Starting a kids or teens program isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve never considered it, or you’re on the fence, this article might help you determine whether either program would impact your gym’s membership or culture.
How the programs benefit: Gyms
An Additional Revenue Stream
Adding a kids or teens program to your gym’s calendar is one more way to serve your membership, and we’ve learned that the two programs are pretty easy to sell if your gym has a lot of parents. Pricing for a Kids/Teens program can vary due to any number of factors, but should not be as much as a typical adult membership. A great starting place is around 60% of an adult membership, and family/sibling discounts are strongly recommended. Membership prices should be adjusted depending on how many classes are offered each week, the pricing of other kids programs in your area, the opportunity for homework/tutoring following class, and length of classes.
Better Client Retention
If your gym can become an integral part of any family’s daily routine, you will help that family create habits that will lead to a lifetime of health and fitness. This is huge! Which is why getting an entire family to invest their time, effort, and finances into your gym almost guarantees increased client retention and decreased turnover.
When people are searching for a new gym or box, they often start with what is most convenient — the gyms closest to home or the office. Parents look for gyms with childcare, choosing to skip your gym entirely if you don’t have it. One way to set yourself apart from the other gyms — that are convenient to drive to and include childcare — is to offer a kids or teens program. This way, you’re not just offering a room where their kids can sit or play. Instead, you’re giving parents the opportunity to get a workout in while their kids get their fitness on too. And that will make you the clear winner of your area.
How the programs benefit: Kids and Teens
Kids and teens are not getting as much physical activity at school as they used to, which can contribute to trouble focusing on academics and poor retention of that schoolwork. There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that following rigorous exercise, focus, understanding and retention of academic subjects increase. This is why it is strongly recommended that immediately after kids or teens class is done, they do some homework for 20-30 minutes.
Avoidance of Specialization
Kids and teens can become so specialized in a certain sport, at such an early age, that some general fitness becomes necessary for building overall athleticism and improving injury prevention. Kids and teens who are not interested in traditional sports can also become too specialized in one domain by choosing to only run, bike, etc. And if they don’t play sports, they face an additional problem: inactivity. Attending just 3 classes a week can have a huge impact on a kid’s or teen’s fitness and athleticism, whether they play sports or not.
Squats, sit-ups, jump rope, pushups, deadlifts, pull-ups. Imagine how skills like these can change a life. Families have told us about their kid crossing the monkey bars for the first time, and their teen crushing it at the mountain climbing gym because of their increase in strength. The impact you can have on a kid or teen (and their family) is crazy awesome.
Confidence and Resilience
These programs help develop assertiveness, a positive attitude toward challenges, self-confidence, resilience, responsibility and teamwork. Classes also give kids and teens a sense of accomplishment in an environment of community and accountability.
How the programs benefit: Parents
Less Stressful Nightly Routines
The average parent’s nightly routine is centered around preparing dinner, getting their kids to do their homework, and then enjoying a little relaxation. The stressful nights are the ones when you cannot get your kid or teen to focus on their schoolwork. What should take 30 minutes turns into nearly 2 hours of nagging and frustration. We have witnessed first-hand how encouraging kids and teens to do homework or to study immediately after a fitness session can have a profound impact on a family’s nightly routine.
If you think it’s impossible to get kids on board with this, look at it this way: Post-workout study sessions are more efficient (kids work faster) and more effective (there is a boost in retention). What they get in return is more free time when they get home. Which is really what they care about.
If you want to be even more helpful to parents, and give them some major wins, run the kids or teens class simultaneously to the adult class so that the extra time the kids and teens have at the end can be used for school work. Even if the students are not finished with their studies when their parents’ workout is over, they can always finish at home, or their parents can do some mobilizing or stretching while they wait, which is a lot better than wasting time fighting with their kid at home.
A Shared Activity
Talking deadlifts over dinner with my kid? Yes, please.
Every CrossFitter or fitness-loving parent wants to show their children that fitness is fun — it doesn’t have to be a chore. And that’s the goal of every kids or teens program. An added bonus is that families get to share a new activity, and, as coaches, we love to hear families compare times and scores.
Links and Resources