Amanda Ross opened Performance Elite Gymnastics in 2015, and the facility offers world-class training.
At this unique gym, coaching is centered on positive reinforcement and teaching athletes to be good team members. The coaches strive to help gymnasts build a solid foundation of life skills, in addition to teaching the gym members physical skills. The gym offers recreational classes for children ages 6 months to 18 years, but also offers competitive training. The Levels Program focuses on levels 1, 2 and 3 in the Amateur Athletic Union and the Team Program prepares levels 4 through 10 gymnasts to compete at the college level.
Amanda’s husband, Aaron Ross, is the head coach and leads a staff of about 33 coaches in the La Crosse facility as well as at the new location in Byron, MN, which the couple took over in January 2022. While the gym and its pit are on par with an Olympic training facility, the sense of fun is not lost here. Obstacle courses and games and gymnastics activities are offered as part of the themed birthday parties at Performance Elite Gymnastics.
In 2016, Amanda visited the UW-La Crosse Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance with a business plan, financial projections and more. She met with three teams from a marketing class at the university who each prepared a presentation of marketing ideas. Amanda was thrilled to implement several of the ideas generated by the teams.
She also worked with Terri Urbanek, a consultant at the SBDC. “Terri was amazing! I gave her numbers on a spreadsheet and she helped me create financial projections we could use for decision-making. We were so excited when we went on to blow those figures out of the water with our success.”
Then the COVID pandemic struck in 2020. “We were so thankful we had our high-powered air exchange system in place,” Amanda said. “There were some setbacks though. We could not access the pit for a while and, of course, followed strict quarantine rules. Daily cleaning such as applying disinfectant spray caused a breakdown in the quality of the mats and they needed to be replaced. Travel wasn’t allowed and we were limited to in-house meets only.” Luckily, Performance Elite Gymnastics received federal relief funding in the form of PPP and EIDL that helped them bounce back.
They found creative ways to adjust and keep everyone safe. “We installed cameras with live streaming so parents could still watch their children at local meets without being in the same space. We also added a recreational gym to give people more room to social distance,” Amanda shared.
With nearly 500 members, the successful business finds themselves at capacity and ready to expand again. We wish this business all the best as they continue to grow and succeed!
Accomplishments with UW-La Crosse SBDC
- Business plan
- Financial projections
- Marketing strategy