How to Choose the Right Private Coach for Your Youth Athlete
With the rising popularity of private training, there are more training options than ever before. This is especially the case with youth training and coaching.
Hiring a coach is an important decision for you as a parent. The purpose of this article is to speak to the parents of youth athletes 10-18, which is the age when I believe strength and conditioning can have its biggest impact, not only on athletic performance, but for LIFE as well.
Youth Training is Like The Wild West
The training industry is pretty unregulated. Youth Training is especially unregulated. There is a low barrier of entry. There are no true guidelines on what is good, bad, right or wrong. It’s pretty wide open at this point. I don’t say that to scare you off. Many industries are also this way, but it does make hiring or researching potential coaches just a little bit more of a task.
My goal is to help you find your son or daughter the best fit for them. The whole idea is that I would love to share my perspective, as someone in this industry, so you can use it to make your decision.
Do’s & Dont’s
Ask for referrals regarding youth training
The absolute easiest way to find a high-quality professional is through referral. About 90 percent of my business has come from direct referrals from clients. Asking other families, teammates and friends for referrals gives you a way to make an easy connection with a professional based on the feedback from people you trust. It will save you a lot of time and stress if you can get an organic connection to someone in any industry.
Have a budget in mind
Private training is a luxury – so much so that I encourage you to stress that to your child. Its a privilege, not their birth right. It’s a blessing to be in a position to afford extracurricular things that can help your kid develop. One of the most important things you can do as a parent looking to hire a trainer is to keep a budget in mind.
Remember we are business owners. We have to make money to stay in business. Part of our job, unfortunately, is to sell things. Some enjoy that sales aspect of the job more than others and they may be more concerned with the amount of the sale, rather than the amount of impact they can have.
Inquire about their experience with youth training and coaching
Whether you get a referral or not, get a deep background on your potential hire. Ask questions and get to know this person because they will be working directly with your child.
Some great questions to ask would be:
- Tell me about your background.
- How did you get started in the industry?
- What are some things you think my kid needs to work on?
- Tell me about experience have you had working with _______?
- What are your degrees, qualifications, licenses and certifications?
These will lead to more organic conversations, which is where the real judgement of character can be made. Everyone can have an elevator pitch, but how much a person can really connect with someone is much more important.
Don’t make a decision based on social media following for youth training – or any training
During the trainer selection process, you’ll probably end up researching the person online. Smart. Definitely check social media and other online sources to see how they portray themselves online.
It is very important to know that social media following, popularity or clout DOES NOT equate to competence. In fact, I’m pretty busy with my clients, I don’t have a lot of time to do “social media things”. If someone looks like they spend a lot of time on social media they must not be very busy actually training people. Something to consider…
Followers can be purchased. Reviews can be fabricated, I’ve seen it by trainers who are just starting out. They started training clients in January and by mid-January they had over 200 amazing reviews, many with the same last name of his girlfriend and himself. Reality can be skewed. Social media is a great research tool. It must be taken with a grain of salt due to how misleading things can be online versus reality. Never let your face-to-face interactions be outweighed by anything you see online.
Don’t value WHO they train more than HOW they train
If there is anything you take away from this article, this is the one. Value how the coach trains over who the coach trains. Keep in mind, it is youth training – there is a lot of room to improve, your child probably is not scholarship ready.
Many parents assume that because a trainer works with high-profile athletes they will be a great fit for their kids as well. That is not always the case. Or even worse, parents assume that their kids should be doing whatever those high-profile athletes are doing. Also not the case. Your 12 year old tackle football player should definitely NOT be training the same way a 20 year old college football player is training.
As a parent you need to look at where your child is currently and take the slow and steady approach to athletic development. Any great coach will tell you the same thing.
Don’t rush into a decision
Lastly, make sure you hire the right person and don’t settle on someone who is just OK for the job.
At a young age, habits will be created. Find the perfect hire so that those habits formed early so they don’t have to be corrected later by someone else. I see this with youth clients and I see it all the time with adults too.
Hopefully this guide can help you as you take the next step in your child’s athletic development. There are thousands of coaches out there who truly want to see your kid perform at their best—in sports and in life.
Once you find that person for youth training, you’ll know. I look at my clients more like family. Our relationships go way beyond touchdowns, dunks, pounds lost, 10K’s ran, sets and reps. It’s about the human, not just the athlete.
How You Can Contact Me
You can find me at https://lakecountrytraining.com/ I work primarily with individuals in their homes or businesses. I also work with youth athletes ages 10-18 in the Lake Country Area. I offer group classes almost daily at Impact Speed Zone in Genesee Depot. Impact Speed Zone website is located here: https://impactspeedzone.com/ If you are looking for a coach to work with your child I would love an opportunity to show you what I can do. Looking forward to hearing from you!