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How to Start a Sports Performance Gym (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Start a Sports Performance Gym (Step-By-Step Guide)

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on June 25, 2023 — Updated on February 15, 2024

Learn how to start a sports performance gym with this comprehensive guide. Market research, business plan development, equipment acquisition, and more!

How to Start a Sports Performance Gym

Passionate about helping athletes reach their full potential and achieve peak performance? Starting a sports performance gym allows you to create a dedicated training environment for athletes of all levels. At Exercise.com, we understand the unique requirements of sports performance gyms, and we’re here to support you in launching a successful facility.

Starting a sports performance gym requires expertise in athletic training, specialized equipment, and a focus on delivering results. Exercise.com offers a comprehensive gym management software solution that caters to the specific needs of sports performance gyms. From athlete scheduling and performance tracking to customized training programs and progress analysis, our software empowers you to create a high-performance training environment.

Ready to make an impact in the world of sports performance training? Book a demo with Exercise.com today, and let us show you how our all-in-one gym management software can help you start and grow your sports performance gym. With our intuitive interface and powerful features, you’ll have the tools you need to create a dynamic training environment and help athletes excel in their respective sports.

We are here to support you on your journey to starting a fitness business, regardless of your niche or specialty. Book a demo with Exercise.com today and discover how our industry-leading best sports performance gym software and the all around best gym management software can revolutionize the way you operate your fitness business. Don’t wait any longer – take the first step towards building a successful fitness business today. Learn how to open a gym and how to market a sports performance gym to take your business to the next level.

Kula Sports Performance
“The team at Exercise.com have been dedicated to our success from the beginning. Helping us manage rapid growth and providing solutions as we have scaled have been critical. The all-in-one platform combined with the business app, we have everything we need with Exercise.com.”
Brian Kula
Founder, Kula Sports Performance

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From Zero to Hero: How to Build a Successful Sports Performance Gym

The Importance of Sports Performance Training

Sports performance training is a specialized type of fitness training that focuses on improving the physical abilities necessary for athletic performance. This type of training goes beyond general fitness and includes specific exercises and drills that target strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance. The benefits of sports performance training include reduced risk of injury, improved athletic performance, increased confidence, and enhanced overall health.

The demand for sports performance training has increased significantly in recent years as more people realize the importance of targeted exercise programs to improve their athletic ability. Sports performance training is not just limited to professional athletes; it can benefit anyone who wants to improve their fitness level or participate in recreational sports activities.

What is a Sports Performance Gym?

A sports performance gym is a specialized fitness facility that offers targeted exercise programs designed to improve athletic performance. These gyms are equipped with specific equipment and tools necessary for sports-related exercise routines. Unlike traditional gyms that cater to general fitness needs, sports performance gyms focus on providing personalized coaching and training plans based on individual goals and needs.

Starting a sports performance gym can be a lucrative business opportunity as there is an increasing demand for specialized fitness programs globally. The growth potential in this industry remains untapped thus representing an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to venture into the health sector.

With the right marketing strategies in place, your gym could attract top-performing athletes all over the world who are looking for exceptional coaching services. Investing in a sports-performance gym could be one of the best decisions you ever make as an entrepreneur because it will enable you to offer high-quality specialized services while at the same time meeting your financial goals with ease.

Overhead Squat FMS
“We went live with our Fitness Business Management software at four locations. Everything is working great. The import and export are easy and the guys are really liking the look and convenience of the platform. From both my side and the user side the platform has exceeded our expectations.”
Mike Contreras
Founder & CEO, FMS HS

Market Research

Conduct Market Research to Determine the Demand for Sports Performance Gyms in Your Area

Before starting a sports performance gym, it is essential to conduct thorough market research to determine if there is enough demand for your services in the area you plan to operate. The goal of this research is not only to identify the number of potential clients but also their preferences, habits, and needs.

Gathering this information will enable you to tailor your services and marketing strategies accordingly. To start with market research, you can conduct an online survey or gather data from social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.

You can also speak with local gym owners, coaches, and athletes who might have information on what services are missing in the area. Another effective way is to use tools such as Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner to understand search volume trends for keywords related to sports performance training in your area.

