Making a living out of coaching Making a living out of coaching

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Thread: Making a living out of coaching

  1. #1
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    Default Making a living out of coaching

    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
    • woodmere new york april seminar date
    Hello coaches, I have a few questions regarding how to become a strength coach, while making a good living out of it.

    I live in Spain, and I recently dropped out of the BSc. in Physics I was studying to pursue what I think it is my true vocation: strength coaching.
    However, living here proves to be a problem to find good strength training related courses, so after a bit of searching, I stumbled upon this interesting BSc. programme in Ireland, which is delivered online, combined with face to face workshops every 4-5 weeks. (Yes before any of you say, I 've already considered getting a SSC certificate in the future, but traveling to the USA is out of my budget for now).

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Strength & Conditioning - Setanta College
    setanta_college_course_brochure_jul18 (1).pdf - Google Drive

    These are the website and brochure for the course.

    So after all this chatter, here come my questions:

    Taking a quick view at the brochure, would you say this a solid/useful BSc. to enrol in, or ar they just trying to take my money in exchange for a BSc.?
    Do you have any alternative/additional advice on pursuing this career in Europe?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I would do the coaches prep course and start coaching people. If you need a certification to do this in Spain, find the cheapest one that you can get within a month. You are going to learn far more useful information from the coaches prep course than from the online exercise science degree, and it will be significantly cheaper. As a rule of thumb, any marketing that continually uses the word "functional" in its description or talks about giving clients a "movement screen" that is something other than just watching them perform the exercises on the first day is bullshit.

  3. #3
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    Isn't a BSc. in physics far more valuable than a BSc. in bullshit in regards to becoming an SSC? While the mechanics involved in lifting are fairly simple, the academic maturity you'd have from a physics degree would certainly be useful. (And undergraduate physics degrees are largely about how to solve problems in the context of some model---sounds familiar, doesn't it?).

    Academic Preparation | Mark Rippetoe

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zft View Post
    Isn't a BSc. in physics far more valuable than a BSc. in bullshit in regards to becoming an SSC? While the mechanics involved in lifting are fairly simple, the academic maturity you'd have from a physics degree would certainly be useful. (And undergraduate physics degrees are largely about how to solve problems in the context of some model---sounds familiar, doesn't it?).

    Academic Preparation | Mark Rippetoe
    Of course it is, but if the stated goal is to become a Starting Strength Coach, why spend 4 years amassing debt and not coaching when the time could be better spent establishing a coaching practice and learning the physics in the context of barbell training? In those same four years, a guy could become a coach and already be making good money with zero debt and with at least a couple of years of very good coaching experience depending on the circumstances. Some business experience (which I'd prefer to academic maturity) would result from this approach as well.

    We have the development opportunities available now that make it so no one has to teach the material entirely to themselves. When the Academic Preparation article was written by Rip, there was no coach development course, no Starting Strength Gyms at which to apprentice, and no pipeline for generating new coaches. Everyone up to that point was largely self taught and the article was written as a better way to prepare instead of going into an exercise science program at a university. I strongly believe that if someone knows what they want to do, spending any time enrolled in a university program that doesn't result in a required terminal degree for a specific career - law, engineering, medicine, etc. - is a giant waste of time and effort. Any courses that you need to catch up on science, tech, or anything else are available cheap and sometimes free from the best institutions in the world through their websites or something like edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more
    Last edited by Nick Delgadillo; 01-07-2020 at 09:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Delgadillo View Post
    why spend 4 years amassing debt
    The degree is likely a three year degree and public university in Spain is just about free (on the order of hundreds of Euros per year). OP also dropped out, meaning that he's likely already finished at least some courses, so it's probably reasonable to assume there's less than three years of coursework remaining.

    At any rate, I wasn't necessarily suggesting that OP *should* finish his degree. I was suggesting that choosing an exercise science degree over a physics degree is just about a universally bad choice and that---even if he wants to become a coach---the physics degree will teach him more.

