At the end of December 2014, I attended TrainingPeaks University in Boulder, Colorado. While at the conference, I was introduced to the TrainingPeaks Coach Match Service, which was a service I had yet to learn about. Upon further investigation, it was apparent to me that joining the Coach Match panel would be a great opportunity and challenge for me, as well as a way to enhance my growing business. By joining forces with TrainingPeaks, I quickly gained benefits in multiple areas. With the addition of new clients, assistance with billing, raising the bar with my coaching practices and streamlining my processes, the TrainingPeaks Coach Match program has made a very positive impact on me personally, as well as on the success of my business.
Diversity of Clients
I began my company, Big Wheel Coaching, in 2010. Based in Southern California, my pool of potential athletes is vast and the majority of my marketing has been through word of mouth and my own racing. However, working with the Coach Match Service has given me the opportunity to work with athletes I would otherwise have never come in contact with. From California to Ohio to South Africa, I have been matched with athletes based strictly on how we blend on paper. Coaching individuals in different regions and time zones poses unique challenges to creating training plans and generating effective communication. I am now working with athletes who live in metropolitan cities, or deal with extreme weather which has pushed me to learn new methods, study different ways of training, and grow my overall coaching repertoire. I have enjoyed being connected with athletes who have different cycling and training goals as well. Many of my Coach Match clients are training for multi-day charity rides, 100 plus mile road events, or are focused on creating a healthy lifestyle through cycling. The challenge of preparing these inspiring athletes to tackle their events has been very rewarding.
Ease of Billing and Payment
My passion for sport stands strong on the pillars of teaching and coaching. Not bill collecting. One of my favorite features of working with the Coach Match program is that all of the client setup and billing is taken care of directly through TrainingPeaks. Having the confidence that all of my Coach Match clients are up to date with their payments, and that I will receive a monthly check from TrainingPeaks has been a huge relief. When an issue arises with billing, TrainingPeaks diligently and gracefully tackles it so that it can be resolved in a timely fashion. This allows me to focus on generating the best training plans possible, with the right amount of feedback so the athlete remains on a positive trajectory.
Raising the Bar
Historically, many of my clients are local or regional which means I have had ample occasions to interact with them on and off the bicycle. With the introduction of athletes matched through TrainingPeaks that I would not have the chance to see in person, I needed to reassess my protocols to ensure I was being efficient as well as giving them the correct services they desired. TrainingPeaks has an outline for pricing which hinges on the amount of coach/athlete interaction. I adopted these protocols and shared them across the board with the rest of my athletes so that I could be more efficient with my time management. By creating a very specific and itemized list of services on my website that were in line with those offered through TrainingPeaks, I have been able to create tangible boundaries with all my clients. The result is a higher level of productivity for me as the coach, and higher return on their investment as the athlete. This was a big win!
The Coach Match process is very fast compared to my customary way of hooking a client. I meet many potential clients at races and on group rides where we could have several interactions before they decide that coaching is for them. The athletes who come to me through the Coach Match Service however, are ready now for coaching. With the Coach Match service, TrainingPeaks sends me an email with the interested athletes information and bio. We share several introductory emails, and if we both feel the match could be practical, we schedule a phone or Skype conference. I learned quickly to pair down my usual 60 minute coffee shop consultation in order to use it effectively over the phone. I came up with succinct verbal bullet points that demonstrate my abilities, methods, coaching philosophy, and game plan within the first 15 minutes of the conversation. By being precise, I am able to communicate effectively with individuals I do not have a history with. I have become more confident with my communication and delivery of my coaching product with all my clients, which has been an exciting area of growth for me.
Through the TrainingPeaks Premium Coach Match service, my client list has grown in number and diversity, while my workload has been reduced through the practices set up by TrainingPeaks. I am excited for the chance to work with more athletes from around the globe, and hopefully I can meet them in person one day!