Analyze Competitors and Identify Gaps in the Market

Analyzing competitors will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses, pricing strategy, marketing tactics and how they cater to their clients’ needs. You can gather this data by visiting their websites or social media pages and looking at reviews on various platforms. After identifying similar businesses in the area, you should analyze their business models closely.

Look out for gaps in their services that your business could potentially fill or differentiation points that set them apart from other gyms. For example, if none of the competitors provide nutrition counseling alongside training programs, this could be an opportunity for your business.

Identifying gaps in existing businesses’ offerings can help shape your approach and create unique selling propositions that make your gym more attractive than others in the area. By analyzing competitors closely before launching a sports performance gym ,you will have a better understanding of potential threats but also opportunities that can differentiate yourself from existing businesses already offering similar services.

Business Plan Development

Starting a sports performance gym is a complex and challenging process that requires careful planning and execution. One of the most important steps is to develop a comprehensive gym business plan. A business plan serves as the foundation for your gym, outlining your goals, target audience, services offered, pricing strategy, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Define Your Goals

The first step in creating a business plan is to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your sports performance gym? Are you interested in building a community of athletes looking to improve their skills or focus on training young athletes?

Determining your goals will help you identify the specific services you want to offer and how best to serve your target market. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

For example, if you want to train young athletes in soccer skills development over the next 3 years then that’s something specific within a defined period of time. This will make it easier for you to measure progress over time and determine whether or not you are achieving success.

Identify Your Target Audience

The next step in creating an effective business plan is identifying your target audience. Who are the people that would be most interested in using your sports performance gym? You may consider targeting either amateur athletes who are looking for better ways of training or perhaps professional-level players who need specialized training services.

It could also be parents seeking training facilities for their children. Once you have identified these groups of people it becomes easier to pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for in such facilities as well as how best to serve them with specialized programs & services unique to their needs.

Set Pricing Strategy

Your pricing strategy can make or break your business. When deciding on prices, consider the cost of rent, equipment, and salaries for trainers.

You need to balance these costs with what customers are willing to pay. Conducting market research and keeping an eye on competitors’ prices can help guide you in determining your own fees.

Another factor to consider when deciding pricing is the value that your gym is providing to customers. Price can also be used as an indicator of quality – if you’re offering high-quality service then it warrants charging more than less experienced or lower quality facilities.

Create a Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan outlines how you will reach potential clients and promote your brand. Consider creating a website that showcases your services and features testimonials from satisfied clients. You can also use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for marketing purposes.

Sponsoring events such as local sports teams or schools who would benefit from training services is another way of increasing visibility. Running promotions like free trial classes will draw people through the door & get them interested in what you offer so they may become regular customers.

Prepare Financial Projections

The final aspect of creating a business plan for a sports performance gym involves making financial projections that will help guide decision-making over time. This should include expected revenue streams (e.g., memberships, personal training sessions), operational expenses (e.g., rent, equipment purchase), payroll expenses (trainer salaries), capital expenditure (equipment upgrade) plans etc. The most important thing to keep in mind when projecting costs is being realistic and conservative so that you don’t run out of money before breaking even.

Location Selection

Choose the Right Location

Choosing the right location for your sports performance gym is critical to your success. You want to make sure that the location you choose is easily accessible to your target audience, such as athletes or fitness enthusiasts, and has enough space for all necessary equipment.

It’s also important to consider factors like parking availability, safety, and visibility. One of the best ways to determine the best location for your gym is by conducting market research.

Look at other sports performance gyms in the area and see where they are located. Consider areas with high foot traffic or near popular training facilities like schools or universities.

Additionally, look for areas that are experiencing growth or revitalization where potential clients might be moving. Once you’ve identified a potential location, it’s important to visit it in person and assess its suitability.

Make sure there is ample space for all equipment and training activities and that there are no zoning restrictions that would prevent you from operating a gym at that location. Consider gym leasing costs and negotiate favorable terms with landlords.

Equipment Acquisition

Acquire Proper Equipment

Identifying the necessary equipment for a sports performance gym can be overwhelming. There are various types of equipment such as weights, cardio machines, agility equipment, power racks etc., each serving different purposes.

