While re-opening your facility and getting riders back in the saddle is a definitive cause for celebration, you may have questions about just how to get there after the pandemic experience we’ve all had. What we’d like to do is offer you some hope and inspiration from an instructor and her facility that are finding success using a few key resources that are available to you as well.
We bring you the story of Master Instructor, Tami Reilly, who is Director of Fitness and Well Being at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Tami has seen it all through the pandemic – she trained a small number of devoted riders throughout the worst of the pandemic and is now firing on all cylinders as she preps to open her facility again. She’s energized and chomping at the bit to bring Spinning® to people in person again. We think you’ll find her experience inspirational as you too venture forth to re-open your doors and focus on expanding your reach again.
To get you up to speed on Tami’s experience, here’s her backstory that you can likely relate to...
Pre-pandemic, the gym at Quinnipiac University was strong and thriving. Students and campus guests alike enjoyed the facility – all was bustling. Tami, an energetic and uplifting individual by nature, was moving and she was grooving. And then…wham. March 2020 brought a full stop to the university as well as all its enthusiastic gym-goers.
Recently Tami learned that her university would indeed reopen in the fall and that includes the fitness facility. So now, Tami has a few variables working in her favor. She’s got government approval to reopen, she has a facility that she can prep over the summer, AND she has members who are chomping at the bit to get back in the saddle.
Yet as this good news arrives, there is one more challenge. Not all the instructors are available to return and jump right back into the schedule. Some pivoted so hard during the pandemic that they are now doing other things and don’t plan to return to teaching. Some “new” teachers got certified a year ago – and even though they want to return, their skills are rusty. Even still, other instructors let their certifications lapse during the pandemic. (Maybe you can relate to some or even all of this? We understand, it’s been extremely tough. Though please keep reading because there is a lot of light and guidance up ahead.)
So what was the one lynchpin to sort out? What did Tami need more of? (What might you need more of if you are in a similar position?) CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS.
So, what to do? Well, you can do what Tami did. She reached out to us at Mad Dogg Athletics to host a Spinning® Instructor Certification. What does that mean? Every weekend throughout the year, there are Spinning® trainings hosted at gyms, health clubs and studios throughout the world. It’s the most convenient way to earn your own certification, certify your team and even recruit new instructors from the area.
Important Detail: We are reading between the lines from conversations around the globe right now and are very clear that this is what is helping facilities most to reboot. Are you ready for that to be you too?
Now back to Tami. After she scheduled her training, she worked with us to promote it. We posted it on our website complete with advertising campaigns to draw attention. Tami also posted the event on social media and spread the word through her network.
You might be wondering what happened because of this effort? PEOPLE SIGNED UP! People who perhaps always wanted to get certified previously but now have a new resolve to go after what they want in life. In fact, Kira Hood, one of Tami’s recent attendees, had this to offer: “It feels great to be getting back to normal...and this training made me feel like the Spinning® community is getting back to the way it was pre-Covid. You can't beat the feeling of energy in a room of like-minded people sharing one goal!” (By the way, Tami. If you are reading this, you should be proud. Very proud.)
So – what’s the nugget of gold in Tami’s story? Essentially, she is training people through Spinning® workshops to get a staff of certified, refreshed, and recertified instructors – not only for herself but for you. The doors will open at her facility soon, and Tami will be ready to greet the world.
And if you follow her lead—the BIG clue is to host a Spinning® Certification workshop– you will too. By doing so, you can reinvent your facility overnight by drawing in cream of the crop instructors who will fuel your facility with that energetic boost you need right now. It will be the gift that keeps on giving to your facility.
Finally, we’ll leave you with some sage advice straight from the source. Below are valuable insights from Tami on reopening your doors by putting a realistic plan in place as well as hosting a training to take your facility to the next level.
Tami, what would you say to a facility owner or director who wishes to get back in the game and reopen their doors?
Foremost, remember this. Open it and they shall come. You’re likely wondering if people will actually step foot in the door. The answer is truly not to worry about that. Just get to work putting a good plan in place. As long as you are clear on expectations, rules and guidelines of the studio in your state, it will work. It’ll be a very positive experience.
How about some specifics – how do you start to put that realistic re-opening plan into place?
Foremost, begin by adhering to the Covid guidelines in your area. Then consider how to get the word out that you’re reopening. Reach out to the virtual audience you may have built during the pandemic. Shout it from the rafters – via newsletters, email blasts, and social media.
Continue to focus on communication. Encourage fluid and open dialogue between your facility and staff. The world is changing rapidly, and everyone needs to be prepared to adapt. So, foster open communication so that everyone in your facility is always on the same page….
Along those lines, it’s important that you consider meeting people where they are at. Everyone is at different levels of comfort right now. It’s so important that everyone feels comfortable. Encourage people to find their footing at their own time, pace, and space.
When you host Spinning® certification trainings, how do you help attendees find that comfort you speak of?
Read your attendees – notice when they get fidgety and offer them a break. Tell them to take a break whenever they need it. This is vital if everyone is wearing masks. Also, acknowledge the uncertainty some people will feel about being together in a room. Talk it through – address the issue. Tell them what the facility has done to safeguard their wellbeing.
You could even give them a pep talk. Something like, “You know….masks make people anonymous – no one knows who you are. So right now, everyone is on a level playing field. We are all relearning this together. Even if you’ve been riding a lot, every day is Day One with a mask on. But you don’t need to be intimidated! Focus on getting back to your foundation and fundamentals. View this as your first class. Be mindful and present. You got this!”
Remember, you can lead the charge. Lead with motivational and inspirational action to remind attendees of the positive of this experience – but again, let them find their legs at their own pace. This is so important.