If you asked 10 different people what they loved most about their box, they’d each tell you it’s the community. It’s the camaraderie, support and feeling you belong that makes this better than any other sport or workout. As a box owner, you know this and do what you can to build and nurture your community, starting with each new athlete. If your new athletes feel welcome and included, it’s almost a certainty that they’ll stay with your box.
One often overlooked, simple way to welcome new athletes is with a welcome packet. Packets are easy to put together but well received and appreciated. To help you create your own welcome packet, we’ve made this list of the most common things to include.
Start by sharing your mission, vision and box rules. Then include things like your cancelation policy, membership options, coach bios, nutrition tips, list of necessary equipment and details about your childcare, if you provide it. You should also include information on your referral program, and add a couple of guest passes for your athletes to hand out
CrossFit® History and Philosophy
Include a general overview on the history and philosophy of CrossFit®. We like the resources you can print from the CrossFit® Journal library.
Tell your members about the dangers of Rhabdo and the importance of rest.
Software and App Cheat Sheet
Provide a quick cheat sheet for your software and links to download your Gym App. Be sure to share the basics, as well as information on how to reset a password when it’s forgotten.
Information on the Products You Sell
If you sell nutritional products or supplements, tell your athletes why you endorse them. You can also include free samples or a discount code to encourage them to try your favorite products. If you have a regular grass fed beef supplier, ask them for a handout to include in your packet too.
When it comes to the creation of your packet, simple is better. Start a single document with a table of contents page, and list each section out as you would a chapter in a book. Then use main heading sections to cover your material. If you keep everything in a single document, it will be easy to save and edit as needed.
When your document is the way you want it, just print it out and insert the PDFs you get from the CrossFit® Journal. If you want to save money on printing, feel free to email new members a digital copy.
It’s important that you inform first-time athletes on what they should wear and bring to their first class. We recommend having this information on an FAQ page of your website, as well as sending it in an email so they’ll show up prepared. For athletes that plan to stick with your gym, it’s great to provide advice on recommended gear they can purchase to improve their training at your gym. Explain the difference between running shoes, WOD shoes and lifters, as well as brands you personally recommend. Provide links to jump rope brands you like, as well as information on how your athletes can cut the ropes to their height. Explain the purpose of wrist wraps, grips and therapeutic tape, and where they purchase these items.
Here’s what your table of contents could look like:
Table of Contents
- About Us, Mission & Vision
- Box Rules
- Membership Options and Pricing
- Cancelation Policy
- Referral Program
- Child Care
- CrossFit® History
- Rhabdo Overview
- Software & App Cheat Sheet
- Products We Sell
- Recommended Gear
To present your packet, when a new member uses your gym check in software give them a manila folder with one of your stickers or an ink-stamped logo on the front of it. Some box owners like to include a page for members to sign and return, as a way to acknowledge they received their packet. Collecting signed returned pages is extra work, but signed confirmations could come in handy if you have a dispute over your policies.
Educating your athletes on your policies, training and overall community is a great way to build loyalty from the start. Looking for additional ways to keep your athletes loyal? Get your free copy of our guide, 7 Essential Strategies for Athlete Retention.