    Regardless, you're making a lot of assumptions and you're exaggerating the (opportunity) costs of OP completing his degree. Degrees are extremely valuable: they give the holder more choice and more opportunity and significantly increase lifetime earnings. For *most* people, it makes sense to complete a degree where they accrue little or no debt, as I assume would be the case for OP given that he lives in Spain. Perhaps a degree is less valuable in regards to working as an SSC, but OP is young and capricious and brands/companies are ephemeral---maybe OP won't want to be a coach anymore in five years and maybe the SS brand vanishes in ten. You may retort with, "Well, then OP can always go back to university." Unfortunately, going back to university later in life isn't always an option and this ignores the fact that for the ten years that OP delayed going back, he didn't benefit from having a degree! If you're going to get a degree in your life, your maximize your return by getting it as early as possible. OP currently finds himself in the right circumstances to attend university and likely has some completed coursework in a solid degree; there is certainly an argument to be made for him to finish it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rampudia98 View Post
    (Yes before any of you say, I 've already considered getting a SSC certificate in the future, but traveling to the USA is out of my budget for now).
    The education side has been addressed, so I'm not going to say anything about that.

    When I got into coaching professionally, I started putting 5% of all my revenue into an "opportunity/emergency" fund. As a result, my business will be paying for my testing at the Woodmere SS seminar in April. If I succeed, I will still be putting 5% of my revenue into the same fund for future educational advancement. 5% doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up over time.

    If you can still eat on your income, it may be worth it to do something similar.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zft View Post

    Regardless, you're making a lot of assumptions and you're exaggerating the (opportunity) costs of OP completing his degree. Degrees are extremely valuable: they give the holder more choice and more opportunity and significantly increase lifetime earnings. For *most* people, it makes sense to complete a degree where they accrue little or no debt, as I assume would be the case for OP given that he lives in Spain. Perhaps a degree is less valuable in regards to working as an SSC, but OP is young and capricious and brands/companies are ephemeral---maybe OP won't want to be a coach anymore in five years and maybe the SS brand vanishes in ten. You may retort with, "Well, then OP can always go back to university." Unfortunately, going back to university later in life isn't always an option and this ignores the fact that for the ten years that OP delayed going back, he didn't benefit from having a degree! If you're going to get a degree in your life, your maximize your return by getting it as early as possible. OP currently finds himself in the right circumstances to attend university and likely has some completed coursework in a solid degree; there is certainly an argument to be made for him to finish it.
    I disagree. I've been involved in hiring people for a long time and a degree was never a primary consideration. I do agree, however, that if a degree can be attained with no debt, then why not? But how valuable is a free degree? Again, I'd argue that 3-4 years of work experience is far more valuable. In 2020, a degree just isn't a magic key that opens opportunity for people. In my experience, that's not how things work anymore. I and you know lots of useless morons with degrees. I've worked entry level jobs with coworkers who held masters degrees. Obviously, it always comes down to the individual's drive and motivation. But the idea that a mediocre individual with a degree is more valuable in the marketplace just isn't true.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    The education side has been addressed, so I'm not going to say anything about that.

    When I got into coaching professionally, I started putting 5% of all my revenue into an "opportunity/emergency" fund. As a result, my business will be paying for my testing at the Woodmere SS seminar in April. If I succeed, I will still be putting 5% of my revenue into the same fund for future educational advancement. 5% doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up over time.

    If you can still eat on your income, it may be worth it to do something similar.
    This is an awesome idea.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Delgadillo View Post
    I disagree.
    You may disagree with me, but I mostly agree with you!

    But, I think you may have misunderstood what I'm saying: I'm saying that a degree is extremely valuable in and of itself. That is, literally the degree itself and *not* the education received. And don't forget that OP is young and the three years he spends on his degree will probably not significantly preempt him from any work experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Delgadillo View Post
    In 2020, a degree just isn't a magic key that opens opportunity for people. In my experience, that's not how things work anymore.
    This is the one thing that I *do* disagree with. Average education among people is increasing, meaning that individuals need *more* education--not less--to stand out.

    Obviously the system is fucked. Obviously fewer people should be going to university and more people should be undertaking vocational training. But OP is subject to the system nonetheless and in this case it's probably better to play your cards right than attempt to fight it.

  9. #9
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    There are about 5 degrees worth matriculation in 2020: Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Accounting, and I can't remember the last one. Quite literally everything else will never amortize, never ever. An effective strength coach should have the freshman and sophomore science and math hours, General Physiology, and that's about all a university can provide of value to a professional barbell coach. The remaining professional development is up to the coach: personal training experience and professional coaching experience.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by zft View Post
    This is the one thing that I *do* disagree with. Average education among people is increasing, meaning that individuals need *more* education--not less--to stand out.
    Formal schooling is not education. The quality of formal schooling was poor when I was young and has degraded precipitously since then.

    Average education is not increasing. It's nearly all participation trophies in the formal system now.

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