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Ahh…

It’s that magical time that happens every four years when candidates vie for the position as most powerful person in the world, in a series of ads and hours of TV coverage leading up to the great showdown…

Presidential Election? No way! It’s the Women’s Olympic All-around!

Congratulations to all of the American athletes, men’s and women’s, for your great achievements in Beijing, and for bringing us that “breath of life” we live for every four years!

Now, as we’re all reveling in the post-Olympic euphoria, how do we seize the excitement, make it grow and, most importantly, last?

First, lets identify some of the “problems” affecting your average gym clubs:

1) Retention: How to keep the numbers up and the kids motivated after the first few classes, when they realize that gymnastics is harder than it looks on TV…

2) Excitement: How do you keep your rec, class and pre-school programs fired up week after week?

3) How do you make the rec kids “want” to be in class, on time, everytime?

4) How do you cater to the “wants” of the “once-per-weekers” that make up the vast majority of your program?

5) How do you make your gym loud, and full of the shrieks of happy students?

6) How do you make more money?

7) How do you make warm-ups more fun and exciting?

One of the best ways I can think of to help in all of the following areas is to play games! Yes, simple (sometimes!), fun games!

Think about it…

What’s warm-up for?

In short, to raise CBT, or Core Body Temperature, and get all of the associated benefits that come with it, such as increased muscle viscosity due to increased blood flow, fewer injuries, etc.

Almost any kind of mobile activity will do this for you, but the fact is, most of the activities we typically use are boring! Running, skipping, chasses, blah, blah, blah… we all know ‘em, we all did ‘em, and we didn’t like doing them when we were athletes either!

What are your choices?

You’ve only got about 5000 to choose from!

Make your warm-ups sizzle by adding a tag game, a relay, a skills game, a nutty game… the list is almost endless, and within days (I’m not kidding!) your clientele and your staff will have new levels of excitment that you never thought were possible!

Ever had rec kids who “conveniently” show up for class just as warm-ups are ending? Try this stuff, and they’ll be crying (seriously!) if their parents don’t get them to class on time!

From there, you can use games and contests to teach, to condition, to motivate, and when the kids are excited, the parents will be excited, the kids will want to stay in longer, the parents will tell their friends, and shazam, your numbers, and thus, your bottom line, will be heading up, up, up!

Trust me (and thousands of happy students!); games are more fun than running around the floor in circles!

When next we meet: First steps in being a successful “gamer!”

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