How to Handle Class Cancellations

class cancellations

Cancelling classes is typically the last resort, but sometimes it just has to happen. Whether it’s because of weather or a Coach getting sick, things don’t always go as planned.

“When I cancel classes, it’s typically due to snow,” said Derek Saltou, the owner of CrossFit Chiron in Mason City, Iowa.

This winter, he had to cancel classes a few times due to the weather. When it happens, the process typically goes like this: Saltou will make the call around 8 or 9 p.m. the night before. Then, he sends out an email via Wodify, as well as posts on the gym’s private Facebook group.

For Facebook, Saltou uses PicMonkey and Typorama to make memes that catch members’ attention. “I always try to make a picture that pops out so that people see it and that catches their eye, and then that way they know what’s going on and they can spread that along,” he said. “Our community is pretty awesome so everybody is pretty good about sending the message to people who don’t have Facebook and what not.”

When Saltou gets push back from members for cancelling classes, he said he holds on to the fact his ultimate focus is the safety of his people. “If I don’t think about the people in all areas of their lives, I’m not a good Coach,” he said. “If I’m not thinking about the safety outside of the gym, too, I’m not a good Coach. If I’m not helping them change their habits and attitudes they [have in] those 23 hours that they are not with me, I’m not a good Coach.”

But weather isn’t the only reason for class cancellations. Sometimes, a Coach doesn’t show up. Saltou said it’s happened a few times where he’s gotten a call at 5 a.m. and has had to dart to the gym. “Even though I have a Coach here at 5 a.m., it’s still my responsibility to make sure things get taken care of,” he said. “If somebody is not here, then it’s a reflection of me and I want to make sure I follow through and make sure I open up the gym regardless.”

However, he will make sure the Coach receives a negative mark on their employee list. Plus, he has the Coach write a heartfelt apology to the members affected. “These people pay money to come here and have you coach them. They don’t come here to wait on you,” said Saltou.

If a Coach can’t own being late or failing to show up, Saltou said you’ve got a problem on your hands. “If you can’t accept that you did something wrong, you’re ignorant.”

So while things happen, always keep your members as the focus. Whether it’s their safety or giving them what they are paying for, communication and care can go a long way.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at