July 20, 2018 at 2:20 pm #17281NickParticipant
For those who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting in courses, in addition to being an instructor with IDN, I run an out of network practice out of a Crossfit gym and Yoga studio.
I received an email today asking how I built my relationship with the Crossfit Gym and for any lessons learned. I know we have a bunch of ” Crossfit PT’s” in here and wanted to share my story and response here as well.
I wanted to build relationships with the local gyms so initially sent out cold emails, personalized, to about 10 of the surrounding Crossfit gyms in my area.
In the email I introduced myself, gave them a brief history on my background as a strength coach and how I felt I could relate to their athletes as well as my PT training that applied.
I offered to go out to their gyms and do a free 1.5 hour seminar. At the seminar I offered to take the athletes through an SFMA movement screen and give them self mobility drills for the common problems we see. My goal was to convey that I could help their athletes stay healthy, healthy clients keep memberships. I actually found a copy of one of the emails I sent out back in early 2013.
“I am a physical therapist at Rehabilitex here in Solon, OH. I am interested in getting connected with some of the local crossfit gyms. Prior to becoming a PT I was a sports performace coach at Akron General Health and Wellness where I learned olympic lifting techniques and speed training under coach _________________ who is now a first assistant strength coach at NC State. As a physical therapist with the background in o-lifts and speed training I feel I can provide a unique perspective towards the strength, mobility and stability demands of crossfit style training. I am interested in doing an educational presentation on these topics as well as self mobility drills, warm up considerations, trigger point dry needling, and movement screens. I am also trained in the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment by Grey Cook) and may be able to offer movement screening for your athletes. If this is something you would consider please contact me by email or by cell directly at ____________.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with you about this opportunity,
Nick Sanders PT, DPT”
From there 4 or so of those gyms replied and I went out and did a powerpoint talk and screening session
I took everyone through the top tier of the SFMA and gave some common self corrective exercises. I finished the session with a few slides on pain, when to seek out care, find someone who understands the demands of Crossfit and won’t just tell you to quit Crossfit, and then went over things I do. Mulligan, Manips, Dry needling etc. I explained dry needling as a way to get a greater effect than the foam rolling and lacrosse ball work they were already doing for restricted areas. (mechanisms with blood flow and inflammation seem to be well understood)
After my first membership I saw one of the coaches for a shoulder problem which we fixed up pretty quick and that started the relationship. It got to a point where there were enough people coming to the clinic that the gym owner asked if I would be willing to come to the gym once a week and and help athletes on site. We set that up as a non-PT performance based service. You need to be careful not to break insurance contract rules if you are not going through their insurance. Consult legal advice on the best way to set that up. This began to get me recognized as their guy and while I didn’t make a ton of money on site it generated significant business back to the clinic.
The same gym owner told me when I was read to go out on my own he’d make space and thats exactly what I’ve done. I work out of his gym twice a week providing out of network, PT. I still travel to a few other gyms once a month or so. One in particular I travel about 30 min away (closer doesn’t work as well). He puts up a sign up sheet people register in half hour slots and its been very successful. Paid marketing as I now have people that will drive 30 min to come see if they need things more frequently. I have recreated that same talk several times with great success. I have probably done this talk to 7 or so local Crossfit gyms and two different personal training groups. I continue to do these talks or other specialty talks which I have charged a low fee for ($15 /20) as a way to stay in contact people.
I have also been provided support services at Crossfit events and races over the last several years. I do free Crossfit events where I provide service for the competitors. For these I have a table and booth. Provide free treatment for people competing. This is hit and miss. I don’t see a ton of new client generation, which could simply be a lack fo my ability to sell, but it has really build sound relationships with the gyms I support. I now only do them for friends and local gym owners. I have tried doing screens at these events, ,coupons, fliers etc, but the follow up is minimal. maybe 1-3 for each event I do. I have considered charging but would expect a fee to be at the event if you are going to try and make money. It may work well. I also have chosen not to do dry needling at these competition if they have never been needled before. I believe in the saying “nothing new on game day.” Especially, for someone I’ve never met. To me it is a potential risk, you needle someone you have no relationship with, they get hurt competing at a max effort, and then try to blame the needling. I’d rather skip it.
That has been my experience with Crossfit I know others have had great success as well and look forward to hearing their results.
Questions let me know!
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