Oh, the mystery of the disappearing gym member, right? It’s a bit like a fitness whodunit! There could be a myriad of reasons why a gym member might suddenly go MIA.
For starters, we know it sucks. Especially after you’ve worked so hard to build trust and connection. It’s hard not to take it personally and don’t blame you if you’re upset and start considering why you coach in the first place.
After you’ve taken a minute to calm down…. consider a few things:
Perhaps they’ve hit a plateau in their fitness journey and are feeling a bit discouraged. Or maybe life has just gotten super busy and they’re struggling to find the time to squeeze in a workout (we also call this de-prioritizing). It could also be that they’ve found a new fitness passion outside the gym, like pickleball. Who knows?
Let me share a story with you another coach shared with us:
“Once upon a time, I was coaching a guy named Mike. We were a few moons into our training sessions when he opened up about his battle with weight, a struggle intensified by a rocky marriage. Then, as if he vanished into thin air, Mike didn’t show up for a session. I tried reaching out to him, but to no avail. After a few days of radio silence, I decided to write him a handwritten note.
In this note, I delicately inquired if Mike wished to continue our training sessions. If not, I asked if there was anything I had inadvertently said or done that made him uncomfortable or if there were any concerns he’d like to air. I also suggested that if we could have one last session, we could at least discuss why he wanted to stop his training. I concluded the letter by saying that if I didn’t hear from him, I wished him nothing but the best. And then, silence. For a whole year, not a peep.
But then, out of the blue, my phone buzzed. It was Mike. He was ready to return to training. He had ended his marriage and wanted to work on himself and navigate his grief. Upon his return, he mentioned how much he valued the letter, particularly because it was handwritten. He appreciated its non-intrusive and honest nature. It left a door open for him to return when he felt ready”.
So, if a member isn’t quite ready for change, it’s vital for us as coaches to respect that. We have a golden opportunity to adopt a different approach. Ghosting is a phenomenon that’s often swept under the rug, but it’s bound to occur from time to time. The million-dollar question for us is: How can we handle it when it does happen? How can we engage in a way that’s not intrusive, but respectful?
Remember, it’s not always about something you did, so keep your chin up and that in mind.
The key is to respect their hesitation and always leave the door open for them to return. Here’s to hoping your gym buddy will be back in no time, ready to crush whatever goals they have.
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Once tipping the scales at nearly 500 lbs, I've flipped the script and whipped up a life-changing seminar to help fellow coaches and gym owners, on my own terms. I spill the "beans" on my rollercoaster ride to health, my expertise in working with larger bodies, and toss in a mix of resources, tips, and more. Buckle up!