Class vs. Culture
Coaching, not teaching. Culture, not class.
Successful coaches develop a culture. Fitness instructors teach classes. Culture breeds long term loyalty; teaching classes is superficial. Why do you suppose gyms so often struggle to re-invent their group exercise schedule with catchy names for classes, change their formats every few months, and have a revolving door of instructors? Such a slippery slope, too tough to manage.
Focus on developing strong leaders/coaches and establishing a powerful culture!
Ever hear the saying that it starts at the top? That’s true, sort of. It starts with a shared vision -the fundamental fitness approach of the staff, ownership and gym; the Fitness Truth. There’s a reason the studio model has taken over the industry. Their models’ focus is on a clear message and method. They have a vision with a plan on how to get people more fit while providing an inspiring experience. Owners, managers – how often do you discuss your vision, mission and values with your staff?! And how do you listen and develop your staff?
Member “Athletes” who attend an elite coach’s session will forget the name of the class - they come, instead, for the community and culture supported by a clear approach that’s driven home every day by that coach. Choreography and music are never key drivers in a fitness program; the coaching, the culture and the mission are the keys to driving successful group programs.
Technology is another player in the group training world. HR monitors, graphics on screens and leaderboarding is now commonplace. But “gamifying” has no depth or substance without the leader’s ability to make it credible and relative. Always rely on the power of the human being – the impact lasts longer. Give me a fantastic coach with no equipment and an empty room over a teacher who has to rely on music, equipment, technology and choreography to execute a good class. That’s how you build culture!