The Most Important Coach Role You Don’t Have

The most important role you should hire for that you do not already have is an Accountability Coach. This is a dual-purpose role because this position also serves as a retention specialty for your business. Not only will this coach grow your sales and increase member results, but working with this coach will ensure your members stay with you for the long term while achieving higher fitness and satisfaction in your facility than they otherwise would have.


We are going to discuss this role, and what their responsibilities are and a template job description you can edit for your specific needs.

So, what is an Accountability Coach?

An accountability coach is a coach whos main focus in your facility is to monitor, create a dialogue with, and follow up with your members’ fitness and nutrition programs. This coach is responsible for making sure your members are meeting their individual goals, keeping track of their measurements following their workout tracking to make sure they are progressing and following up when they start to plateau or slip as well as holding them accountable to their nutritional goals. The accountability coach will be your front line for retention. Think about how many members you have in your facility right now. Now imagine if 80% or more of the members who moved on were still there with you and progressing with their health and fitness, and even paying you monthly. That is the job of your Accountability Coach.

You could allow one of your current coaches to do this on top of their coaching duties, but this in itself should be a full-time position, and it is a position that will pay tremendous dividends for your business growth. If this person is coaching more than a single class a day, they can not give this valuable growth position the attention it should have.

Below is a template to add to your job description for your accountability coach.

Key Responsibilities

Coaching: Here, you will want to put your individual needs for a general coach if this position will also coach regular clients in a group setting.

Member Accountability:

Keep a file of each member, which will include their base starting strengths, weight, benchmarks, and initial body measurements.

Hold initial one on one meetings with all members to get the above information while discussing and creating both short term and long term goals. These goals will be written down, and the Accountability Coach will help them to create a plan for those goals and working with other coaches on staff to modify and modify workouts when necessary for the members to reach their goals.

Complete bi-weekly in-person conversations to stay connected with members throughout the week to check in with and discuss their goals, how they are feeling, any roadblocks that could prevent them from reaching their goals, and having thoughtful conversations on how to work around those roadblocks.

Conduct weekly phone calls to members who have missed more than four days of working out to check in with them and discuss their absence, why they have been absent, and to bring them back into the gym before they become a retention risk.

When members start to miss their goals, this coach will schedule meeting with them or visit with them after class to discuss why their goals are not progressing and to create a thoughtful and caring plan to get them back on track. This can include modifying workouts, helping with nutrition, selling personal training sessions, and selling supplements to help the member reach their goals.

If you are ready to make your facility more profitable with an Accountability Coach, click below to get started.

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How Many Times Should Each Coaching Candidate Be Interviewed

The hiring process is a very stressful event. We all know that a single bad hire can hold your business growth for years, if not indefinitely. A bad hire can cost you revenue, clients, and can even cause great employees to leave for better employment experience. On paper, a candidate can look amazing and can also be a hit during parts of the interview process.

But should a candidate be interviewed once, twice, more? At BarbellJobs, when I conduct Talent Acquisition Recruiting for a facility, we hold FOUR interviews for each potential employee to make sure that the facility we work with only gets A+ coaches and candidates.

At first, after researching the applicants and potential hires, my team and I conduct the first phone interview. The purpose of this short interview is to screen out every candidate who isn’t an A+. If they are a B or C candidate for the needs of the role we are interviewing for, they are screened out and do not proceed further in the process. Remember, only A+ candidates should process also.

The second interview is the Success Potential interview. During this interview, we go deep into their employment history, their knowledge, and their abilities. They may be the best coach on earth, but if the position we are hiring for must increase revenue by 20% in the next year, how great of a coach they are doesn’t matter. You want to go through every job they have had, asking what they were hired to do, what success looked like in that position, will their boss say they were successful in that position ( we say will because we want them to know that we are calling every boss and reference, which prompts them to be as open and honest as possible not to be seen as someone who would lie). What were their most significant accomplishments, what were the lowest points and more? In this second interview, we want to go very deep into each aspect of their professional life. If a B or C candidate makes it past this second interview, you are failing your own business and setting it up for hard times that could’ve been avoided with a more in-depth interview process. This interview should last about 3-5 hours, depending on the role.


