It wasn’t long ago that you would hear an ACCF coach introduce a “first timer” to a class. The introduction would go something like, “This is _____ and today will be his/her first CrossFit workout.” The new person would smile nervously while current members said “hello”.
Class would then kick off with Coach doing their best to balance a group full of more experienced athletes and one very nervous and (usually) inexperienced “first timer,” all while attempting to provide everyone with the “best hour of their day”.
This is what most other gyms did or may still do. This is how most of us, who have been on our CrossFit journey for more than a couple of years, were introduced to CrossFit. But as a coach, I wasn’t convinced that this was the best method. I knew we had to figure out how to provide both current and new members with a great experience, no matter if it was their first or 100th class.
To do this, I asked a few questions:
What are the typical concerns/fears that hold someone back from starting CrossFit?
How can we provide a great first experience to ease those concerns?
How can we welcome new members while not disrupting our current member’s experience?
Think back to before you started CrossFit and answer the first question. Then, read below for the most common responses:
“I’m not fit enough.”
“I don’t want to hold the class back/throw up/pass out/be the last one to finish with everyone staring at me.”
“I don’t want to get hurt.”
Do these sound familiar? Do your family members and/or friends say something similar when you invite them to give CrossFit a try?
After answering the above questions, it was a no-brainer that Alamo City CrossFit needed to take a different approach to introducing new members to CrossFit. That new approach will be discussed in Part Two, but I’ll give you a few clues:
It’s less intimidating, more personal (one-on-one) and…. it’s still FREE!