Episode 169: Degrees of Coach Development

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Josh Martin is a visionary who coaches fitness.

You can hear his whole coaching story here, and his theory on building coaches to be your strategic advantage here.

Josh is one of the most popular mentors on the Two-Brain team, and he leads the Coaching speakers’ panel at the 2019 Summit in two weeks.

At the Summit, Josh will make a “big reveal”: a new way to think about coach development in your gym and some incredibly valuable tools to help build your system, develop your coaching staff, and guide them to meaningful careers in fitness.

Josh develops coaches in degrees. In this episode, he walks host Greg Strauch through the six degrees of coach development.

Way back in the day, there was this idea that if you are just an excellent coach,  you’d be the best coach ever and everything was going to work out all right with your business. And so it was this idea that excellence in coaching was tied to excellence in business, and we know that’s not true. Being excellent in coaching is in no way related whatsoever to being excellent in business.

And so what we saw over the years, especially as excellence in business was pursued, is the pendulum kind of swung to where we were focused on a lot of the business side of things and that’s not a bad thing at all. I think that that is incredibly important for the sustainability of the whole system. But what we have to remember too as owners is that our coaches are actually the ones delivering the very service that we’re selling. And so if we neglect to develop them and continually develop them and make them better and better and offer them a chance at a meaningful longterm career, then all of a sudden we’re delivering a product that is just not worthwhile. And so that’s really where the impetus for this having a structure surrounding this came from.

I really see that there is a tremendous gap for developing your coaches in a simple, streamlined way. I think that there is a tendency to try and over-complicate things and make it seem way more challenging and robust than it probably should be.

Josh’s Six Degrees of Coaching, in a nutshell:

First-Degree Coach: The one-on-one coach who is following a template or a script. This coach is basically leading new members through an On-Ramp program or getting them ready to train with you.

Second-Degree Coach: “Instead of just coaching people one on one, now we’re going to resource them with how to deal with a group. So we’re teaching a group from a template or a script with structure.”

Third-Degree Coach: “Now we’re actually going to go back to one on one, but we’re going to introduce elements of program design.” This coach is a well-taught personal trainer who can lead a group by following a class plan, too.

Fourth-Degree Coach: “As you graduate up to the next level, we’re just layering on a little bit more complexity so there’s a little bit more responsibility on behalf of the coach. So we’re still going to allow them to oversee elements of program design. But now we’re going to take this over an entire group population.” This coach learns to program for groups based on historical results and data.

Fifth-Degree Coach: “What we would term the head coach or the director of training for an entire facility. They’re assessing and evaluating the coaching staff. They are responsible for delivering continuing education in a very structured way. They would also be responsible for onboarding new coaches. They gather and assess this data so that we can use it to drive current and future programs. They’re looking at innovation and adapting that to their gym.”

Sixth-Degree Coach: “A regional mentor for the head coaches or directors of training within a given area. So they’re looking at their data to oversee a bunch of different regions. They are overseeing the head coaches and then they are onboarding new head coaches or directors of training.”

At Two-Brain, we don’t believe in ideas without action. Josh says:

What I’m kind of doing quietly behind the scenes is developing a service that we can deliver to people to take a prospective coach from zero to coach within four weeks.

For the last several months, Josh has been working dozens of extra hours to film video, write instructions, and build templates—all of the things a busy owner needs to create a First-Degree Coach in four weeks or less. From there, the new First-Degree Coach is insurable, eligible for health benefits from the gym and able to take new On-Ramp clients off the owner’s plate. The gym owner can then move another rung up the value ladder and focus more on marketing, sales or family time.

To create more time, most gym owners try to replace themselves with a perfect, expert coach. But what they really need is an amazing personality who can follow a template, buy them a few hours for higher-value work, and then slowly develop as a coach, one degree at a time.

Thanks for listening!

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