Insurance issues as an unqualified coach Insurance issues as an unqualified coach

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Thread: Insurance issues as an unqualified coach

  1. #1
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    Default Insurance issues as an unqualified coach

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    A long-term goal of mine is to become an SSC. As such I'm trying to gain coaching experience as and where I can in anticipation of attending a seminar one day, but I've run up against a problem. Recently I've approached some amateur sport clubs and offered to provide strength coaching. In each case, during the initial discussions the clubs have been very positive about the idea until they check their paperwork, at which point they tell me that they can't have an unqualified (i.e. non-certified) person running a strength session because 'it could cause issues with insurance.'

    Has anyone else encountered this problem? I'm trying to pry for more details but I hesitate to argue with them about it without more knowledge of the situation. Are these clubs misunderstanding the nature of their insurance or is there a genuine obstacle here? Is there a workaround solution or am I best off acquiring some silly paper-exam-only S&C certification in order to satisfy them and get the coaching experience?

  2. #2
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    Our seminar will get you insurance from Sports and Fitness Insurance in Madison MS. This insurance is just a formality, since an ACE certification will qualify.

  3. #3
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    In my experience, they don't care that you don't have a certification. They care that you don't have insurance. I got my personal training insurance through Sports and Fitness from having attended an SS seminar. I've gone to several gyms to get gym space and when they ask if I'm certified, I say "no, but I have personal training insurance." After I mention that, they don't care I'm not certified.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses Mark & Andrew. I suppose the short-term solution is to find my own insurance then. I don't want to spend the money on attending a seminar until I'm confident I will pass the evaluation, so I'll need to look elsewhere.

  5. #5
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    But Andrew just told you that attending the seminar facilitates the insurance.

  6. #6
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    I understand that, but I want to attend a seminar with the intention of passing the evaluation. In order to increase the likelihood of passing, my aim is to gain more coaching experience prior to a seminar, and it looks like I may need insurance in order to get that experience.

  7. #7
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    And maybe, depending on your jurisdiction (and how far you want to go with this), you could set up a DBA first, then attend an SS seminar and write off the travel and seminar costs and the subsequent insurance as business expenses.

  8. #8
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    If you need a certification immediately and don't want to attend the seminar until you've gained more experience your best bets for easy to get certifications are going to be either ACE or the ISSA. I'm not sure about this but I think you can take the ISSA exam from your home computer. Both of these certifications will allow you to get some type of insurance. With that said I still think you should take the seminar, even if you don't feel prepared for it. You can get insured after just attending, so if that is the bottleneck for the local gym job, you're covered. It's important to realize that you may "feel" prepared for it a year from now and still not pass. Taking the seminar, especially if you opt out the first time because you know you're not ready, will give you the perspective of where you need to be to pass. Asking for feedback from the platform coaches during the experience will let you know what to work on to get there.

  9. #9
    Brodie Butland is offline Starting Strength Coach
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    I understand that, but I want to attend a seminar with the intention of passing the evaluation. In order to increase the likelihood of passing, my aim is to gain more coaching experience prior to a seminar, and it looks like I may need insurance in order to get that experience.
    It's a chicken and egg problem for sure. As someone who administers the board exams to potential SSCs, my two cents is that even though a seminar is expensive, it will do more to lay a groundwork for coaching future clients than pretty much anything else you do. Think of it as an investment upfront that you can use to focus your coaching, which will then give you a much greater probability of passing the cert procedures the next time around. Nick is absolutely correct that the feedback from platform coaches will be invaluable in itself. And I think there's some value in knowing exactly what a seminar looks like, what is expected of you, etc., rather than trying to get it right on your first shot.

    Here's the thing--a lot of very experienced coaches fail the platform exams. It happens every seminar. There are many reasons for this, but IMHO one reason for at least some of them is that they weren't really coaching the way we expect from the beginning...improper or reluctant cues, having the wrong model in mind, incorrect teaching progression from the outset, etc. It's kind of like when you are doing a lift wrong without being corrected (something that even experienced lifters sometimes do)...you don't know that you're doing it wrong, so you don't know you're supposed to correct it. The benefit of attending a seminar now, rather than waiting until you have coached people, is that you will get an idea now of what is expected, what the model looks like, what you should be understanding, etc.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    I understand that, but I want to attend a seminar with the intention of passing the evaluation. In order to increase the likelihood of passing, my aim is to gain more coaching experience prior to a seminar, and it looks like I may need insurance in order to get that experience.
    Who is easier to coach: someone with a prior lifting experience or someone who has never touched a weight in their life?

    The answer is the latter, because they're a blank slate with no ingrained errors that you have to undo. The same is true of coaching.
    You should attend the seminar at the earliest possible point in your coaching career so that your mental model and understanding of the lifts is as accurate as possible for the time invested. First attendance of the seminar should be for the purpose of learning only - not testing.

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