I have been an RRCA Certified Run Coach for 7 months now (written May, 2016). Long enough that most of my girls are back for their second round of coaching, but also long enough that I have started to hear talk of all the things I am doing “wrong”. Those of you that have been following me for awhile know that I am very honest about my journey – my successes and my failures, so I figured why not go ahead and get it all out in the open. So, I am spilling the beans on the 4 reasons why I am a bad running coach.
4 Reasons Why I am a Bad Running Coach –
1. I’m too Cheap –
I charge less than many other certified run coaches. I have seen some of their prices and in many cases I cost less than half as much. I was actually told by another running coach that by charging so much less I make it harder for people who are charging more to make a living out of coaching. (That coach was not happy with my prices at all.) So why then are my prices so much lower than many others when I have been told to raise them? I understand not having money for extras. I teach full-time and when I moved from the Midwest to the South I took over a $10,000 pay cut; however, the cost of living went way up making it feel like much more. I understand not having extra cash, having credit cards debit, and all that other horrid stuff. Many of the people I coach are in the same position I am – they don’t have extra cash laying around for a luxury like run coaching. I want them to be able to see all the benefits coaching will bring to them and not have to break the bank doing it. Plus, in honesty, if I raised my prices to where I was told too I could lose lots of my clients and I love working with them.
2. I Am too Involved –
I check in on my girls’ training journals every day and in addition to that they all have access to my email and cell phone number. This means that I interact with them A LOT. A little too much for some of my friends liking as I thought they were going to kill me when we were trying to watch a movie and my text messages kept going off every few minutes. They wanted to know – If I check in on my clients online everyday and they have my email address then why in the world do I give them my cell phone number too? Honestly, I know that having someone there to ask questions of, bounce ideas off of, or just vent to is such an important part of training and I want to be that person for my clients so I like them to know they can reach out to me any time they need too.
3. I Give it Away for Free –
I have heard other coaches complain about people giving away advice for free. “How will you make money if you just give advice without charging,” I was asked. The truth is for me - it isn’t all about money. Is it awesome to be able to make a little extra cash doing something I love? Yes. Did I get into run coaching for the money? No, I got into to help others train better and smarter, and in turn learn to believe in all that they are capable of. So if giving away free advice on my blog, like explaining the Easy/Hard Principle or why you need a cut back week, in hopes that it helps someone train smarter makes me a bad coach then I’ll happily wear that label. If answering someone’s running related email question without charging is crazy, then call me crazy.
4. I Spend Money on My Clients –
Recently I bought all my girls matching Momentum Wraps that say, “You Got This!” I mailed them all with cute little notes to let them all know that I was thinking about them and that even though I may not be there with them I am their biggest cheerleader/fan/supporter/etc. One of my friends found out I did this and did not think it was a smart move. The comment was something like this, “You really just spent the money they gave you to coach them to buy them presents? That doesn’t make much sense.” Yes, it may not have been the smartest business move financially, but sending little notes, gifts, etc. makes me happy and that is why I am a coach – because it makes me happy.
Even after hearing things from other coaches, my friends, and family I don’t feel bad about the things that I am supposedly doing “wrong”. The truth is that my coaching style is very hands-on. I try to be there constantly for my clients as a coach, and hopefully also as a friend, because I believe that a huge part of coaching is having the accountability of knowing there is someone always there with you. Does this make me a bad coach? To some people it might, they may want to be just left alone to do their thing. However, to others my hands-on style is what they need, and it is what I like, so I honestly don’t see any of that changing just because people may think I am doing things “wrong” and am a “bad” coach because my style is different than theirs.
*PS – If you’re interested in the benefits of Run Coaching Services click on the highlighted link to learn more.
Let me know –
Have you ever worked with a run coach?
What do you do when people tell you you’re doing things wrong? Currently, if it is not constructive I just ignore it.