When selecting equipment, it’s essential to prioritize quality over quantity since investing in high-quality equipment can save you money long-term by reducing repair costs and enhancing client satisfaction. Choose well-known manufacturers whose products have good reviews from trusted sources.

Consider purchasing used equipment if starting out on a tight budget or buying in bulk can attract discounts from manufacturers/suppliers. Agility training requires specialized equipment such as cones or ladders while strength training requires weights (barbells/dumbells) machines (cable systems/plate loaded etc.) and Racks/Rigs/Sleds (for pulling/pushing exercises).

Cardiovascular fitness machines include treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bikes. Select equipment that aligns with your gym’s target audience and training objectives while keeping in mind the space available.

Choosing the right location for your sports performance gym and identifying the necessary equipment requires a lot of consideration. Conducting thorough research is instrumental in making informed decisions.

When choosing a location ensure it suits your target clientele’s needs, has enough space for all required equipment, adequate parking availability, is safe and easily accessible. When acquiring the necessary equipment prioritize quality over quantity as well as cost-effectiveness to reduce long-term costs associated with repairs while enhancing customer satisfaction.

In addition to selecting the right location and acquiring top-quality equipment, there are more steps you’ll need to follow when starting out your business. Stay tuned to find out how to hire staff that aligns with your business goals!

Hiring Staff

Hire qualified trainers who have experience in sports performance training

When it comes to hiring staff for sports performance gyms, the most important position to fill is that of a qualified trainer. These trainers should have prior experience in working with athletes and have a thorough understanding of strength and conditioning principles as well as injury prevention techniques.

One way to ensure that potential trainers are qualified is by requiring them to hold relevant certifications such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) or Personal Trainer Certification from accredited organizations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or American Council on Exercise (ACE). These certifications demonstrate that the individual has a solid understanding of the principles behind sports performance training and has passed an exam assessing their knowledge.

Ensure they are certified and have proper qualifications

In addition to requiring specific certifications, it’s important to thoroughly vet potential trainers’ credentials. Make sure that they have adequate education in exercise science or related fields such as kinesiology or physical therapy. Experience working with athletes is also essential, whether through previous coaching positions or personal training clients.

Another factor to consider when hiring staff is their personality and communication skills. Trainers should be approachable, motivating, and able to clearly convey instructions for exercises.

They should also be adept at adapting workouts based on individual client needs and goals. Investing time in finding highly qualified trainers will set your sports performance gym apart from competitors by providing clients with top-notch training regimens designed specifically for their athletic goals while reducing injuries.

Prepare Retention Strategies for Staff

To encourage your staff members’ long-term commitment, you can offer benefits such as continuing education funding towards new certification classes, attendance at seminars/conferences relevant to fitness training for free. Offering opportunities for advancement within the company can also motivate staff members. It’s crucial to provide regular performance evaluations, feedback, and recognition for their hard work.

Implementing a competitive salary or benefits package is another way to keep top-performing trainers loyal to your gym. Overall, hiring staff members that are well-qualified and passionate about helping athletes reach their full potential can make your sports performance gym stand out from the competition and attract a large-scale clientele base.

Mike Boyle - Sled Push
“The Exercise.com team is amazing, and their all-in-one software is more than we ever expected! All of this is made possible by a high-quality team.”
Mike Boyle
Co-Founder, MBSC

Marketing Strategies

Create a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. Sports performance gyms can benefit greatly from social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.

By creating a business profile on these platforms, gym owners can showcase their services and facilities, post updates on promotions, and share success stories of clients. Utilizing hashtags, collaborating with other fitness influencers and sharing regular content can help to grow your following and increase brand awareness.

Alongside these platforms, creating a website that is user-friendly and optimized for search engines can further drive traffic to your business. Investing in paid advertising through Google Ads or Facebook Ads can also help to reach new audiences and generate leads.

Host Events or Free Classes

Hosting events or free classes is an effective way of attracting potential clients to your sports performance gym. This will allow individuals who are interested in training with you to get a taste of the services you offer before committing to a full membership plan. It’s important to make these events fun yet informative by incorporating interactive activities such as obstacle courses or group training sessions.

