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Guest Blog: Reasons to get into coaching

About the author: Dan Chabert is an entrepreneur and husband, who hails from Copenhagen, Denmark. He loves to join ultra-marathon races and travel to popular running destinations together with his wife. His work revolves around managing websites: Runnerclick, Nicershoes, Monica’s Health Magazine, GearWeAre and Runners 101. Dan has also been featured in several popular running blogs across the world. Here he writes about the many reasons to get into coaching.

As adults, we are gifted with the ability to review our lives, and most likely, when we consider the people who have played the most important roles in our lives, many of us will list a variation of the following:

• Parents
• Extended family members
• Neighbors
• Worship leaders
• Educators, such as instructors or professors
• Coaches

If you’re reading sportscoachuk.org, chances are high that coaches played an important role to you somewhere in your life and you might be sitting on the fence about whether to become a coach yourself. It can be intimidating to become a coach, particularly if you a) grew up having a fantastic coach in your life and therefore, you want to emulate the great example that you already know so well, or b) if you grew up without a coach -- but always wanted to have that sort of positive influence -- and now feel like you’re essentially starting from scratch. Regardless, deciding to become a coach, either as your full-time occupation or as a part-time side gig, isn’t a decision that you should take lightly.

For most people, becoming a coach doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly going to become an expert in the professional leagues, advising athletes who are making millions upon millions each year; instead, it’s likely the opposite. Many people begin their coaching endeavors by coaching for free (or for very minimal salaries) at community level and/or at gradeschool level. Particularly if you coach children, you don’t always have to have expert-level knowledge or even practice in a particular sport or activity; what matters more is that you’re willing to learn (much like what we ask of the kids) and that you’re interested in helping push your athletes or participants to become the best versions of themselves that they can be.

Still on the fence? Here -- let me give you even more reasons why you should take the plunge and become a coach.

Connect with your community. If you want to make a difference in your community, coaching is an excellent avenue to do it. Elementary, middle, and high school sports groups are often looking for coaches for various teams or extracurricular endeavors, and many public city programs are also often looking for coaching and guidance as well. In addition, some charity groups in the community (such as running groups or triathlon groups) often need coaches, too. Becoming a coach will allow you to get to know and better connect with your community in a meaningful way, while also letting you do some societal good to boot.

Coaching is a blast. Ask ten coaches why they keep returning to coaching year after year, and I bet that all ten of them would say that above all else, coaching is a ton of fun. If you had a coach or two growing up, you probably look back on those years fondly and may even remember the fun that you had under your coach’s tutelage. Not many people can say with utter enthusiasm that they enjoy going to work every day because it’s fun, but I think coaches are among the few professionals who can make that claim.

You can empower people to realize their big dreams. Particularly if you are coaching adults who are trying to realise some bucket list goals, such as running a marathon or completing a triathlon, being the person who empowers others to realise their dreams is very meaningful work. Coaches are multidimensional individuals who can not only encourage and empower people to chase down their dreams, but they can also help them along the way, guiding them to accomplish small things before they successfully do the one big thing they’re after.

Coaching allows you to be a role model to someone else. If you’re coaching young people, you have an incredible opportunity to be a positive role model for them in meaningful ways. Many young people lack role models (males or females), but coaches can help fill that void. If you’re working with kids coming from at-risk backgrounds, your positive presence and influence can help the children stay in school longer, work harder on their studies, come to school more regularly, and have many other positive outcomes. You can have a front-row seat to the lives of the children you lead, and as such, you have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive difference in their lives.

Coaching can be a way to turn around your career or make a career move. Even if you haven’t been a coach before, you might decide that it’s something you want to do, but before committing to it, you decide to volunteer as a coach part-time to see if it’s a good fit for you. That first volunteer coaching gig might be the turning point in your career that shows you how much joy coaching brings you and that it might actually be your calling. Coaching can help open doors for you now or later down the line -- allowing you to possibly secure full-time coaching opportunities later in life -- and all the while, you’ll have the ability to touch many people’s lives and do rewarding work.

Coaching is replete with wonderful opportunities for you to give back to your community, make a positive difference in someone’s life, empower individuals to achieve their dreams, and embolden people to dream big and work hard day in and day out. It might be scary to take a leap of faith and change careers, but coaching is arguably one of the most rewarding jobs a person can take, and it isn’t a career that most people ever regret doing.

Dan Chabert, Entrepreneur and Website Manager, Denmark

Follow: @runner_click