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Local legend coaches on the court and off

Sean Schooley (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

There isn’t much New Mexico Military Institute boys basketball coach Sean Schooley hasn’t seen in the 30 years he has served there. He’s had only one job, coaching boys basketball. He has been the boy’s high school basketball coach, then an assistant to their junior college, then as head coach, and finally as the high school coach.

An unidentified customer works out at Elite Fitness & Tanning. (Submitted Photo)

As an assistant coach Schooley toyed with the idea of opening a gym. When he would travel and recruit athletes to attend NMMI he often went to other gyms to work out. As he continued his travels he noticed things that were missing and what he would want in his own gym. One of the things he noticed while going to other gyms was there was an indoor track and he thought that would be a good thing for the crazy weather in Roswell.

“We have the only indoor track in Roswell,” Schooley said. “Our weather is so unpredictable, our indoor track gives our members a chance to get their runs and walks in. We have a lot of people and senior citizens come over and walk. It was part of the design process. “

He came up with the idea of opening a gym because there was very little competition. Roswell only had three gyms 20 years ago, Power Block, Roswell Racquet Club & Swim, and the Godfrey Athletic Center. While researching the market, Schooley wanted to see if the town could hold another gym? And if so, what type of gym would work? Once his research came back Schooley decided to move ahead with the encouragement of his wife Stephanie.

The major thing he picked up on his gym visits was that some women wanted a place to work out on their own and not be bothered by other men or women. He incorporated the Kidzone, in which a woman can drop their kids off, change and get their workout in. They can workout without worrying about being in a crowded gym.

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“A lot of women think the gym is about bodybuilders and it’s not,” Schooley said. “That is why we designed this, it’s all about fitness and being comfortable working out. This was a design and some sales reps for equipment suggested that I put this in.”

Schooley opened his first gym in a small doctor’s office in 1997. The workout facility had five rooms in it. With a financial gift from his stepfather, he was on his way. He continued to work and grow his business, and after a year they moved to another building in 2001.

“With us starting small it was a learning process,” Schooley said. “We just kept trying to learn and get better and improve. At the same time, we decided that we wanted to go to a bigger facility.”

When he built his own gym, Schooley included a workout place for women only. It is a hit with the members of his gym Elite Fitness & Tanning LLC. The other thing he wanted was to have a tanning spa, with nine beds and spray tanning available, Schooley has seen his memberships increase since moving to their current location in Feb. 2007.

“When I built my gym,” Schooley said. “I wanted to have a little bit of something for everybody, from all ages, shapes, and sizes. We wanted to cater to all fitness goals.”

Schooley thinks that with the saturation of gyms it is very important to provide excellent customer service. His goal is to be on a first name basis with his customers and retain them.

Elite Fitness has just come off a successful Fit Smart Challenge promotion that encompassed 16 weeks of exercise, diet and weight loss.

“It was very, very successful,” Schooley said. “We had a great run with it, and we added new members. It was so successful that we are going to do another one at the end of January.”

Schooled thinks that the competition in town makes his staff better. His philosophy is “If you don’t work out with us, work out somewhere.”

“I think what will separate us from a lot of clubs is our friendly atmosphere,” Schooley said. “I would put us up against any gym in that regard. It is all about fitness, health, and lifestyle. That is what we try to incorporate into peoples lives that it can be done even if you let yourself get out of shape. There is time to recover and get yourself into a healthy routine.”

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