This is a question that both myself and Faith, our coach development director have been getting asked a lot recently.
And for good reason. Hardly a day passes without the announcement of another race being cancelled or postponed. There exists an uncertainty about almost everything right now that makes committing to anything seem like a gamble. As such, it is very difficult to pull the trigger to start a coaching business with no races for athletes to train for. I get it – 100%!
Two facts to consider:
- Races are not happening right now
- Race will happen in the future
Based on these facts, there are two ways to proceed. Wait until there is more certainty in the world to start working on building your business or be ready for when races are back on the calendar.
Before we go any further, it must be noted that having races on the calendar is not a prerequisite to having a coach. In fact, if there was ever a time to have a coach, it would be now due to the lack of structure with races.
But I digress…
My answer to the question, “Should I start a coaching business now?” is a resounding “YES!” Here’s why.
- Quality takes time: Sure, you can get a cheap plug-and-play website builder and throw up some race pics and stats about yourself and call it a day – but will this convey your passion for coaching and look like you’re a professional? Likely not.
This pause in racing will allow you to intelligently construct your business without the time demands of acquiring athletes for a specific upcoming race(s).
- Focus on your weaknesses: Like areas that need improvement in your training, when starting a coaching business, you’ll have areas that you won’t know much about and are unsure of. They might be business specific such as website development, or coach specific such as the construction of training programs. This time period affords you the opportunity to focus on learning about these areas to ensure that the finished product – your coaching business – is as high quality as possible!
So whether it be learning about search engine optimization, networking with local bike shops or enrolling in a running coach certification, now is the time learn and expand your horizons.
- Upcoming demand: Not only are thousands of existing athletes chomping at the bit to toe the start line again, but as is reflective of bike and shoe sales during the pandemic, a lot of people have taken up running and cycling during this time period. As gyms and public parks are/were closed, a lot of people have turned to running and cycling get out of the house and to keep up their physical and mental health. I have no doubt that a decent percentage of these people will be looking to translate their fitness gained from running and cycling to races. Moreover, these athletes are typically the demographic that are most in need of coaches, as most have no prior experience with training for a race.
Lastly, when races start occurring, athletes that have been exercising throughout the pandemic will likely need guidance on how to parlay their existing fitness levels into realistic race preparation scenarios.
- Extra Income: Assuming you plan to start your coaching business as a side gig to your current job, in this current environment, having an additional income stream is never a bad idea and even better – if it’s one that you’re passionate about!
- Create: During these times, it’s very easy to get stagnant and complacent – both personally and professionally. When everything seems to be at a standstill or regressing, putting your energy and focus on creating a business is both exciting and motivating! Doing so can help to reshape your outlook on your future and help to regain some control during these uncertain times.
While I’m sure I’ve left quite a few other reasons to start a coaching business off the list, these are my top five.
As alluded to earlier in this post, I completely understand the uncertainty about starting a coaching business during these times so if you have any questions about starting a coaching practice, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help.
Rick Prince is the founder/director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science-based endurance sports education company. UESCA educates and certifies running and triathlon coaches (cycling and ultrarunning coming soon!) worldwide on a 100% online platform.
Click here to download the UESCA Triathlon Course Overview/Syllabus
Click here to download the UESCA Running Course Overview/Syllabus