New online Wellteam community builds better habits for blokes
In building an online destination that would help men improve their health and wellbeing, Troy Flower had several mandatories.
First, there would be no finger-wagging, no telling men what they shouldn't be doing to lead healthier lives. He also wanted to make his program accessible, fun, and interactive. Most importantly, he wanted to give men a place to connect with others and find ongoing support and camaraderie.
"We are trying to remove every barrier," says Troy, the founder of Wellteam, which he describes as "a movement that's out to inspire and guide men to live their best lives."
Wellteam is the culmination of his work in multiple disciplines: sports science, design thinking, entrepreneurship, marketing, communications, and sales.
Troy and his wife Sonia were motivated to focus their efforts on helping men after her father's death by suicide and the near-fatal attempt by Troy's father to end his life.
They built the first version of Wellteam in October 2020 and recently relaunched the platform with backing from investors in India.
Troy is not out to lure men with a snappy advertising campaign or to lecture them about 'bad habits.'
Instead, his goal is to motivate them towards small wins and to create a community of one million members globally with customised programs and incentives for showing up.
"Wellteam pioneered a process called Micro-Habit Compounding TM using the latest mind and body hacks to drive changes with minimal effort and time," he says.
Every time a bloke ticks off an activity on their program, they get points. These appear on a national and global leaderboard (if they have elected to do so), or men can create private groups with mates. Once they earn 1000 points, they get a free Wellmen t-shirt.
"You create your own playbook," says Troy. "We don't focus on negative behaviours. We don't talk about cigarettes or alcohol. Instead, we set a challenge to go a day drinking water only."
Troy Flower (front) on a walk with Wellteam members.
Nor are participants encouraged to focus on weight. "Weight is a terrible indicator of whether you're happy," he says. At the same time, men are likely to drop kilos by virtue of earning points and advancing up the leaderboard. For example, activities for developing better sleep habits include setting a regular bedtime, turning off screens an hour before hitting the sack, and staying cool under the covers.
Some are bite-sized hacks, such as 'stretch, push up,' – others are more challenging, like fasting for a day or eating a light meal.
Membership to Wellteam is $29.50 a month, but men (and women if they choose to join) can take a 14-day free trial with no credit card numbers requested in the early stages of signing up. Men take WellTeam's eight-minute health and wellbeing assessment, which gives them a free report on the areas they might want to focus on and how to customise their program, choosing activities or hacks they like the sound of.
The Wellteam program includes weekly 45-minute zoom sessions, where participants discuss how they are going and how to tackle specific hacks. "A lot of what happens in regular personal training sessions is intimidating," says Troy. "We try to minimise imagery of idealised men. We are not trying to set men up to fail."
Wellteam starts with an eight-minute stocktake and customisable program.
The Wellteam community has started to connect in other ways, with regular walks in South Australia and a Himalayan Expedition planned for later in the year.
Troy's deeper purpose is to prevent suicide and chronic diseases among men by creating a positive, supportive community that encourages healthy habits and small wins.