Becoming a Gymnastics CEO: Chief Encouragement Officer


My friend Tony Restori is a smart guy.  Also, not a bad dancer.  But that’s another story.

Tony’s company  Gym Momentum features Tony as a speaker, hosts amazing camps and is where you can read his wise blog.

This morning, his blog “Become a Great CEO in the Gym” was one that I immediately forwarded to my entire staff.

As I read it again,(and you should go read it now too…I’ll wait…glad you are back), I realized how much it pertains to all of us in the gym; no matter our role.  Parents, gymnastics coach, gymnast, front office person, manager or owner–we all have the opportunity and, I would argue the obligation, to become a Gymnastics CEO: Chief Encouraging Officers.  

  1. Figure out where you are.  Talk to each other about how things are going–not just when things are going poorly!
  2. Eliminate hierarchy.  Stop using power as a means to shape behavior.  Be collaborative and encouraging.
  3. Find out everyone’s goals.  When we fail to understand what everyone’s goals are, we cannot develop a plan that meets everyone’s needs.  If our goals are not in alignment, we will keep frustrating each other as we are rowing our symbolic boat in different directions.
  4. Communicate.  How many problems could be avoided if we all communicated more openly and clearly with each other?  Remember: communication isn’t just talking, but also listening.
  5. Complement each other.  All of us need to hear that we are doing well.  Yes, even those who are in the leadership roles or parents.  In fact, especially those in leadership roles and parents.  Tell a parent what a wonderful job they are doing with their child and watch their face light up.

As Tony concludes, “It all comes down to a very simple concept – people…just want to be treated – (to loosely quote Aretha Franklin) with a little respect. Just a little respect goes a long way towards you being a great chief encouragement officer.”

My advice: More cheerleader, less dictator.