With all of the expenses gyms already incur, investing in continued education for your coaches may seem like a luxury rather than a business necessity. It’s easy to focus your attention on expenses like marketing, purchasing equipment, hosting events, offering more classes and other factors that clearly contribute to the bottom line of your gym. However, it becomes less clear how investing in coach development impacts your growth. The reality is that your coaches can be huge contributors to the growth of your business, and thus should be thought of as an investment.
Your coaches are your internal brand. They are on usually the main point of contact for your members, and are the people who build your community and personify your culture. Good coaches take care of many factors that contribute to your bottom line without you having to lift a finger. A good coach will:
1. Increase retention rates and decrease churn.
When an athlete experiences a coach that is personable, well-educated, dedicated to their success and able to seamlessly transfer knowledge to their athletes, the athlete will want to soak up as much of it as possible, thus creating a loyal gym member. Often times, athletes are more loyal to a specific coach than they are to the gym who employs him or her, and so long as their favorite coach is at your gym, they will continue to be a part of your community and contribute to your bottom line.
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2. Generate referrals
Once an athlete finds a coach and culture they like, they will want their friends to join. I’m always trying to get my friends to join my gym for selfish reasons and so that they can benefit from it the same way I do.
3. Build your local reputation
A good coach, by definition, will be able to help their athletes achieve their goals. Injuries are one of the biggest detractors from physical goals, but are all too common in the fitness world. Overtraining is also a problem. A good coach will know how to teach movements safely, have an eye on the details, and make sure athlete’s progress is trending in the right direction. The impact of this extends beyond the gym – every gym will earn a local reputation based on how effective their programming is, and how many athletes leave the gym injured. A good coach will make sure this reputation is in your favor.
A less experienced coach who is still building his or her knowledge base and learning to convey information effectively to a class will not yield these benefits right away, but with focused coach development, can easily become the type of coach who will provide the ancillary benefits mentioned above that will aid your growth.
Stay tuned to our blog for advice on how your can invest in your coaches and discover which types of development investments are right for your gym.
Manager of Outbound Sales
Outside of his sales role at Zen Planner and his own training in bouldering, gymnastics strength, weightlifting and mobility development, Cody teaches on Carl Paoli’s Freestyle Connection seminar team. He was also the personal gymnastics coach for a handful of CrossFit® Games athletes for the 2013 and 2014 Games, and helped Diablo CrossFit bring three teams to regionals. In the future, Cody looks to push the movement culture to the mainstream.