The Home Of Your Athlete

This is Day 14 in my 30-day blogging journey.

If you missed the “why”, check out Day 1.

Mike Roder started working with me in 2017.

At the time, he was wrapping up his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science at Kent State University. He would work third shift at a retail store, drive home, sleep for a few hours and then drive into the studio to help me out with the training blocks here.

Mike caught on to how the flow of the business worked early on.

It may have been his second week here and we were looking at client training sheets during a busy block. I was going to show him a trajectory of where to take the weights for a client when he explained to me what he was trying to do. I looked at him with something of a blank stare: “I’ve got you, J. I know how your mind works.”

And he was right.

Mike and I have always been able to work well together and we have a complementary but different way of training.

One thing I discovered shortly after bringing him on was that he was intensely passionate about sports.

You would see a total shift in his demeanor from the Mike that would talk to you about the weather and school to the Mike that would talk to you about sports. It was a 180 degree turn.

However, despite his love of football, baseball or basketball, Mike knew that he wanted to continue his education with a Masters focus in cardiac rehab. The goal was to be able to work in a hospital or clinic to help patients with heart issues resume their normal lives during and after being under doctor’s care.

And, at the same time, in the past nearly six years, Mike has gone from intern to coach to business owner.

When his work in cardiac rehab began to scale beyond 30 hours a week, he reduced his time working with me and began building a clientele of his own: youth athletes.

So, now Mike works full time at the hospital and part time coaching his roster of kids.

He’s also happily married now and the proud father to a beautiful two year old girl.

Throughout our time together, I’ve been transparent about how I run my business and he’s seen (or heard) it all: the good, the bad, the frustrating and the exciting. If there was something I did wrong, I told him or showed him so he could keep from making the same mistakes I did.

Within those lessons, he paid quiet attention to the things I did “right”. He didn’t always talk about it. He would just ask questions and absorb what I had to say.

And over the last two years, his business has skyrocketed.

It’s been purely organic growth.

He catches video and pictures of his athletes training and breaking records and then he saturates social media with the footage. He tags the parents of his athletes and celebrates their accomplishments on and off the field/court.

“I learned this from you…”

It’s the one aspect of my marketing that I make no apologies for. I post the things to celebrate: personal records, fat loss, you name it. If permission is given, we like to brag to the world about it.

It’s not fast growth, it’s slow growth.

But it works.

Of course, the service has to be good as well. No one’s going to show up if the results aren’t there.

In Mike’s case, it’s not just his athletes who are talking about the training experience, it’s the parents as well.

Mike’s schedule is currently quite limited, which means he can only take so many people in within a relatively short window in a given week.

It doesn’t matter.

The demand is there, the coaching support is there and Mike’s reaping the benefits of a patient process.

Nowadays, when a parent reaches out to me about sending their child to our studio, I always ask the same question: Is this for general strength or sport specific training?

If it’s the latter, I give them Mike’s number and say they’ll be in great hands.

If you’re local and you have an athlete that needs to raise the bar for their training, start following Mike.

And if you’re not local, give him a follow anyway. You’re watching athletes thrive and prosper.

To Mike, you already know how proud of you I am.

Stay patient, stay focused, your business will only continue to grow.

I’m learning things from you, too.