START YOUR OWN GYMphotostation_wed30jul2003_10_52_38am_p001


More and more career gymnastics coaches are starting up their own private gyms. Although the proposition seems attractive at first, there are many pit-falls to avoid and many crucial steps to take in order to achieve this goal and have a successful business.

The preparation of a well-structured and comprehensive business plan is essential. In fact, most businesses initially fail for lack of a good business plan or for lack of cash flow. Banks require a solid business plan if they are to lend you money. But where do you start ?

Don’t fall victim to the “I-wish-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now” syndrome !

Michel Arsenault offers consulting services for any person or group wishing to create their Business Plan and start their own gym in Canada.

There are definite “do’s” and “don’ts” in the process. Mistakes and omissions can be very costly both in time and in energy. We can help you by providing you with a Business Plan template, which you can adjust and customize to fit your own circumstances.

We offer assistance on your Business Plan set-up and on everything that this entails (marketing plan, cash flow projections, pro-forma financial projections, demographics, program set-up and staffing).

The development of a comprehensive business plan is CRUCIAL to the success of your new business. Unless you do not require a bank loan of any kind, your business plan is the KEY to a successful start.

Contact Michel at




Owners of “for-profit” gymnastics clubs in Canada face many challenges: GST payments, no fundraising, lack of access to government grants, municipal and provincial building restrictions, corporate taxes.

“For-profit” gym owners must deal with issues that are foreign to the “non-profit” sector. These differences present unique challenges that the owners must adjust to.

We offer specific strategies and advice to assist the owner of a “for-profit” gym to better handle bill payment, cash flow issues, salary payments and other financial obligations that come with owning a gym.

We also offer streamlined Operational Policy Templates, By-Laws Template, Management Directives and Program Form Templates as well as many other solutions to your organization’s challenges. These templates can be molded to suit your specific needs and programs.

In collaboration with the owners, Michel Arsenault can help you in stream-lining and improving your business’s operations (strategic long-term and short-term).

Contact Michel at





* Retainer fee of $ 500.00 (payable before Services rendered. This amount is deducted from hourly work done afterwards).

* The Retainer Fee is not payable for those who simply purchase the OPERATIONAL POLICIES Templates, or the PROGRAMS & ADMINISTRATIVE FORMS Templates or the BY-LAWS Templates or the REPORT CARDS & LESSON PLANS & TESTING SHEETS Templates OR who hire Michel Arsenault for gymnastics clinics or camps.



BUSINESS PLAN (Full template + pro-forma financial forecast): $ 500.00 (Incl. G.S.T.)
OPERATIONAL POLICIES (29 policies): $ 400.00 (incl. G.S.T.)
REPORT CARDS, LESSON PLANS & TESTING SHEETS (For Parent-Tot; Pre-school; Recreational programs): $ 500.00 (incl. G.S.T.)
PROGRAM & ADMINISTRATIVE (Approx. 50 forms): $ 500.00 (Incl. GST)
* Consulting work thereafter is $ 100.00/hour.
* Travel expenses (if required) at your cost (Meals: $ 40.00/day – Accommodation & Travel: In full)

Contact Michel at



One of the greatest challenges faced by “non-profit” gymnastics clubs is the issue of Corporate Stability (Board of Directors, Staff, Finances, Operational Policies, By-Laws). In the “non-profit” world, Boards of Directors change every few years, which makes continuity difficult to maintain.
“ How much should we pay our staff ? How should our club’s Accountability Framework be constructed ? What kind of Board should we have (Management or Governance) ? What should our operational policies be like ? How can we improve or develop our operational policies, our By-Laws ? “

Typically, “non-profit” gym clubs are volunteer/parent-run and as a consequence, the leadership tends to turn-over frequently. This presents specific challenges which can be (for the most part) alleviated by proper strategic management or governance. There are many other challenges faced by “non-profit gym” clubs and we can help !

Michel has over 25 years of experience in the “non-profit” gymnastics world, so he can help with solution-based interventions to help your Board of Directors and Coaching Staff.

We also offer Operational Policy Templates, By-Laws Template, Management Directives and Program Form Templates as well as many other solutions to your organization’s challenges. These templates can be molded to suit your specific needs and programs.

In collaboration with your Board of Directors (or it’s representative(s), Michel Arsenault will help in stream-lining and improving your club’s operations (strategic long-term and short-term).

Michel offers Consulting Services for “non-profit” gymnastics clubs who wish to improve on their current general operations, management or governance. Those services can help existing or new “non-profit” corporations in setting up or improving their By-Laws and Operational Policies.


