The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Building a Profitable, Year-Round Youth Program in your Gym

Building a Profitable, Year-Round Youth Program in your Gym

Friday, August 11, 2023



kids, coaches, gym, program, work, parents, daycare, specific, sports, fitness, understanding, athletes, age group, put, fluffy, families, tyler, exercise, hard


  • Introduction to this episode of the podcast. (0:02)
  • Setting the tone for success. (5:41)
  • ​The importance of being specific with your programming. (11:48)
  • How brutal was it to come off the football season? (17:17)
  • How to run your referral play. (21:55)
  • Building the foundation and building trust. (25:10)
  • The missed opportunity of the triple extension. (30:29)
  • The importance of positioning yourself and building trust. (36:21)
  • The importance of staying in the pocket of the youth. (43:54)


Tyler 00:02

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host, Tyler stone over there is John Fairbanks How are you doing, John? Hello, Tyler, guys, this week we're going to talk about your youth programs. Hopefully you're doing them well, but a lot of people aren't. So we want to make sure we go through talking about the things that we see a lot of youth programs doing right and a lot of things we see them doing wrong. And what we think you can do to really make this be a pillar within your business as far as generating revenue and generating leads not just to growing your youth program, but leads all across the board for your business. So before we get started, make sure you go to gym owners also go to the Facebook group, the gym owners revolution, Facebook group links in our description. For the show at the gym owners podcast on Instagram, follow me at Tyler effing stone. That's how the EFF ironstone. And John,

John Fairbanks 00:49

you can find me at Jay banks FL. Excellent.

Tyler 00:52

Let's get started. These youth programs are as I've seen them in a lot of gyms, not just around here. But all over the world, we've traveled a lot, I've been to a lot of gyms and we work with a lot of gym owners from a lot of different markets. And I see the programs used well. But the thing I kind of see them done, the way I see them done most commonly is it's like it's unnecessary evil. Yeah, like this, it's this singular opportunity to get a little extra money. And it's like, we got a gym, the kids will workout a little before the parents classes anyways. And you know, it just kind of works when kids are out of school in the summertime like that. I would say 80% of youth programs are that summertime only, they fit in into the after school time slot usually, but for the most part, that's it. And I think what may be going on in them is done well. It's such a narrow scope of what's possible for getting people kids fitness thing in your facility, whatever that is, whether it's CrossFit, whether it is a kind of a semi private sports performance vibe, or whether you really are just strength training, you're missing out on a ton of opportunities by just turning your thing into a nice little exercise focused daycare space.

John Fairbanks 02:10

When that's what it is. That seems to be one of the things where it's like, well, we could make money instead of just providing daycare for our members, where it's like, well, do we either find a spa because we don't want kids wandering around? Because we've all been in gyms where it's just way too loose, where kids are allowed to just come and kind of like hang out. Yeah. And then it's like, well, then we also don't want to have necessarily dedicated daycare either. So it's like, well, let's just use CrossFit kids or whatever it is, right? Like this is whatever that program is, and it is very much like you said is like this after thought concept. And that after thought ends up causing a problem because everything that happens next, how you treat this from then on kind of just is not really a thing. It's more like just like you said, unnecessary evil, a leech kind of becomes

Tyler 03:01

a comedy of errors of missed opportunities once you start looking at it as such. And that's what we hope to accomplish with this episode is get you guys to understand what this really can be. And we see some gems with systems that work really well. And I still have yet to see someone fully execute this bottom. By the way, if you're doing the things that we're talking about fully, I would love to hear from you. But when we talk when we go through this process, John was talking about First off, why they're not really working or why they're not going to the next level. I think by the way, all of these systems are profitable on an hourly basis. Right. For the most part, I think that the coaches that are putting time in and the students that come in turn a profit on those hours, it's fine. I don't think anybody's really losing their ass on it. I don't think parents are willing to pay. Maybe they're not paying a ton of money. But I think there's a there's a fundamental issue with the way that it's executed where making a little bit of money does not make you hungry to make a lot of money and helping a few people should make you hungrier to helping a lot of people and helping people with a bunch of general kind of nebulous goals for these kids. You're missing out on the opportunity for the ones that really want to specialize in I specialize but really focus on accelerating their process as they age they have different goals, different needs. And I see so many of these programs just leaving these kids behind and what happens is then those kids go to some big ticket bigwig that's got a name or has a basketball specific camp that they do and that aren't those types of training camps and and or they go to a personal trainer that they're paying a bunch of money for or they do nothing. Or even worse around here the fucking hospital ends up running that aspect of sports training for the high school and they've done it for years now both hospitals have systems like this in their fucking it's it's stupid, nonspecific churn all the kids through a singular thing. And I think as the scale of us as Jim honors is much smaller than an enormous Regional Hospital, you have the ability to do better than just giving a kid a piece of paper and saying go do this work. And that's the opportunity that's being missed is to really carry these kids and their fitness journey, whether it's sports specific, or just life specific, you're missing the opportunity to be with them in the beginning, and to be there and guide and mentor and stuff as they grow and develop into much more at advanced levels of athletes, or simply just people that have found fitness early on in life and know where it fits and know how to do it well and safely. It's a huge missed opportunity that I see, every step of that way is money for you as a gym owner, and you're really fucking it up.

