In the series called “Understanding the CrossFit Athlete Life Cycle“, I detail each step of the customer life cycle in a CrossFit Gym. Today, I’m going to build upon the retention side of the life cycle and give you some concrete ways to improve on-boarding new athletes.

A new athlete has joined your gym and has started their foundations/on-ramp/onboarding course. Great! They have so much to learn and are super pumped! Each day is something new. Are you giving them homework each evening?

New Athlete Experience at CrossFit COMO

Day 1 – Squat Series

When an athlete joins CrossFit COMO, their very first visit they fill out a waiver, get introduced to the coach, and answer a form with the question “Why are you here? What are your goals?” Once they fill that out, we input it into an excel sheet so that we can do personal follow-ups with them at a variety of stages of their CrossFit journey. These followups happen at 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, etc…

After that we teach them What is Fitnesss, What is CrossFit and introduce the Squat Series (Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat) along with a variety of other techniques/skills, & mobility. We finish the class with a WOD.

Post class, they receive an automated email titled “Thank you for experiencing CrossFit COMO…5 Benefits of CrossFit”.

Purpose: Explain again the benefits of CrossFit and what we do at CrossFit COMO.

Typically, I give each individual some personal mobility homework to do over the next two weeks. In addition, all of our athletes work through a packet of information and are invited to visit http://foundations.crossfitcomo.com to review what we went over that day.

Day 2 – Press Series

Day 2 we focus on the Press Series(Press, Push Press, Push Jerk) and discuss Nutrition and the Sickness/Wellness/Fitness Continuum. They learn about hand stands, hollow body and other gymnastic movements.

The WOD focuses on Double Unders, push presses and running in an ascending ladder.

Post class, they receive an automated email titled “Meet the CrossFit COMO Trainers”.

Purpose: Introduce all of the trainers, so then when they join regular classes, they have some familiarity.

Day 3 – Deadlift Series

On Day 3 of our Foundations program, we focus on the Deadlift Series(Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift High Pull, Medicine Ball Clean). We discuss the Theoretical Development of an Athlete and the 10 General Aspects of Fitness. This is also the first time we introduce them to one of our traditions, the song Roxanne. Burpees everytime you hear Roxanne. It’s something that transcends from the our first athlete to our newest. They all know the song, and they all know the drill. But you see big smiles and you see some anxiety. It’s awesome. The WOD is a triplet with light deadlifts, burpees and medball cleans.

The email following this class is titled “CrossFit COMO Success Stories…Do you see yourself in these shoes?”

Purpose: To share the stories of our athletes and to see if they see somebody like them who has embarked on a similar journey as them.

Day 4 – Squat Series

Day 4 is much like Day 1, we revisit the squat to see how people are improving. I follow up on the mobility homework and notice how much in just one week, people are improving their squat technique. We discuss the 3 models, 10 General Aspects of Fitness, Metabolic Pathways, and the Hopper Model. We focus on hollow body position and introduce Pull-ups. On this day, the get introduced to FRAN in their WOD, with wallball tosses and pull-ups.

The email following this class is titled “3 easy steps CrossFit COMO can help you achieve your goals!”

Purpose: They are feeling pretty good after their first week, lets revisit their goals and show them how we help.

Day 5 – Kettlebell & Snatch Series

Day 5 is where we start the introduction to the Olympic Weightlifting Movements. Today’s focus is the Snatch. In addition to that movement we discuss virtuosity and talk again about mechanics, consistency and then intensity. We introduce how programming works at CrossFit COMO.

We breakdown the snatch using the Burgener Warm-up. The WOD is a team workout with KBS, box jumps and push-ups.

They receive an email titled “Provide Feedback on CrossFit COMO”.

Purpose: Sends them to our social media channels to write some feedback. We specifically ask for Google+, Yelp, and facebook.

Day 6 – Clean & Jerk Series

On their final visit in our Foundations program, we focus on the Clean & Jerk. Our discussion is about virtuosity again, expectations for the olympic weightlifting movements(how long it takes to develop/master), what to expect the next two weeks. The skills they learn on this day include double unders, K2E/T2B. We discuss the goal they wrote on day one and to see if it has changed. The WOD is usually a short hang clean, run and sit-up/t2b partner triplet.

We cap the class off with a big Congratulations to the Graduates. They all receive a graduation certificate, we take their photo and post to our social media profiles and introduce them in our private facebook group. We ask when they are coming for their next class. If we have anyone not completely ready, we bring them to the side and discuss their next steps.

Email: “Congrats on Graduating CrossFit COMO Foundations”
Purpose: A nice graduation email along with an introduction of our new athlete welcome packet. Which details all of the expectations, communicate our benefits, introduces a variety of topics and resources. Check it out below.

In conclusion

Post graduation, our athletes start receiving weekly emails walking them through the new athlete welcome packet along with other resources and partnerships that we have at CrossFit COMO. In addition, our email strategy also includes bonuses/rewards when they reach certain milestones(10 check-ins, 30 check-ins, 50 check-ins, 75 check-ins, 100 check-ins, etc..) :).

This is just the beginning of your retention strategy. The good news, you got the athletes in the door! Now you need to keep your athletes happy, engaged, focused and challenged. Retention is the most important aspect of the CrossFit Athlete Life Cycle(blog post coming soon, subscribe for updates). It drives the success of your affiliate.


 

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Mike
Founder at TheBoxBusiness
CF-L1 Trainer. Owner of CrossFit COMO in Columbia, MO. Founder of TheBoxBusiness.com. Former College Professor.

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