5 Tips for “Shaping Up” a Sports-Focused Practice

By: Kathy Mills Chang

As more Chiropractors begin specializing in specific areas of practice, such as focusing on sports Chiropractic, new challenges arise for practice team members. While these are exciting challenges, they do push us to understand new areas of focus, increase our need for additional knowledge in the area, and encourage our ongoing commitment to spread the word about the benefits of Chiropractic care.

The opportunities for marketing such a focused practice bring real excitement to our positions as practice team members. One of our primary responsibilities is to help patients understand the role our doctors can play. Inform your patients and the parents who come into your office about the benefits of Chiropractic care for them and their student athletes. Let them know how important it is for any child involved in sports to get adjusted regularly to stay in top condition. And remind them that Chiropractic can save them a lot of time and money in the long run.

Here are five effective, rewarding tips to facilitate the growth of a niche-type practice which specializes in or caters to sports-related injuries:

Tip #1. Become an athletic supporter! (No pun intended!) Find out which schools in your area can use support for their athletic teams. Get your doctor in to speak to the athletic directors and coaches and help them understand your sports-focused practice. Educate them about the various sports-related services you offer, which might include rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises, functional orthotics, athletic taping, etc.

The Foot Levelers Power Point Presentation, “Saving the Athlete’s Career,” is an outstanding way to give a presentation to athletic directors and coaches. It is so well put together; it will do the selling for you! Since our wonderful profession touts the benefits of being drug free, another great way to get in the door is to offer to do lectures about the dangers of anabolic steroid usage among teens and all athletes. Offer to do sports physicals or become the team physician on the sidelines of the games, if that interests your doctor.

Here’s another great way to get your foot in the door; if your state allows, become the physician that is known for doing annual sports physicals and “giving back:”

  • Make a flyer that can be handed out prior to fall and spring sports seasons in the school.
  • Advertise your willingness to do the required sports physicals for a very reasonable fee—something like $25.
  • Each fee collected will then be donated back to that school’s Athletics Program or whatever is allowed in that community.

This great program introduces your doctor to the school as a supporter, and also to the student athletes and their parents as an expert in sports Chiropractic, in case they should need care during the season.

Tip #2. Look for service opportunities among your existing patients. If your practice is just beginning to swing toward a sports focus, make sure your existing patients are aware of it. Use your in-office or email newsletters to inform your patients of any special training your doctor receives. Make up press releases you can post in your office or send to your existing patients when your doctor attends a Foot Levelers seminar and comes back more proficient in some special area of sports medicine.

Consider having a quarterly promotion internally, where patients can be screened or bring in guests to be screened for weightbearing imbalances or analysis before a certain sports season begins. If you do rehab in the practice, consider how you can incorporate performance surveys for your patients to fill out if they participate in extracurricular sports or events. Your expert doctor can show them ways to enhance performance naturally.

Tip #3. Look for marketing opportunities in the areas you love. For example, if your doctor and/or team really enjoy golf, look for ways to market your sports focus in the golfing community. Perhaps you can do golf-swing analysis at the local pro shop—you can arrange for your doctor to give talks on flexibility and fitness at your local golf courses or write an interesting golf focus article for your local paper. Functional orthotics are a great way to support golfers in their athletic shoes and everyday shoes. This could create wonderful service opportunities for you to bring The 3D BodyView® imaging system out and give a fantastic visual analysis of just how out of balance your attendees may be.

Tip #4. Give your office a sports-focus atmosphere. If your office wants to cater to patients in a sports-related area, make sure your décor, your attire, etc. promote that. Weekend and amateur athletes can learn about the importance of Chiropractic adjustments from many professional athletes. No matter which sport they enjoy on their day off, we can find someone we all admire in the area of interest that is being treated by a Chiropractor.

The list of Chiropractic advocates is long: boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield; Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Roger Craig of the four-time Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in football; Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants in baseball; Chi Chi Rodriguez and Tiger Woods in golf; world champion kick-boxer Dennis Alexio; as well as champions in virtually every major sport are becoming regular Chiropractic patients. Many of these athletes insist on being adjusted by their Chiropractors just prior to competition. Place pictures or testimonials where patients can see them as they come in or read about it in a testimonial book. Use passive messages in your décor and advertising that will direct a focus to your team.

Tip #5. Be in good shape yourself! If you are going to promote a healthy, sports-related atmosphere in the practice and with your patients, strive personally to be in good health and fit. If you need to work on this in your life, commit to making some progress every week toward a better, more healthy lifestyle. When you are promoting your doctor’s healthy sports focus, you’ll be an excellent ambassador for your practice. When you are out at the gym, walking, running, playing tennis or bicycling, what better places to find patients who would be a great fit for your sports-focused office?

Being an active part of your special sports-focused practice makes coming to work so much fun! Of course, your practice will likely continue to see families, wellness patients, and patients injured by accidents. But having a side focus that is of interest to you and your doctor helps to keep the fun and excitement in practice. Brainstorm all the ways you can bring Chiropractic to even more people and spread the word about this healthy, amazing alternative to drugs and surgery.