So often we can come into conflict with seasonal sports and activities while our students also struggle to do both.
As a martial arts instructor, we know that it is in the best interest of the student, and our business, to keep them training through the different seasons. When a student and/or parent comes to quit or “take a break” for the season, the important thing we need to know is if they are happy with their martial arts lessons so far. If they are not, they might be using the activity or sport as an excuse to quit and all your persuasion skills will be for naught. If they are happy with the program, then you should be able to keep them training with your school.
Now is the time to simply ask the student and parents, “How are you enjoying the martial arts program?”
If you get a lukewarm response, look a little deeper to find out why they are not completely satisfied with your program. At least this way you can see if there are steps you can take to improve so you won’t lose more students for the same reason in the future.
If you find that they love the program and can see the benefits for them, then sometimes it is just a matter of sitting down with them. Take the time to review the schedule for different time options and let them know that it is okay to miss some classes or train less frequently for a while. If they keep their foot in the door they won’t forget what they’ve learned so far. You could even possibly offer special fifteen minute one-on-one classes to get them through the season.
For the ones who you absolutely can’t keep in the martial arts program through the season, there are still ways to keep the relations positive. What I like best about this strategy is that it turns a would-be adversary into an ally...
Offer that student a free end-of-season party for them and their entire team! Teams always like to do something to celebrate, and if you offer it early, you can likely make your school the venue. Not only that, but you have a built-in reminder when that student should be available to come back to training with you. Run it just like a birthday party format with some organized fun and a martial arts beginner intro lesson. You may have one student take a short break for an activity, but using this strategy you may end up with 20 more kids coming into your school as prospects come the end of the season.
This week, ask yourself and your team the following questions and start making lists to track:
- Are there any sports or activities currently running in your area?
- Do you have any students who took a break to play that sport that might return if you offered them a team party at your martial arts school?
- What about students who have reduced their training recently to juggle a busier schedule during the sports season?
Prevent Quits and Gain More Students
Kovar Systems provides integrity-based coaching and tons of resources to busy school owners that save you time and grow your business, and that includes helping you to grow your active student count and keep them training longer!