Athletes thrive in strong and inclusive gym communities. For affiliate gym owners, this provides an opportunity to improve business results. There’s a direct correlation between the strength of your affiliate gym community and the strength of your business. Strong communities have better retention and athlete achievement, important components to overall growth. With this in mind, let’s explore three easy ways to build a strong and inclusive community.

Help Athletes Get Together

Plan fun events to give your athletes a chance to get to know each other better. Some popular get-togethers include mud runs, local competitions, happy hours, charity WODs, volunteer projects and group trips to Regionals or the Games. Alternatively, you can keep it simple and invite your athletes to eat at a local restaurant after your weekly community WOD. Try to schedule one event a month, and don’t be discouraged if the turnout is low at first. Participation will grow as your community grows.

Provide a Place to Hang Out

If you provide the space, your athletes will come in early and stay after WODs to socialize and support each other. This lounge area doesn’t need to be big or extravagant. A couch, table and a few chairs will work perfectly. Soon you’ll see athletes bumping into each other and talking about their WODs. They’ll hold each other accountable for showing up and make plans to get together after the gym.

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Facilitate Connection with Social Tools

Create a private Facebook group and invite each of your athletes to join it. They can use the private group to discuss WODs, congratulate each other on PRs, share clean recipes, talk about things happening in your community and more. You can use the group to post nutrition and mobility tips, local competition updates, and inspiring articles and videos.

It’s also smart to create Facebook events that prompt athletes to RSVP for get-togethers, seminars and competitions. Every RSVP shows up in follower news feeds, so this is also an awareness generator that will help you reach prospective athletes.

Of course, SugarWOD is the ultimate affiliate gym community building tool. With SugarWOD, athletes connect through social sharing, workout tracking and a daily scoreboard. Users can comment and like their fellow athletes’ results, which fosters friendly competition and an inclusive, supportive community. Although this isn’t a traditional form of social media, it’s extremely powerful as a motivational and community-building tool.


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