Trainingpeaks Coach Sits Across From Athlete On Stationary Bike And Prepares For The Offseason.

Unlocking the Offseason: Invest in Athletes, Business, and Yourself for a Winning 2024

BY Matti Rowe

The 2023 season is coming to an end, but your coaching business is not. Here is how to make the most of your offseason and gear up for the 2024 season.

It’s that time of year when coaches open up their athletes’ calendars to add their next training block and realize they don’t have any more events planned. The 2023 season is coming to a close, and the offseason is finally here. 

Most coaches’ question is how they can best use this time for their athletes, business, and personal advantage.

The answer is that the offseason is about investment – in your athletes, your business, and yourself.

Invest in Your Athletes

Start with your athletes. Their last race is an opportunity, not an ending.

First, schedule a time to meet with them and review their season. Your review should have two parts: their review and yours. In general, identify what went well and what didn’t. Though hard, take this chance to ask for direct feedback on how you could improve as a coach. In the discussion, keep detailed notes that you can use to improve their training and your coaching in the future.

Before you end the discussion, finish the meeting by asking the athlete what their goals are next year. Crucially, use that opportunity to discuss the importance of time off and the importance of year-round structured training to continue improving year after year. 

Ideally, finish the conversation by setting expectations on when they’ll return to structured training and what they should do in the early offseason to start next season on the right foot. 

For example, imagine you’re a cycling coach. Directing your athletes to get a bike fit, movement analysis, blood work, and baseline testing to ensure they start their 2024 season in an optimal position on the bike, doing exercises that address any movement limitations or weaknesses, have a snapshot of their bloodwork to identify any anomalies from year to year, and their zones set correctly so they’re training at the right intensity.

Invest in Your Business

Once your athletes are taken care of, invest in your coaching business. 

When you’re in season, you don’t have the time to overhaul your coaching systems, further your education, develop new marking content, create new products and services or streamline finances. You’re too busy coaching. 

When your athletes aren’t competing, you finally have a chance to evaluate, refine, and improve all aspects of your business for a few months before coaching demands return in earnest for the next season.

Start by evaluating your coaching system and look for ways to make it more efficient:

  • Review your workouts to ensure they use the structured workout builder and the written description is easy to follow. This will decrease unnecessary workout execution questions and athlete frustration.
  • Leverage training plans to construct common blocks of training that you can apply to athletes instead of building individually. 
  • Create Notes folders in your workout libraries that address common questions about using devices, nutrition, hydration, and rest, which will add depth and clarity to your athletes’ training plans. 
  • Customize your TrainingPeaks calendar and workout cards so you only see the data you need to make the majority of your coaching decisions.
  • Evaluate your dashboard charts. Organize and customize them to quickly and easily see your athletes’ overall fitness trends. 

Next, invest in your coaching education. In practice, educational opportunities are endless because coaching well requires physiological, psychological and social knowledge. The more you know, the more you can help your athletes. 

  • If you still need to become a TrainingPeaks certified coach, it’s a great time to take the TrainingPeaks University courses.
  • Expand your coaching knowledge by taking courses in strength or psychology.
  • Look into nutritional certifications, bike fitting, technique instruction, etc.
  • Learn a different sport, ideally in an opposite season, to expand which athletes you can coach.
  • Stay current with NGB certifications.

Finally, remember that you will struggle to get new athletes if you don’t have effective marketing. Get a head start on marketing in 2024 by creating a marketing plan for the upcoming year.

  • Take a TPU marketing course. 
  • Outline your marketing year just like you would a training year. 
  • Brainstorm potential content. 
  • Decide how you’ll deliver it. 

Invest in Yourself

Every year, coaches tell athletes to take a complete break from training to allow their bodies to shed long-term fatigue from a long season of training and racing. It’s seldom popular with an athlete, but it is necessary for optimal long-term development.

As a coach, you’re no different than your athletes. You need a break, too. Coaching is a full-time job, but unlike many other professions, coaching requires sustained emotional and mental bandwidth because you’re working with people. Optimal coaching is far more than adding workouts in the correct order in a TrainingPeaks calendar; it requires lots of athlete communication, understanding how they tick, and demonstrating that you care about their success.

That’s exhausting. At some point, you need to take a break from responding to messages and hopping on calls. Allow yourself the opportunity to completely unplug from other people’s needs. A week on the beach with your phone off can do wonders, and there’s no better time to do it than when your athletes aren’t training. 

A Coach Using Trainingpeaks On Her Laptop In Her Home Office

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About Matti Rowe

Matti Rowe is an Education Specialist on the TrainingPeaks Coach Education Team and the owner of Gravel God Cycling . When he’s not racing his bike on the pavement (people still do!) or gravel he spends his time trying to teach his children Norwegian.

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