John Fairbanks 05:40

Yeah, it's and its setting that tone. Like you said, it's you are synonymous with fitness for these families in your community. You don't allow it to be anybody else. You don't allow people to kind of like struggle and just know, I know where I go, I go here because I use I started here. And then we did this. And we do that. And I think this is also good for if you're a gym owner, and you're listening to this or your head coach or personal trainer that's been working in a gym, it's look around, are you struggling to keep coaches that help with this part of your program, or this part of your gym? We've just described what you just described how there would be another reason why it's hard to keep coaches, because coaches did not get in the game to coach to teach elementary school. Or worst part is like being the worst version of like an elementary PE teacher. Yeah. And that's really hard, because it's kids are just there because mom and dad dropped them off. They suck. That's sucks. That's a sucky population deal with because little kids are hard. It's 90% just managing the fuck so they don't kill themselves or kill another. And then 10% Fitness. But if you have coaches that are not ready for that, it's gonna be really hard to find people that are like, No, I love working with cats to spastic cats that are freaking out all the time all over the place, and are always trying to kill themselves to where if you can focus enough to where now you just like you said, as those kids a little bit older, they have a reason to be there a purpose to be there. It's way easier to bring in coaches to be able to kind of help in that type of program

Tyler 07:17

now and I want you guys to take each thing that we're saying with a grain of salt with a grain of salt there. Is there a fundamental truth underlying some of this and there isn't a gym specific application to these things? That is still correct, right. So one of the things John had that kind of grip on was just daycare where you got a bunch of kids running around playing games. And that's what we're gonna get into next is program design. Because what I 'm gonna say is your program design probably sucks. And it's not there to attract athletes, and you're only attracting the daycare good vibe. Now, there was still a time and a place I think, John, you got How old is Hank right now, five, six, he's six, six, at that age, and you take him to a kind of a kid's fitness class. And but at that age, it should be exactly what we described. It should be kids having fun playing and should be playful exercise moving. And it should be fun, it should be games, it should be 100% fitness and exercise and work disguised as fun and play. And as they age. And as the goals become more specific, that ratio does need to shift a little bit. And I think there should always be fun and play and games and joy and excitement and laughing that goes on when you're in the gym, at least as a possibility even as you're my age. But when your goals are specific, it can't all be dicking around playing the pizza game with ADD mats and stuff like that. At some point, you don't get to play leapfrog all the time, at some point it is Oh, we got to do the work, we'll talk some shit, we'll make it fun. We want to make sure that people want to come back. But there is a tipping point where like, no, no, this is real work to get real results here. And we're not just trying to plant the seed and make sure the kids move to get them off the couch for now, that is a function that your young age group stuff, I think serves and that's okay, so all this stuff, John and I said shitting on that. We want to make sure that you do more than that. And that's what we're that's what we're really kind of preach it to today

John Fairbanks 09:07

and having a plan. That's really right. It's like having a very clear plan. Understanding that your kindergarten or your four to six or four to seven year old age group should look different than your eight to 12 year old age group.

Tyler 09:24

And I think once you get beyond, in my opinion, 12 1314 and on up, it starts to become focused on things that are more grown up which is want to build muscle I need to get strong I need to I think pursuing strength and pursuing athleticism is important all while then underpinning healthy habits, safe training. Nutrition. Showing up to the gym is something I think is the most healthy habit of being comfortable with the gym. The youth, the young kids that I coach right now I have a kid who's 15 and I have a kid For boys that are like 13. The first primary function for them right now that I need to do is make sure they have fun in the gym so that when they are 16 1718, it doesn't take them a year to get up to speed when they go like a kid who's coming off the couch or whose football coach finally talks him into going into the gym when he's in high school. These kids now know how clips go on bars. They know where to stand, they know how to carry it. They know how to sit down with dumbbells and throw but it's how to be in a gym, and how to be comfortable in the gym. Some of us, once you get out of high school sports, you drift away from that and you go back to this as an adult like I did as an adult getting back into fitness. I go back, it's like starting all over is like I'm not comfortable in this area. Do I belong here? Do I know what I'm doing? You get kids over that early on. And it becomes a place they can have fun. And then you work on your strength. And I think you've you've really done the thing that John and I talked about a lot here with our adults with your gym, your gyms, adult clients, is it what is their lifetime fitness journey? Not all within your gym. But what does that look like in your gym can play a role and you miss such an opportunity by getting these kids in at 567 years old how to play games, and it's fun. And then afterwards, you just send them off to school. And then when they're 1012. You just ignore them or whatever. Or even when you come in in high school, you're just having them do like, unfocused group shit, and it just ends up. There's too many missed opportunities. It's only done in the summer. It sucks. So it becomes as much of an afterthought to you. As it is to the parents. If you're just operating the daycare thing. It's like summertime, yeah, I drop them off at three twice a week, like three times a week. That's that, that's great. It's just another thing they do. It doesn't mean anything to anybody involved. And that is short sighted.

