How to Treat a Drop-In


During the holiday season, members will be traveling or welcoming new family members into their home. Which may mean they will invite family members into their third place: your Box.

Whether just starting CrossFit or having been involved in the sport for many years, Jared Putman, the Affiliate of Slate CrossFit in Seattle, Washington, recognizes missing a workout is a real fear for CrossFitters.

When a new member signs up for CrossFit, Putman believes that individual doesn’t just sign up for one gym, but also has “access to this really cool network of thousands of gyms,” he said.

This is common sense to him as he’s been in the business for so long, but he recognizes that new CrossFitters may not be aware of the community.

How he treats a drop-in at his gym is how he would want his members to be treated when they travel. “I have clients that I love here at the gym. Just remember that they will leave and travel, too. And how would you want them to be treated at a visiting gym? It kind of helps dictate that,” said Putman. “If they were traveling, how much care and how much compassion and how much fun would I want them to have as they seek to add fitness into their daily lives, even when it comes to vacations or visiting relatives for the holidays.”

Putman said the “most awesome” drop-in emails him, letting the Box know he or she is coming while explaining how long he or she has been in CrossFit and any pre-existing issues. But, when that perfect scenario doesn’t play out, Putman asks the drop-in questions as they fill out a waiver.

And though he’s not their main Coach, Putman will correct a drop-in’s movements, with respect for their home Coach. “I usually get out in front of that pretty quick. It’s not my job to be your main coach. I’m just kind of here. And I don’t want to replay on what it is you’re working on. I’m just in the position where I’m going to learn as much from you as you are from me today because I’m just getting an invitation to peek into what’s going on with you,” explained Putman.

Even though the member may have just dropped in for that single vacation, Putman and his Coaches send drop-in’s thank you cards. One Coach at his gym writes the WOD and the drop-in’s time, just in case.

There’s a CrossFitter that drops-in at CrossFit Slate every Thanksgiving. Putman said he was majorly impressed with the card and hopes it results in his coming back to his gym each year. “We just do it for everybody and we really do appreciate [them] coming in. There’s 80 different Boxes to come into and you chose to come back to ours. We appreciate that,” he said.

To Putman, that card has an even larger goal: strengthening the community of CrossFit each athlete signed up for when they first began.

Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.