When Someone Quits
Written by: Coach Slater
Obviously, we’ve had people quit over the years. It’s just gonna happen, but it still sucks, even if it’s because they’re moving or have to relocate for a new job. Our members are important to us. But there are others…
One quit after completing Elements and went so far as to dispute the $99 Elements charge with his credit card company, which in turn affects our relationship with our merchant processor, meaning we pay higher rates. Rude. We provided a quality service for over a month and you act like you were never here that entire time?
One quit because I called them out for being a rep cheater. They were notorious for setting the time to beat every day, but everyone in their class always dismissed their score. When they would pop into my class, I’d count their reps and tell them their correct number if they tried to move on to a new movement too quickly. It’s one thing to modify the reps ahead of time, but this person was actively cutting 2, 3, 5 or more reps of every movement in every round and claiming to have done the full Sport version. That didn’t sit well with me.
One quit that felt they needed more personalized programming to meet their fitness goals, which included Regionals. This person didn’t even complete all of the Open workouts as Rx’d, yet felt they’re just a few steps away from competing with some of the fittest individuals from more than five states. I tried to convince them that consistency is what they need; not program hopping. My ideas fell on deaf ears.
Others have quit because they never attended more than twice a month for six months or more, and finally decided that paying $67.50/visit didn’t make sense financially. Can’t blame them there, but I’m still left wondering how we failed them. What could we have done better to help them engrain this new fitness habit?
It’s personal when someone quits. It feels like we/I failed them somehow. Maybe we didn’t provide a welcoming-enough community, maybe our coaches gave them conflicting feedback, maybe we came off as dismissive of their goals, maybe we didn’t do enough to make this place stick for them, maybe they simply didn’t like us as people.
But, maybe they didn’t take the time to integrate themselves in the community, maybe they didn’t ask any questions, maybe they were uncoachable, maybe they gave off a “don’t talk to me” vibe whenever we approached them, maybe they just weren’t willing to open themselves up, so maybe they only have themselves to blame.
Everyone expects something different from us. But, we’re partially to blame if we think that we could be all things to all people. Trying to be so just makes us come off as snake oil salesmen. When someone quits, we have to make sure we’re not overpromising and under-delivering. It’s a good moment to remind ourselves to be specific with our delivery, and not get caught in making big promises of solving anyone and everyone’s fitness needs. We provide barbell strength training with short/fast conditioning pieces that, paired with proper nutrition, can make someone lose body fat and gain muscle, but we can’t solve someone’s negative body image or their misperceptions brought on by past, personal fitness failures.
This year, we added monthly check-ins with all members, lead by Coach Evan and Coach James (with plans of adding more coaches to that check-in roster). The intention is to better learn the goals of our members so we can help meet them. If we don’t know what you’re here for, how can we help you get there? Sure, some have said they don’t need any help, they’re just checking off a box by attending each week, but we want you to know that we care by initiating the check-in. I never want to hear of someone else quitting because they felt we didn’t meet their needs.
If you’re considering quitting, I’d challenge you to try out a different class time, a different coach, with different classmates. Arrive a little early, stay a little late, ask for more help. Go to a Derby City event that you’d usually skip. If you’re not very integrated in the gym, try getting involved. Grab a classmate and tackle a competition together, or just go to one and watch other classmates compete. You were daring enough to walk in this gym when you knew nothing about it. Don’t stop there. Dare yourself to take it a step further.