John Fairbanks 11:48

Without a doubt, and I think it's really well put as it because that's a thought for you. It's an afterthought for the families and for the parents. And even if you're fluffy, listen, I ran and started nothing but fluffy. It was a fluffy general exercise from kinder to second for my first age group, third to fifth grade was my second age group and I ran out of schools. And that was something I did for years and ran two classes a week. The reality was, it wasn't just general bullshit. There was a plan. It was nothing but the fluffy stuff, of just having fun and moving and doing classic like backyard games, because so many kids now are getting put into organized sports earlier and earlier. So it is getting unreasonably serious sooner and sooner for all these kids when it comes to exercise. Some kids just want to play fucking kickball. Like there's some elements of it, right? And the way that I the way you construct it. So this is kind of gets to me to the next point that I want to make, which is this is whether you're talking from four year olds all the way to your very sports specific preseason offseason posts like other ways to market it's how you market these things, how you talk and think about them is fundamentally bad. Yeah. And so I want to start at the fluffy stuff. fluffiness. If it's just daycare that's always open and has no, no urgency whatsoever to get somebody to join.

Tyler 13:22

Beyond. Its seasonal nature is about it. But

John Fairbanks 13:25

but you can still do it. You understand it's that age group, when do they, when is school in session, when is spring break, when it's summer break, when's winter break, like I understand the quarters and the semesters, when is this quarter over? When do grades come out? Like those things that are the clock. For families, it's when school is in when school is out. And when these things end, those are very natural flows for parents that are engaged with their kids, they know that schedule. So if you have six week blocks, or you have eight week blocks, whatever those programs are, you're able to just naturally have when parents are anticipating a transition or some type of a change, you can utilize that to your advantage. And so that's how you should be thinking about it. And then for the literal programming, because this is what a lot of you are really good at because this is all you think about is Be specific. It was when it was cold out and was around Christmas time. And there I was in Florida at the time, so no kid knew what Snow was. They never had seen snow. But we're doing snow games. Like these are the games. This is the theme of the event and so now you have these things that are different and unique. That allows them to be more dialed in contrast to them just getting dropped off. And it's kind of the same old, same old and I think it 's good. Honestly, if you could take it then now let's elevate it out of the fluffy because this is the area where we'll shit on the most because this is that part of kind of like just daycare is what we're seeing for most folks. Yes. Even to the higher level, it's not specific enough.

Tyler 15:12

thing I find less interesting than 99% of CrossFit kids programs that are being run. Well, if you've worked for fuckery we do and teach half of the stuff. I see it done for some of you guys, I'm sure some of you guys do a good job. But just branding a group a general exercise, there's nothing I hate more than people getting kids in an offseason, when they're 15 years old, making them do runs or Sprint's or getting them tired. It's so that that indicates to me very often a lack of programming understanding and a lack of priorities with which, if that's what you're doing is just running kids through met cons and getting them tired and wearing them out. So they're less sassy with their parents when they get home. That stuff works by the way you get a new adult who comes in that's up for work for four to eight months, probably with new neatness. And then it won't and then you've tapped all that out and that sucks to be wasting that time with someone's high at a high rate of development physically, what a waste opportunity to get them tired when I'll be goddamned if you're talking postseason, offseason coach and preseason strength program and preseason fitness stuff that's going on with a specific goal is kids don't need to get shit. You get strong, they're going to be in shape two weeks into practice, I fucking guarantee it now that no matter how good a shape you get them into, they're gonna be crushed the first two weeks of practice no matter what game pace, it's all different. It's just the coaches that do that if this is it's always a thing that I see in CrossFit programs. Because most CrossFit coaches were never really fucking good athletes at anything else. And so they fell into some catch all shit, don't hate me guys. You are. If you're mad about it, you either are or you're one of the very few that aren't. But then you just like, Oh, we're just gonna fucking wear these dudes out. And it's like, they just don't understand how that fucking goes. And it's such a waste of energy. And by the way, your parents appreciate it when you send the kids home dead dog tired, they need to lead. But you can get them without just wasting time. If you're making kids run wind sprints in the summer. Let someone else coach your kids program, please, your offseason program.