These events should be marketed through social media platforms and email lists as well as gym flyers distributed in the local area. It’s important that you collect contact information from attendees so that you can follow up with them after the event has finished.

Partner With Local Schools or Teams

Partnering with local schools or teams is an excellent way of building relationships within your community while also attracting potential clientele. By offering discounted rates for team members or providing training sessions at local schools you will be able to promote your services directly to your target audience. To initiate this partnership it’s important that you reach out directly to coaches, athletic directors, and school administrators with clear proposals outlining the services offered by the gym.

Building relationships with local schools could also lead to collaboration on events, competitions, and fundraisers which can further increase brand awareness. Overall, creating a strong marketing strategy for your sports performance gym is essential to attract and retain clients.

Utilizing social media platforms, hosting events or free classes and partnering with local schools or teams are just a few ways that you can achieve this. By combining these strategies with personalized training plans and excellent customer service your gym will be well on its way to success.

Client Retention Strategies

Offer Personalized Training Plans Based on Individual Client Goals

One of the keys to keeping clients happy and coming back to your sports performance gym is to offer personalized training plans. The truth is, no two clients are the same – they have different goals, fitness levels, and may be at different stages in their athletic careers.

Therefore, it’s important to create customized training plans that cater to each client’s unique needs. To do this, you can start by holding a consultation with each new client during which you discuss their goals and assess their current fitness level.

Then, based on this information, you can create an individualized training plan that is tailored specifically for them. This could include a combination of strength training exercises, cardio workouts, agility drills or anything else that will help them achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.

Provide Excellent Customer Service Through Regular Check-Ins and Progress Tracking

Another essential element in retaining clients at your sports performance gym is providing excellent customer service. Part of this involves regular check-ins with your clients to make sure they’re progressing towards their goals as planned. You can do this either in-person or through email/phone calls depending on what works best for your schedule.

During these check-ins, it’s important to ask about any challenges or difficulties they may be experiencing so that you can address them promptly. You should also offer constructive feedback and encouragement along the way as this will help keep your clients motivated and engaged.

In addition to regular check-ins, tracking progress is another way to show customer appreciation while also providing valuable insights into how well your programs are working for each individual client. This could include tracking things like weight loss/gain measurements or timing improvements during specific exercises/drills.

Create Creative Incentives: Rewards & Community Building

Yet importantly think outside the box with how you reward and incentivize your clients. The options are endless, but offering clients rewards for reaching milestones or hitting target goals is one way to keep them motivated. Rewards such as branded merchandise, gift cards or free training sessions will show your clients how much you value their hard work and dedication.

Another way to retain clients is by creating a sense of community at your gym. This could include hosting events or challenges that bring people together such as charity workouts, team building exercises, or social gatherings outside of the gym.

When people feel like they’re part of a community, they’re more likely to stick around long-term. Personalized training plans, excellent customer service through regular check-ins and progress tracking along with creative incentives through rewards and community building will keep your sports performance gym clients happy and coming back for more.

Expansion Opportunities

Expand Services Offered: Nutrition Counseling and Physical Therapy

As your sports performance gym grows and evolves, it’s important to consider expanding the services offered to clients. Two potential areas for expansion are nutrition counseling and physical therapy services. Nutrition counseling can be a great addition to your gym’s offerings, as proper nutrition is a key component of achieving optimal athletic performance.

Bringing in a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist can provide your clients with the tools they need to fuel their bodies properly for their training sessions. By offering personalized nutrition plans based on individual goals and needs, you increase the value of your gym’s top amenities and services while also helping clients reach their full potential.

Physical therapy services are another area for expansion that can greatly benefit your clients. As athletes push their bodies to new levels, injuries are inevitable.

By offering physical therapy on-site, you provide clients with convenient access to rehabilitation services that can help them recover more quickly and safely from injuries or surgeries. This not only adds value to your gym’s offerings but can also help build trust with clients who rely on you not just for training but also for injury recovery.

Expand to Multiple Locations: The Benefits and Risks

If your sports performance gym has been successful in its current location, it may be time to consider expanding to multiple locations. Opening additional gyms can bring in more revenue streams while also increasing brand recognition and awareness.

