The days are shorter, the wind is blowing harder, snow is falling, the darkness is taking over. . . This can only mean one thing — winter is coming.
For many sports, the winter is off-season. It's too cold and there's too much snow or rain to be outside. However, does that mean the coaching stops? Absolutely not.
"I think that in today's day in age, because of technology there should not be an off season, unless you want to have an off season — meaning, unless you want to do a different sport, or have some recovery time away from that activity as an athlete," CoachNow Founder and GM, Spencer Dennis says. "But, you have the potential now to have year round improvement."
Online lessons vs. Remote coaching
Even though your regular season is over, or coming to an end, there is still a way to continue coaching athletes through their off season — even if you do not see them in person. Here at CoachNow, we like to call that remote coaching. Remote coaching is different than an online lesson. With an online lesson, coaches are able to charge to do a quick "fix" to an athlete's swing, to their jump, to their weightlifting or whatever technical move it may be, yet that doesn't help the athlete's journey.
Online lessons don't offer a relationship and they don't give the opportunity for growth — it's a one-time exchange that gives no true benefit. Whereas a remote coaching relationship allows for the coach to get a history of the athlete's journey, understanding what their goals are and they are able to fully take the information in and build them a coaching program. This coaching relationship can extend past the off season and last three to six months or even indefinitely.
The business side
Now let's get into the nitty-gritty. When it comes to the business side of online lessons versus remote coaching, online lessons are not where the money is at. Charging $50 or even $100 per fix won't get you to reach your business goals.
"With remote coaching, it's an opportunity for these coaches to charge $100, $300, $500 a month per athlete to have a deeper, more long term coaching relationship," Dennis says. "Some people may even charge by the year. There's an opportunity to package this remote coaching in addition to an in person experience. Now, not only are you paying me for my in-person time, but you're paying me for all of these in-between connections and that's when you're able to charge for a subscription of coaching, versus by the hour or by the interaction."
The transition period from season to remote coaching may be tough, but Dennis recommends packaging your expertise. This means find your "hook" and combine it with your story and sell that. For example, fitness trainers can say "lose 50 pounds in 30 days" and tell their weight loss story, and that's their expertise package.
"Every sport has a niche within it that people are going to be excited about," says Dennis. "If you can understand your hook, and tell your story of how you can get someone through that, or how you've gotten other people through that, and then package up a really sweet offer at the end of that, to not only your services but hopefully other things that make you stand out. If you can do that clearly on your marketing pages, then you have an opportunity to walk people down this buying path to where not only they will see you in person, but you've created such a thing that will allow them to see you all year round."
Keeping your income consistent may be tough, but the answer could be simple. There's no need to stress yourself out by taking on too many athletes or offering random hooks that aren't your specialty. Dennis recommends offering two levels of membership to your remote coaching program — a group format for a lower price, and an individual format for a higher price.
For the group, you can charge something like $60 a month to be part of your coaching community that you can create within CoachNow's team feature. This is a place where people can submit questions, search for advice or anything it may be, in a group setting where people can collaborate. As the coach, you can respond with helpful tips, share insightful articles, motivational photos, correct technique, etc. This can potentially be really beneficial for your business. Let's say you have 100 people paying you $60 a month for this community — that's now $6,000 a month strictly through remote coaching in a group setting, not even including your individual remote coaching.
Using CoachNow for remote coaching
In a completely unbiased (yet, secretly biased. . .) opinion, CoachNow is the best tool for remote coaching. There are many tools out there that are pure video analysis tools, and those work for online lessons, but not remote coaching.
CoachNow focuses on the building the coach-athlete relationship. This is good for remote coaching because it makes coaching more meaningful and long-lasting, and it focuses on every aspect of media rather than just video analysis. You are able to share video, photo, audio files and PDFs to share with your athlete — all within one distraction free space — to help them improve.
"If you're the type of person who wants to be a more holistic coach, and actually deliver remote coaching, you're going to need a platform that facilitates the different ways that people want to communicate, and the different types of media and data, and that is where CoachNow plays very nicely because we can house a lot of different media types that coaches may want to use," says Dennis. "You need a place where you can put everything, track it and collaborate around it, and that is where CoachNow is the leader in that. We have coaches that use our app from all around the world because of those things."