How to start your sports coaching business

Regardless of where you find yourself in your athletic journey, deciding to start a sports coaching business will certainly be a life-changing experience. However, as exciting as this new venture may seem at first, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile, to make it work.

In this article, you’ll find a brief, comprehensive guide to the steps you need to follow — and every detail you need to consider —  in order to launch your sports coaching business on solid footing!

10 Pros of starting a sports coaching business

Before laying the foundations of your fledgling sports coaching business, it’s only natural to consider all those perks it can potentially offer you. And, to be honest, it can be a long list; so, here are some of the obvious ones, to get a taste:

  1. First off, you are your own boss
  2. Lucky you, you have a job you’re passionate about — or, as we often call it, the best job in the world!
  3. You get to help other athletes achieve their goals 
  4. Also, you can choose the athletes you’ll work with
  5. You can operate your business from the comfort of your home; at least, if you decide to take it online
  6. What’s more, if you make a little effort, you can create meaningful connections in the sports community, too; which means more knowledge and new opportunities
  7. With time, you can become an expert in the field; someone that others — both athletes and coaches — turn to, for advice
  8. A sports coaching business doesn’t require very high startup costs; especially if you’ve already gotten your coaching certification(s). But, even if you don’t have a minimum budget to spare, you can always raise the funds required — we’ll get on the funding part, further on
  9. Unlike other businesses, coaching is likely to get you quick results and ROI
  10. And, you can build up your income, as you go

7 Cons of starting a sports coaching business

On the other hand, a sports coaching business isn’t without its drawbacks. To name a few:

  1. First and foremost, a coach has many responsibilities towards their athletes
  2. It is a time-consuming job
  3. The income can be unstable; at least, until you manage to network and establish yourself in the market
  4. Furthermore, it can be difficult to keep athletes motivated over a long period of time (retention)
  5. As a result, churn rates can get high (membership or subscription cancellations). It’s important to focus on your churn rates and trends; so that you can prevent this as much as possible
  6. Sometimes, it can be challenging to find ways to scale your sports coaching business; due to the ever-changing dynamics of the market
  7. Ongoing education on new coaching practices is a must, if you want to be knowledgeable and up-to-date

Are people looking for sports coaching on the internet?

You might not have thought of doing a little research — to see if people are, indeed, looking for a coach online — but, it’s important that you do so. Besides, it will only take a few minutes; just use the autocomplete in a quick search, and voilà — a whole other world of information unfolds. Additionally, you can use Google Trends, for more insights.

Look at your competition

How about competition? Don’t you want to know who you’re up against? Of course you do. You also want to know if they’re monopolizing the market; and, whether you can match their marketing budget. What’s more, having a look at your competition will offer you many insights on what makes them successful (can you beat that?).

Branding a sports coaching business

Your young sports coaching business needs to have a name, right? By all means, when trying to find one, don’t overthink it. Instead, come up with something that has all social handles available; plus, an available website domain that works for you. Keep in mind that getting a domain name is critical in branding your business properly in this day and (digital) age.  

Come up with a tagline for your sports coaching business

Now that you’ve come up with the perfect name for your sports coaching business, it’s time to come up with the perfect tagline for it, too. A tagline is important, because it will tie all the pieces together; that’s why it needs to be catchy — and to the point. 

Oh, and remember to keep it short, it’s a tagline not the story of your life; you’ll have another chance to share your story (see below, “Build your story — with storytelling”). People across the world should be able to instantly understand what you do, and why you do it. Once you come up with one, you can run it by a few of your athletes; see how they respond to it.

Consider your business model

Establishing a business model is essential for the viability and growth of your coaching business. In essence, your business model will serve as an operational framework to help you bring value to your customers. Here are some business model examples to consider:

  • One-off projects (with individual athletes or teams)
  • Pay as you go (time-based or usage-based)
  • Ongoing retention
  • Consultancy

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Funding a sports coaching business

You’ve found a name and a tagline for your business; now, how about funding your business? To help you out, we’ve listed below a few steps you need to follow to fuel your business’s success! 

Define your minimum budget to make it to the other side

All fledgling businesses require a minimum budget to get things going. When defining minimum budget requirements for your sports coaching business, you need to take under consideration — among other things — these, following, points:

  • Business registration/license
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Accounting services
  • Equipment
  • Coaching certification(s)
  • Monthly fixed and variable expenses
  • Everything you’re going to need to launch & grow your business (from the website to all things Marketing — PPC ads, Social Media, etc.), as these things cost
  • An online coaching software solution to streamline your management (Endogusto is your go-to, value-for-money coaching platform)

Raise the funds required

So far so good, but where can you find the budget to jump-start your sports coaching business? Consider the following:

Build your skill set

As an athlete, you may have already gained knowledge in the field of sports; still, do consider getting some training. If anything, coaching training from widely-recognized sports organizations will help you perform better, as a coach. Of course, a coaching certification will also add to your professional credibility. 