Contact Michel at




* Retainer fee of $ 500.00 (payable before Services rendered. This amount is deducted from hourly work done afterwards).

* The Retainer Fee is not payable for those who simply purchase the OPERATIONAL POLICIES Templates, or the PROGRAMS & ADMINISTRATIVE FORMS Templates or the BY-LAWS Templates or the REPORT CARDS & LESSON PLANS & TESTING SHEETS Templates OR who hire Michel Arsenault for gymnastics clinics or camps; It is only payable for individuals, clubs or federations that require Administrative Consulting services on an hourly basis.



BUSINESS PLAN (Full template + pro-forma financial forecast): $ 500.00 (Incl. G.S.T.)
OPERATIONAL POLICIES (29 policies): $ 400.00 (incl. G.S.T.)
REPORT CARDS, LESSON PLANS & TESTING SHEETS (For Parent-Tot; Pre-school; Recreational programs): $ 500.00 (incl. G.S.T.)
PROGRAM & ADMINISTRATIVE (Approx. 50 forms): $ 500.00 (Incl. GST)
NON-PROFIT CLUB BY-LAWS (Full set): $ 500.00 (Incl. GST)
* Consulting work thereafter is $ 100.00/hour.
* Travel expenses (if required) at your cost (Meals: $ 40.00/day – Accommodation & Travel: In full)


Contact Michel at


We offer consulting services to Law Firms who are looking for a Gymnastics Expert, when representing defendants or plaintiffs.

Mr. Michel Arsenault has previous experience in this field and has provided consulting services in many different court cases over the last 10 years that have pertained to gymnastics-related injuries.

* Initial Retainer Fee of $ 1,000.00 (payable before Services rendered; this amount is deducted from hourly work done afterwards).
* Consulting work thereafter is $ 375.00/hour (review of documentation, preparation of verbal or written report, other consulting work)
* Travel expenses (if required) at your cost. (Meals: $ 50.00/day/ Accommodation: In full/ Travel: In full)

Contact Michel Arsenault at

We offer a ready-to-use, tried and tested Developmental Testing Program, called L.E.A.P.5girls

This Program is explained below. The base cost of the Program is $ 5,000.00 per quadrennial.


” The L.E.A.P. Program….Giving young female gymnasts a head-start “


INTRODUCTION: Women’s artistic gymnastics has drastically changed in the last fifteen to twenty years. Female gymnasts are now required to perform extremely difficult elements and combinations at the international level and recent changes to the F.I.G. Code of Points have not made matters easier.
The preparation of high level and intricate combinations and elements must be the result of careful planning on the part of the coaches. So, now, more than ever, proper basics and proper physical preparation are of paramount importance.

The L.E.A.P. program was initially conceived in 1995 by Canadian Olympic coaches Michel Arsenault (ChPc) & Valérie Oudin (ChPc) based on the premise that a gymnast’s future is only as solid as her basics. It was created for GYMNASTS OF ALL LEVELS, not just for future elite gymnasts.

The word L.E.A.P. stands for “Let’s Evaluate our Athletes’ Progress” and came to life in Canada as a result of the obvious need for an evaluation tool for Developmental gymnasts aged 6 to 9 years old. The L.E.A.P. Program recognizes that very few gymnasts ever achieve National or International standards of performance. It also recognizes that proper basics makes gymnastics a safer sport for all gymnasts, regardless of the level that a child reaches.

The L.E.A.P. Program is designed to cater to all levels of Developmental (or pre-competitive) athletes, regardless of the category in which each child ends up competing in. Children between the ages of 6 and 9 need events where they can shine and show their progress.

The L.E.A.P. Program is comprised of two (2) components: PHYSICAL ABILITY & SKILLS and of four (4) levels: Copper, Bronze, Silver & Gold.

Each gymnast testing in the L.E.A.P. Program must achieve a certain percentage in each component to be awarded the prestigious L.E.A.P. PIN for each level.

PHYSICAL ABILITY: A series of exercises must be performed by each child. Each exercise aims at evaluating the child’s level of performance in the areas of strength, power, flexibility, endurance. Each exercise is awarded a certain number of points and each child receives points on the basis of her performance for each exercise.

SKILLS: A list of basic skills must be performed by each child. Each skill aims at evaluating the child’s level of performance on vault, bars, beam and floor. Each skill is awarded a certain number of points and each child receives points on the basis of her performance for each skill on each event. The L.E.A.P. Program is NOT designed as a complete preparation program for female gymnasts. It only attempts at providing coaches with an evaluation tool and with some direction as to which skills are important in any gymnast’s basic repertoire.

