, CrossFit and weightlifting gyms operate more on a community basis, with owners, coaches and members creating personal relationships with one another. Cliques and small groups tend to form, and when they do, so do ideas and opinions that may not line up with the owner’s vision. This can cause drama that may affect the relationship between owners and coaches. With that in mind, here are some simple steps you can take to keep your coaches happy:
If you’re an owner who isn’t in the gym all the time taking the pulse of the community, talk to your coaches. They’re the ones retaining members and they see and hear things that you can’t. Call, email, or text daily. Find out what they are feeling about the programming, member issues, etc. Employee communication is much like a marriage - when the talking stops, so does the relationship.
Understand that your coaches are the people who want to be involved. It’s their job and well being, after all. If they seem interested in social media marketing, programming, clothing design/sales, or any other aspect of operating a gym, involve them. It has been my experience that most coaches don’t “just want to coach”. Eventually, they’ll want to do something else. So encourage them to take on a new responsibility inside the gym, knowing that their effort will allow you to take more off your plate.
When your gym becomes more successful, reward your coaches. Whether it’s with shoes, gear, certifications, etc., show that you are interested in reinvesting in them. This will lead to a better situation all around. Your coaches will become more committed to you because they’ll feel that you’re investing in their future.
When a Coach thinks they can do it better somewhere else, wish them well. Don’t burn bridges. Parting on a negative note is a very good way to lose a portion of your membership, especially if the coach was popular. But before that happens, try bringing them into the fold. By supporting them and “buying in” to their ideas, you may find yourself earning money through the acquisition of new members you might not have reached before.
Most importantly, check your ego whenever possible. Coaches want to help. It’s in their DNA. The more you can open up to new possibilities, the healthier your gym will be. Fitness is an ever-evolving industry that is always in need of fresh eyes and ideas.