However, expanding comes with its own set of risks and challenges – opening a new location requires significant financial investment and careful planning. You will need to conduct thorough market research in each potential new location, carefully considering factors such as competition, demographics, local laws and regulations, among others.

Additionally, opening multiple locations means delegating more responsibilities across different teams which could prove challenging as you try maintain consistency across all locations – ensuring they all offer the same high-quality services and customer experience. Ultimately, expanding to multiple locations can be incredibly rewarding if done successfully.

It requires a strategic, well-thought-out plan that considers all risks and benefits. If you’re considering expansion, make sure to seek out professional advice and consult with other successful gym owners who have gone through the process before.

Is owning a sports performance gym profitable?

Owning a sports performance gym can be profitable, especially if it caters to a dedicated clientele such as athletes or fitness enthusiasts who are willing to pay for specialized, high-quality training. However, profitability depends on several factors including location, market demand, competition, overhead costs, and how effectively the business is managed.

Are indoor sports facilities profitable?

Indoor sports facilities can be profitable, especially when they offer a variety of sports options, and are located in areas with a high demand for such facilities. Profitability can be increased by offering leagues, tournaments, lessons, camps, and special events. Rental for events and concessions can also contribute to profits.

How to start a sports training business?

Starting a sports training business involves several steps. First, identify your target market and what kind of training you’ll offer. Then, develop a business plan outlining your strategy for attracting and serving your clients. Next, find a suitable location, whether it’s a rented space or a home-based operation. Purchase necessary equipment and insurance for a gym, obtain any necessary certifications, hire qualified staff if needed, and then market your business to your target clientele.

How do I market a sports performance gym?

Marketing a sports performance gym could involve a combination of online and offline strategies. This might include building a professional website, utilizing social media, running email marketing campaigns, and leveraging SEO. Offline strategies could include networking within local sports communities, offering free seminars or workshops, and partnering with local schools, sports clubs, or other organizations.

Read More: How to Market a Sports Performance Gym

How do you run a successful sports complex?

Running a successful sports complex involves effectively managing several aspects of the business. This includes maintaining high-quality facilities and equipment, hiring and training professional staff, providing excellent customer service, and offering a variety of sports and fitness activities that attract and retain customers. Marketing the complex effectively to increase visibility and attract events, leagues, and individual customers is also key.

How do sports facilities make money?

Sports facilities make money in a variety of ways. This includes membership fees, fees for leagues or tournaments, lessons or personal training fees, rental fees for events, and income from concessions or pro shops. They may also earn revenue from hosting sports camps or clinics.

How much money do sports complexes make?

The amount of money that sports complexes make can vary widely based on factors like the size of the complex, the range of activities offered, the fees charged, and the complex’s location and clientele. Successful complexes in areas with high demand for sports facilities can potentially earn significant income.

How do I start a small athlete training business?

Starting a small athlete training business involves first defining your target market (i.e., what sports and age groups you’ll focus on) and the services you’ll offer. Develop a business plan that includes a market analysis, financial plan, and marketing strategy. Secure any necessary certifications and purchase liability insurance. Find a suitable location, which could be a home gym, a rented space, or even outdoor spaces. Purchase any necessary equipment, and then market your services to your target audience.

Start Your Sports Performance Gym

Starting a sports performance gym can be a challenging but rewarding business endeavor. By conducting thorough market research, developing a comprehensive business plan, selecting the right location and equipment, hiring qualified staff, implementing effective marketing strategies, and prioritizing client retention, you can increase the likelihood of success.

One of the most important takeaways from this article is to prioritize your clients’ goals and needs. This means providing personalized training plans tailored to their individual goals, offering excellent customer service through regular check-ins and progress tracking, and creating an inviting atmosphere that encourages them to come back.

By putting your clients first, you will build trust and loyalty that will ultimately lead to long-term success for your gym. It’s also important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and continually innovate your services.

Consider expanding into additional services such as nutrition counseling or physical therapy services to provide added value for your clients. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to expand into multiple locations if demand calls for it.

Starting a successful sports performance gym requires hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. However, if you are passionate about sports performance training and committed to providing top-notch services for your clients, the rewards can be significant both financially and personally.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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