Remember the show Cheers? I only remember it vaguely as my parents used to watch it back in the 80s. The show’s theme song had a line in it, “You want to go where everyone knows your name, and they're always glad you came."
Nothing could be more real than at your gym. Walking into a gym and being greeted by name by the coach can instantly dismantle fears regarding the workout and put a person at ease trusting that they’re in the right place.
If you’re a gym that wants to lay the foundation to develop a genuine and natural community - start by requiring that your coaches know the names of all the athletes at your gym. Ideally, this wouldn’t have to be a requirement, but more an understanding of how a good coach should apply their profession.
When your coaches know all of the athletes’ names, it sets you apart from other gyms. It also demonstrates to your athletes that they too should know the names of their fellow athletes. Finally, when a coach knows every athlete's name, regardless of athletic ability level, it sets the tone that care and connection come before fawning over athletic capacity.
Here are a few ways you give your coaches the tools and processes to always know everyone’s names.
1. Go back to the whiteboard.
I know many gyms have moved to a “screen only” system and believe me, I’m all in favor of technological advances, and I LOVE BoxTV; however, there are hidden gems in the daily task of writing each person's name on a whiteboard. My recommendation is to use both systems - handwritten and the TV. By making the coaches write each person’s name on the board, they get the daily repetition of having to recall each name. This practice makes it such that learning hundreds of names is easy.
2. Take pictures in your client management system.
Whether you use Push Press, TeamUp, or Pike13, these systems all offer the ability to have a photo attached to each client record. USE THIS FEATURE! When a new coach starts at your gym, this can be a tremendous asset to help them get up to speed with hundreds of names. For the coach that forgets an athlete's name, a quick run to the class list and they can quickly see the name of that athlete.
3. When you just can't remember.
There will be times when your brain won’t cooperate, and for the life of you, you can’t remember an athlete’s name. In this event, and provided your box has employed #2, do the following. Start the class with a 400m run. While the class is out running, look at your client management system or call another coach (yes, there are rare occasions to grab your phone during class - but not in front of your members). Spacing on an athlete's name happens, but as a general rule of thumb, you should do everything in your power not to ever let that athlete know that you forgot their name.
What are some of the ways that you make sure you remember your athletes’ names?
Check out the other posts in this series!
- Why Your Coaches Should Take Group Class
- Why Your Coaches Should Post Their Scores
- Why Your Coaching Staff Should Do Your Gym's Programming
Download the full "Lessons for the Coaches at the Gym" eBook here.