by Brian Smith, Men’s Head Coach at Lone Star Gymnastics in Ft. Worth Twitter and Instagram @brianlonestar or Follow/SUBSCRIBE on YouTube Brain and Brian TV (Also on Twitter & Instagram @brianandbryantv)
As a gym manager and competitive coach my time at the end of a competition season is stretched by administrative tasks behind the scenes and traveling for competitions. When I am in the gym it is extremely difficult to shift my focus outside of a training group which means I am dependent upon the staff to do their jobs effectively. These are the two things that I cannot stand to see because they have a negative impact on our business and they create more complaints than anything. So, here it goes.
The staff looking bored- This is of the utmost disrespect to our clients and your employer. I understand that you had a rough day, you didn’t sleep well, your dog died, you failed an exam, and you stepped in a pile of dog poop in your brand new sneakers on the way into the building BUT you have a job to do. You have a job to do that you cannot possibly accomplish while looking bored. Sitting down, leaning on a bar, staring at the clock, crossed arms, and not looking like you are excited to be here are the biggest complaints that we will receive.
Personally, I am looking for the coach who has arms that look like they are going to fly off of their body at any moment, a coach who loses his/her voice the first week they are doing the job, a coach who loses 10 pounds the first month they are working, and a coach who gets 8-10 thousands steps on their pedometer an evening. I am telling you that those are the coaches who make a difference and those are the coaches that I look for to get raises.
The last minute call in- In my gym we run 45-50+ classes in an evening excluding our team programs and to schedule that amount of classes is extremely time consuming. We have a manager who spends nearly all her time scheduling employees and when we have someone call in 30 minutes before their shift because their “Sick” or “have a test” it forces us to shift the entire schedule around. Now, can you tell me that you didn’t know you were “sick” until 30 minutes before your shift starts? Oh, and we tend to check your social media and the other staff members will tell us when you aren’t telling the truth.
Consistency in coaches is a huge deal to our clients and we commonly get phone calls about the “new teacher” when we have a substitute teaching a class. The parents and students notice the difference and substitutes don’t know the students or their skill levels so they are forced to review skills with students instead of teaching them new ones. Coaches that are inconsistent in their attendance often find their hours “mysteriously” diminishing as we find permanent solutions to common problems. Oh, and don’t be surprised when we have you teach a new employee that we are replacing you with. You are a great coach but you are not dependable enough to be useful for the business.
Dealing with clients and their issues is how we grow as a business and as coaches. It is important that we put out a consistently great product year round and we can’t do that if we are having to micromanage you. Wanting to grow as a coach and as an employee is a great thing but let’s make sure that we are taking care of our current responsibilities before asking for new ones.