We continue to dive into the different settings a strength and conditioning coach might find themselves in. In this masterpiece we look at what it takes to be an “online strength coach”.
Let’s start with the obvious – online means “fake”, right? Well, it most definitely can. People can claim to anything online. Who’s going to stop them? What qualifies someone to be an online strength coach? That’s right, a dude with a six-pack or a chick with a big booty. They must know all there is about training. I want abs, I want a phat ass, let me shovel over some dough to this 20-year old knuckle head with great genetics so my 45-year-old body will look like theirs’! That is pretty much how it works, I think.
Whether you are looking to purchase an online program, or looking to become an online strength coach, I strongly suggest this – real world experience! Being an online strength coach without ever coaching someone in real life is about the same as a college grad with only classroom time under their belt trying to head up a collegiate strength program. You learn a lot in books, from videos, and paying attention in the classroom, but there is a difference between an NSCA quiz question and assessing movement as it happens and coaching real-life human beings. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with being an online strength coach. You can help people from all over the country and all over the world. Your reach can be greater than coaching only in person, and some can make a decent living doing it this way as well. However, to be good at this, and to be trusted – real world experience and results speak for themselves!
There are some positives to coaching remotely. You can make your own schedule; no more 0530 lift groups, no more mat drills, you can take your kids to school/practice, make appointments whenever, and you won’t need to schedule your training around hectic group times. You won’t have to adhere to the strict dress code most of us strength coaches are forced to endure (t-shirts and gym shorts can be so restricting). It can also allow you to branch out and try other career paths, while keeping a foot in the strength world. However, I would not suggest that last one for someone with little to no actual coaching experience.
The negatives – well, when someone asks you what you do for a living you would say “I’m an online strength coach”, but who cares what anyone thinks! The biggest would be the in-person interaction. One can still make an impact, you can video meet, implement RPE or a questionnaire to try to replace some of the art of coaching. Heck, you can even have them video every work set and send it to you. It is still not the same as being there in-person. The relationships you build from seeing them at their best and at their worst is far stronger than the ones built through a weekly Skype.
Remote coaching has a unique set of challenges, but also allows for a better work: life balance and the flexibility to enjoy other aspects of life (if done full-time). It can also allow one to enjoy and explore other opportunities while continuing to impact others by building strength and confidence. Is it the ideal setting to be in? That is up to the individual to decide.