Other than that, making the time and effort to develop a wide set of skills will greatly help you market yourself against your competitors. To elaborate, first off, develop skills revolving around business and sports science (your training will help you on the latter); for instance:

  • Understand financials, and make it easy for customers to understand costs and make payments
  • Consider legal matters and liability risks involved in your business
  • Understand human physiology, and the effectiveness of different training methods

In addition, developing some soft skills will definitely make you stand out as an exceptional coach — someone who is:

  • Self-motivated and confident
  • Doer and problem solver
  • Empathic and patient
  • Motivational/Leader
  • Friendly and professional

How to price your services

When it comes to pricing your coaching services, don’t get all worked up; it’s not as complicated as it seems. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Identify and describe your clients (demographics, psychographics, buying power, existing competitive solutions; stuff like that)
  • What is the price sensitivity of your clients?
  • Understand your costs — or cost centers
  • What are your revenue goals?
  • What part — or percentage — of the market can you objectively obtain and serve? (considering your competition)

Calculate your rates

All in all, when you calculate your rates:

  • Come up with a tiered pricing model that makes sense to your clients
  • Differentiate tiers based on customer needs
  • Define a pricing policy to help your athletes eventually overgrow their current subscription plan, creating opportunities for upselling

Also, be clear regarding your payments policy:

  • Will your clients pay you upfront, using web banking, or via a more streamlined method (e.g., Endogusto offers an automated payments system for you to pay for your subscription, as a coach) 
  • How many days do your clients have past due, before your coaching services will no longer be rendered?

Launching a sports coaching business

You’re all set up and it’s time to launch your business, at long last! Read on to find out how to do it the right way!

Build a website

Your website is your business’s home base; your front. It’s where your prospective clients get acquainted with you and your services. Hence, make sure that you build a website that clearly conveys what people can expect from you. It doesn’t have to be fancy; however, do highlight your ‘strong cards’. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to include your certifications and licenses; as well as client testimonials (if you have any). 

A few ideas on where to start building your website include:

Make it user friendly

When you build your website, make sure that it’s user-friendly. It’s a great way to help leads eventually become clients. What does ‘user friendly’ mean? It means that your site should allow people to easily navigate your website and quickly find what they need. Short and sweet does it. But, it also means they should be able to contact you, whenever they decide they want to. To that end, you can use custom forms — based on the context — throughout your site.

Build your story — with storytelling

Storytelling can be a superpower, if you use it right! For this reason, don’t be afraid to put your story out there: Are you a former triathlete or marathoner? Did you manage to overcome some major obstacles in your athletic career? Have you won a challenging competition? Share your story with the world, to set yourself apart, and let prospective clients know why you are the best coach for them. Tell your story in strategic parts of your website, in social media, too; you can also use additional marketing actions to do it — we’ll discuss this further, in the next section of this guide. 

Go public

Once you have built your website nice and tidy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go public to “sell your goods’’. How? In short:

  • Create and publish a press release
  • Add your business to online directories (local and/or international)
  • Create a Facebook page; and, maybe, host an event?
  • Offer discounts to local communities / teams / groups

Growing a sports coaching business

You’ve planted your seeds, now it’s time to grow! Here are some secret ingredients to boost business growth. 

Run “Pay Per Click” Ads (PPC)

If you seek to build brand awareness, and encourage prospective clients to take immediate action, PPC ads can work wonders towards that direction. One of the most popular types of PPC — that you can start using today —  is search engine advertising (e.g., Google Ads). 

Indeed, with a well set up PPC campaign, you can build brand awareness rather quickly; instead of waiting for it to happen organically. It’s relatively easy to set up and track your PPC campaign; but, before you start, you have to think about the goals you want to achieve, using this tool.

Run Social Media Ads

Running Social Media Ads is a quite risky endeavor; yet highly rewarding, if planned right.  That is to say, if you understand what you’re doing with Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads — or any other type of paid media spend — chances are that you’re going to get positive results. If you don’t, well, that’s when it can become risky. Always try to keep an eye on your Social Media budget; otherwise, your spending can easily get off course — especially if you’re just starting to learn the ropes. 

Build a blog section on your website

Building a blog section on your website is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring traffic to your website. Blogging is a boon in disguise, because it has the power to rank your website higher on search engine results pages, with time; thus, it can help you grow your sports coaching business online. In case you’re wondering what articles to write, just keep things simple; and, most of all, useful:

  • How-Tos for sports gear and software used
  • Tips and tricks for performance and efficiency
  • Educational content on fundamental concepts

Improve your SEO — you may need an expert

SEO requires a lot of hard work to get those pages ranking (it may require work off your website, too); and, of course, keep them there. To become successful with your SEO, you need to be focused on turning your online leads into clients; maybe, to the point of obsession 😄 — at least, until you get the hang of it. 

