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Operations: Back to the Basics


Vince Lombardi went back to the basics with football. In my last entry, I quoted the great coach Vince Lombardi, and this week I am going to focus on another example of Lombardi’s excellent leadership.

After a painful loss, the next day Lombardi called his football team to an early morning meeting. Many of his players were worried about the backlash they were going to face, but instead they were surprised. Instead of yelling, Lombardi held up a football high in the air and simply said: “Gentlemen, this is a football!”

Lombardi, one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game of football, recognized the importance of focusing completely on the basics to create a strong base and support system for everything else to follow.

At the start of a new year, there’s often a lot of focus and effort put into the development of new programs, club offerings and many other new activities. This can be great and yield fruitful dividends. However, ignoring current systems and processes can greatly reduce any success a company may have.

That is why at the beginning of the year, Gainesville Health & Fitness spends a large amount of time focusing on simply going back to the basics. Often, current systems are changed or thrown out the window because we assume they were simply unsuccessful — in fact, most of the time, these systems fail because they are not being executed properly to begin with.

Take the time to focus on every detail of your basic systems, scripts and other types of programming, and review with your team. You’ll be surprised to find out how much the understanding and execution of those systems has changed over time. In fact, they could have evolved into something completely different than originally intended! Role play with your staff on the different scenarios that they may face on a day-to-day basis, and critique those moments until they are performed perfectly, every single time.

After identifying and reviewing these items, it is important to remember that this is not a one-and-done deal. Create a regular schedule to follow up with your team and create checklists or production sheets to track their performance.

Going back to the basics can seem so simple that you may think it’s a waste of your time, but you will be surprised the success that it leads to for you and your team.


Adrian Antigua is the operations manager for Gainesville Health and Fitness in Tioga, Fla. Formerly a desk manager, Antigua is heavily involved in customer service and staff training. For questions on operations, e-mail Antigua at AdrianA@ghfc.com.

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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