IN CANADA: The Program was first implemented in Alberta (Canada) in 1995 and it has been in effect ever since. There is a large and ever-growing number of Alberta clubs who are very active in this program.
The Alberta Gymnastics Federation currently boasts over forty (50) especially Certified Evaluators, eight (8) of which are Chief-Evaluators, overlooking all aspects of the program’s implementation in Alberta.
The number of clubs, gymnasts and coaches taking part in the L.E.A.P. evaluations across Alberta has steadily increased over the past few years, and so has interest across Canada. One of the more obvious effects of the L.E.A.P. Program has been the significantly higher level of quality of execution and physical preparation in Alberta female gymnasts. Clubs taking part in the L.E.A.P program have visibly improved.

The L.E.A.P. Reward System is comprehensive and very well structured and it varies slightly from federation to federation. For example, in Alberta, each child receives a certificate, a ribbon at the conclusion of each test, and in the event a child attains a certain percentage in both components of the Copper, Bronze, Silver or Gold levels, she is awarded the prestigious L.E.A.P. PIN !

A child can pass as many levels in one gymnastics year as her age allows, in accordance to the rules.
The L.E.A.P. Program also has a mascot: Gymmy the Leap Frog !

If your federation, association or club is interested in knowing more about the L.E.A.P. program, please contact the author, Mr. Michel Arsenault at






L.E.A.P. is copyrighted and cannot be replicated, duplicated in part or in whole without prior and written consent by the author.


THE CALGARY HERALD (Calgary)- Monday February 1, 1999
“L.E.A.P. carries novice gymnasts to new heights”Kim Tse has improved her gymnastics by leaps and bounds. The young gymnast with the University of Calgary gymnastics club is benefiting from a new approach to the sport that preaches preparation over competition in a child’s early development.
Let’s Evaluate our Athletes’ Progress (L.E.A.P.) is a provincewide initiative that the U. of C. club has embraced as a way to successfully, and safely, introducing gymnastics to youngsters without some of the more well-documented ailments and injuries.

“The Program allows you to spend the time on the initial stuff you should be learning” said Head Coach of the U. of C.’s girl’s program, Lisa Jefferies-Smith. “For people who use it, it’s going to help their kids in the long run. For the older kids who came up in gymnastics before the program, they were thrown into competition at an early age, and there wasn’t a lot of preparation, and there was a lot of stress. And all the young girls have done really well since we introduced the physical preparation program, that was extremely lacking in the past. You can tell the girls here today who didn’t have the same kind of physical preparation program.” she added. “There’s not the good technique, the good execution.”



L.E.A.P. Scoring Program


Purchase the L.E.A.P. Scoring Program

If your club is planning on hosting a L.E.A.P. Event, you will need to purchase the L.E.A.P. Scoring Program for accurate and speedy compilation of results.

Please take note that NONE of the previous L.E.A.P. Scoring programs (previous cycles) correspond to the new program; if you use any of the previous versions of the Scoring Program, your results will be inaccurate.

If you are interested in purchasing the current L.E.A.P. SKILLS Scoring Program, it sells for $ 150.00 and includes the three (3) concerned levels (Copper, Bronze, Silver). If you are interested in purchasing the current L.E.A.P. PHYSICAL ABILITY Scoring Program, it sells for $ 150.00 and includes all four (4) levels (Copper, Bronze, Silver & Gold).

Payment can be made by cheque ONLY, payable to “Michel Arsenault” and mailed to “Michel Arsenault, 9527-49 St., Edmonton, AB, T6B-2L8”. Upon processing of payment, the Program will be e-mailed to you (Please provide us with your e-mail address upon ordering).

This Computer Program is Copyrighted and any duplication of it in part or in whole is strictly forbidden by law. All Rights Reserved/Michel Arsenault 2012.

How to Approach a L.E.A.P. Event ? A guide for Parents & Coaches.* Are you unsure about how to approach your child’s participation in the L.E.A.P. program ?
* Are you apprehensive about the possible results and about your child`s psychology in that regard ?
* Are you unsure as to what to expect from a L.E.A.P. event ?
* Are you worried you will say the wrong thing at the wrong time ?

Don’t worry……………we’ve prepared a document that can help you and your little gymnast better understand the L.E.A.P. program.

Click Here for Guide!




