Emotions are addicting -- particularly peak emotions. Your members want to feel good and have fun. They want to feel accomplished. They want more of the kind of moments that create a rush of endorphins.
Your gym is the perfect place for these types of moments.
The feeling members have when they are celebrated keeps them coming back for more -- and Global Assessments (G.A.) are a prime opportunity to create and capture these moments and emotions.
Every Global Assessment creates opportunities to gamify the fitness of your members. It makes fitness measurable and engaging, the way a game should be. And by making fitness fun, you're helping them with consistency -- working out is something they look forward to, rather than something they have to do. Global Assessments prove that your program works -- you show members that they're improving with specific, measurable Level increases. It's like winning.
Global Assessments are certainly a lot of work, especially if you're not prepared. But given the number of Level Method gyms, and how many times they've run G.A.s -- well, that's a LOT of experience. We've developed a lot of ways to run Assessments really well and efficiently. And we've got some tips for running them so they're fun for your members, and not stressful for you and your staff.
How can you minimize the stress of running Global Assessments? You MUST have systems in place, before, during and after. Follow these basic systems and every time will get easier, less stressful and more efficient.
Let’s start with the before.
The lead-up phase is between 6 and 2 weeks out from the start date, depending on how much hype you want to build and to set up everyone for maximum success, it involves both coaches and members.
Prepare members by giving them expectations of what the Global Assessments looks like. Start by giving them information via social media. In the G.A. e-learning, you have access to several Canva posts that you can customize to fit your gym. To get the excitement going, there are educational posts about the actual Assessments, and customizable emails you can send out. By setting expectations, you reduce stress, set up success, and generate excitement about what's coming!
To help coaches succeed, check the Assessment schedule and ensure your coaching schedule matches appropriately. If this is your first Assessment, try having two coaches for every class. Subsequently you can decide how many coaches you need. Some Assessments require more eyes to help make them run smoothly (such as Upper Body Push, which has many different variations). This is also a great time to get your long-term members involved in the process -- it validates their experience. Think about the members who explain the MAP to new members. If you include them in the e-learning, they can help the head coach with logistics. One of them may find their calling this way, and become a full time coach -- at one Level Method gym, this actually happened!
It’s imperative that your coaches are familiar with the MAP, and that they are consistent with the standards. Confusion causes stress for everyone. Avoid this by having a coaches meeting and reviewing the standards before the Assessments.
Post a template of the Assessment schedule so that everybody knows what to expect, and what days that they want to be there. Every gym has members that come only a few days a week, and posting facilitates being there for each Assessment.
Michael Plank, owner of Underwood Park CrossFit, suggests that you manage expectations if someone Levels down. This does happen, especially if the member has been there for a long time. Fitness is not linear, and people can eventually Level down in a category. Explain that it’s just part of the process.
Remind members that we Assess not just for the high-fives, but really to be intelligent about ongoing training. The best way to assure proper energy system training is to know your current Levels. You can explain this with a quick video you send to all your members. If anyone is missing a Level, try reaching out directly and making sure they are in class that day. When members are missing Assessments, they're not anywhere near as engaged as when they have their overall Level.
Side note - you can do the same thing during regular programming when the monthly Assessments come around. Reach out to the members who are missing (or lowest at) that Level, and each month use this to generate excitement and engagement -- not just during a G.A.
To keep energy and excitement high for coaches and athletes, Jon Harris, owner of CrossFit Gallatin, does one week of Assessments, one week of regular programming and then one week of Assessments. He says it has really helped keep members and coaches from G.A. burn out -- especially his more advanced athletes. Other gyms use this schedule, and their coaches and athletes love it. Give it a try!