It’s time for the Granite Games once again. Your members are really excited to enjoy 4 days (or maybe 12 haha) of fun and fierce competition. You’re ready for the idea of the Granite Games and perhaps you are competing yourself. But, as a gym owner or coach, you must be prepared to run the weekend workouts really well.
The more and the earlier you can prepare and set it up smartly, the better the experience for your members and the greater the return on your time invested. That return will come back to you in the form of improved retention and better culture in the gym.
I’ve had the privilege of being both in and working for gyms that have run competitions. I’ve seen and created great events and I’ve seen and created really bad events. There are some subtle pieces that will make or break your 4-week experience this year!
Here are 5 key tips to running the Granite Games Online Qualifier smoothly this year:
- Set your intention (& your gym’s intention) for the event TODAY – I’m making no judgement as to whether you’re trying to run a “competitive” Granite Games or a “fun” Granite Games. Different gyms have different game plans. You need to understand who you are, who/what your gym is, and how you want this event to feel. Make the decision, hype that style to your gym, and hold people to it. If it’s supposed to be fun, then make sure to handle (hopefully quietly) those folks in opposition to that style. Handling this problem early will set you up for a great event for all 4 weeks, as opposed to only the first 5 minutes.
- Get your gym and your clients signed up early! – You might think the Granite Games asked me to write this tip … They did not! YOU have to create the path for them to follow. If your community is built, your clients will know where to go and they will more likely sign up earlier. You need to know how many people are signing up and they need to pull the trigger early so you can help your clients, coaches and gym prepare for the upcoming event.
- Set up days and times for the workouts to happen – DO NOT GO AT ALL TIMES EACH WEEKEND! I have seen gym owners spend 24/7 running heats in their gyms. Unfortunately, they aren’t doing anybody any favors by going about it this way. Take the time now to set up when and where your clients will do the workouts, get a sign-up sheet put together ASAP, have your coaches (and you) push the sign-ups, and then stick to them! This will make a world of difference for you.
- Get your space set up the night before you will house the workout – You and your coaches should set up the gym as well as the judges’ sheets immediately after watching the workout release. The workout will be fresh in your head, so you will be thinking about how people can set up video cameras if needed. You won’t be pressed for time like you would be the next morning, meaning you can take your time and set it up without the chaos of all of your members pressing you with nervous questions. It also looks very professional to your members when you’re prepared. You’ll dramatically increase your probability of giving your clients a great experience with this prep.
- Remind those in your gym where they are and what their goals are – You would be amazed how many recreational “worker outers” turn into Games Athletes in terms of the stress they’re putting on themselves. I’m all for a fun and competitive spirit but, as their coach, make sure to remind them that they’re having fun, that they aren’t QUITE at Froning’s level, and the event is designed as a litmus for them. If you have athletes who are chasing podiums, then the plan should already be in place! Dr Jim Afermow sums up an athlete’s mental toughness in competition by understanding the difference between challenges and threats. Help your clients remember they are up for the “challenge.”
The fewer changes you need to make last minute and the more organization you have up front and throughout the competition, the better the experience both you and your clients will have. Competitions like the Granite Games are great opportunities to solidify relationships with longer-term clients, but they’re also great ways to help your newer members meet and build relationships with other members.
You should always be the leader who helps your members have a great time, so set your intentions now, prepare, stay consistent, and remember that no matter how prepared you are, there will inevitably be something out of the ordinary that happens. When it does, handle it with patience and care and you will have a great competition!