Why You Should Be Thinking Like an Athlete and Coach

For Gym Operators

Why You Should Be Thinking Like an Athlete and Coach

Mindset can have a huge impact on your actions, so you want to make sure that yours is a winner's.

On or off the gym floor, adopting the approach of athletes and coaches can help you build your team, encourage your members, and drive your club to victory.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the Speaker

Jarod Cogswell is the Founder and Managing Partner at FIT Academy. He is also a business coach, speaker, and President of Enterprise Athlete. He is an author and a well-recognized speaker.

Think like a coach

The Right Culture Builds Success

One of the most important skills a coach has is the ability to build strong relationships and pull teams together.

You can emulate coaches by building relationships with your members and your staff. Create a tight-knit community that mirrors the bond of a sports team. Build your athletes up and solidify your team. Recognize you are not a boss—you are a leader and a coach. Coach your club to care about your culture, your code, and the essence of your business.

The Mindset

The mindset of an athlete is imperative to success. Here are five important steps to the right mindset for a successful workday:

  • Get your mind ready. Sleep at least seven hours each night.
  • Get your mind right. Decide who you are going to be. What is your leadership style today?
  • Get inspired. Set goals and be energetic.
  • Move your body. Exercise each day, even if it’s just stretching.
  • Be the spark for others. Motivate, inspire and encourage your team and your members.
  • Smile and be friendly. An effective leader should be approachable and supportive.

Passion for what you do creates success. Know your purpose and train like an athlete. Learn in order to become better each day. Take care of yourself. Remind yourself that health and fitness are the foundation of your business success. Like an athlete, stay in good physical form, especially within the fitness industry.

You Need a Game Plan

Consider the essentials required to build, expand, and retain your business. Consider your goals, whether short term or long term, such as recruitment, better customer service, retention, and facility cleanliness.

  • Watch the scoreboard. Know your KPIs and other performance-related numbers. Include net membership growth, retention rates, member goals achieved, and daily member service levels.
  • Set goals together with your team and incentivize your staff to reach those goals.
  • Execute your plan and watch your scoreboard. Recognize and celebrate your team's successes. Remember that communication is critical.

Key Plays

Consistent Communication

Team satisfaction includes surveying your staff and members.

  • Educate your staff.
  • Ensure member satisfaction. Survey frequently and improve.
  • Create a daily service initiative.
  • Make connections with your team, members, and the fitness industry.
  • Create your own community or tribe.
  • Be visible on every level of your facility.
  • Dominate the details.

Tips for Working Like an Athlete

Discipline is essential. Without discipline, you will lose, so be willing to strengthen your business foundation. Follow up is key. It is possible to be distracted by one aspect of your business and neglect others – don't let this happen. Work on all aspects of your business, build upon your foundation every day, and always follow leads.

  • Focus and Intensity: Bring positive energy into your club each day. Take a preemptive approach to dealing with potential issues. Be a champion business athlete. Enhance your skills and bolster your strengths.
  • Build Trust and Inspire: Are you a great teammate? Act as though your actions are constantly on display. This will enhance your leadership abilities. Look for ways to help your team improve. Positive energy, trust, ownership, and accountability lead to improvement.
  • Strive to Be World Class: Stay hungry for success. The athlete work ethic and discipline allows you to stay ahead and avoid becoming complacent.
  • Train Like a Pro: Stay in the game and influence members to make fitness an everyday priority.

Adopting an athlete's mindset will help you lead your team decisively and will set you on the path to a big win for your club.