Here we go with another article from The Box. This article discusses a subject that really needs to be talked about in our communities. And that is, the impact of adding an “Advanced Class” or “Competition Team” to your gym. Almost every box owner/coach dreams of leading a games-caliber athlete, or group of athletes, to victory in high-level competition. But, when winning competitions becomes a priority, other priorities begin to take a backseat. Many box owners/coaches fail to take this into account, and fail to take into account the impact that it will have on their gym.

I’ve seen it happen. One of the gyms that I used to attend regularly started maturing and started to attract higher-level athletes. We’re not talking Games-caliber or anything, just better athletes that did well in local competitions. Because of this, things began to change at the gym. The coaches went from a community focus to a competition focus. Happy Hours and other community-building events decreased, and time spent at competitions with the Competition Team increased. At the few community-building events they did have, people were divided. There was almost a “schoolyard cliquey”, as the author of the above article puts it, with the Competition Team being the cool kids and everyone else feeling kind of left out.

While I can’t pinpoint the exact amount of attrition that this caused, I feel safe in saying it did cause some. And the expected benefit of having a Competition Team that performed well local competitions was undermined by mediocre performances. Over time, this gym found a balance. They kept the Competition Team, but came back with a renewed focus on community, which drove their membership levels up more than anything.

That, of course, is one way to handle the situation. If your goal is to shift the focus of your gym towards competition, you could also actively recruit high-level athletes and coaches to improve your team and make your gym more attractive to other higher-level athletes. Just remember, every decision you make has an impact on your community, and you need to be prepared for the fallout.

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Here we go with another article from The Box. This article discusses a subject that really needs to be talked about in our communities. And that is, the impact of adding an 'Advanced Class' or 'Competition Team' to your gym. Almost every box owner/coach dreams of leading a games-caliber...