The Simple Things We Often Forget
We have all had those athletes that leave their clothes all over the gym. I was one of those kids and it would take me 20 minutes to run around and find all of my belongings afterwards. It really annoyed my parents. Most coaches will simply make it a rule that no loose articles of clothing are allowed on the floor. Many gyms I have been to have this rule but do not use that same rule on themselves.
Clubs often have stuff strewn out all over the place or broken equipment in the corner. When you walk into a well organized and clean gym club you notice it right away and it makes you feel like you are in a more professional environment. If we are going to tell the athletes to clean up after themselves which makes the gym club look much more attractive to new potential customers than the gym owners also need to clean up after themselves.
Another aspect that is often forgotten is that by having a dirty gym, you actually encourage the athletes to leave their stuff all over the place. By not leading by example, you are also causing the issue itself that then you have to constantly correct with every new athlete.
George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson are two psychologists that showed in 1982 that New York could reduce its crime rate by simply cleaning up the city. The Broken Window Theory refers to the idea that when you see a broken window of an unkept shop you are more likely to break the window yourself because you figure that others don’t care to clean it so why wouldn’t you?
Criminals tend to look for areas that are dirty that are unkept because they assume it means no one goes there. That’s why criminals are thought to hangout in the ‘ghetto’ even though there are plenty of people with ‘thug’ mentalities in the nicer parts of town.
So as a gym owner or coach, are you leading by example? Or, does your gym look like it has been neglected? If that’s the case, have the athletes do a clean up day with you at the next training. Involve them in the clean up process and keep it that way. They will follow suit as well and make it a part of every day life.