John Fairbanks 17:17

How brutal Was it because you played the same sport side minus volleyball. And so I was a two way athlete in high school for football. And you could play all game long. By the end of the season, you could do it. You were really banged up, but you were able to do it. And then there was nothing more brutal than coming off of football because basketball started before football was over. And there was nothing more brutal of being in really good, like really fantastic football shape and

Tyler 17:45

shape, dude 48 minute football shape, and you get to eight minute quarters of basketball and you're tapping out for dying, like that first

John Fairbanks 17:53

A week of basketball is like the most miserable hell. And it's but it's this is this is the reason. So this is the point we're making is that it's how you now are marketing and thinking about this has CrossFit works because adults don't fucking play sports,

Tyler 18:12

because this is exercise you're saying it's, and there is some strength component in there. And I think, like I said, I opened a CrossFit affiliate, I put my life savings on the line to create one because I believe it works. That's why I started back in fitness. As an adult, I believe in it as a methodology. The way it's being executed still is poor. Because a lot of people are just doing things the way I said, we spent a whole career with a strong fit, John and I preaching the same thing. So it's very much true that that is the way fundamentally it is written I think is valuable. The way it is executed is like no, let's just sell the sizzle. And that works great for fucking regular people for a few months. But when you're talking to kids there needs to be specific. And you talk about their specific goals. And you talk about durability. You need to build resilience, strength, durability, from those things comes speed, from those things comes the ability to stay in shape quickly to be able to play, move fast and make it through the season and on to the next sport and on to the next sport.

John Fairbanks 19:12

And it shouldn't be easier, right? Marketing. Yes, this age group should be very easy.

Tyler 19:16

Totally once they crossed the babysitting class, the babysitting fitness class threshold, it becomes very nice because you then it's the thing that I was talking about with marketing, then you have specificity. And that ties into what we talked about before with the timeline. So now we want to touch on one more missed opportunity before we get into your solutions, right completely to the solutions. And John you kind of brought this up earlier but getting new kids like growing this program the way most do it is hoping essentially only for like a child to child referral or hoping that your adult members already have kids. And that is one of the biggest missed opportunities because you're only seeing Get as growing your youth program into a bigger singular youth program. As opposed to helping these kids one as they age up as they age into more specific goals, selling them out into more, say semi private stuff. Or hopefully you can grow another whole seasonal section, which we'll get into a seasonal block, which we'll get into later. But another big one is you're trying to sell your parents, the people who already have in your gym, you're trying to sell them on getting the kids in. And what you really shouldn't be doing as well is trying to get as many kids in as you can, and then working your way back over to the parents as well, you should be able to find people with kids who are not already in there. And using those kids as an access point to bring the adults into the world. There are two paths that I see very often. But for the most part, most personal trainers gyms are missing out on both pathways. To be honest with you, most use our coaching kids, you'll only coach the kids, you start coaching adults only coach the adults. And we've had really, really, really great success in the personal training and semi private segments of taking an adult who's making change in their lives. Fitness wise hires a personal trainer, starts losing weight, realizes they've missed opportunities with getting their kids in shape. He goes shit, what do I need to do once they find value in your services and products? They want to share that with their family because they know that they can't just be the only one in their house doing this. And you can sell down to the kids. As well as you can start with the kids, someone just puts their kids in need of someone to work with before football, the kids have such great results, the parents start coming to you as well. And we've done this both ways. And I see a lot of missed opportunities for playing both sides of that card within your gym, specifically within your youth program. Because all we're doing for the most part, if I want to launch a youth program tomorrow, I'm going to hit up all the parents that already have in your gym and say bring your kids that's essentially for sure all you're doing is using them as one access point and you're missing out on many other pathways within your business.

John Fairbanks 21:55

And that is the strategy. Like if we're if we're starting from brand new, right? It's how you run your referral play, how you do all of it needs to always like we talked about it's inside out, you always start in house and you work your way out. The problem is, most of you got a bunch of success that do have youth programs. You had success when you did that. Because guess what, when you do referrals, and you work inside out the people that already trust, you will also trust you with the next thing that you want to offer them. So you had success. But the problem was it was fleeting . It was successful once so it made you think, Oh, this is all I have to do. And then you get a few months in, and then you realize, Well, shit. Now I've lost some people naturally, because of the exact flow that we've talked about. Kids are going to come in and out of sports. And there's a lack of education and understanding that it's your program that shouldn't be in competition with the different sports that kids are playing. So this is again, why we want to build and we'll talk about that more in a minute. But it is now. Okay, well then how do you get leads? How are you actively trying to find leads that are out there to bring in more people opposed to it just always, like you said, always hoping, well, hopefully these people just invite more of their friends. And it's like, there's more to this game that needs to be done that you can now actually generate those leads.

