Pretty much all the hard work has been done now.
You’ve spent a while preparing the session, planning awesome and personalised drills for your athlete(s). The session has been delivered in a fun, dynamic, well paced and informative way and now you can reap the rewards!
Once the session is finished, you’ll probably get that warm-fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve done all your hard work. Everything went well because you did things properly, and now you’re enjoying the feeling of really helping someone get much better at a thing they love – what a job!
However, there are just a few things you can do after the session to really put the icing cake. This will help to make your athletes and parents leave the session thinking that was a productive and value for money hour.
Here are 5 things you can do:
1. Teach the parents and explain what was covered
If a parent is present, explain what was covered and how the athlete did in the session, mentioning strengths and areas to work on for next time. Making the parent understand is sometimes as important as making sure the athlete understands!
Any parent that spends money on their child to get better at something, wants to see impact and progress. This conversation is part of that process that communicates this progress in a personal way.
I will often teach the parents the skills too (in the session or after the session), as most parents want to help their kids learn during the time until the next session. This is great as it helps to reinforce your message and helps to get the athlete performing better.
Giving parents the coaching points often gets a “Oh wow! I never knew that was important when doing that skill!” sort of reaction. Once they get it, then your job and the athletes job becomes much easier!
2. Build a relationship
If time allows, spend time after the session to not only get to know the athlete, but also the parents.
It is a great way to create a relationship that will enable to you make long-term clients. Get to know them, ask them questions, talk about things that aren’t related to the session.
But as always, this has to be done enthusiastically and genuinely. No-one likes a suck-up.
3. Arrange the next session.
Before the athlete and parent leave, try to organise and lock-in the next session. This is a great way to show that you’re keen to coach the athlete in the future, and is also a great time to organise it face to face, rather than over text messages or emails.
4. Evaluate yourself and the session.
This is one of the most important things you can ever do. Be honest with yourself and reflect on how the session went. This doesn’t have to be filling in some sort of formal form, but you should at least be thinking in the car journey home what went well, what you can improve on and what the next session might look like.
Think about the drills that you did – Were they appropriate? Was the timing about right? Were they at the right level for the athlete? etc. And also think about your own delivery – Were you enthusiastic enough? Did you deliver the drills in the right method? Should you use other styles of coaching to get the message across better? etc.
Evaluating yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do to carry on improving yourself as a coach and impacting the athlete as a performer.
5. Complete the StriveFar athlete feedback form
As soon as possible after the session so everything is still fresh in your mind, fill in the StriveFar athlete feedback form and send it off to your athlete. Let them know how they did, what they did well, what they can improve on and what to practice on before the next session.
If you’re not able to do it straight away, certainly don’t leave it any later than 48 hours. Once 48 hours passes (even 24 hours sometimes!) the session isn’t clear in your mind and the athlete’s mind, but most importantly, it conveys to the athlete that actually this feedback isn’t that important. Sending it over a week after the session was completed will have absolutely no impact whatsoever and is almost a slap in the face for the athlete. It suggests the session wasn’t important.
Sending it over quickly conveys the message that you’re organised, professional and the athlete’s progress is important to you. The feedback form should take about 3 minutes to fill in if you do it thoroughly.
So there you have it, teach the parent; Build relationships; Arrange the next session; Evaluate yourself; Evaluate the athlete. All of this will really help to build long-term customers rather than customers that book 3 sessions and then you never see them again. An effective finish to the session is a really important tool to improve your relationship with the client and also get more work for the future.
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