Coaches for high schools and teams need specialists…
by Ryan Ketchum
The biggest obstacle that arises with youth fitness and sports performance coaches and business owners seems to be figuring out a way to gain the approval and access to high school or team coaches. Honestly, 99% of you are probably doing it the wrong way. If you laid out your plan of attack (this is exactly how it will be taken by the coach) for working with the team or the coach’s athletes I would bet that for almost all of you it is being done the wrong way, ineffectively and you are running into a lot of dead ends and bruised relationships.
The problem with most of coaches and business owners is placing too large of an emphasis on getting the coach to let you work with the athletes right away or trying to get paid to train the team. I hate to break it to you but unless you are well known in your community for training high level and well respected athletes, have a pervious relationship with the coach or can sell a ketchup popsicle to a lady in a white dress you are not going to have any success in getting your foot in the door.
Here is your five step process to working with teams and getting coaches to give you your seal of approval:
Disclaimer: This is not a get paid quick or only work a few hours a day plan. This will require patience, effort and some ground work. If that isn’t something you are willing to do I encourage you to stop reading now as it will be a waste of your time.
Step 1: The first thing that you should do is look at your current athletes and your networking list. I know it seems obvious, but most people try to skip this step. Make a list of all the coaches that you already know, people that might know coaches you want to work with and a list of all your current athlete coaches.
The list of your current athlete coaches are the easiest to get in touch with, so start there!
Step 2: Set aside some time each day to make phone calls. Do not email, do not send letters and brochures, and certainly don’t send marketing material to the coaches.
One this phone call your main goal is to start building a relationship with the coach and get him or her to let their guard down a bit. The call to your current athletes’ coaches should be focused on finding out what the coach feels the individual athlete needs to improve on and what type of training they think will help the athlete succeed in their upcoming season or get better in the off season.
I know what you are thinking…. These coaches don’t know what they are talking about and probably will give me terrible training advice.
You are probably right! However you need to let them tell you what they think and start to build the relationship. If you ask them what they think they will feel as if they are giving advice and feel like the expert. This is important to get them to let you into the inner circle of coaches that you so desperately want to be involved in.
Step 3: Once you have the advice given by the coach you will ask if they have to meet so you can talk training and find out more about what they are doing and what trends they see in these athletes. Take them to coffee or lunch, invite to a training session, simply find a way to get in front of them.
During your conversations you will work hard to ask the right questions to find out what they are good at in their training and what they are lacking in providing to their athletes. The goal is to find an area that you have a lot of expertise in and that will add value to having you work with their athletes.
Step 4: After you have built up the relationship and you have found your “in” (the area that you are strong in and the coach is lacking) you will leverage your skill set!
Offer to come in during one of their workouts to help with a short 60-90 minute clinic on the area of you have the most traction in for their athletes.
This might be Olympic Lifting, Resistance Band Speed Training, Agility Training, or any other number of areas. Invite the other coaches to come to the training session so that you can help them with coaching cues and teach them how to get the most out of their athletes when you aren’t around.
You will do all of this for FREE!
The keys to this being successful are free, you will do all of this for FREE!
The keys to this being successful are free, you go to them, and finding an activity or skill set that you are very strong in and the coaches are weak in.
Step 5: Deliver an amazing clinic for the athletes and let the coach know right before you start that you would like to invite any of the players that would like to attend to a 6 week training program for the skill set you are teaching. Let them know it will be highly discounted and you just want to have the chance to help out the athletes further. You can also offer a trial or other program if you feel that is a better fit.
You must ask for the coach’s permission before doing this or you will burn the bridge you worked hard to build.
Once you get the kids in the door follow up with the coach let them know each athlete’s progress and keep them in the loop.
Bonus Step: If you really want to take your business to the next level you will call the coach 3 days after you perform the clinic and ask how the athletes and other coaches are doing with the new skills and coaching cues that they learned.
When you get a positive response you should ask the coach to put you in contact with other coaches in the same school or organization so that you can do the same thing. This will allow you to work through an entire school’s athletic department with relative ease and have access to hundreds of athletes.
This process will work with cold calling coaches as well, but the initial contact becomes a little tougher. Make it easy on yourself and go with low hanging fruit!
Give this system a try and let us know how it works.