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Group X Department: Fostering Teamwork

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Jesse Thomas.

Jesse Thomas.

When Active Sports Clubs looks to hire a Group X instructor, it looks for candidates that have well-rounded skillsets. They must passionate, able to multitask and pay great attention to detail.

However, just because a group of instructors share certain skillsets, that doesn’t mean they’ll work well as a team. As a result, Jesse Thomas, the director of Group X and small group training for Active Sports Clubs, shared what’s necessary to have a Group X department that encourages teamwork.

CS: How do you encourage teamwork amongst your instructors?

JT: Teamwork is a must. If you don’t have teamwork, you don’t have a team. Harvesting and nurturing relationships between other instructors is a key component in ensuring a smooth operating group fitness department. We host team building events, continuing education classes, impromptu happy hours and planned social gatherings. We also encourage all of our instructors to take each other’s classes. This not only show’s support for your fellow teammates, but you also have an opportunity to see if that instructor is going to be a viable option to sub your class in the future, should you need one.

CS: When hiring, what qualities do you look for to ensure instructors will fit in with your Group X department?

JT: When hiring group fitness instructors I seek those who pay great attention to detail and have a high level of emotional intelligence. An elite group fitness instructor is able to read the physical and emotional energy of multiple participants at any given time and adapt exercises as necessary while keeping the pace of the class.

CS: What types of training do you provide new Group X instructors to ensure their success?

JT: Typically our group fitness instructors are hired with specific skillsets to jump on-boarding and instruct their particular format of class without any additional training. They will of course receive training on all of the club operations pertinent to their job responsibilities. Individual skill development and coaching comes as an “as needed” basis from either a group fitness coordinator or our director of group fitness. Our goal is to help you sharpen your edges and strengthen your weaknesses. We host specific CEC workshops quarterly, and offer a variety of group fitness certifications to choose from. We do provide in-house general personal training and group fitness certifications.

CS: Many instructors in the industry work at multiple clubs, versus just one. How do you foster instructor buy-in with your club, when instructors may be working elsewhere as well?

JT: Our Active Sports Clubs are in very competitive areas. We know that group fitness instructors in our areas have a lot of options, so offering competitive compensation is a must. We know that our instructors teach at our clubs because they love working for our company. It’s the combination of a great working environment along with our amazing members that continually remind our instructors why they got into this industry in the first place. At Active Sports Clubs we strive to create working environments and communities within our clubs that people truly want to be a part of.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

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

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1 Comment

  1. Sara Kooperman November 22, 2014

    This quite an isightful with valuable information – a must read for any group ex manager!

    Reply

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