Coaches - Entering the private sector is NOT a failure.

Leaving the team setting to enter the private sector is not a failure - it is the ultimate freedom.

 min. read
April 5, 2022
software for strength coaches

I want to put this out in the stratosphere, because no one has before, and it needs to be said.

You are not a failure if you get out of university or high school coaching to enter the private sector.

It is not a failure, your job is no less impactful or important than those who coach for a team, and instead comes with many distinct benefits.  Want to know why? Keep reading.

I have owned my own gym for 5 years, and I have been working with strength and conditioning coaches for the 10+ years with my first company,Excel Training Designs.  I started that company while getting my MS in Exercise Science and working with the FAU Football, softball and track teams.  I quickly entered the private sector, and began working with local youth athletes, then NFL and NFLCombine athletes.

I am now opening my second location, as my transition from coach to business owner continues, you need to know that this path is not a failure, and instead is the ULTIMATE form of accountability – you can get into the private sector and fully and completely pick your path, and be responsible for your own future.  In the school and team setting, you can do an absolutely incredible job and get fired, or you can do a shit job and get promoted.  Some of the best coaches in the country work at small D3 schools and some of the worst(but best known) make $500k+ per year.

I am too stubborn to allow others to dictate my future like that.  I won’t leave my future to luck, chance, or tie it to another sport coaches success.  And you don’t have to either.

Entering the private sector allows you to expand your ability, your growth, your lifelong toolsets of not JUST coaching, but learning about marketing, sales, business, hell even accounting.  It allows you to reach a market who needs you – kids who have potential but have never had a real strength coach in their life. Adults who want to train INTELLIGENTLY, but only have access to bullshit group fitness or terrible personal trainers at their local globo-gym.  You can offer these people a sensible, educated and quality alternative.

Tell me then how these roles are less important than a team setting? 

Explain to me why working at a local performance facility, working30% less hours and making 300% more money is a bad decision?  Explain to me how its RATIONAL to be 25 years old with a masters degree making a $10,000 per year stipend, meanwhile your classmates who got an MBA came out making $95,000 per year?  There is love of something, then there is a fucked up market with too much supply, no representation leading to higher standards, and ultimately leading people to make hard life choices that WILL negatively affect them, their future, their potential family and more.

But there is an alternative.

 You can work in the private sector, immediately bring your skills to people willing to PAY YOU FOR YOUR TIME.  You can open your own training business andBE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN FUTURE.  You can do what humans have done since the dawn of time – get paid appropriately for the value you provide.

The ultimate accountability, the ultimate challenge and the ultimate freedom.

No more chasing down what state you have to move to next to make $28,000 per year while working 80 hour weeks at 29 years old working on one year contracts.  That is not a life many want, and I can tell you with absolute assuredness – not one that usually ends with a BETTER outcome – it just kicks the can down the line.  

Every coach gets out eventually.  How you get out is up to you – you can exhaust every resource trying to get that next college gig, or you can exit on your own and take the next step of life on your terms.  There is no wrong choice, if you choose to stay in to chase your dream as a college coach and aspire to reach a certain level or sport or school, I support you as much as anyone on planet earth.  But if you choose to leave, you did not fail –you made a rational choice based on life and market circumstances, and I can tell you after working with thousands of coaches around the world, will likely be more financially stable, will not have to worry about dragging you or your family around the country, and ultimately happier as a result.  

That’s not failure, nor is it a demotion.  It is an opportunity, one that allows you the chance to show the world what you can do, to create something on your own, to learn hard skills that transfer to all aspects of business and life. Embrace it :)