Should You Outsource Your Coach Development?

About the Author

Chet Morjaria

Being a fitness facility owner is an incredibly challenging vocation. You need pretty-damn-decent skills in pretty-much-everything from coaching to programming, and from business development to team development.
The team development piece is particularly interesting. Team development in most small businesses is tricky enough, but in fitness businesses, even more so. Because it’s not just about teaching work skills to your team. It’s about teaching your team how to coach others. Teaching the mechanics of movement is one thing. Teaching how to teach is something else. That’s a whole different ball game, and it’s where most internal coach development programmes fall down. 
Most coach development programmes are focused 80% on movement mechanics and 20% on the art of coaching. If this is true for your coach development programme, you’re not alone, and it’s totally understandable. Teaching mechanics is relatively universal and straightforward to systemise and scale. But this is not reflective of what is required. We know that in truth, coaching is only 20% mechanistic, and 80% humanistic. Ask yourself this: does your coach education genuinely mould your coaches into the shape you want them to be, and how you want them to interact with your members?
Teaching those who coach others how to actually coach in a humanistic-centered manner is what I have been doing for a long time. These days, I work with a number of busy and successful gym owners around the UK by handling part or all of their internship programme or coach development programme through Strength Education. It’s is a simple, and smooth process which saves you time and resources, whilst giving your interns and coaches a top-class education. And I’d like to share some thoughts on this with you.

“But I Need to Do My Coach Development In-House”

Understandably, many business owners have hesitations in handing over some or all of their coach development. Here are a few hesitations that I commonly hear, and my experience on what’s behind them:
Outsourcing is a cop out, I do everything in-house

Outsourcing is certainly not inherently bad. I’ve written before on whether you should outsource your programming. As long as you are purposeful and considered in your decision, then it’s a meaningful one for you. And here’s something to help you decide – it should be right for the coaches, the business, and the members.

If you are struggling to spend time on your coach development programme itself, never-mind systemising, documenting, and evaluating it, then consider getting coach development professionals to help you. Coaching is a profession, and training others up to become coaches should not be taken lightly.

I want my coaches to teach my way, so I need to teach them in-house
Do you really? Because I don’t.
I don’t want any of the coaches I teach to coach how I coach. I want them to understand the principles of strength, movement, and coaching, and then develop their own coaching style. No one is trying to create coaching robots here – you need a mix of coaching personalities and styles for your members and clients to connect with.
And I don’t want any of the coaches to teach what I teach either. I want them to take what I teach them and integrate it into their own coaching ideas, and the collective coaching framework of the coaching team.
A team of empowered coaches is a powerful coaching team.
I can’t afford to pay for my coaches to go on courses or a development programme

Then don’t. There are many creative, cost-effective, supportive, and mutually beneficial ways you can help your coaches with their coach development. The facility owners we work with use varied approaches.

The most effective options I’ve encountered include:  

  • Paying for the base development for all coaches with further CPD to be covered by each coach.
  • Matching the contribution of the coaches up to a certain limit.
  • Providing the coaches the option of an interest free loan.
  • Tying in future pay increases to CPD completed.
  • Making the course a compulsory part of the development programme.
I can help you figure out the best option for you, your coaches, and your business. Get in touch, and we can talk it through.

Coaching Is Your Lifeblood

Coaching IS what you and your team do. It’s your main service, your point of contact with your paying members, and your differentiator. However you choose to move forward with your coach development programme – make sure it is purposeful for all, brings sustainability to your business and life as a business owner, and provides opportunities for progression both for the coaches and for the business.

Because that’s what truly powerful coach development will do.


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