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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
Sam Ser
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Clients who "get it"

as i don't have many clients, i miss the ones who have fallen by the wayside... but the ones i do have right now really "get it" -- they have a great attitude, they show up on time, they LISTEN to instruction and try hard to learn proper form, and they APPRECIATE what we're doing. it's SOOOOO satisfying to work with them! especially in contrast to the job i'm leaving, which (like so many jobs) was hugely frustrating...

it's such a bummer when you have people who really need to get in shape and they just won't stick to a program that could turn their lives around... but these clients who "get it" make this work fun and extremely satisfying. gotta get as many of 'em as i can!

those of you who run affiliates -- have you had to do anything special to develop the kind of atmosphere that attracts those folks? any suggestions?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Clients who "get it"

I do not run an affiliate, but I would imagine that by "survival of the fittest" (literally) would dictate that you will receive a bunch of clients, and only the ones who "get it" will remain... while the others quit. As time goes on, more and more people who "get it" will stick around.

I can totally see how frustrating it can be to deal with people that just aren't 100% there. I have a few co-workers that did a "biggest loser" type contest with me... and I really didn't have a ton of weight to lose. I lost about 18lbs in 3 months and came in 2nd place. Some of these guys have maybe 75lbs+ to lose, and would be eating cake, french fries, pies and stuff during the competition. The thing that will definitely blow your mind is... these guys all put in $50 into a pool for the winner! Why would you put money into something, and basically sabotage yourself at the beginning!?

Anyways... I'm done blabbing
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Clients who "get it"

I don't run (or plan to run) an affiliate, but I hope you don't mind if I toss in a few thoughts.

Since I have a history of diving gung-ho into things and then getting bored and moving on, I have put some thought into what my gym could consider doing to keep my long-term interest. Granted, the burden is on me to stay interested and motivated, but (as your question points out) there certainly are things that an affiliate could do to make it easier on its clients.

This list is specific to me but could easily be generalized:
  1. Teach me new things and skills. Keep my mind active.
  2. Foster intra-gym competitiveness, but not so much that I come out as one of the "losers" all the time.
  3. Ask me about my goals and help me measure my progress towards them. I may have goals that you don't know about unless you ask. I also may not have goals that you assume I have.
  4. Watch for signs of me burning out and help keep me from doing so. I may not recognize the signs on my own.
  5. Make the gym more than just a place to go workout. Facilitate community within the gym and encourage us to push and inspire one another.
  6. You own and run the gym, but let me help if you see somewhere that I could contribute. I'm more likely to remain if I feel that I have added value beyond just my monthly dues.
  7. Decorate. Make the gym just a damned cool place to be. Decoration isn't drapes and flowers, of course. Rather, cool whiteboard quotes, posters, etc...
  8. Have special events; competitions between the owners, videos of the Crossfit Games, guest speakers, etc...
  9. Make it a comfortable place. I absolutely don't expect a Crossfit gym to pamper me, but don't let the place freeze in the winter or overheat in the summer. Either could result in injury or sickness.
  10. Be enthusiastic without being fanatical. Your enthusiasm will suck me in. Fanaticism will spit me out.
  11. To the extent that you can, don't let me get injured, but steer me in the right direction if I do.

I think that I do happen to "get it," but "getting it" doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to "keep it." In my opinion, affiliates need to have a strategy (which could include some of the above ideas) to not only help their members "get it" but also "keep it."

Apologies for the ramble, but I hope some of it helps.

Cheers,

Mark
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #4
Sam Ser
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Re: Clients who "get it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark E. Wallace View Post
I don't run (or plan to run) an affiliate, but I hope you don't mind if I toss in a few thoughts.

Since I have a history of diving gung-ho into things and then getting bored and moving on, I have put some thought into what my gym could consider doing to keep my long-term interest. Granted, the burden is on me to stay interested and motivated, but (as your question points out) there certainly are things that an affiliate could do to make it easier on its clients.

This list is specific to me but could easily be generalized:
  1. Teach me new things and skills. Keep my mind active.
  2. Foster intra-gym competitiveness, but not so much that I come out as one of the "losers" all the time.
  3. Ask me about my goals and help me measure my progress towards them. I may have goals that you don't know about unless you ask. I also may not have goals that you assume I have.
  4. Watch for signs of me burning out and help keep me from doing so. I may not recognize the signs on my own.
  5. Make the gym more than just a place to go workout. Facilitate community within the gym and encourage us to push and inspire one another.
  6. You own and run the gym, but let me help if you see somewhere that I could contribute. I'm more likely to remain if I feel that I have added value beyond just my monthly dues.
  7. Decorate. Make the gym just a damned cool place to be. Decoration isn't drapes and flowers, of course. Rather, cool whiteboard quotes, posters, etc...
  8. Have special events; competitions between the owners, videos of the Crossfit Games, guest speakers, etc...
  9. Make it a comfortable place. I absolutely don't expect a Crossfit gym to pamper me, but don't let the place freeze in the winter or overheat in the summer. Either could result in injury or sickness.
  10. Be enthusiastic without being fanatical. Your enthusiasm will suck me in. Fanaticism will spit me out.
  11. To the extent that you can, don't let me get injured, but steer me in the right direction if I do.

I think that I do happen to "get it," but "getting it" doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to "keep it." In my opinion, affiliates need to have a strategy (which could include some of the above ideas) to not only help their members "get it" but also "keep it."

Apologies for the ramble, but I hope some of it helps.

Cheers,

Mark

GREAT IDEAS, MARK!

THANK YOU!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:18 AM   #5
Karen Coello
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Re: Clients who "get it"

Hi there,

I was talking to this to the owner of my box today.

I think it's important to find out how your clients like to be motivated. For example, during a WOD I would rather be given constructive criticism/ motivation than praise. I seem to work harder if I feel that I am 'disappointing' my coach and feel that phrases like "Good job, great work" are sort of lip service and just easy for the coach to say without thinking too much. After the workout, it's different, i really like to hear what I did well and be reminded of my achievements so far.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
Nate Aye
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Re: Clients who "get it"

I have been struggling with this one for a little while as a affiliate myself. We have started to make some adjustments with our programming as well as having a dedicated entry point for beginners. The biggest thing that I can think of to help people "get it", has been hammering the point that people are capable of so much more than they can imagine. Figuring out ways to build comeraderie is a hard one too.

This is a constant struggle for me, I am a fun guy and love to joke around. But it's really hard for me to bring that out with people I don't know well. So it's a constant struggle. Now we spend a lot more one on one time with our beginners vs. throwing people into the mix right away. I find I can be more "myself" with one person that I get to know and train more so than a group that I haven't gotten to know as well. No our groups are becoming groups that we know very well and the dynamic is becoming what it should be: a group of enthusiastic CrossFitters.

This is a great thread, the community and comraderie and getting people to understand that CF is more than something you do between pilates and spin class is that big intangible that can be hard to get a hold of.

That intangible is as unique as each individual and the box that houses them. Love to hear more about this stuff.
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