This blog was really how I ended up getting my start in coaching. In the early days of this blog I documented my goal of running a sub 1:40 half marathon the year I turned 40. I talked about my training, my diet, things I loved. It was essentially an online diary. I crushed that sub 1:40 goal and ran a 1:35. That was in 2011. In 2012, I had a very successful year of racing, either winning my AG, or the overall masters title at several different races. I was a self coached athlete at the time and I had put a lot of focus on strength training and speed work. I talked about this often in the blog and on Instagram. I did a lot of research into structuring a running plan and how to build strength work into it. I firmly believe it was all those early successful races that opened the door to coaching.
I didn't come from an elite level sport background. I played soccer during high school and not at any sort of high level. That was it. Everything I knew about running, I learned through trial and error, reading and talking to other runners. The same with triathlon. I am a student of the sports I love. Plain and simple. At first I had friends ask if I would coach them. So I said sure. It seemed like a natural fit for me. I loved helping people work towards a goal with a solid plan. And that's how it all started.
Before I quit my full time job to pursue coaching full time, there were a few things I did.
1. Get certified. There are plenty of certifications out there, look at one that makes the most sense for you in terms of your goals as a coach. Personally I felt having a certification made me more credible. Certifications also make sure you stay on top of your education and growth as a coach.
2. Figure out what your niche is. Is there something in your sport that you have a lot of experience with or have done a lot of research on? Do people come to you for advice on that particular thing? If so, consider that your niche. Put it out there when you start marketing.
3. Determine your worth. Research other coaches in your area and see what they are offering for what they are charging. I started off a little lower than the going rate in Toronto simply because I was new to the industry. I knew that as my business grew and I learned more, I would bring myself up to the going rate in my area.
4. Utilize social media to get the word out. If you have a blog, blog about it. If you are on Instagram, post about it. I did both things BEFORE I left my full time job so people were aware that I'd be accepting new athletes. Set the stage so people know when you'll be open for business.
5. Build your brand. In the age of social media, this is so important. The internet is filled with potential clients. How will you get them to hire you? Think about ways you can engage with people and share your knowledge. If you are offering something of value, people will follow and potentially become clients.
6. Approach local clubs and see if you can work with them. I coached cycling with the Toronto Triathlon Club for two years. That was additional income over and above my private coaching clients. It got me out of the house and in front of potential new clients. It also helped me get outside my comfort zone and work with a group, which in turn added another piece of knowledge and experience to my coaching.
I can honestly say that getting into coaching was the best career decision I've ever made. I am a "helper" and I always have been. It just took me 45 years to figure out where I was happiest helping and this is it.
If you have any other questions related to coaching that I haven't answered here, don't hesitate to comment or email me. I'm always happy to chat!
Keep on chasing those dreams!
~ Coach PK
|photo courtesy of Edison Yao|