The third interview is called the Practical Interview. Everyone who works in a fitness facility is a duel role employee. They have whatever they were hired for, and they are a coach. In the practical interview, we have them lead multiple classes as a guest coach or teaching a seminar, but we do not let the members know this is an interview for the potential hire. That way, we can get fully unbiased options about how your population feels they would fit into the community. The next part of the Practical Interview is business goal-focused. Here we sit down with the potential hire either after the training session or early the next day and go through what their business growth responsibilities would be. Comin into the interview, they know what the job function is, and here we present them with the opportunity to show how they would find success. If the job requires them to increase the revenue of 20% in the first year, we let them work through exactly how they would implement a plan to reach those goals. Both parts of this interview are essential. It is easy for someone to talk to the talk, but here we see if they are all talk, or if they can walk the walk as well.

The 4th interview we hold is the reference interview. Here, for each candidate, I call all of their previous bosses as well as at least two coworkers from each location they have worked at. So if they have had four previous jobs, I will contact four former employers and eight coworkers. Depending on the position, I may even have conversations with members of the gym where the coach worked at. Remember, if you want to know how good a quarterback works with their team, you don’t just talk to the coach, you talk to the other players in the trench with the person who they led.

If you have a successful facility that you want only to hire the best to help its growth, click below to learn about Talent Acquisition Recruiting.

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Should You Call References Before Hiring A Coach?

The biggest mistake that fitness facility owners in the hiring process are NOT checking the references of a potential hire.

Finding the right people to fill your roles is the single biggest challenge in fitness facilities today, You can’t decide to grow into a multi-facility business without having people in the correct parts who have the skills needed to succeed in their roles. It isn’t uncommon for a facility to decide to hire a coach for a management position who only has experience as a coach and no business experience.

It is also commonplace for a coach who is applying for a management position, or a head coach position, who has a resume that says they have the experience necessary to fill the role but have embellished their resume.

Remember, a resume is always a record of embellished accomplishments with all the low points removed. A resume is an Instagram filter for their professional career. We have to get past those filters to find out who the person is, and if they fit into our facilities in the roles, we need someone to thrive in.

When you have a position that will be responsible for the growth of your facility, you must be extremely diligent in your hiring process. Remember, if you want to grow your business, you have to have A level employees, the only way to make sure you have A level employees and not a gym full of B and C employees who will hold you back is by checking the references.

So now we understand that checking references is a vital part of the hiring process, how do we get references?

Typically, references are included at the end of a resume, and the ones that are included are the people closest to the person applying for the position. These are not often the references you want to check.

When I am performing targeted Talent Acquisition Recruiting for a client, during the second interview, I ask for references, and this is precisely how I do so.

I ask them about their last three bosses. I ask what that boss will say about your performance when I talk to them? What will that boss say your strengths were, what will that boss say your weaknesses were? I ask them about what their coworkers would say about their strengths and weaknesses as well. I do it in this manner, so the potential hire understands that I will be calling these people, so they have to be honest about everything, or they will not move forward in the process. After they let me know, and I have written their responses down, I ask them to contact those people to set up a phone call with me to discuss their employment. I give them a 3-day window with specific times, often between 1-6 pm, to set up a call for me and to email me the times of the calls. For the references, I ask for all bosses and for two coworkers from each facility they coached/worked at. Typically, I contact 9-12 references per interviewed coach, and so should you. Every reference and the information that reference gives gets documented on the scorecard that gets presented to the employer as well as their interview grade and the potential hires’ ability, knowledge, and drive to impressively do the job they are applying for.

If you are in need of hiring someone for an essential role for the growth of your business but do not have the time or knowledge to make sure you only get candidates, click the link below to learn about Talent Acquisition Recruiting.