“” The Olds Gymnastics Club would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a most informative and enjoyable clinic which you conducted on March 8.
We want to express our satisfaction with the program you presented, it far exceeded our expectations. Your enthusiasm for the sport of gymnastics is infectious and we have been greatly motivated to reach for new goals and challenges. You have the gift for instructing and reaching people on a personal level. Although you are an Olympic coach (which is evident) you were able to meet the needs of a small town club. Personally, I received numerous phone calls from parents and coaches thanking me for inviting you to Olds and “inspiring” their children to higher levels.
After the clinic, each person left challenged and eager to return to their own gym to incorporate the newly acquired skills into their own programs. We are grateful that you encouraged us to video tape the clinic, as we are now in possession of one of the most useful instructional aides in our library. Something we will utilize for years to come. Please continue with your dedication to the sport so others may benefit also.


Ria Holgerson/ President Olds Gym Club “”


“” Dear Michel,
Thank you for coming out to Vermilion. It was a great day for us, a super motivator ! We are definitely primed for our season. All the best.

Sandra Miller/ Vermillion Gym Club “”


“” Dear Michel and Valerie,

On behalf of the Norfort Gymnastics Club, I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and satisfaction for the workshops and training camps you have provided to our coaches over the last three years. Your passion and enthusiasm for gymnastics is most evident and your positive attitude in dealing with all levels of athletes has been motivational and encouraging. The success of our L.E.A.P. and competitive athletes lies in part on the sharing of your exceptional coaching knowledge with our staff and athletes.
Please continue with your hard work and dedication in helping others improve in the sport of gymnastics.

Yours truly,

Fred Payne/ President Norfort Gymnastics Association””


“” We have been delighted with the improvement in our coaches and in our athletes since we began our association with CHAMPIONS GYMNASTICS. We have found Michel to be highly professional in all of his dealings with our club. It has been invaluable for us to have access to Michel via email and telephone. He always replies promptly and professionally.
Becoming associated with CHAMPIONS GYMNASTICS has been one of the best investments our club has made.

Pat Lewis/ Chimo Gymnastics Club, Comox, B.C. “”


“” I have had the pleasure of working with Michel Arsenault and Valérie Oudin for the past six months. In that time the development of our athletes and coaches has increased tremendously. Through camps/clinics in our own gym and theirs we have been able to meet our goal of developing a national program.
The CHAMPIONS GYMNASTICS Coaching Academy is professional and I always feel that I am getting exactly what I need. Michel and Valérie have been supportive in giving me the tools I need in order to make the changes in my coaching and our athlete’s programs. They share their knowledge/experience selflessly to improve the quality and safety of gymnastics. Through books, handouts, clinics camps, and conversation I have received clear and applicable knowledge.
The ideas they present are easily implemented into our gym and generally work or are adaptable for all levels, abilities and ages.
The camps we have held in our gym have been so specific to the environment that I have to work in daily. The unique drills, progressions, complexes and programs that were introduced were specifically adapted to work within the limits of our facility/equipment. They are also willing to work with any age, level and abilities, which has helped all of our athletes. We also had the pleasure of having one of their athletes attend a camp (as a demonstrator), which gave us the visual aspect of what it is we are trying to achieve.
The camps held at CHAMPIONS GYMNASTICS have been even more helpful in my development as a national level coach. They provide me and my athletes the facility/environment that allows us to safely progress. We also get the opportunity to see and work with higher level athletes which inspires us to work for our goals.
Every time we leave a camp I have so much confidence that I will be able to make the move into the national stream.
Overall I could not be any happier with the CHAMPIONS GYMNASTICS Coaching Academy, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants measurable improvement in their own gym!

Megan Conway/ Chimo Gymnastics, Comox, B.C.””


“” Dear Michel and Valerie,

I just wanted to say thank you once more for having us come and train with you. I am excited to get back in the gym with my kids and work on the areas that we are weak in (Bars!!! especially). Every time I go to your gym. I am inspired by how much effort, knowledge and dedication you guys put into your gymnasts and into ours for that matter. It is great to know, that as a young coach striving to be better, there are people like you guys out there that are willing to help !

Thanks so much !

Janna Ball/ University of Calgary Gym Club.””

(…) I do realize that this particular program has it’s qualities that other countries share, i.e. TOPS (in the USA) etc. (…) Though the technical aspects of this program have been developed through a collaboration of what other countries are doing, it is you that has been behind the wheel, driving this program for Canada, a country in need for something like this so that we can still compete with the countries with such advantages as larger populations etc.
Our club has “leaped” in progression with talented kids simply enjoying L.E.A.P. events and getting to challenge themselves with a quality base to support any future in gymnastics they might desire. Again thanks…..

