Campus Rec and Wellness Centers (CRWC) continue to be an increasingly powerful recruiting tool. Students now expect to see clean, bright and well-equipped centers on their visitation tours. Each new or renovated rec center seems to be bigger and brighter than the last.
CRWC staff have the unique opportunity to capture a freshman class every year who are trying to reinvent themselves in college. Many will attempt to lose weight or gain muscle for the first time. They may discover a broader feeling of acceptance at the college rec center than they did at their high school weight room, which can often be intimidating when the majority of users are athletes. There should be a concerted effort to capture their interest. Here are three tips to get students involved and coming back for more:
- Small group classes would be one way to introduce them to new friends and “set the hook.” Some schools offer classes with a cash back incentive — if the student doesn’t miss a single class for the six-week course, they get the full course fee back. Absolutely brilliant! The students make friends and experience the results of a consistent, challenging workout regimen.
- It is important to create open space for functional training movements such as tire flips, kettlebell swings, battle ropes and plyo box jumping. These relatively new training techniques continue to trend upward.
- You can’t have too many racks. There is a huge influx of females joining their male counterparts in the power racks. Lines are forming just to get access. One recent CRWC expansion doubled their rack count from 10 to 20, while adding six free standing platforms just to accommodate the demand.
Several studies have shown the correlation between students who frequent the rec center and higher GPAs. There’s nowhere else on campus you can readily go and improve your brain function through hundreds of movement options. Pair this with the true “family” feel and it can be seen why life-long friendships are frequently forged between students. These qualities are why this space is referred to by most as their favorite building on campus.
Marc Loomer is Matrix’s national sales manager for campus recreation and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.