Tyler 23:18

Alright, now we're gonna move down to the we've been shitting on you guys and teasing, teasing the possibilities of not you guys specifically, but we're gonna get moving forward on solutions because that's what we do best here. So how to do it, right? Okay, we're going to start and we touched on a few of these things, how to do it right. From a program design standpoint, it's okay to do the Kids Fun Time class. First, I'm very firm that kids need to learn to exercise, you need to inspire them early on, you need to plant that seed at a young age. Less, they become 15 and 16. And extremely over, it's so hard to undo that like extreme lack of fitness, when it is very easy to keep kids fit. I think there's a ton of value in that. I think it's also important in those opportunities when people are kids are exercising and finding joy in it at whatever age is and then also being planted planting the seeds for healthy eating habits. You don't have to go full on nutrition coaching below a certain age, I don't even advise people selling it or anything like this. But I do like the idea when someone is coming to the gym that you talk to the kids about. Hey, so what do you guys have after? What can you guys eat for dinner? And say, Oh, I got some protein? What's protein meat? Does that have something like because you guys are doing a bunch of hard work? This is what we need to recover. You're gonna use energy. When do we not want to be having a bunch of candy and stuff like this all day. It makes you feel sick, right? And so you just want to be able to have some of this in a way that's not telling the pit not raising the kids for the parents but you really are setting the tone for a lifetime of health and understanding of exercise. And don't fuck this up. So as much as John and I shit on the fluffy Kids program in the last 20 minutes. I think it's extremely important. And I see so many kids that don't know anything about healthy Eating or know anything about exercise, how it makes them feel good, what not exercising makes you feel like that you're getting kids back a decade by failing to teach those types of things.

John Fairbanks 25:10

And understand that the fluffy, the fluffiness, and this, this specific age range is building that foundation, because they're going to earn that trust with you. There's nothing you can do about it at this age group, you are competing with everything Billy and Susie is doing. So all the things that their parents have to drag their ass to everything that the kid is up to, you are in direct competition with it. But um, but that is only for so long, because you are properly building the foundation because it will be because again, pay to play. And youth athletics, I think I saw it was like a billion dollars, like it's an insane amount of money that's being made when you're talking about travel, basketball, travel baseball, like this world is an insane world. And it's only getting younger, and younger families are being convinced more and more, that if Billy isn't on a traveling basketball team, by the time he's seven, then he's not going to get a scholarship opportunity. Now. And so because I think all that's bullshit. But it doesn't change the fact that this is what families and parents are being sold. So when you build that trust early on, that you're a place that's helping you care, you've been building up these kids understanding and they love it, it's your going to be the person that they turn to, they will say Well, hey, great, actually, you know, my son's gonna go out for fill in the blank next season. Do you guys do anything with that? And now is the time and this is where we need to be ahead of that. Yes. And anticipate those questions, because you will get them if you've done it right. But now that we get into the seasonal flow, and how you should be marketing and talking about it, you're now kind of 10 years old on that type of program.

Tyler 27:05

And I think for the most part, every state probably varies, but your high school sports seasons are usually now pretty much aligned with boys, girls, young and old, for the most part meaning football is when football is for boys that are 12 years old boys are 22 Right? It's right it's kind of when it is so I think it's important you have preseason, you have postseason you, you can have strength focus, or athleticism focus classes, program, whatever that is. Whether it's a class or whether it is simply you know, a program that is semi private and coach where there's just someone in attendance and kids are coming in and doing their work, kind of like what would go on in a high school weight room, if the coach at the high school weight room fucking knew anything about what you're supposed to be doing. Yeah, but they don't hear and they don't in, I would say three quarters of the places I've ever been in. And I thought that that got better since the 90s. And that is not the case, it's gotten worse, they're just younger and more confident and know even less somehow, because they don't train in those coaches. So these are people that have just kind of gotten out of college at best if you're having somebody coming in to coach these kids who don't know anything and nor have they accomplished anything physically on their own. And at worst, they're just indifferent. And it's essentially Intern Placement or fucking guy, just a regular PE teacher with a gym key. So you cannot have the ability to do it very differently. And you're not going to get all of them. You're not going to compete with the school's program until you already have trust with people. But that starts again, this is where we target it starts with the youth program. The kids that I coach on into high school who caught a bunch of flack from their high school program for working with me in the offseason. Because they weren't training with the team. But those kids I coached when they were younger, I coached for a couple years. I coached their families and they trusted me. So when they said no I wanted to work with Tyler in the schools like well got training they were practically threatening to blackball them until these boys showed up or two brothers showed up and just fucking thrashed everybody in the weight room when they did the end of summer testing killed everybody looked better moved better coaches talk as much as they wanted to be man there's nothing they could do about and they knew they were wrong and they knew I was right. And guys if you know anything about me there's nothing I like better than knowing that you know not me knowing that I was right but you knowing that I was right and you knowing that you were wrong. Okay, so I was very, very happy about how that worked out. But that came from that trust, okay. But building that seasonal flow, these are fixed timeframes, which means you then need to find a way how do you access those people? That type of specificity makes it very easy to start to reach them instead of doing what most people do, which is like Instagramers or summer programs. These two classes don't speak to any specific goals and don't speak to a fixed timeline. So I think that if we're seeing just football for example, right postseason football, you've got the winter in the weight room that you can get in right right. Or if you're not playing fall sports, you're waiting for basketball. We have preseason basketball that we can get basketball, you can get strength training, a little bit of light agility work just to make sure you're, you know, moving on your feet, but some coordination stuff and strength stuff to make sure that you're ready for the season, make sure you're on wait, there's some of those things, you just come a little heavy at the end of summer, we can do that with strength training a lot more than we can do with just running you. And I think that that type of flow is the thing that a lot of people miss most most of these programs out here are summertime, two age groups, three to five times a week. That's it.

