It is common, especially amongst newer coaches, to feel a sense of ownership over ‘trade secrets’ and ideas. After all, your athletes are paying you to make them better than the rest of the field, right? From this ownership grows a sense of distrust and isolation towards other coaches. I have even heard of a coach essentially asking their athlete to sign an NDA to protect their intellectual property. The message was clear, their coaching = their trade secrets.
The reality simply is, unless they are coaching their athletes to do something illegal, there isn’t very much to hide in terms of the actual science of coaching. Coaching principles are by and large, well known. They stem from well-documented scientific studies, which, to be ethical, need to be public & published to some degree. At the end of the day, there are only so many ways to set 5x400m in the pool!
Defining the Art of Coaching
That being said, the dose of training you set and the subsequent desired training effect won’t be the same for every athlete, so there is a level of finesse and personalization, unique to each individual coach. That, combined with the intuition, relationship and the tone you use yields the true “art of coaching.”
Take the 5x400m in the pool example. Where you put this workout, in a specific athlete’s training plan, makes a difference. Before, or after a speed workout? Before a long bike? Should it be on the back of a technical set? These decisions yield varying results, so your knowledge base and experience is key.
Secondly, given all that, how you deliver the session makes such a difference to each athlete. Do they respond better to an empowering, challenging, forceful, or gentle delivery? It’s up to you to discern this information for each athlete. Your unique communication style isn’t repeatable by a third party. Therefore, why hide behind your wall?
So, Why Collaborate?
Why not take the opportunity to share your knowledge within your coaching community. You will not only gain the satisfaction of helping others but you will also gain unique tips and tricks to add to your own business.
Not sold yet? Here are five reasons why collaborating with other coaches is essential:
- Be Better Together! Let’s be honest, we can’t be good at everything as a coach. We should lean on each other to share information to fill our personal knowledge gaps in order to help out athletes to the best of our ability.
- Get Specific! Rather than trying to be a Jack-of-All-Trades Coach, find those that truly specialize in a specific aspect of sport such as swim breath control, strength technique or even nutrition and work with them to get the essential details you’re looking for.
- Incorporate new ideas! If a fellow coach has a specific service that you don’t provide, learn from them and consider offering that to your athletes.
- Build it into your business plan! Working with these coaches and introduce them to your current athletes by offering their services as an add-on or including them on a Zoom Chat to chat with your team.
- Create Content! Conduct an interview or write a blog post with them to be featured on each other’s social platforms in order to cross-promote.
So, why all the secrecy? There is no formula other than to work hard consistently in order to generate performance! Athletes stay with their coach because of the performance they attain and the relationship they have with the coach. Keep improving the two, and your business will be safe. In other words, the workouts you add to their training plan is not even half of the equation. When you set that perfect dose of training and deliver the message clearly, in your own voice, the magic of your unique coaching shines through. If the athlete wanted just the sessions, they would’ve just bought a training plan.