A few good practices include narrowing things down to your sport niche, and trying to use long-tail keywords. You don’t need to be a tech expert to sufficiently reach your sport’s SEO goals, but if you think you can’t handle it, turn to an SEO expert to help you out.

Work with influencers — perhaps, on Instagram?

Why not promote your sports coaching business through a known athlete in your sport? By all means, Influencer Marketing can be a very effective way to promote your business online. OK, you may not be able to afford the swanky mega-influencer yet, but you can always find micro-, or mid-tier influencers, whose rates per post may be more affordable; and, who may also have hundreds of thousands, or millions, of followers to promote your content to. 

Use “goodies” or utilities to grow your email list

At first thought, it may not seem like it, but Email Marketing is very effective for:

  • reaching a targeted audience in real-time, 
  • engaging — and staying in contact — with them, and 
  • building brand awareness. 

That said, there’s a pretty good chance that building an email list will get you your business clients, sooner or later. But, how do you collect those emails? Easy! Before getting them to offer you their email, you need to offer a little something, first; like:

  • Calculator for any aspect of training; say, their threshold levels
  • Voucher or coupon for their subscription to your services
  • Training plans for simpler goals, that will allow them to see the value of your services

Send periodic emails

When you manage to gather some email addresses, make sure to be consistent with your emails or newsletters; both in frequency and style. In order to make Email Marketing work for you, you need to:

  • Use branded emails
  • Use a personal tone in your emails
  • Make sure you’ve added your information and an “unsubscribe link” in every case

Do group events and giveaways 

Why ‘waste your time’ in group events and giveaways? Simply put, both are great for improving your brand image. On one hand, running group events will allow people to get to know your services; and you, as a coach. On the other hand, giveaways will probably make your potential clients think positively of your brand; therefore, make them more likely to consider you, over a coach who hasn’t taken the time to approach them this way.

Running your sports coaching business

You’ve probably realized, by now, that starting a sports coaching business feels a lot like competing in the Full-Distance Triathlon, or even running an Ultramarathon; and you’d be right! Be that as it may, you’ve come a long way, and now you’re confronted with the challenge of keeping together everything you’ve managed to build. 

So, let’s discuss how you can step up your game, and scale up your sports coaching business.

Leverage customer retention

You’ve worked hard to bring people to trust you enough to hire you as their coach. What an honor — way to go! At this point, you need to ensure that you maintain a good flow in your recurring subscriptions or payments — up to the point that you can cope efficiently; and that your current clients are happy with your services. That makes for some solid customer retention. And, you know what they say, right? Happy means referrals.

Offer top notch customer service

When you reach the top, don’t rest on your laurels; you need to stay on that top — and, why not, go even further. For some people, the sky’s not the limit 😉. What do we mean by that? Only that you keep your clients happy, no matter what! Remember, happy clients, means:

  • Retention
  • Referrals
  • Growth

Attract referrals

Speaking of referrals, don’t hesitate to harness the power of ‘Word of Mouth’ to attract even more potential clients. In other words, find ways to use your athletes as ambassadors, to attract new referrals. Besides, your athletes know you, as a coach, better than anyone; and, that includes how you can help athletes achieve their goals.

Hire more people, for different roles in your sports coaching business

When you’ve reached that point where your sports coaching business is outgrowing you, it’s time to start hiring people who can take on different roles within your business; for instance:

  • Assistant coach
  • Physiology expert
  • Sales representative
  • Nutritionist
  • Digital Marketing specialist (to run your paid media campaigns, (sometimes) manage your social media accounts, etc.)


As you enter this new chapter in your life, bear in mind that you’re one of many sports coaching business owners who are fighting for the attention of athletes. For this reason, you need to go above and beyond, to stand out from the throngs of coaches swarming the screens of prospective clients. To achieve that, remember everything we’ve discussed in this brief guide, and try to do your best to apply them properly, every time. 

For your business to start generating revenue and scaling up, it’s important that you continue to foster strategic practices. Just as you would do as an athlete, with your preparation for — and participation in — demanding sports events. Because, this is indeed another endurance race; probably the most challenging one you’ve ever completed in; but it’s so worth it! 
Put all your effort and positive attitude in your business; rest assured that it will start paying off, eventually. And, since you’re going to need all the help in the world in your sports coaching journey, make a good start with the most coach-friendly platform, Endogusto ✌!

Try Endogusto!

How to start your sports coaching business was last modified: August 2nd, 2022 by Eleni Konstantinidou