Question of the day:
“Ok, so I have my certification, am in the process of getting insurance for coaching, how do I perfect my craft?”
Situation: I don’t have a job with a guiding or coaching company and no one to bounce my ideas off of who can critique my techniques to ensure I’m performing at peak for my students. What do I do next?”
This is a great question. Many of us have faced that issue if we’re not in a tourist area that draws a mountain bike following so what, then, is our next move? The following tips are key to making that step from ‘certified’ to ‘fully-fledged coach”.
- We have to be creative and examine what we have available.
- We have to seek out experiences to help us stay sharp.
There are many people we socialize with daily- even family. Ask them if they’d be willing to take a free class from you in exchange for valuable feedback. This is a great opportunity to construct your course(s), from start to finish, and allow you to work out any bugs in your delivery:
- Get your waivers created
- Scope out a skills site
- Create an EAP
- Investigate if the skills area requires permits
- Identify resources near your site that are good to have handy for students traveling:
- Bike shop close by? Do they have demo bikes for rent? Restaurants? Lodging? Where are the closest hospitals? Restrooms?
- Create your participant emails for before the class and your after-class evaluations if you don’t hand out evals onsite
- Instead of written evals, consider chatting at the end of your class wrap-up on what worked, what didn’t, what they liked best, suggestions, and, if they would like to take another class from you as practice!
- Perhaps you have another friend who is certified and you can shadow their classes. If this isn’t an option, seeking out experiences to help us practice and stay sharp is highly recommended.
- Connect with other coaches, skills clinics, guiding groups, even stores like REI, who have had many instructors go through our program as they teach their outdoor schools to the public *(see note below). See if you can volunteer to see how things are run and if you can potentially assist in some way (or watch but not participate). They key is getting that exposure and hearing the delivery. You can even take your BICP workbooks with you as you cross-reference, developing the memory queues. Scott Givens, one of our Southwest US Instructor Trainers, offers these pearls of wisdom:
“To me, a big part of [coaching] is just getting up in front of people and giving it a go…I’ve helped out other coaches in my area [by shadowing]… Listening, watching, then jumping in to do little bits at a time. My clients were cool with this because they felt like they were getting an extra coach for free.” He added, “if there is a genuine fear, anxiety, or nervousness speaking in front of a group, joining a local Toastmasters (public speaking organization) will help with that.”
You’ve taken the certification and proven that you have the skills and the passion to pursue guiding and mountain bike skills instruction. Building our coaching chops isn’t always easy; we have to prove it to ourselves before we can prove it to the world. Just know that by creating these opportunities for you to practice, you are creating the foundations for a very rewarding career!
Let us know what other questions you have for developing your business and let’s discuss how we can build it!
*Note: The BICP will have a detailed article on a way you can obtain direct experience through other organizations in the coming weeks that you can turn into an action as you plan for the next riding season so stand by!
#coaching #tips #success #certified #inspirethestoke #moreskillsmorefun #rewards #volunteer #experience