Working With Assistant Coaches

Working with Assistant Coaches: Building a Culture of Trust and Success

BY Taylor Thomas

The decision to add assistant coaches to your coaching business is exciting, and it's important to set the right tone from the very beginning. Coach Taylor Thomas explains how he has built a culture of trust with his colleagues.

Expanding your coaching business can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments as a professional coach. Bringing qualified and enthusiastic coaches on board not only opens your business up to more potential clients, but it also transforms the culture of your company.

The transition from a “one-man show” to a diverse staff with a wide range of experiences helps create an environment where all coaches can thrive. Knowing how to best utilize your staff and their skill sets will provide a better experience for the athletes you work with, as well as everyone on your team.

Trust Your Coaches

The first step in bringing anyone else on-board should be to ask yourself one question: “Do they add value to my coaching business?” If the answer is “yes” then that means they should bring a unique blend of skills to the table that complement and expand the ones that are already present within your coaching company.

If you feel that the coach is qualified then it’s paramount that there be a culture of trust established early on. As a business owner and head coach it can be hard to put aspects of the business in other’s hands. However, that’s the beauty of working with other professionals. If the relationship is founded on trust, both the business and the assistant coach will thrive. Let them flourish by providing the opportunities necessary for them to live up to their full potential.

Opportunities for Growth

No one likes to be stagnant. Whether professionally or personally, it’s always important to feel like you’re moving forward.

Continued education and development are a big part of a successful coaching group. These opportunities not only provide greater knowledge and know how, but also keep the team excited to expand their approach with existing and future athletes.

Coaching is an ever-changing and dynamic profession, and being a lifelong student is an integral part of a successful coach. Encourage assistant coaches to seek out seminars, lectures, and training camps that interest them. Whether these simply build on an existing skill set or open new doors for a coach, it’s always time well spent and an important investment in the productivity of your team.

Learn From Each Other

One of the best things about growing a coaching business is the chance to surround yourself with extremely qualified individuals possessing a wealth of knowledge. This knowledge shouldn’t be shared from the top down, but rather laterally between all coaches. Everyone comes from different backgrounds with a diverse set of experiences, and these experiences are what each and every coach on staff can and should be learning from. Carve out time to discuss new ideas and approaches with your coaches, and make sure that they are doing the same thing with their peers. While continuing education opportunities are extremely valuable, oftentimes conversations between coaches can yield the greatest insight.

Your coaching business is a unique chance to bring together a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Both head coaches and assistant coaches should always take the time to learn from one another. These conversations can help build an environment of mutual respect and trust that leads to a cohesive coaching group. If you can build trust, while constantly looking for opportunities for growth, you’ll have a motivated group of coaches that are inspired and prepared to help their athletes excel.

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About Taylor Thomas

Taylor Thomas is the owner and founder of Thomas Endurance Coaching. He has more than a decade of experience in the bicycle industry as an athlete, coach, race promoter, and team organizer. As a USAC and TrainingPeaks Level 2 Certified coach, he’s helped athletes at every level prepare for and reach their goals in road, mountain, and cyclocross.