Monday, August 15, 2011

My Notes from Brian Grasso's IYCA Presentation


As I mentioned last week, I attended the International Youth Conditioning Association’s Summit a few weekends ago and listened to some great speakers.  One of those speakers, Brian Grasso, inspired me and had me thinking the most.

I had heard that Grasso was a great speaker from many people.  So, at 8am on Saturday (after a late night and some drinks with other attendees and speakers on 4th Street) I made a point to attend his presentation, and I am glad that I did.  He was excellent, and I found myself taking a ton of notes during his talk. 
Grasso founded the IYCA, and at the summit, he announced that he was stepping down as CEO.  Therefore, his talk covered what he had learned over his years as a fitness professional along with take-home lessons for those of us in the audience.  His presentation was titled: “16 Years… 6 Lessons: What I’ve Learned About Success In The Fitness Industry.”

Below are some of the notes I jotted down:


-Declare Yourself the Best.   
You must believe and instill the persona that you are better than your competitors.  If you do not truly believe this, then clients and prospects will be able to tell and forgo your services.  You should always have expectations of yourself.
Brian told a story of when he was discussing his idea to start the IYCA with other fitness professionals.  He said his idea, initially, was to name it the North American Youth Conditioning Association (it may have been the US Youth Conditioning Association?).  However, Alwyn Cosgrove asked him if he did not think this organization would be the best in the world?  Brian said he had not considered that and so decided to replace North American with International.  He did this to declare his organization as the authoritative youth conditioning association not only for North America but for the whole world!  To change the name, he had to convince himself that the IYCA would be the best, and he said this helped him a lot because he placed higher expectations on himself and the organization.
-Increase Knowledge and Skill.
This is something I am constantly striving to do.  I believe it is the best way to stay ahead of competitors and help your clients get the best results.
One of my favorite things Grasso said was:  "Become an indispensable linchpin."   He said if your athlete or client goes to another gym, what will they lose?  Essentially, what have they gained from you and your gym that they will not be able to hold onto or gain if they leave your facility?  This is a very powerful question and something that I have been thinking about ever since I listened to Grasso.


-Engineer

Where do you want to be in one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now...?  Take time to plan and think about what you want and where you want to be in the future. Grasso had a quote that said something along the lines of, "The process happens to you, unless you script the process."

Most people in this industry will not know what niche or area they want to specialize in initially, and I this is okay.  However, after a couple of years of working with a wide variety of clientele I think it becomes more and more important to decide where you want to head with your career - fat loss, rehab, sports performance, whether it be a specific sport or multiple, muscle gain, semi-private, one-on-one, bootcamp setting, etc.  There are many options to choose from, but you have to determine what you are passionate about and believe you can most help people with.

-Legacy

Be the legacy for others to follow.  Set a good example for future fitness professionals and strive to continually improve our field.  We should not be doing 10 years from now what we are doing today.  The fitness industry needs leaders to help it evolve.


-Break the Rules

Remember, as I stated above, we should not be doing 10 years from now what we are doing today.  The way this industry does things will change, and usually that change is brought about by someone who is not afraid to be controversial-to break the rules.  We need these people.


These are just some of the notes I took away from Grasso's talk. If you ever have the chance to listen to him speak, then do yourself a favor and attend.  You will not be disappointed.

Have a great week everyone!!

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