Michael Quarress
” The LEAP course, as it always is, was very informative with lots of information to digest in a weekend. I have been involved with this program for many years, so did not struggle with digesting the information but I am sure those who are completely new to the program learnt a lot this weekend. Michel has always been an excellent course conductor and I have always enjoyed his presentations. Not only is he is extremely knowledgeable but he is approachable, open to suggestion and very eager to teach others. The LEAP course also provided an excellent forum to discuss any situations we may have noticed in the past (that left questions in our minds afterwards) while evaluating at LEAP events. This allowed us all to discuss and ensure that we were all on the same page and following the true philosophy of LEAP.”

Heather Luttrell/ Horizon Gymnastics Club

babynasticswaterthemeGerry Prince, Edmonton Sun (February 1, 2004)


Michel Arsenault is looking to live the American Dream in Canada. After nine years at the Ortona Gymnastics Club, Arsenault and his wife, Valerie Oudin, figured it was time for a new challenge.

Moreover, Arsenault and Oudin wanted to work for themselves. Almost two years removed from Ortona, Edmonton’s only Olympic-calibre women’s gymnastic coaches are doing precisely that at Champions Gymnastics.

By Canadian standards, where not-for-profit gymnastics clubs are the rule rather than the exception, the decision to open Champions could be regarded as “thinking outside the box”.

“In the United States, non-profit gyms are very rare,” related the 42-year-old Arsenault. “There’s roughly 4,500 gyms run by the owners and the owners are all coaches. We’re following the American model. It’s becoming more and more popular in Canada, where more and more coaches are starting their own gyms.”

Given Canada’s population is on a par with that of California, “popular” is a relative term. Arsenault estimates there are between 50 and 60 gymnastics operations like Champions in Canada. Roughly one-tenth of that number can be found in Alberta. While not-for-profit gymnastic organizations across Canada continue to produce athletes who compete internationally, Arsenault maintains the traditional gymnastics culture exacts a toll on high-performance coaches.

“Typically, the non-profit employer won’t devote a lot of attention or energy to a coach’s long-term well-being,” he said. “If you’re going to be a high-performance coach and the career of a gymnast lasts 14 years, how can you develop careers if you’re not going to be in the same place 14 years ?

“The relative lack of stability in non-profit organizations is really not good for coaches who want to do this as a career.”


By virtue of training world-class female gymnasts Natasha Hallett and Marleen Lavoie, Arsenault is eminently qualified to talk the talk. Hallett represented Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was coached by Arsenault and Oudin from ’85 to ’93. The duo also spent a decade tutoring Lavoie, who wore the Maple Leaf at both the World Championships and Pan-American Games in ’95. Countless others on the pair’s lengthy list of proteges have competed provincially or nationally.

Although Champions has a scaled-down competitive program for women, the primary focus as well as the operation’s bread and butter at this point is its wide variety of programs. After transforming the one-time spice warehouse into a 10,500-square-foot state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Arsenault admits he didn’t know what to expect when the business first opened its doors in September 2002. Any trepidation he may have had soon disappeared.

“I think it’s like any service-based business,” Arsenault said. “If the market says there is a need for the service you’re providing, it really is a case of ‘build it and they will come.’

“When we opened the door, the phone rang and somebody registered. Then somebody else called and registered. We literally started at zero and now we have 450 members. “We run babynastics up to trampoline and tumbling and straight gymnastics. And there’s boys-only classes and ju-jutsu classes and yoga. The whole gamut of gymnastics is covered.

“Then there’s what I call our secondary programs. Birthday parties and school field trips are taking off like crazy.”

Now that Champions is off the ground, Arsenault is laying the groundwork for Phase II of his long-range business plan, which calls for expansion of the current facility. In addition to doubling the size of Champions gymnasium, Arsenault may entertain franchising the business across Canada.

The more immediate goal remains a presence on the national scene, but that won’t happen overnight.

“Competitive gymnastics is a by-product of doing a good job with your little ones,” Arsenault observed. “We don’t have a (fully integrated) competitive program here yet because we are developing from the base.

“We’re not rebuilding because there is nothing to rebuild. Basically, we’re starting from scratch. Within three years, we’re going to be back, full-fledged, on the scene nationally.” Despite making sacrifices and coping with the challenges that come with blazing a new trail, Arsenault and Oudin are well on the way to living their ultimate dream.

“If you’re a career coach, you have no choice but to eventually consider going into business,” he said. “If you do it too late in life, you just don’t have the energy.

“It takes a lot of work. And we have had to go through the same things any other business has to go through. But right now we’re on a profit-making basis.