GFAA Best Practice: Conduct Online Fitness Sessions Year-Round

Jeff Herdemian is the Fitness Director at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Jeff Herdemian on the importance of conducting online fitness Sessions year-round:

We opened our fitness center in 2017 to coincide with our hosting the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship. Since that time, our membership has really taken to the new amenities as they get their workouts in before or after a round of golf, or even on those days when golf is not on their agenda. Our 1,200 sq. ft., fitness space is in a new building that opened at that same time, with rooms for lodging upstairs and our fitness center downstairs. Having come aboard at Eagle Point when we opened the new fitness center, I had a head start in establishing relationships with some of our members through a private studio in town for several years prior. COVID-19 has posed many challenges in our engagement with members, particularly in-person. So, we set up programs to keep our membership engaged online via Facetime and Zoom. Before the pandemic, my spring and summer seasons would be very busy working with members in our studio, and then, as they’d head to their fall/winter destinations, my sessions would shift to more local members with a less intense schedule. However, with virtual programming put in place this winter, I was able to remain in contact with many of our members as they set up their workout space at home, whether it be nearby in Wilmington, or at their annual winter destinations. Making the transition to online teaching in April of 2020 was a bit easier than it might have been since I have been working with a few clients in Charlotte, about 3½ hours away, for at least three years. As I connected with more members online, and they found value in our efforts, they promoted the benefits and effectiveness of our sessions with other members and the endeavor grew from there. I have even developed an email/text communication process that includes videos or photos, and in some cases, simple instruction of what they should be doing to further their fitness efforts.

Jeff Herdemian on the business impact of conducting online fitness Sessions year-round:

Even during this winter season, my Tuesday and Thursday sessions are full and I have an average of 6-8 sessions each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Many of these sessions are with individual members, though there are a few married couples who enjoy our sessions together. As we proceed through 2021, we are slowly getting members back into the gym with all proper health and wellness protocols in place. I look forward to connecting with our members within our dedicated fitness space, and then staying engaged during the winter months, when in the past, we would have had minimal contact. Staying connected through virtual means will be an asset to many fitness professionals, as it has for many golf coaches and teachers. The nature of many businesses has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic, and I foresee many of those new methods of work and communication staying with us after COVID-19 is thankfully behind us.

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