Inability To Outsource Could Lead Your Gym To Failure

Every gym owner feels his gym is the best on the block. That's not a problem; be proud of your work. But if you think you know everything & couldn't benefit from another set of eyes or ears then you're letting your ego stunt your growth as a coach. You are also stunting your athletes' growth.

Doctors bring in outside help all the time. An orthopedic surgeon isn't going to try to do brain surgery: he is going to call in a competent neurosurgeon ( I can't guarantee he will look like Derek Shepherd though).

If other professions call in hired guns when they need help, why can't some gym owners seem to pick up the phone and do the same? We explore that issue below and discuss why they can harm your facility.

1. Pride/Fear Of Failure

Some coaches want to be seen as infallible. They feel like they are looked down upon if they attend an event they aren't an expert in or ask for another coach's advice. That's the farthest thing from the truth. Anyone worth their salt would view asking for help when you need it as an attribute to being a successful coach, not a failure.

Knowing your limits as a coach doesn't mean you can't continue to hone and build your skill set. You want to bridge those limitation gaps with education & knowledge.

But if your athlete has outgrown your coaching level, be man (or woman) enough to find some help. There are certain athletes I could only help so much with where I was; in order to not hinder their growth as an athlete I helped find a new coach who could do more than I could at the time.

If you are just starting out and need help with your business model why wouldn't you seek counsel of someone who has done it before? There's a lot of trial and error in business ownership but by seeking guidance you can lessen the falls you have to take. When we first started Mississippi Barbell we had plenty of mentors, including 2004 US Olympic Coach Gayle Hatch.

Image Source: Daniel McKnatt

Image Source: Daniel McKnatt

 

Utilizing someone to do your day to day tasks like media posts or website content, just like you do for bookkeeping, can help free up your time to focus on coaching. Otherwise you'll burn out quickly and some things will fall through the cracks.

Don't let your ego stand in the way of your business.

2. Inability To Recognize Peers

Certain sports pride themselves on community. While that may be true for some businesses and athletes, it's not true for all. In towns with dozens of gyms a gym owner wants his to stand out. There's nothing inherently wrong with that.

But if you're a gym located in an area where there are experts in a field you aren't strong in, why wouldn't you learn from them? If an athlete wanted to become really great at ring work and your main focus is weightlifting, then you should help find them someone in the area who is great at gymnastics.

If your athletes have issues with the olympic lifts, then why wouldn't you team up with an organization that focuses on those? Either shadow their coaches or set up a clinic in your facility.

Listening to peers or offering your own advice (like seen here at Mississippi College School Of Law) helps grow the community

Listening to peers or offering your own advice (like seen here at Mississippi College School Of Law) helps grow the community

 

Either way, the coaches involved should be able to recognize the value of the other coach. There is an opportunity for both to learn in either situation. So long as they are professional they have an opportunity to have a "skull session". When coaches continually refuse to better their athlete then that athlete may leave their facility. That coach can then develop a reputation of being hostile.

3. Inability To Allow Current Staff To Grow

As a gym owner you should never discourage continuing education. While there should be an in house curriculum for your trainers, there are also many opportunities to learn and grow outside your walls.

If a coach asks to shadow you or another trainer in your facility I hope you've been saying yes. If not then you need to seriously ask yourself why you're in this field.

You can't be an expert at everything so don't discourage learning from someone else. And don't be upset if you refuse your potential staff and athletes shadowing opportunities and they go elsewhere.

A true leader will want their staff to grow and do better than they have. Seriously.

Shadowing International USAW Coach Danny Camargo, along with Tyler Smith, at my first National meet as a coach

Shadowing International USAW Coach Danny Camargo, along with Tyler Smith, at my first National meet as a coach

 

Stunt their growth and you'll find your coaches will be leaving you to form their own gyms. In some instances it may be inevitable but that doesn't mean they have to leave with the bridges up in flames. If you do your job right and earn your staff's respect and don't stunt their growth, then they will continue to represent your brand in a good light throughout their career. I still mention my high school coach and mentor (Chris Lachney) and it's been a hot minute since I studied under him.


Coaches lead their athletes by example. If you want your athletes to listen to you then you should be willing and able to listen to others. Outsource tasks that aren't necessary for you to do, allow them to seek help from other coaches in fields you don't excel at, and continue your own education yearly. Your members will thank you by staying and referring you to others.

Looking to shadow a coach or want to schedule an consultation? Email us at sheppardstrength@gmail.com and follow us on Instagram @sheppardstrength