You’ve probably thought about opening your gym to youth athletes. After all, it’s big business in the United States. About 60 million children play in organized sports every year. And, for better or worse, many parents see their kids’ talent as a ticket to college scholarships. With that in mind, creating a program targeted at tween and teen athletes may be a great way to build a base of new customers and make up for billing lost to the pandemic.
Selling sports specific training to parents
First, make sure new members know about your services. When going through a price presentation, describe your sports-specific training programs for student athletes or children. Who knows? They may have their own athlete at home or a niece or nephew in mind.
- Explain why personal training works — Traditional coaches can be unintentionally biased in favor of players whose genetics lend themselves to success. Customized training takes these differences into consideration and helps every athlete get bigger, faster, stronger.
- Flush out goals for their child — If the parent mentions increased speed, for example, your sales pitch should zero in on speed work, minimizing strength training’s contribution.
- Discuss safety — Go over your plan to move slowly and steadily, progressing in a safe and effective manner.
What’s different about training kids?
- You need to be flexible — Figure out a payment plan that allows parents to incorporate their kids’ trainings into busy schedules without penalties for missed sessions. Monthly small group workouts with payments based on the number of days attended work well.
- You’ve got two clients — Build a relationship with your young athletes so they enjoy visiting the gym. Teach them the “why” behind the “what” of each exercise. This way, even if they hate shuttle runs, they’ll understand why they’re important to running faster.
- You have to know your stuff — Children are not little adults. Their growing bodies experience different stress levels and require enhanced oversight. Make sure your trainers are properly certified and experienced in working with young athlete populations. NASM and ISSA offer youth exercise specialization certifications that can round out a personal trainer’s toolbox.
Promoting your service
More and more gyms are slicing up their services to help children become better athletes. Some break their sessions into age groups to make the distinction between “athletic development” and “sports performance,” knowing tweens often need basic skill development, while teens are often ready to zero in on a single sport.
To make it simpler for parents, break program packages into types of training – speed and agility, strength and conditioning, accelerated or elite. These specific drills can serve as personal training sessions or segue beautifully into group sessions.
Such packages feature nicely when promoting your services on social media and elsewhere. Just remember to craft offers by groups and ages. This way, parents will subconsciously categorize their child. This emotional buy-in kicks off the psychological triggers essential to purchasing athletic training services.
Posting videos, with parent permission of course, is another great way for prospects to see the benefits of using your gym’s personal and sport-specific training services.
Finally, without a doubt, consider all your business angles – it’s tough to find summer camps for teens, so a week at your gym might be a tempting choice. Team training is another excellent idea – taking a cohesive athletic group to a new level can win new clients and local recognition.
Sell the truth.
Children require activity and movement to grow up healthy and strong. Today’s kids are hampered by too much emphasis on a single sport, a protective culture, and lack of access to playgrounds. Your gym can be one antidote. Take it on. You know you’ve got the talent.
Gym owners, are you training children or teens? How has it worked out?
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