Working at a parkour gym can be one of the most fun and rewarding jobs out there. You spend every day encouraging people to play and be creative while making them more active and healthy individuals. You get to play and jump on the equipment, and you meet some pretty awesome people along the way. However, working at a gym comes with a big workload and has to be treated the same way you’d treat any other job. Even though you get to wear athletic clothing and jump on things when you are working, like any job, you have a dress code, a code of conduct, a job description, and rules and regulations to follow. You have to wear clean clothes, get shifts covered, clean the gym, do your desk work, and provide customer service and coaching to customers. If you don't follow your gym's guidelines and rules and only have fun and play when you are working then your gym will have a hard time functioning to maximum potential.
A big problem that comes up when working in a gym is knowing the difference between working attire and training attire. When training outside you probably don't wear your nicest, cleanest, most expensive clothing. You more likely wear clothing you wouldn’t mind getting dirty or scuffed up. Psychology of appearance, how someone is dressed affects how seriously someone interacts with them. Subconsciously we automatically judge people based on the immediate visual impression we get of them, if customers are constantly seeing coaches and staff dress in non-culturally appropriate clothes, then you will drive off many customers, as they will be uncomfortable. You can still wear comfortable clothing while looking work appropriate. Wear clean, non hole-y sweat pants and shirts. If you wear a hat make sure it doesn't cover your face so that you can look customers in the eye while talking to them. Keep yourself clean shaven, well groomed, and please don't forget to bathe. No parent wants to talk to you about their child's progress when you smell like you've been running around a sewer for a week. Lastly, keep your shirts on! When you're outside training and it's miserably hot, then it's understandable that you may want to train with your shirt off. However, when you're in a gym working and taking care of children and you take your shirt off it's just weird and unprofessional. Every gym has a different dress code, some are more strict and some are more lenient. No matter what the case, there's a reason for your gym's rules.
Working time is not training time! This is something most people have a hard time differentiating between. It is likely that while walking across the gym you see a group of your friends trying this really cool challenge that you have yet to seriously try and can’t resist the urge to jump in and join them. Especially in a gym where it is designed for people to look around and be curious and find challenges for themselves, sometimes you can’t help your wandering eyes, however, that does not mean you need to slack off of your work responsibilities. If you are working and really do see it as your job then there are some standards that need to be met before playtime even crosses your mind. First and foremost, if you can’t get to work on time consistently and work the entirety of your shift then you are hardly deserving of any playtime. If you need to miss a day or two of work it is imperative that you call out of work with either someone to take over your shift for the day or with enough of a notice for the gym to find someone to cover for you. Most importantly if this is a place you believe in and what it offers to its customers then why would you not want to do your best as consistently as you can? There was a reason for you wanting to work at a parkour gym, remind yourself of that reason and let that guide and motivate you to consistently improve yourself and the business where applicable. Playtime is good to break up the monotony of the day to day tasks but keeping yourself focused as to what role you play in the company and how you can improve it whenever you can be what guides you and motivates you forward.
As rewarding and playful working at a gym can be, that is also a cause for concern as to how everyone chooses to interact with customers. A family walking into the facility and hearing the inappropriate language, or being greeted by a “Sup brah.” should not be the first encounters they have upon entering the gym. Keeping the topic of conversation towards something appropriate shouldn’t be too difficult of a task. If speaking with a new customer, talk to them about the gym and the classes that we offer, or ask them questions like, “How did you hear about us?” or what their movement background consists of? Keep the topics relevant to the facility or the sport. When talking about the products and classes you offer it is also important that you speak to the customer in a way that conveys the belief you yourself have in the class or product you are talking about. An important thing to also stress to any family that seems curious about the sport is how encouraging and close-knit the community is because of how early the sport still is in its development.
If you can’t follow these simple rules while also working at a place whose purpose is to instill play and creativity, while also keeping its community active and healthy, then you should strongly reconsider your goals in life. Maybe working at a parkour gym isn’t for you. Nobody wants their business to fail and everybody wants to be successful in their dreams. It takes a strong committed team to really make a business successful. If you aren’t committed to doing what’s best for the gym customer, every single day, then that will show in the growth of the business. This is not only your job but hopefully a place that you and your team create to help make your goals and dreams a reality.