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Every Step For Hiring A Coach

In this blog post, we discuss the entire hiring process from the moment you decide you need a coach to the point where the new coach is working in your facility. Many gym owners are solopreneurs and are not used to the hiring process. Here, we will break down the entire process so that we can take some stress out of the process. We are going to walk you through the whole process of hiring from start to stop. We will cover everything from how to write your job post to making the hire after interviewing multiple coaches.

Now that you have decided to hire a coach, this is how you will be most effective at finding the coach. The first thing you want to do is make a job posting on BarbellJobs, obviously. When you go to BarbellJobs, you will have a few options for making your post. All job posts are 90 days in duration, other options like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter only let you do 30-day options (for immensely more money). Side note, ZipRecrioter pays BarbellJobs to post jobs on our site, so using a choice like that costs more for your posting to end up on BarbellJobs anyway. When you go to make your post, you can choose between a standard post or a featured post. A featured job stays at the top of the list. Those are the posts with the green outline on the side of them. Featured posts remain on the first page and are the first ones that are seen. A regular nonfeatured job starts below the featured posts. If you are passively looking for a coach, a standard post is fine, and if you are serious about getting applications, you should always choose a featured post.

Next, you need to decide if you want profile access. We have thousands of coaches who are registered on BarbellJobs, who are actively looking for a gym to coach in. Profile access lets you see and contact them directly. The profiles also have a ton of information about the coach that you will not find on a resume such as “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” and ” What coaches online or offline have had the greatest impact for your knowledge.” Questions that will give you as the gym owner an extra insight into the person you may potentially hire.

When you are ready to make your job post, you will need to create your posting, below is a template to help you organize your post. This is written in a way so you can copy and paste and edit.

BEGIN TEMPLATE

BOLD ATTENTION GETTING HEADLINE

This should be just one line stating you are looking for a coach.

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

After your headline, you want a paragraph that says who you are and what the opportunity is. This first paragraph is what will be seen on social media to get coaches’ attention when we start marketing your posts. The stronger this paragraph is, the more likely you will have high engagement from coaches seeing your post and clicking the link to learn more.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Here you will want to use essential bullet points. There is nothing fancy that needs to be in this section, just an outline of what is expected from the coach.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

Here is another basic section where bullet points are just beautiful. Pro Tip: There are a lot of college-educated coaches coming from a collegiate background on BarbellJobs looking for opportunities in the private sector. Often, these coaches do not yet have their L1, but they will have a bachelor’s degree or higher and experience in a collegiate or professional sports setting. They often do not apply because the requirements will say that a CrossFit L1 or higher is needed, so they pass on by without persuing the opportunity, which means the facility could potentially be missing out on a fantastic coach. If you must have an L1 for your facility, consider stating that having an L1 or experience coaching is a requirement. Remember, you can always send an amazing coach to get their L1, but you may not always be able to get another chance at that same fantastic coach.

COMPENSATION

Here you will want to discuss all the ways that the coach can generate income and the benefits that come with working in your facility. Give examples of base pay, personal training clients, nutrition consults, if they get a commission on supplement sales or if they can create new programs and make a commission on those. Also, if they get any perks such as continuing education or insurance, this is where you want to put it. Being detailed here helps you stand out and get more interest than those posts which do not go into detail here.

ADDITIONAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Here you will want to make a statement such as “Send your resume with a cover letter that says what makes you a great fit for this position,” or something similar that helps you identify the qualities you’re looking for in a coach. ALWAYS ask for a cover letter. If you ask for a cover letter and they do not send it or follow the instructions for the cover letter, you already know the coach doesn’t follow directions well and isn’t a good fit for your facility. As a rule, when I perform Talent Acquisition Recruiting for gym owners, if I do not receive a cover letter from the coach, I will NOT consider their resume no matter their background. I suggest NOT putting your email here. There will be a button under your post to click to apply by email. If you have your email in the post and they copy and paste the email instead of using the button, BarbellJobs will have no way to monitor the quality of the applicant applying for your position.

An excellent example of a job posting is one by NCFit. You can find it here.

