Today's blog is a guest post from Zander Arthur. He is the CEO of MySkillChart.com and Co-Owner of Gymnastics USA (Florida’s largest Gymnastics Center).
There are many reasons why families drop their recreational programs or activities: holidays, summertime, lack of progress, a bad experience, the list goes on and on. You can attempt to prevent these drops by improving your service quality or offering cheaper tuition in the summer. However, from our experience at Gymnastics USA, we noticed nothing prevents drops better than a vibrant skill tracking system.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why in more detail:
No Progress, No Purpose
Prior to launching our skill tracking system at Gymnastics USA, we received a multitude of complaints from clients who felt their child was not progressing. However, for the most part, that simply wasn’t the case.
Some of the students supposedly suffering from that lack of progression had learned a cartwheel or a pullover during the previous month. If you’re only taking a class once or twice a week, this is a real accomplishment!
But the real question was: How would the client know if they weren’t told this?
Also, parents don’t often stay and watch their child’s class. Therefore, if the parents are not updated on their child’s progress by way of a detailed digital tracking system, there’s really no hope of them getting a good read on their child’s progression at all.
Furthermore, if a student is not observing regular progress, there will be less motivation for the student and the parent to stay enrolled. That is why keeping families updated on progress is so important – It gives them a purpose to continue through verifying accomplishments and setting goals.
Paper Skill Tracking vs Online Skill Tracking
The classic way to track progress is by using a traditional pen-and-paper skill chart. However, it’s no secret that this method is inefficient.
Think about it: Coaches must manually flip through stacks of papers, scratch out old information, throw away and re-print charts, make photocopied duplicates for parent access and so on. By using an online skill tracking system, instructors can easily track student progress in real-time, complete with updated rosters and skill charts.
This removes the hours of work associated with paper skill tracking. With online skill charts, there is no backlogging or updating old rosters. Parents can also view that progress on their phone or computer through their parent portal, giving them instant access to their child’s progress.
Skill Track Daily
We recommend that coaches’ login to their MySkillChart.com account on a daily basis and skill track each student’s skills, at least one skill per event, per day. This way, parents receive updates on their child’s progress every day, eliminating that feeling of stagnancy.
At Gymnastics USA, we have something called the Skill of the Week, where the coaches have an assigned skill per event. The coaches teach other skills but always have this highlighted skill to teach and track. We even have coaches who train this particular skill for at least 5 minutes per event rotation and then skill track the class during the last 2-3 minutes of that event.
Photo of MySkillChart.com’s new platform, in the Class Rate View.
Level Up Students Right Before Summer
It is common for enrollment to drop significantly once the summer hits. The reason is that families consider recreational sports an after-school activity. This may be true for team sports, but it is not true for the class-based industry (gymnastics, dance, martial arts, aquatics and more).
To keep the momentum going for all the students and keep the incentive to stay enrolled, set up your curriculum to have the majority of them “level up” (i.e. from beginner to immediate) right before the summer.
This will motivate the students to stay enrolled even when they aren’t in school, so they can experience the higher-level class he or she was placed in.
Make Your Skill Tracking System Scalable
As you get bigger in size, your administrative processes need to evolve and become more efficient too. To that end, manually transferring the names of students and classes from your registration software to your skill tracking software can be tedious, prone to error, and not scalable for your business.
By using modern platforms like Amilia for your registration and MySkillChart.com for your skill tracking, you can instantly send your class roster data directly to your MySkillChart.com account in just a couple of clicks. This allows you to save time, scale your operations and maintain enrollment year-round.