John Fairbanks 30:28

That's it. And it is a massive missed opportunity. Because you know that and this is you got we all masturbate to our programming and our programming excellence. We do so therefore, because you do that naturally. You know, that triple extension exists in every fucking sport on the goddamn planet. I don't know anything about cricket, but I guarantee you they have a triple extension aspect of their sport, talking guarantee it. So that means just like you said, Tyler, like boys, girls, they're going to have certain sports that are going to start at a certain time. It doesn't matter from seven years old, 10 years old, all the way up to 22. Right? Yes, that's consistent. So that means you are able to really get specific and niche down the same. We have a preseason camp for girls, volleyball, football, like everything that is going to be a fall sport, you are able to advertise that in the summertime.

Tyler 31:26

If you are telling me that I have a summertime teens fitness group class to go that I can send my kid to or by the way, if it's the exact same thing, it's you're just telling me this is my son's preseason training camp, or preseason weight room track camp or whatever for his soccer thing that makes much more sense to me that appeals to me. Sounds to me like it's focused on what he wants to do. I don't need him going and doing a bunch even though this guy, by the way, a ton of overlap. There's so much overlap. The parents are there. No, I want this to be coached for the thing that they're doing. And so it's very easy. You can even if it is just simply preseason stuff, you say no, I have a specific program we work with for soccer athletes, something very specific for our football players. And that becomes now that's the calling card. And that is the siren song that's going to attract those parents as I promise. You are just simply not taking your teens class seriously. No matter and it's

John Fairbanks 32:26

too abstract. It's too abstract, because now people think you want them to be a weightlifter. Yeah, that's the issue. The issue is a lack of education and understanding. And we have gyms that we work with inside the gear academy that are really specialized with kids. And it's been a thing where we've had to be like, No, listen, it's your job to make sure that these families are educated to understand that you are there to support and enhance the fact that Billy is going to go to baseball. It's not weightlifting versus baseball. And it's been, it's hard and you don't know where their coaches are at. So all these coaches, these sports specific coaches, they're not strength and conditioning coaches. These aren't guys that put a lot of time in at university and work with the baseball team and the football team and the track team and just understand the dynamic of how important that is

Tyler 33:20

the other team time coaches? Absolutely. Yeah. So and on that aspect or on that, on that topic, you do need to make sure you try to maintain good relationships with the coaches, schools and organizations, because you're always going to kind of be in competition with some of their stuff. So you're gonna listen, if they've got their thing going on at their time that they've put their stamp on, because God knows what major organization has put equipment in their gym for them. So now they own the right to coach your kids for all eternity, without any retribution or data to justify whether they've done their gut job good or bad. Just know that a lot of the people are going to fall into that. They're going to fall right into that and they're going to have that trust before they're gone. And that's okay. But you still can get some and if you play the game enough, you're gonna earn and earn and earn more trust. And there's also times when that stuff's not going on. Okay, is a perfect example is after so in the summertime for football, listen, there's going to be a lot of people that are just lifted guys that are lifting weights at their high school gym with their football team because their coaches bear it. Right, right. postseason. If the guys aren't transitioning right into basketball. There's nothing, there's absolutely nothing. That's a great opportunity to come in and say guys, because here's the way I tell it to everybody in every sport, if you're 1314 years old or older. If I can get you for eight to 12 weeks, twice a year, getting stronger, like diligently, consistently, two, three times a week, for eight to 12 weeks, twice a year. You're fucking you will be an entirely different species by the end of the second or third year. I mean, physically it doesn't take that much to hit that. After so much at that age, they're chock full of an amount of testosterone, that is, people pay good money for corrections. And so it's like dude is you just get to make the time and we'll make this happen. But we got to put in this time this is it, it's eight weeks, twice a year, I'd love for you to do it all year, I get it. Hopefully your team does some sort of maintenance in season lifting stuff. But if not, it's whatever. But this is the time we can do it. If you're trying to sell somebody a year round, you're never going to do it, you're just, it's never going to work, they're never going to run concurrently. Parents can't manage the time. So don't sweat it, identify those times, do your best to make it work with what the school program is doing. It's trying to build good relationships, they're your big end. And the goal is to be the person who's doing that for them and paying that they're sending your people to but that's a tricky game. And a lot of schools private schools somehow are can't afford to do it and public schools, somehow fucking kind of it's it's whatever. But you can get good relationships and have a good reputation. And it doesn't take long, it takes a few years, but you will have a program that will have tons of people eyeing it from years away. And that's what starts to happen when you start putting athletes out on the floor that look right and are strong. People know the train with you, parents from kids two years, three years younger than I want, I want, I want my ability to work with him.

