Photo: Precision CrossFit
Every gym, fitness, studio, and CrossFit box has a unique set of values and beliefs. What most gym owners won’t tell you too often is that they need you. They need you for more reasons than just your monthly membership. An awesome community can be a haven for so many other mental struggles that society brings us daily. A positive gym environment is often taken for granted. What can you do to give back to your gym?
1. Be Your Best Self
There is nothing better than walking into a gym after a long day of work than to see your fellow sweat buddies with a smile on their faces. Fitness enthusiasts are attracted to positivity and energy and gym owners thrive on positive members. Be kind and cheer others on as they struggle through a big set of thrusters or introduce yourself if it’s someone’s first time in the gym. Shake hands with the new guy and introduce yourself. Smile at your gym mates. Members are attracted to the environment, not just the tough workout. It’s your community and your space so, make it the kind of place that you would want to experience the first time you walk in.
Gym owners don’t like to admit they need volunteers because you are a paying member but think of it as participating in the well being of your environment. Unfortunately, community gyms have big overhead and low margins – that’s not much of a shocker. Any time you can volunteer the coaches will appreciate your efforts.
Also, all local competitions need volunteers. You make the difference to the success of these events. Sure, there is nothing coaches love more than to have their members wear gym swag while volunteering at a local competition. But, ultimately, it is about making competitions welcoming for everyone. Competition is adversarial, but not everyone wants to get into that battle. Everyone should enjoy it, though.
3. Don’t Coach the Newbie
Volunteering to help coach is different than coaching. Unless you’re a seasoned vet who’s now a gym class hero, step away from Linda who needs to get strict pull ups before you teach her your secret kip. You mean well, but leave that to the coaches. You can be supportive and encouraging, but everyone needs different motivation in the gym environment. You want to give people the right amount of space.
4. Leverage Your Network
Many members are business people and have their own network. There is nothing more helpful to a coach than a member who can help them on the business side.
Think of it as helping your community thrive. The margin for error in the gym business is pretty important. Don’t be shy about referring people to your community gym and offering business advice and help.
A great coach is not necessarily a great sales person or business person. They may not ask for your referrals and your help in getting their projects off the ground, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need the help.
5. Leverage Your Expertise
If you’re one of those people who has a part athletic experience and it can be a huge add on to a gym, think about what that could mean. Some members have endurance backgrounds and some weightlifting experience. Whatever it is, talk to the owner about adding a class that you can teach if you feel you have the expertise. Gym owners love it when members can take a small group to a pool and teach swimming on a Sunday morning. They may even knock off some membership dues. Be a part of encouraging participation in any way that you can.
Put It All Together
The best gyms are built through positive members who put their gym’s success up with their own. We can all add value to the places we frequent most. The fittest people I know are all givers and have a personal awareness of how they can help the others around them. Follow these five principles and don’t be afraid to help.