Club Insider

The Club Insider Archives: August 2019

URBN Playground
Lessons From the Field of Amenity Management

By: Justin Cates

Justin CatesJustin CatesDuring my time studying the art of management at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, one of my favorite thought exercises was to be assigned two companies that seemingly had nothing to do with each other and use one to develop ideas that could help the other. At first sight, we are blinded by the traditional product or service a company might offer. This is tunnel vision, and the remedy is to develop a wider view. Like zooming out on the microscopic cells of the human body or the stars of the cosmos, a much bigger picture is revealed. From there, connections once unseen can be made. Read More

"Insider Speaks"
The JOY of Football

By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesThe game of football is not for the faint of heart. In fact, the game of football became what it became in America because it taught those like me, young American men who had started playing the game when we were 9 or 10 years old and played the game for 13 years, how to deal with adversity and pain. It also taught us all how to be very dedicated and determined when trying to achieve a goal in life. Football also taught all of us who played the game a deep work ethic that, in all cases I'm aware of, has lasted for a lifetime. These are work ethics that my son, Justin, my partner in Club Insider, and I learned and retained from our very valuable experiences playing football. Read More

Exercise IS Medicine!
By: Mike Alpert

Mike AlpertMike AlpertFor my article this month, I want to write about how I got started on this Exercise IS Medicine journey and also recognize some amazing people that inspire me to keep going. Back in 1992, while I was serving as one of the Managing Partners of The Athletic Club of Bend, I was fortunate to be able to work with a little five-year-old boy who had Spina Bifida. His name is Gabe West, and today, he is 28 years old. Twice a week, his mother would bring him in to the club where I would take him into the warm water side of our 25-meter pool and work with him. The work was actually play time as I would help him do summersaults in the water and walk him around in the water where he felt buoyant and like he could move his hips. The happiness that this brought to him, and the way he would hold onto me, is something that I have never forgotten. Read More

How Great Leaders Think
By: Charley Swayne

Charley SwayneCharley Swayne18th hole at the Masters. Tied for the lead. You are the greatest golfer in the world. What goes through your mind as you step up to the tee? Relax? Visualize your swing? Focus on your drive? No. The greatest golfer sees the ball going across the green into the cup. Then, he sees the putt he must make to get the ball into the cup. Then, he sees his approach shot. Finally, he sees his drive off the tee. That's exactly how great leaders think. They use this "green to tee" thinking. First, they see what they want to accomplish, and then, they work backwards to figure out how to get it done. I'm going to describe a model which is the common thread I've found among great leaders. It is called the GOST matrix, and it uses terms we are all familiar with. Read More

Stop Doing These Two Things Now:
How to Capture a Larger Piece of the Wearable Pie

By: Ron Alterio

Ron AlterioRon AlterioAccording to Steven Musil from, wearable usage in the United States more than doubled from 39.5 million Americans (or 12%) back in 2015 to over 81.7 million (or 24%) in 2018. Moreover, according to Gartner, a leading U.S. research firm, the wearable category is set to grow year-over-year by another 26% in 2019. There is no denying it... Americans love their wearables. Read More

Maximize the Enforceability of Your Liability Waiver
By: Paul R. Bedard, Esquire

Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, EsquireThe rise in legal claims against health clubs over the years has been staggering. At a minimum, every health club must have a sound risk management strategy to address key areas of legal liability. However, although a well-developed risk management strategy will dramatically decrease a club's legal exposure, unfortunately, it is a given that even the most well-managed health clubs have been or will be on the receiving end of a lawsuit at one time or another. Read More

How To Own A Gym Business
From Dream to Reality

By: Jim Thomas

Jim ThomasJim ThomasIs owning a gym business in your future? At one time or another, nearly every employee dreams of owning a gym. Perhaps you're tired of all your hard work ending up helping someone else achieve his entrepreneurial success, or you may fear losing your job in a weakened economy. Whatever your motivation, the compulsion to own a gym is strong in many people, but the risk involved in turning that dream into reality has, all too often, acted to derail even the best-laid plans. Read More

Key Pieces of Advice to Make Your Club Better
By: Melissa Knowles

Melissa KnowlesMelissa KnowlesOver the years, some of my most read articles have essentially been lists of key pieces of advice. Whether it be a list of mistakes to avoid or a collection of to-dos, it seems that fitness business owners love a good checklist. In this article, I've asked for key pieces of wisdom from several members of my team and fellow leaders at ClubReady. These leaders have years of experience working with top industry brands like 9Round, UFC GYM, Club Pilates, Pure Barre, CycleBar, The Max Challenge, CKO and many others! Several of them have also owned gyms, nutrition coaching or fitness consulting businesses. Here are their answers when asked, "What's the #1 piece of advice you'd give a studio/club owner?" As you will see, it was nearly impossible to narrow it down to just one thing! Read More

Frank Adam Eisenzimmer
April 12, 1936 - August 1, 2019

Frank A. Eisenzimmer passed peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 1, 2019, at the age of 83. Frank was born in Devil's Lake, North Dakota on April 12, 1936 to Frank and Francis (Welk) Eisenzimmer. The family moved to Oregon during World War II. He graduated from Gresham Union High School in 1954 and married his high school sweetheart, Myrna (Houghton) in 1956. Read More

PTR Mourns the Loss of Dennis Van der Meer
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) is sad to inform the tennis world of the passing of its Founder, former Chairman and President, Dennis Van der Meer. After a lengthy illness, Van der Meer passed quietly with his loving wife, Pat, by his side. He was 86. Read More

Norm's Notes for August 2019
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesLet's all PRAY for America! Folks, I'm changing the format of this month's Norm's Notes by leading off with the suggestion that all of us pray for America! Now! The mass murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio made it very clear that our beautiful America has become a place of danger for all of us. How very, very sad that fact is. IF you believe in God Almighty, like I do, I beseech you to say a prayer now for all those killed and injured, and not just for the folks in El Paso and Dayton, but way back to the beginning of this sick mania years ago. And, we should pray for help from the good Lord to change the direction our great country is heading. The answer will not be easy to find, but maybe with God's help, we can find it. Now, like all of you reading this, I'm going to press on with life with the sincere and deeply heartfelt hope and prayer that God will help our great country, our great America. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! Read More

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