END TEMPLATE

Now that you have posted your job, you will be receiving applications. Most likely, you will be receiving them in bulk, so you will have a lot of them to go through, especially if your position has competitive pay. You are going to need to decide how many you will want to interview. That is a blog post in itself called “How Many Coaches Should I Interview” that you can read by clicking the link, or here.

THE INTERVIEW

When it is time to hold the interview, this is when things get overwhelming. As you start conducting interviews, your stress level will go through the roof. Not only from the interview process in itself but from the decision process of who to interview, what to ask, who is the best fit, etc. It is an incredibly significant decision that one way or another help to shape the future of your facility.

When you are ready to start interviews, below are the steps you will want to take.

Email the candidate to let them know you have an interest. At this time, ask them for their phone number and Skype address (If they are not local).

Set up a Skype call (if the candidate isn’t local). This will be your first face to face with the coach. During this discussion, you will want to have a formal interview. If you would like to know what questions to ask, read this blog post entitled “Questions To Ask When Hiring A CrossFit Coach.” No matter where you find your coach, if it is BarbellJobs or someone who walked in off the street, there is a powerful possibility that they have been to BarbellJobs to prepare for the interview. I strongly suggest reading the blog post, “Questions To Ask During The Interview.” This post is written for the coach so they can interview you as well, so it would be worth reading this ahead of time to prepare for what they will be asking you.

When you are holding your Skype interview, keep a pad of paper with you so you can take notes during the meeting. You will be conducting multiple interviews with different coaches and will want notes on each one. You do not want to get your information mixed up when interviewing the coaches, or you can make yourself seem unprepared or uninterested. It would also be embarrassing. But again, take good notes, we will be referencing these later.

THE IN-PERSON INTERVIEWS

After the Skype interview, you will need to set up your first of two in-person interviews. The first interview should be a practical demonstration of their skills. I suggest bringing the coach in to hold a seminar based on their specialty. For example, I am a competitive powerlifter for my competitive sport of choice. If I was interviewing to be a coach, I could hold a seminar on accommodating resistance, or how the movements in powerlifting differ from when they are executed in a typical CrossFit facility. Perhaps the coach is a gymnastic specialist, or even a jump rope specialist, what the seminar is about matters less than having the opportunity to see this coach in their part of the fitness world performing how they would if they were coaching at their home gym. It is also helpful to do this because the coach may be a specialist who could create a new revenue growing program for your facility. In addition to you getting to see how they perform, your members and coaches get to see this new coach as well. I suggest that you do NOT tell your members that this is a potential coach, That will allow you to ask about how they enjoyed the seminar and their thoughts on the coach from an unbiased standpoint.

This is very important. The coach is a specialist and a professional. They are traveling to educate your staff and members and should be compensated fairly for their time. You should allow (expect) the coach to sell tickets to the seminar that your members will purchase. They have travel and time from work they need to be compensated for. If you do not want your members to pay for tickets, then you should pay the coach for their time.

If you are interviewing more than one coach, schedule the seminars on weekends that are close together. Another option is to have them come in as a guest coach and coach the classes for a day. Using the guest coach approach, you can cycle through two or three in the same week. Guest coaching is another great option because you can see how they coach your programming.

In the days following the in-person interviews, you will want to call them to give feedback and your thoughts from the seminar or guest coaching. You should not be afraid to provide them with constructive feedback during this call. You will potentially be the boss of this person, knowing how they receive constructive feedback will be valuable feedback for you.

By this point, you should have narrowed your options down to the single coach you want to hire. When you call the coaches, you do not expect to make an offer of employment, let them know that you are ending the interview process but be very thankful for their time. Do not ghost the coach. Ghosting someone after interviewing them is a very disrespectful act, It would not only disrespect the coach but your facility as well. Remember to treat others as you want to be treated, even if it is hard to do.

When you have your phone call with the coach you want to hire, ask them back for face to face non-seminar interview. If this coach isn’t local, let them know that you are going to pay their travel expenses. During this last interview, this is when you will formally offer them the position.

Congratulations, now you have a new coach.

