Don’t Be an Island: Building a Team and Growing Professionally
By Wil Fleming
Five years ago, when I was just opening my gym with my business partner, Ryan Ketchum, building a team was the last thing on our minds. Between the two of us, we had great ideas and great intentions. We even knew our roles: Ryan would train the adults and I would train the athletes. I can honestly say we thought that we were enough—enough to go it alone.
In fact, looking back, we thought of ourselves as islands.
Like an island, we had what we needed to survive: knowledge of good training techniques, a great facility, experience, and the will to succeed.
It turns out that our “island” philosophy actually worked for a long time. Our business grew and thrived for three years.
However, we were missing something.
Like an island, we were not getting an influx of new resources, new ideas, or even challenges to our own ideas.
Not only was our time becoming limited, but our abilities as coaches were becoming more and more limited, too.
That all changed two years ago when we hired our first full-time coach to train with us. For the first time, we were challenged on our ideas. A new influx of thoughts and interests were brought to our facility.
Since that time, we have grown so much. I am also a far better coach than I would have been on my own.
Today, I encourage you to grow your team. Building a team is not just to help your business grow but also to help you grow personally and as a coach. When looking to grow your team, I have found the following three things to be important for your own personal development.
Building a Team Rule 1: Meet Regularly
For some reason, the staff meeting is a dreaded idea. Coaches resist and resist, but upon implementation, they realize that they have missed out on so much. There will be plenty of clerical things to go over during your team meeting, but always make time to discuss training. Bring up an interesting article, pop in a training DVD, or read a section of a book. Then discuss! These discussions have helped us grow as a team and helped me hear questions that I would have never considered before.
Building a Team Rule 2: Find passionate people
This sounds like a no-brainer, but often we look for people with the right experience or right education. Both of those are important, but they pale in comparison to identifying a new coach that has passion.
Building a Team Rule 3: Allow your coach to find his or her stride
Inevitably, there will be a time when your coach will have demonstrated enough that you will allow him/her to begin writing programs. Their first programs may be rough and might not look like what you have written, but stay the course. When you allow your coach to find their stride, they will begin to implement training protocols and movements that you would have never thought of. When this happens, the fun begins! You can ask why they chose the movements you wanted, or how to do them, and then your learning experience will explode.
Building a team is about so much more than growing your business; focusing on your team can make you grow as a coach as well.
No coach ever knew everything the needed to know right from the get-go. It takes time to develop a personal style and find out what works for your team.