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Riches in Niches

Parisi Speed School Founder Bill Parisi has built a sports performance education company that serves young athletes and generates revenue for fitness businesses everywhere.

By Fitness Business Insider

Bill Parisi wants you to grow your business. He’s spent more than 30 years developing leading edge programming to improve the performance and lives of young athletes and he’s helping fitness business owners leverage the lucrative youth niche.

“We’ve taken this speed training methodology and made it a simple to learn system where facility owners can monetize it,” Bill explains. With a qualified coach or two and some open square footage, fitness businesses can turn the typically quiet after-school hours into a serious revenue-generator. Furthermore, where the kids go the adults follow. In his affiliates’ and his own experience, when you have a positive impact on a young athlete’s skillset and attitude, you earn the family’s and friends’ loyalty, referrals and ultimately fitness dollars.

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Earning his Cred

In college, Bill was a Division I All-American track athlete in the javelin throw. He learned from some of the world’s greatest coaches how to generate speed and explosive energy to get his 5’10” frame to launch a 7 ft spear. “I realized that everything I learned as an athlete to develop my lower body speed, power, athleticism was beneficial for all field and court sport athletes,” says Bill. “The essence of most sport skills is the ability to transfer ground reaction force through the body into an implement or an opponent.”

After college and competition, Bill began his career training both amateur and professional athletes and gravitated to those in their critical formative years. He recognized real opportunity in the niche: 75% of kids aged 8 to 18 are involved in organized sports. Whether they’re uncoordinated or destined for greatness, parents want to see their children engaged, healthy, keeping up with their peers, and developing discipline, dedication, and confidence. The kind of strength, speed, and agility training that the Parisi methodology offers can mean the difference between recreational and professional, or between “I could have” and “I did” for these kids.

As Bill’s young clients’ race times dropped, his reputation rose. It quickly became apparent to him that when you positively impact the life of the child, you pull in their entire family and friendship circle.

“Here’s how my business really exploded,” he states. “If you help someone’s child improve their athletic competencies, their confidence goes through the roof. Then, their parents will do anything for you, including promote your business, train with you, and tell their friends. That’s how I started in 1993 in 3000 square feet and by 1997 I did $987K.”

That first facility in Wyckoff, N.J. became the highest grossing per square foot fitness centre in the world at that time. Bill parlayed that success into five mega-facilities averaging 25,000 sf and generating $2.5M per location. Since 1992, more than 1 million athletes have trained through the Parisi Training System in over 100 facilities and health clubs worldwide.

Bill has also authored numerous books, including the seminal The Anatomy of Speed, and has been a featured consultant or presenter for several organizations and media outlets, including the NFL, Nike, NASM, IHRSA, Fox Sports, ESPN, The New York Times, and Men’s Health, just to name a few. “And now we’ve evolved into an educational company that provides the tools to [generate revenue for your fitness business].”

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Products for Kids and Coaches

To take athletes to peak performance, The Parisi Speed School broke down the art of athletic movement on the field and court, studied those movements, and created specific drills, cues, and exercises to amplify speed and yield performance improvement. Then they packaged it in a system that can be easily mastered by coaches and taught to young athletes

“Kids aren’t usually taught how to train correctly,” says Bill. “We’re not just running kids around cones. We’re educating and developing their motor vocabulary. And when you deliver rich content that gets them moving more efficiently and athletically, they develop neuropathways for mastering movement. It’s exciting and it’s a game changer.”

With tried-and-true precision, Parisi-certified coaches “take this mythical physical attribute of speed and teach a kid how to get faster for field and court sports,” Bill says. Parisi-trained athletes learn to optimize linear and multi-directional speed development, reaction-based movements, and so much more.

The Parisi Speed School offers a complete range of programs from mentorships to full certification to solidify trainers’ youth coaching skills, and to ensure that a studio or gym can successfully market, conduct, and profit from youth training. They also offer strategic courses like The Parent Rapport program, which helps coaches communicate with parents and manage expectations, and The Business of Team Training, which demonstrates how to sell off-season conditioning to a local soccer team or a high school football team at their location.

“We’ve been building content for 30 years,” says Bill. “There’s not much we don’t have, and all our courses are based on research and outcomes.” In fact, Bill’s “right-hand guy” Paul Staples puts his PhD in Educational Psychology to excellent use in guiding curriculum development and delivery so that coaches are adept at teaching youngsters and managing their parents.

How to Profit from Youth Training

The Parisi methodology has been a boon for fitness facility owners everywhere. In the post-pandemic era where specialization is demanded, demographic-specific training is a critical and leverageable asset, and The Parisi Speed School helps you hit that mark. Furthermore, where this young demographic goes, the parents follow. Offering training in the youth niche generates revenue, drives membership in the adult population, and helps owners to build their brands.

“The Parisi Speed School is the sub-brand, like the Intel chip inside the machine,” says Bill. “You leverage the fact that your coaches are Parisi-certified, but ultimately the brand that’s going to benefit is the brand that’s delivering the program. We want to embrace that brand; help build that brand by capturing a piece of this youth performance market.” Bill isn’t interested in top billing; of the more than one hundred facilities that run Parisi Speed School programs only 20 use the Parisi brand, by choice.

“You can have a trainer go to the local high school to deliver a service to 40 or 50 athletes and you become a key influence in the community,” Bill explains.  “People want to know more about you. You tell the kids, ‘Give your parents this coupon…’ It’s free marketing! It’s a way to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. All our facilities have adult components, and youth training helps to drive people into our facilities. You’ll grow your revenue by empowering kids in your local community.”

Bill says that The Parisi School makes adding specified youth training to your coaches’ skillset quick and easy on the pocketbook. “We’ve simply condensed it so you can get dialed up with us in about three months and become a really great youth instructor. We give you the education, resources, and skillset – all you need is some open space. We run inside facilities that are 4-5000 sf and others that are 50,000 sf. We have solutions for every environment.”

Some of the most successful owners who’ve adopted the Parisi methodology generate $50-70,000 in youth coaching revenue. “You just need one or two really good coaches and 10 to 20 athletes to pick up an extra $5-10,000/month in your current footprint during two or three hours that are usually considered downtime,” says Bill. “And that’s not counting all the extra referral business you get from the adults.”

Whether you’re filling your after-school hours or inserting Parisi-trained coaches into local schools in the off-season, your brand is strengthened by offering youth training. Furthermore, since the passion and dynamism of the youth market is really fuelled by the parents, you’ll earn widespread loyalty that registers in membership dollars and referrals.

To explore how you can add The Speed School skillset to your coaching pool and increase revenue and brand recognition, reach out to https://www.parisischool.com/contact-us/.

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Fitness Business Insider magazine was created to support you, our valued fitness business owners, at all stages of your entrepreneurial journey. This endeavor is dedicated to sharing teachings from start-up visionaries and a network of expert business leaders and entrepreneurs who are focused exclusively on providing inspiration, education, and tools for your success. Evolution and education are imperative during this highly competitive, post-pandemic rebuild. We strive to support you, the movers and shapers at the frontline of our industry. Let us help you build back better and stronger!

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