Making the Coaching Connection
How well connected are you to your participants? Have you got a coaching Facebook or Twitter account? A fun way to measure your connectivity is to see if you could successfully play the Kevin Bacon game? The Kevin Bacon game is about the idea that we are only seven connections away from anyone else in the world, or specifically Kevin Bacon. We all know someone who knows someone who knows someone. How many of your participants can you include in your seven links? You get the idea. ( it’s sometimes referred to as the Seven Degrees of Separation.)
Being connected to our participants is becoming a key factor in participant retention. As coaches if we are better connected to our participants they are more likely to continue to attend our sessions. It is widely understood in the fitness industry that they can double the time people are fully paid members if participants have several meaningful connections with coaches and instructors in the first few months of starting a new activity. This understanding may have originally come from the desire to extend monthly direct debit memberships, however it is a valuable insight into one of the factors influencing participant behaviour.
This understanding of how making connections helps with retention is transferable to the coaching environment too. It is considered such a valuable recruitment and retention principle that it features in the sports coach UK How to Deliver Engaging Session workshop.
Some key questions for coaches to consider their connectivity include
- How do you connect with your participants?
- Do they know much about you?
- Do you know much about them?
- Do you know their individual aims and reasons for taking part in your session?
- Do you help them to keep connected to your sport?
- Do they use social media? Do you use social media?
- Do you link your sessions to wider community events?
- How do you use people’s connectivity with each other to grow your sessions? (Do you use the Seven Degrees of Separation to your advantage?)
It should be also acknowledged that coaches need connection. They need connection to their sport; to fellow coaches; to mentors who inspire them; to industry experts and specialists as well as to their participants and players.
So make the coaching connection today and start with connecting with us on Twitter and connect with sports coach UK @sportscoachuk