The Road to 125 Clients with Big Dawgs Coach Michael Bann

The Road to 125 Clients with Big Dawgs Coach Michael Bann

One hundred and twenty five clients who pay USD$355 a month for individual program design and monthly consults: Doing the math on that sounds like the dream for many who aspire to be a full-time professional coach.

For long-time Big Dawgs coach Michael Bann, a 15-year veteran coach, this is his reality. 

Though he’s living the dream today, Bann insists you can’t become a professional coach overnight. It takes time, effort and a constant desire to be better. That being said, if you’re willing to play the long game, it’s possible. And worthwhile. 

Four Tips for Becoming a Professional Career Coach with Michael Bann

1. Take the CCP First

The number one reason Bann recommends aspiring or current coaches take the OPEX CCP is because of the tried and true principles it clearly lays out.

“Principles. That's really what it is,” said Bann, who helped create the movement assessment sections of the CCP. “The CCP is a great starting point. Then you can use those principles in the real world.”

While many coaches are drawn to do a university degree first, but then realize they don't know how to apply the knowledge they learned in school in the real world, Bann suggests doing it the other way around: Learn the principles first in the CCP, and then seek formal university education.

“Principles transcend paradigms,”  said Bann, who has a graduate degree in Kinesiology. 

“Then you can expand and develop your own niche, but without the principles you can’t do that,” he added.

2. In Person First

For anyone who wants to become a remote coach, Bann urges them to spend a lot of time in person first. Like a lot of time. 

Spend 10 years in person first. If not, you have no right being a remote coach,” he said. “I will stand on a hill and die on that statement.”

It’s so important to gain experience in person first, he explained, not only to teach people how to move, but also to get to know how different people process things. 

“In and of itself, that’a challenge,” he said. But it’s next to impossible to learn unless you coach in-person first.

3. Develop Systems and a Routine

Regardless of whether you’re in-person or remote, it’s important to develop systems and a consistent schedule to help you be efficient and hold you accountable to your time, Bann explained.

For Bann, this means Tuesdays are always his heavy programming day. He often writes as many as 90 unique programs on Tuesday, he explained. It’s something he is only able to do because of his years of programming experience. 

"I have probably written over 14,000 programs over the years,” said Bann, who has a “healthy blend” of clients ranging from novices who have never worked out before, to intermediate, to advanced athletes, including high-level CrossFit athletes, as well as military personnel. 

Wednesdays are also largely devoted to programming, and then Bann spreads his 15 to 20 hours a week of Zoom lifestyle consults on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Friday mornings, he works until 11 am and then is off the grid until the following Monday. 

“It's important to know how to set boundaries. I struggled with it until 2018, and then one day I finally took a vacation and realized I needed to take time off. You’re no good to anyone if you're burnt out and tired," Bann said. 

Letting his clients know this is something he does right at the beginning.

“I tell all my clients up front in the initial consult that I check out Friday at 11 a.m. and come back Monday, and if you're not OK with that then we shouldn't move forward. And I have never had a single human ever get upset with that,” he said. 

That being said, Bann is available and in contact with his clients constantly during the week and encourages them to text him or message him on the weekend if they have questions, but that he won’t reply until Monday.

4. Be a Questioning Toddler, Not the Smartest Man in the Room

No matter how experienced you become, Bann reiterated the importance of seeking out new, different ideas, options and theories. 

Keep asking questions: “Why, why, why why…? Like a toddler," he said. 

“Surround yourself with people who disagree with you. The professional coach is the one who exists in the individual design world and hangs out with all the group fitness people…Don't seek to be the smartest person in the room,” he said.

“There should never be a point in time where you feel like you have everything figured out. There should always be a thirst and desire to get better.”

A true professional coach, Bann explained, understands that “fitness is just fitness. At the end of the day there's no such thing as a bad training program or a bad exercise. It’s about whether it fits the person. And the pro coach will always seek to understand that at the highest level, and then constantly refine their systems and thoughts,” he said.

Note: Michael offers both remote coaching for athletes and remote coaching mentorship for coaches.

ARE YOU A FITNESS COACH OR INTERESTED IN BECOMING ONE?

Are you a fitness coach or interested in becoming one?

In just six months, you can become an independent fitness coach, running your own small business and dramatically impacting the lives of those around you.

Every quarter, passionate coaches like Michael graduate from the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) with the knowledge, skills, and systems they need to thrive in their careers.

Click the button below and download the CCP Curriculum Guide to learn more.

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