Chasing Your (Programming) Tail – an Open Letter to Gym Owners on Business Reality, WGA SOP Adherence and Being Responsible
Make up a catchy name. Make up a new class format. Use the word HIIT or call it boot camp. Heck, do some virtual classes while you’re at it. These are all signs that you are in programming denial. If you can’t develop strong coaches, nurture a loyal team or create powerful culture, then making up me-tooclasses and formats won’t help.
We see the same thing with gym owners who get away from their core competency of providing a Fitness Truth environment or admitting to themselves that they need a better sales and marketing strategy – often due to a lack of focus or planning. They chase a trend because they think it will add another revenue line or give them a market advantage (but they usually do whatever the competition does). We see this with clever body assessment tools, trendy supplements or oils, diet packages or niche group-training programs. This cycle won’t stop and meanwhile you’ll watch smarter, more nimble operators scoop up market share.
With WGA, we have created clear, simple and proven set of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Get away from them or lose your leadership focus and you’ll miss out on revenue, staff loyalty and opportunity to grow your WGA program (and other programs). WGA programs such as Ingram Park (TX), Oxnard (CA), Millsboro (DE), Dale City (VA), Brewster (NY) and Chilliwack (BC, Canada) are thriving. Most well north of 300+ members with low attrition, high per member spend and a powerful group of coaches lead by a dedicated Head Coach.
Here are a four key attributes to a successful WGA program:
Head Coach. This person has to be strong, enthusiastic about the program and educated on our formats. Gym owners are often not the best choices to be a Head Coach unless they are coaching on a regular basis. We have a list of Head Coach duties and responsibilities as part of the WGA program.
New Athlete Integration. THE key. This includes properly using the Athlete Profile, running Foundations 1-2-3 and performing the Movement Assessment. This process ensures the athletes understand the culture and get visioned (long term) into our program. The key to helping new athletes is to create a relationship at the start (when they sign up) and guide them through the first month of the WGA program. Don’t expect athletes to just show up and become part of the community – this takes work. It’s no secret that many of our successful programs have over 300+ athletes – they follow proper New Athlete Integration.
Coaching Development. This is a weekly process. It’s quite simple. Review our newsletter content in coaches meetings, talk mechanics and reward your coaches for the hard work they are doing (a gift card goes a long way). Coaches, like athletes, need to be continually inspired, supported and communicated to on what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they can grow. Your coaches should now have at least two WGA certifications completed – more education means better service to your athletes and a more motivated coaching team.
Strong Marketing & Messaging. We see lower attrition among WGA athletes. They are loyal and they refer more athletes to join. Why not help this process by accessing the extensive marketing assets and messaging support we provide? Holding monthly events, highlighting the Athlete of The Month, social media posts and keeping websites updated with bio’s validates a strong WGA program.