The Business of Coaching at Milford

Jason Leydon coaches an athlete at CrossFit Milford.

When Jason Leydon discovered CrossFit in 2008, he already had a space to Affiliate – his own, 7-year-old personal training studio.

“I was a little nervous, but also it was what I believed in, it was what I was passionate about,” said Leydon, the owner of CrossFit Milford in Milford, Connecticut. “So, it was just the direction I went in, and I figured [my clients] who wanted to be with me would come with me and the people who wouldn’t, wouldn’t.”

With the support of many of his training clients – many were already practicing CrossFit – Leydon achieved his Level 1 certification and officially transitioned his facility into a Box. The members who stayed through that transformation provided him with an initial base to begin his Affiliate ascension.

Since then, Leydon’s Box has grown, as has his coaching opportunities. He said he has been put in situations to help and coach athletes at high levels, from world champion powerlifters to CrossFit Games competitors. These experiences have permeated his coaching at his own Box and have helped him take a look at his priorities: His coaching comes before being a business owner.

However, that does not mean he has let his business do whatever it wants. Instead, he has put systems and people in the right places in order to keep his Box operational. “I know if I just focused on my athletes, then the business would fall apart,” said Leydon. “I think it’s allowed me to really look at what are my strengths and weaknesses, and not so much try to change who I am, but put the necessary people in place that can help my weaknesses become strengths, especially with something that I don’t want to learn about.”

Leydon has four specific tips for other Affiliates:

  1. Have your systems in place: “Yes, it is a gym and that’s our passion and we get into it as gym owners, but at the same point it is a business and it needs to run like a business so you have to make sure if that’s not your speciality, you need to have the systems in place that can help with that,” said Leydon.
  2. Focus on the community and the clients you have. That can help with providing more clients to your gym by building a better brand awareness in your community.
  3. Never stop learning: “Never stop developing yourself as an athlete; never stop developing yourself as a person and as a Coach,” said Leydon.
  4. Get your priorities in line: “Get your three basic steps and three basic priorities of where you want to be as an athlete, Coach, gym owner,” said Leydon. “And then put the necessary [things] in place to achieve those goals of yours.”

As for what seperates CrossFit Milford from the rest, once again it comes down to coaching. Leydon noted that while his community is amazing all on its own, it seems to have a good sense of valuing the facility and the Coaches. But, that’s not without cause. “The level of coaching and caring the clients get from the Coaches is really what separates us,” he explained.

In business a lot of times you have to follow your instincts. For Leydon, his understanding of his clients helped him make a decision that followed his passion, but was also perfect for growth of his business and the creation of CrossFit Milford.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.