John Fairbanks 36:21

And it's exactly, and it comes down to again, it's positioning yourself. It's the exact antithesis of sitting around and hoping that every new member you get in your gym has children, and hoping that every new kid that you get has friends that also want to come.

Tyler 36:40

People should want to work with you more than just because they just want to send their kids for you for a reason beyond just it's summer.

John Fairbanks 36:47

And you can only reach so many people. So this is about the value really comes to making those partnerships. Because now you are building these referral networks for you and building that trust. And this really is where it gets into being able to make sure that as a community, you're you can be seen. Yeah, I think that that is the piece of being able to be seen in your community. I have gotten more inquiries to either personal train, or for God forbid, build programming for local athletes, because I coached. Yeah, I was one of the coaches, I was a coach at football and I didn't coach those kids. They weren't even the kids that I coached. It was older families then who also saw me and knew what I was doing and saw me just working with the little guys was like, Hey, do you do this? Do you do this piece? I would really like my kid to work with you. Yeah. And so this you're huge.

Tyler 37:49

And you'll be if you're president, you'll be asked to do things you're not qualified for. Or you can ask for somebody and not and now I got asked to coach like a full on self defense group for a bunch of high school students. And it's like, Hey, man, I haven't been doing any of this long enough to be teaching such things but I facilitated it, sold it and set it up that someone else was going to instruct it. But that's what happens when you're out get out there and you have trust and you're seeing okay, if you're coaching athletes it's also important if you're doing a big large scale turn and burn thing this isn't gonna work but if you give a shit and you're coaching athletes, the ones who are you have built a connection with to whatever it is and they're playing on a Tuesday night and you're available go make the time to go see the kids that you coach play in their thing the parents appreciate the kids will love it they will never go anywhere else if you show up my wife this the other day one of her clients whose young girl she has softball game AND MEGAN Oh should really wears it out and it was just not far off the way and Megan was going to be leaving the gym that later on around that same time and they saw Stop it was really it was like really you do that? And Megan went there like made that girl's day, made her week or the coach showed up and was jacked and strong and she was excited and the whole thing. But that's how you and it's not just for the sake of sales, right? It's how you can actually endear yourself to people and entrench yourself in a community with I think actual good nature instead of simply a ruthless sales mindset. Now, the next thing we want to cover on though is the big thing that you need to do to do this right is the communication aspect of this, which means all these things we describe seasonal nature, this eight week program, this eight week block of this we have this open here, you need to be using every communication asset that you have to promote these things. This means reaching out to every single person within your within your regular gym, all of your other clients make sure they know if they have kids or any of their co workers staffs or contacts that have kids that have this program you would love for them to share it with them, please send this link forward or the landing page or or to this post or here's a graph Like image that needs to be done, I there's nothing worse than a Summer's coming. We've got kids classes here at this time. And then one more post two weeks later, get your kid registered for our two different types of kids classes. And that's it, that's all I see out of it, you need to really use your actual communication structures for email, obviously posts on social media, you want to run ads, run ads, you want to get up, put flyers up, I'm okay with it. See if you can get flyers up in your Boys and Girls Clubs. See if you can. Sure over the course of the years, see if you can present to parents at a school board situation or the booster clubs have donate to some of these things so that you can end up having a voice within this, but Neaton need to find a way to inform people to have now that's first promoting these programs. Again, we talked about before that flow needs to go both ways and means you really need to also all of the parents of the kids, you should have their contact information, make sure you're also extending offers to them to join your gym, extend offers. And then once the kids who don't say hey, so and so did a really really great job on that show, we'll give you half off your first month, if you're interested in coming in. Or if you want to come in to chat with us. We'd love to get you in the gym so you know helping parents, healthy family, healthy kids, healthy lifestyle, everybody's happy. That works extremely well. And it is a huge missed opportunity if you're just letting the car door open and close and a kid comes out and runs into your gym.