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A Retention Plan Your Members Will Love To Be A Part Of

The retention strategy we are about to discuss is one that I have created five years ago and used in my gym for years. To date, every member who has participated in it are still members of my gym. To say again, I still have 100% of my members who have become involved in this as members of my facility.

In my gym, we have what we call Trophy Banners. To get a Trophy Banner, we have specific achievements that a member can do at any time. Once they achieve the goal, we buy a 3′ banner with their picture on it and the achievement they accomplished. These banners cost $18 to make, but the members get beyond excited when they see their banner go up on the wall. A rule of the banner is that if they are no longer a member of the gym for any reason, the banner immediately gets disposed of. If they leave and come back, they have to achieve the same goal again to have a banner go back up. Knowing that the banner gets thrown away is a fantastic motivation for the members to continue to come regularly.

Here are our achievements to get a Trophy Banner;

  • 12-minute plank
  • 1,200-pound powerlifting total for men
  • 600-pound powerlifting total for women
  • 100-mile row in 30 days
  • 1,000 logged workouts
  • 30 pounds lost
  • 50 pounds lost
  • 70 pounds lost
  • 500 burpees in an hour
  • 100% on Army PT Test (this is the old test, but it is scored based on age, so it is fair for everyone)

There is no better way to decorate your facility than hanging pictures of your members and their achievements on the wall. The more banners that go up, the more that other members want one of their own.

You can find a dozen different websites to make the banners. If you need a recommendation for the company I use, feel free to email me for the company I use.

You can use BarbellJobs to post jobs for coaches who are retention specialists, or if you need a more targeted and detailed option, click below to learn about Talen Acquisition Recruiting.

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How to give your coach a pay raise

How to give your coach a pay raise without costing you money. We can all agree on one thing; we all want to have more financial freedom. Coaches are no different, and being a career coach, it’s often difficult to get a pay raise. The ability to get a raise almost always depends on if the facility has enough revenue to be able to pay more per hour. For a gym owner who truly wants to take care of their employees, it’s sometimes a choice between giving the coach more money to make them happy and changing the facilities’ bottom line. If the facility is having a bit of a harder time and not able to give the raise, you may wind up in an awkward position of having to replace a coach as well.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are ways that you, as the facility owner, can pay your coach more while increasing your revenue.

The fastest way to generate new revenue for your coach so they can have a raise is to help them create a new program in your facility. However, that is easier said than done. The best program you can create right now is a powerlifting program. For one, the financial benefits are enormous, and sadly, the economic potential is mostly untapped by CrossFit facilities. Here is an example; this weekend, I coached at a powerlifting meet. I have taken a team to this same event for the last four years. The first year the competition had about 30 lifters. In the second year, there were about 60 lifters, all the new ones female from CrossFit gyms. The third-year grew as well, and this weekend the meet director told me they have over 140 lifters. Keep in mind that nearly all of these new lifters over the past years were females from CrossFit gyms, and almost none of them had a coach with them. This event was full of CrossFit athletes looking for something new and had zero direction from their coaches; they just did it on their own. I coach every few weeks at a powerlifting meet, and the growth has been the same across the board, and all the growth is coming from CrossFit athletes. If you want to read more about this exact topic, how to start a program, and the financial opportunity available, read this blog post.

Another way you can give your coach a raise is by adding additional services such as nutrition coaching or an Accountability Coach. Creating an Accountability Coach program is relatively easy. In this role, the coach will meet one on one with members to help them create and identify individual goals. The coach will then monitor the goals and keep in touch with the members to keep them on track. This program can be as elaborate and detailed as you like. If your facility has 100 members, and 60 of them sign up for the accountability program at even just $30 a month, that is an extra $1,800 in revenue coming into the facility. Out of the $1,800, you can do a 60/40 split with the coach who essentially gives them a pay raise of $1,080 a month, or $12,960 a year while at the same time bringing you as the owner $8,640 a year in revenue. The added benefit is this should also be considered a retention program. As gym owners, we all know that members with goals are members who stay around.

If you are ready to hire a coach to your staff or want a coach who can correctly build this program for you, post a job now or click below to learn about Talent Acquisition Recruiting.

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