5 Steps for Managing Large Groups: Step 4

Here's part 4 of my 5 part series on Managing Large Groups for their Success and Your Sanity. Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you're new to this series.

Step 4: Use Technology as an Accelerator

    Managing all these athletes is tough work and requires great coordination to be pulled off effectively. As such, utilize each and every technological breakthrough to which you can gain access to make your job easier and the athletes more successful.

It's pretty hilarious to me the lengths that people go to in our industry to avoid the application and acceptance of technology. Like, you pretty much have to try to not use some of my tips here:

Examples of Technology as an Accelerator include:

  • Use printed training cards over handwritten workouts posted on a board (writing by hand takes too much time)
  • Interval clocks to keep groups on time with sets and rotations
  • Use program design software over old spreadsheets - why reinvent the wheel when there are solutions that allow you to automate your exact methods?
  • Get rid of paper all together and use screens to display workouts (if you’ve got those kinds of resources).
  • Get a tablet and use it yourself during coaching/training hours to keep track of "stuff"

Back in 2007, my very first employee at Strength & Performance Training was constantly encouraging me to embrace technology. I resisted, but he was right. Here are the ways SAPT has been positively impacted by embracing technology:

  1. Online session booking - oh, goodness, is there anything better? I save thousands of dollars each year with our client management system that allows our clients to book and cancel sessions without calling us!
  2. Online store - this might actually be better than #1... we process training packages online. It's wonderful and amazing and requires no time from my staff.
  3. Server - our server allows for the reduction of errors and program storage; we've got more than one location (and growing to more), so with our limited staff resources and athletes training at both facilities it is important that we not duplicate (literally) our efforts.
  4. To replace our server... because while it's good, it's still cumbersome... Concentric Brain. CB let's my coaches automate and enhance the program design process. It allows them to play fully on that spectrum that runs from: beginner youth athlete all the way to fully customized for those that have been in the SAPT system for years. 
  5. Social media - our athletes love getting shoutouts via our social media outlets; it's free and a great way to connect.

Don't be afraid!


Sarah Walls

A little about me: I've worked in pretty much every corner of the fitness industry for about 10 years. I've had the great fortune of spending most of this time working with gifted athletes at every level. I've also had the great opportunity of designing and conducting research projects, writing occasionally for various publications and blogs, competing in powerlifting, and just generally having a killer time pursuing my passions wherever they may take me. Now I own two businesses: one is an athletic performance training company that I started in 2007 at age 26 and the other is a software company startup that was launched in 2014. Paramount to all the awesomeness of my professional career, is my family. My kids are a thrill and my husband continues to be my most critical and important supporter.