Coach Spotlight Series: Chase Wickham on Climbing the Leaderboards
Last newsletter, we learned about Zach Stevenson’s approach to social media, so today’s interview seems like a natural segue to a new topic: climbing the CoachUp Leaderboards. In order to learn more, we chatted with Chase Wickham, one of our CoachUp MVP winners, about his pursuit of the top soccer spot both state-wide and nationally. Coach Chase was kind enough to share his thoughts and strategies, so feel free to take his advice. If you’re a coach, what learnings can you use from Chase’s interview? How can you grow and become a better leader? Yesterday, Chase chatted with Rob, our Coach Engagement Manager, and revealed how he got to his top spot! Without further ado, here it is:
CoachUp: Chase, my friend, how are you doing? You’re CoachUp’s #1 soccer coach, both in North Carolina and nationally. How did you get to be where you are?
Chase Wickham: When I started out, I was playing pro in Charlotte, North Carolina and some other players were coaching on CoachUp on the side to make some extra money. You know, since you’re not making much money in the minors, it made sense. It’s actually funny, my wife asked me if I ever would coach but I told her I would never, ever do it — like never, 100% no. But eventually I gave in and tried it out — and, honestly, I fell in love with it instantly.
Just being able to offer my expertise and help kids develop from wherever they’re at. From there, it just took on a life of its own. Of course, I work really hard and give everyone a good experience, that’s how it all begins. One person tells another person and that person has a good experience and they tell another person — your business multiplies in that way, which is always fun to watch. As far as promotion, CoachUp has done all of that for me and then by word of mouth, it spreads.
CU: What would you recommend to someone who has just joined the platform? What advice do you have for those new coaches?
CW: I keep talking about the experiences you give a player, so as a new coach you need to keep those first few clients as your foundation. You need to be entirely available to them and trying to help them however you can. Whether it’s going to their games, if you have time, or extra preparation before sessions, that matters more than you might think. I’d bring my wife, grab a cup of coffee, and chat with the parents a bit during athlete’s games. Go the extra mile, especially when you’re starting out because this is your foundation and you need to keep these clients.
Most of my clients that I currently work with, I’ve been working with for over a year and some of them up to two. It really comes down to being fair to them. If you work hard, genuinely know the game well, and know how to develop players, they’ll appreciate that and return it. If they see their son or daughter developing, they’ll want to tell everyone that their kid is getting the best training out there.
CU: You have a rebooking rate of about 70%, which is well above the CoachUp average — what is it that keeps athletes rebooking with you? What do you do tactically to get somebody to come and rebook another package with you?
CW: You have to do those all those things I just talked about, which all comes from genuinely caring about your clients and you can’t fake that. Do the little stuff — respond to them within 24 hours and stay on top of scheduling, prioritizing, etc. Spend time preparing that first session and make sure you’re covering all the points they wanted to work on.
Relate to the kids, make sure they’re having fun, but really push them to succeed. At the end, if they’re not coming back to me to rebook, then maybe I haven’t done my job or everything I can and they’re not quite satisfied. Then, it would be back to the drawing board for next time. You can always get better no matter what and that’s important to remember.
CU: What do you offer your athletes that differentiates yourself from other coaches, or what other coaches are doing?
CW: I think one of the biggest things I do is care — if the kids are happy, the parents are happy. If the kids are developing, then the parents are happy — you know, that’s why we’re all there. One little tool to differentiate yourself from other coaches is being able to relate to both the parent and the athlete. Some kids need you to push them really hard, come alongside, and encourage them, others need a kick in the butt to get them going and get them into training mode.
Being able to laugh and joke and relate to stuff they’re going through in that time in their life is very important. You should always be asking yourself what strategic, developmental steps can we take to get from here to there? Ultimately, you need to be balanced. You have to play many different roles at once and really fit what they’re looking for — not expecting them to fit with you.
CU: Finally, what do you do to stay at the top of the CoachUp rankings and what drives you to stay at the top?
CW: I find that I get better every time I train. Over time, I find new ways to teach or help them develop in an area of their game. I’m still learning to this day, it’s a growing experience. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get. People who do public speeches for a living probably didn’t start hopping in front of a huge crowd and feeling comfortable right away, you know?
As you continue to coach and get put in different one-on-one situations with different people and different bad habits, you learn and adapt constantly. Thank you, CoachUp! You guys have been awesome, I love working with you guys and I will continue to do so.
Check out Coach Chase’s profile here, and learn more tips and tricks for growing your business through CoachUp here. Or, if you’re a parent or athlete ready to take the next step, click the button below and find your perfect coach!