John Fairbanks 41:25

I've never been asked Tyler never right. I've never been asked a single time I've had kids inside of this local gym. Since I'm talking before, before I moved, I lived in this area eight years ago, or whatever it was, my kid went there, we then came back. I've never, probably six years, I've never been asked, Hey, would you like to come and try a class that you would like to be able to come and work out not a single time. And it's obvious that I do something. So I am working out somewhere. There's not even any inkling that it could be a spot for me to come and join.

Tyler 42:04

Yeah, and not everything needs to be a hard sales pitch. And that's why we always want to make sure that this communication is something that happens. overwhelming, but that happens . Have you got it you should be used to getting it, they should be used to getting an email from you. With some updates, maybe an offer, maybe just say, hey, we'd love to have you in, it should be that simple. And then you by the way, if they're used to that, you can then do that a little more often. And it's okay it's a lot less off putting than hassling somebody in person and getting told no 20 times, which is why most you guys don't do it. Because if you guys brought it up out of the blue and got told not to break your little fitness or hearts. And it's just it's not that hard. But it is the trumpet. That's how you use this program not only to build itself, and build layers and layers upon itself, but you leverage those programs and those families and turn them into family clients as opposed to just a teens clients or an offseason program client. Yeah. So I'm sure there's things we miss here. But that's those are some of the priorities, I think that you should take in and looking to grow yours, it can't just be in the summer, you need to do some specific targeting for specific goals, make sure you flow go flow within that, that seasonal flow, that yearly flow, plan this ahead of time, it cannot be an afterthought, or parents already know what they're doing, they already know. But if they spot this thing, a couple months out and they realize that's a gap in their calendar, they're much more likely to pull the trigger on this and do not miss the opportunity to sell into that program. And outside of that program as well I need to move, sell kids to other kids, sell the kids program to other kids. You also need to sell the parents program via the children as well. There's there's multiple avenues with which your business can grow simply from a lead generation standpoint here.

John Fairbanks 43:53

Now I want to we've done this enough times that I want to be able to extend anybody that's listening to come and work with Tyler and I specifically on this. We've talked about the gear Academy, we talked about a bunch of different things that are out there that we do. But I want to stay right in the pocket of the youth program. So for 100 bucks. Right, we will start the first group we'll start on August 10. So it's the third recording today. Right? So on August 10, I want to be able to start and we'll work with the first seven people that come and reach out to us and say hey, I want to be able either I want to start a youth program or my youth program is just stuck in the mud. We've only been successful for three months at it every year. And it needs to be able to have a jumpstart. And for me, it's I think it's really really important that we take you guys from this point of really making no difference your youth programs making zero difference in your community and inside your gym when it comes to like revenue and actually treat it the way we've just talked about all the pieces that we've laid out.

Tyler 44:56

Yeah, John, you just ran somebody through this completely From zero, all the way on up, and by the time when we had started with him, what did they have maybe like four people? Yeah, he had four or five athletes. And this is going into the fall. By the way, this is a hard sell for a lot of you. So already it's starting at what people would describe as a disadvantage. How am I going to sell a bunch of kids into it starting in September? That's already after the one time he got to my kids class started with four or five kids. John, you started walking him through these step by step here, we're on the same things we're gonna do with you guys. If you want to be this guy for 100 bucks, we're just doing this to help you grow, earn a little bit of trust with you. This is a very affordable thing for you to do. Johnny went from four five to where he was at by the time he had gone through step by step.

John Fairbanks 45:43

So he's got 18 lined up for the middle of September when he starts for his winter preseason program that's coming up. The good news is because it's so early in August, for six weeks, we go one on one working with you to do this, the exact steps that we've taken and work people through, right will do with you as well. So you have missed the boat yet. It's amazing how much can get done. If you go hands on and go ham for a four to six week window, and be ready because the programming is easy, you'll already have it you already you gotta be good at what you do. Yeah. So now the marketing piece, this is the piece where we now position it and have a plan for when you start , when folks are going to end and how you're going to go into the next season after that. That is where we want to be able to come in where you're starting getting more leads more revenue, and finally have a fucking plan for things.

Tyler 46:35

And we're doing this because we want to get you guys a few wins because we cannot just revamp your entire business for $99. That's too big of a proposition. That's what the gear academies are for. That's what some of our franchise options are for. But if you do want to just simply level up your business you want to work with us directly. This is the cheapest chance you're ever going to get and that windows are closed in here in about a week. So if you want in on that shoot us a message directly on Instagram at the gym owners podcast. You can message me directly at Tyler F unsewn or John at Jay banks FL or you can email us at the dudes at Hack Your That's it any other pathways. That's that'll do it do all the things links are in the description go to gym owners If you want to gear Academy for no more, we said message us directly. Help us help you launch your kids program and get a really solid consistent year round pillar of revenue leads and goodwill within your community starting this fall. We'll see you next week.

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