8+1 tips to being a successful endurance coach

Endurance athletes may want to become coaches for many reasons; however, most share the desire to become better — if not (among) the best — at their sport, and help other athletes achieve their goals. Yet, to become a successful endurance coach is a struggle; especially for those who are just starting out. Indeed, coaching full-time is a serious commitment that presents many challenges along the way. 

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know, to become the coach you dream of.

9 tips to become a successful endurance coach

Working on the business aspect of a coaching business may be exciting for some coaches; for others, it may be a pain in the neck. Whichever category you fall into, below you’ll find some tips that will help you establish and grow your business properly; as you welcome more athletes onboard, that is. All of that, regardless if you’re into running, cycling, swimming or anything else, of course.

1. Write down your vision, first

Many coaches do not think this is important, but if you want to become a successful endurance coach, don’t make the mistake of omitting it. Writing down your vision is essential; it will help you become — or remain — focused, and keep inspired towards achieving your goals. Besides, you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, right?

2. Plan your road map; jot down a business plan

Planning your road map is pretty much like planning the training program of an athlete: You create a macrocycle, and then break it down to meso- and microcycles, add in a progressive training load strategy, and pin specific goals for each session and phase. In your business plan, too, you need to get the greater picture; and break it down into bits that will help you get where you want, without losing your way.

To help things out, here are the essentials to create a proper road map and business plan:

  • Set your goals — be as specific as you can
  • Add details on how you’ll get there — this will help clarify things
  • Timebox your efforts — if you don’t, you might drift away from your path
  • Define what success looks like — you need to be able to measure the results of each effort
  • Always have a contingency plan — that is, having a plan B; an alternative approach, if something goes wrong

3. Develop your mission statement and define your character

Your mission statement should describe what you do, how you do it and for whom, in tandem with your values, as a coach; all, in an action-oriented manner. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself, as you’re developing your mission statement:

What is your mission? 

Describe your values, as a coach, in an action-oriented manner. Prospective clients should be able to understand what you do, and why. Also, you may want to ask yourself here:

  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What are you doing for each type of stakeholder?

How do you conduct business?

This is the ‘defining your character’ part. This has to do with your overall attitude, how you talk to people, how you handle requests or problems; and, of course, how fast and well you respond.

How will you bring joy to your customers? 

Answer this correctly, and you’ll have clients that will stick with you; you’ll also have new ones knocking at your door, without much effort (that’s the power of Word of Mouth). 

4. Define your unique value proposition

To become a successful endurance coach, first, you need to define what makes your small business stand out from other similar businesses. Ask yourself: 

  • Why, and how are you different from other endurance coaches
  • Also, why should an athlete choose you as their coach

In fact, this is what business people might call a ‘brand asset’; the real reason why someone will choose your services over a competitor’s.

5. Describe your service and its benefits

Next, you should describe how your business brings value to your clients; what benefits they enjoy. Don’t worry about boxing yourself into a limited set of services, in the beginning. You can always enrich your services as your business evolves and grows. 

6. Plan your finances before you start your business as an endurance coach

Planning your finances carefully, before you start your business, is of utmost importance. You don’t want to fall into a black hole of debt, do you? Therefore, be prepared to answer tough questions, like: 

  • How much funding do you need to get started? 
  • What will be your costs?
  • Will you have tax deductions?
  • How much do you need to break even?

7. Define your pricing approach and structure your billing process

After you’ve planned your finances, it’s time to price your services and structure your billing process. But before you do, have a good look at the market; see what other endurance coaches are charging. Mind you, since you’re new to this, you might need to set a lower price to allure prospective clients; thus, establishing your brand faster. Nonetheless, your pricing should not be too low; or else your business may not be viable after a while.

8. Build customer relationships and use a CRM to track them

When it comes to organizing — even automating — many of the activities connected to your athletes, a reliable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system comes in handy.  Although you can do without a CRM platform, at least at the start, keep in mind that it’s a great pre-sales tool; and, it can also provide top-quality after-sales support. 

Here are a few examples of CRMs that can fit the bill, in case you want to start your research with: 

9. Mind your legal matters and potential liabilities as an endurance coach

Last but not least, take the time to connect with a lawyer and insurance agent, to make sure you and your business are protected. On one hand, a lawyer should help you:

  • align with every legal requirement
  • avoid the legal red tape involved in any trademarked or patented methods or assets
  • protect patented technology, if any
  • arrange activities that fall under different legislation, in different States

On the other hand, an insurance agent will have your back, should something happen to one of your athletes; be it injury, overtraining syndromes or anything of consequence, related to your services. By all means, you need to be protected against liability. Also, they may help you develop an insurance policy; and/or release forms for your athletes to sign, when they start working with you.

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Successful endurance coaches are mentally unshakeable

You know, all too well, perhaps, that mental stamina goes hand in hand with endurance sports; and running a business, small as it may be, is like running a Marathon. So, in order to become a successful endurance coach, you have to be prepared for everything. All sorts of challenges will catch up with you, eventually; don’t take anything for granted, and don’t lose heart. 

Know that there isn’t a single successful coach that hasn’t built mental toughness to endure their coaching journey. When it’s easier to quit, find your determination and perseverance to push harder toward your goals. After all, it’s a matter of muscle memory; if everyone else can do it, why wouldn’t you?

8+1 tips to being a successful endurance coach was last modified: August 1st, 2022 by Eleni Konstantinidou