CoachNow Blog

"What's The Biggest Mistake You've Seen Coaches Make? AMA 3/23/23

Every week, we get hundreds of questions from around the world about how to use the platform effectively.

In our new "Ask Me Anything" series, we will be compiling these most common questions and posing them to Spencer Dennis, the founder of CoachNow.

This week's AMA covers a range of topics, from the biggest mistake coaches make, to how to effectively coach in a remote environment.

Watch the full video or read the full transcript below.


What’s the biggest mistake that coaches make? If you could answer the question: ‘What are Coaches Doing Wrong’, what would you say?

Well, as someone who has been in the coaching industry for a long time, I have to say that there are quite a few things that frustrate me. But if I had to pick two mistakes that coaches make, the first one would be using too many communication tools. Coaches end up being at the mercy of their athletes when they use email, text, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other channels to send basic messages.

If the message is important and needs to be tracked and collaborated on, it should live in one unified space. While a quick scheduling change might be appropriate for a text message, it's essential to have a centralized location for important coaching content. CoachNow is an excellent option for capturing and organizing coaching content, but even if you don't use CoachNow, please avoid using it as one of many channels.

The other mistake that coaches make is selling time for money instead of selling results. I cannot stress this enough. Please focus on selling results instead of units of time. We have plenty of content on this topic if you want to know more, and I will continue to emphasize it until everyone stops making this mistake.

We know it’s a buzzword, but what does ‘remote coaching’ actually MEAN to you?

I believe we actually came up with the phrase "remote coaching" because we've been doing it for over 10 years now. People were initially interested in online training, specifically online lessons. However, we always had an issue with the idea of lessons. As I mentioned earlier, I advocate for moving into a coaching relationship, which can be done remotely.

Remote coaching doesn't necessarily mean it's entirely online. We take it a step further and call it connected coaching because you may meet with someone in person once a week or month, but what about the rest of the time? You still need to stay connected to coach them effectively.

So whether you're working with someone from a distance or just using remote coaching to stay connected in between in-person sessions, it's still coaching. It's not just about giving quick one-off lessons where you criticize their movement or swing. You need to create a plan to help them improve and move forward, and you can do that remotely.

How do you determine the correct price for your coaching services?

Sure, there are many good examples of coaches who have 50, 60, 70, and even 100% of their business purely remote. For instance, Andrew Banner, a golf coach, whom I interviewed not too long ago, has almost 99% of his business remotely. He gets people into three-month programs, and I think he charges about $1,500 total for that commitment, which is around $500 per month.

The reason why he prices it that way is that he requires a minimum three-month commitment, and people aren't going to make changes in any less time than that. Also, the price is high enough to ensure that people will pay attention and take accountability for their actions. Remote coaching only works when both parties are committed to it, and the athlete needs to be capturing their practice and asking questions.

When it comes to pricing your services, you can have an intro, medium, and professional tier, with the professional tier being the most interactive and offering practice plans and fitness plans. The beginning plan may involve assessments of your technique, with the athlete mainly doing self-guided practice, but they do have access to journaling through CoachNow.

As for pricing, you should consider what your minimum interactions will be and what other value you will offer to that particular athlete. In my opinion, if you're in the US, you shouldn't charge less than $175 a month for your services.

How do you create accountability as a remote coach?

To create accountability for athletes as a remote coach, it's important to establish the minimal level of accountability upfront. This means being direct with your expectations and making it clear that participation and ownership are required. For example, you can ask your athletes to make three posts a week, one with their thoughts for the week, one with a swing video, and one with some fitness or exercise content. It's crucial to establish this content mechanism as part of your offer. Without it, your offer won't be complete.

So, to summarize, as a remote coach, make sure to set expectations upfront and establish a system for accountability that involves both you and your athletes.

What Was Your Main Motivation for Creating CoachNow?

The inspiration for creating CoachNow is rooted in my own experience of burning out as a coach. I was coaching for 40-50 hours a week, and then spending another 40-50 hours a week communicating with athletes when we weren't together. Despite charging hundreds of dollars an hour, my effective hourly rate was only 10 dollars an hour. This was not sustainable, and I knew that there had to be a better way to communicate with my athletes.

I tried various methods, including email, text, and doctor collaboration platforms, but none of them worked. I had all this media and data and communications scattered everywhere and nowhere. My business was not working, and I was completely burnt out. It was clear that I needed the right kind of technology to help me communicate more efficiently.

I teamed up with some good friends who were in the world of technology, and we launched what was originally called EduFi. While there were many challenges along the way, we were able to build a platform that could help coaches communicate more effectively with their athletes.

One of the main things I learned from this experience is the importance of taking action on your ideas. When I was talking to coaches in the early days of EduFi, many of them said they had similar ideas but never acted on them. If you have an idea and you are the most passionate and frustrated person in your industry, run with that idea. It might sound weird, but the more pissed off you are, the better. You'll probably create something magical. But if you are apathetic and just think it would be nice if things were different, you're not going to make any waves.

Even today, 10 years after launching CoachNow, I am still frustrated with the coaching industry and believe there is much work to be done. But I am proud of the impact we have had so far, and I believe that technology can continue to revolutionize the way coaches communicate with their athletes.

What’s the Road Map for CoachNow PRO?

As of March, we've just released view data or post data, which allows coaches to see who's seen their posts and how many people have seen them. We're planning to expose more information about specific posts, which will help coaches understand if anyone is actually looking at their content. This feature is only available for our PRO members.

Moving forward, as part of our PRO membership, we're planning to add more data, automation, and AI-related features. While the AI features won't be perfectly baked in just yet, we're excited about the possibilities that it can bring. Overall, our goal is to help coaches save even more time and create more revenue streams through the PRO membership. We'll share more details about these features in the future, but that's a quick overview of what's coming up.

What do you see as the most underutilized feature in CoachNow?

I believe that the most underutilized feature of CoachNow is actually just using it. People need to use it if they want it to work. I remember doing an interview with a great hockey coach named Riley Duar, and you were actually on that call. When I asked him for his best advice for CoachNow, he simply said to just use it. And he's absolutely right.

There are a ton of features you could use, but at the very least, you should be capturing a recap of each coaching session and posting it into your athlete's space. If you're not doing that, you're not really using CoachNow. So my advice would be to make sure you're posting something from each coaching session, and at least checking in once a week with your athletes. You can do this individually or in a list.

Power users are fully aware of all the features available in CoachNow, but if you're new or still on the fence about it, my advice is to just start using it. As you go along, you'll figure out all the other features and capabilities it offers.
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