Don't wait until you graduate to start your career as a sports coach!

You are currently following a BPJEPS training program and will soon graduate? Here, we are going to see together the perspectives which are offered to you once the diploma in pocket. You will also find advice on how to prepare for your future activity as a sports coach and thus put all the chances on your side to succeed in your professional reconversion.

This article is the result of a Webinar realized in collaboration with Frédéric Balussaud, creator of the website "Réussir son BPJEPS".

Presentation of the speaker

Frédéric Balussaud, creator of the website "Réussir son BPJEPS". 

Formerly a financial analyst in a job he was not very passionate about, Frederic decided to redirect himself towards his passion: sports coaching. He therefore followed a BPJEPS AGFF mention D training (currently BPJEPS AF option "weightlifting, bodybuilding") and obtained his diploma in February 2015. 

Expert jury for the UC 3b and 4b for 2 training centers and for the entrance exams for the "weightlifting, bodybuilding" option of the BPJEPS AF: TEP, specific physical tests and oral interviews.

Why wait until you graduate? 

In concrete terms, there is no reason to wait until you graduate to start your career as a sports coach. In fact, many BPJEPS students in professional reconversion wait until they graduate to start thinking about their career as a sports coach, but this is not without risks. Many are those who find themselves caught off guard, because they have not anticipated anything. They don't know where to start, how to find their first clients, which gym to approach... The launch of their career then takes a lot of time. 

Choose the legal status for your career as a sports coach 

There are many legal statuses for coaches:

  • micro-entrepreneur,
  • sole proprietorship,
  • association law 1901.

Once your activity of sports coach will be stable, you will be able to choose the legal structure the most adapted to your activity.

"It's not a big deal if you don't have a stable legal structure for one or two months. The trick is to first sell your business and practice."

Frédéric Balussaud

A wide range of activities:
What type of structure for my sports coach business?

The sport organization in which you will be working is responsible for ensuring that coaches have the relevant qualifications and training for the role. This will depend on the level, age and type of setting you wish to work in. Each sport will also have its own coaching qualification requirements for you to begin coaching.

Your start as a sports coach will therefore depend on your professional project and your profile. You can be an employee in a fitness club or go to the extreme by selling programs via social networks. 

"The people who work on the Réussir son BPJEPS website are sports coaches, but they also work as authors, consultants or trainers. This is an opportunity; each coach chooses his reality. It's all about creating your dream life!"

Frédéric Balussaud

The different activities related to the profession of sports coach :

  • Freelance in group classes: you offer your services to the gym by leading group classes.
  • Freelance sports coach: you work with your clients in a fitness club in exchange for rent. In this case, be smart and proactive. Don't hesitate to negotiate with the managers of the gym to obtain, for example, a free service in exchange for services (customer assessments, customer reminders, etc.).
  • Outdoor coaching: you coach your clients at home, in an outdoor location or in your home.
  • Box CrossFit: this type of position is subject to certification. To coach in a CrossFit box, you need to pass at least Level 1.
  • 100% internet: write programs that you sell via social networks or your website.
  • Hybrid: this is a mix between online coaching and private coaching.

Knowing in advance can influence the course. This is why it is highly recommended to approach fitness centers before the BPJEPS training begins. This gives you a head start in finding a job or clients after the training.  

Specialize after your BPJEPS training 

A sports coach may choose to specialize in a particular area of coaching or use the experience as a stepping stone to a management role. In particular, the skills gained in building relationships and adapting to the needs of a range of different people are useful for someone looking for a role in sport development in the future. 

For example, you can complement your BPJEPS with training in sports nutrition, pilates, hypnosis, health, mental preparation...

"During the BPJEPS training, nutrition is not addressed. One of the first pieces of advice is to take a sports nutrition course."

Frédéric Balussaud

A business plan is not always necessary to launch a career as a sports coach 

If you're thinking of starting your own business as an independent sports coach, you may think that writing a business plan is a must. But in reality, it is not always useful. In fact, everything will depend on your professional project.

Hexfit - Et si on arrêtait de facturer à l'heure?

If you are planning to open a large structure that requires investment and therefore credit, you will probably need a business plan. 

In most cases, this is not necessary. You can become a sports coach without a business plan for several years. 

Career as a sports coach: mistakes not to be made 

Failure is a facilitator of growth. We learn much more from our mistakes than from our successes. There is something about failure that stimulates our minds and makes us find a better way to accomplish the task we failed at.

However, while failure can be an integral part of anyone's career, there are a few simple mistakes you can spare yourself. 

Wanting to coach everyone and every aspect

Before you embark on a career as a sports coach, it is important to choose your specialization. Don't start out with the idea of wanting to accompany everyone (young, old, athletes, beginners, etc.) and do everything (nutrition, yoga, mobility, crossfit, ....). Frédéric advises to have a double specialization in order to adapt the way you communicate. 

Choose the clientele you are targeting and what you are going to offer them.

Online program without customization

Online programs can help some people, but in most cases they are not personalized. The coach has defined several programs and sends the same ones to his different clients. However, it is important to know that when a client comes to see a sports coach, it is because he or she has a pain, sometimes unconscious. 

"What makes me sell is that I spend time listening to people who come to me and ask for help."

Frédéric Balussaud

Understanding the needs and accompanying clients is what will make you an effective and reputable sports coach.

Do not use a tool to track clients

Many sports coaches don't have real tools to track their clients' progress. Often, this is done on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. Opting for a tracking tool increases the professionalism and quality of the follow-up.

Some strategies for a successful career change as a sports coach

Clear and precise professional project before entering training

Many sports coaches don't have real tools to track their clients' progress. Often, this is done on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. Opting for a tracking tool increases the professionalism and quality of the follow-up.  

Choosing the right place for your internship/alternship

The BPJEPS training program alternates between the training center and the company. You will alternate between periods in the training center and periods in the company. Internships are also planned. It is important to choose the room in which you will work during your training. Indeed, it can be a good way to find your first clients. The venue may also want to keep you once you graduate. Also think about the animation project you will have to realize during your BPJEPS training. Choose it according to what you want to do next. 

Dare to try, suggest things to customers

What will make your career as a sports coach successful is how proactive you are with your clients, but also with the other professionals around you. Make suggestions to the managers of the gym, put your knowledge to work for others.

"If my intention is to help and bring something positive, I might as well do it. What do I risk in the worst case scenario? The only person who can be hurt by a refusal is your ego. On the other hand, if you get a yes, you'll boost your confidence."

Frédéric Balussaud

To create a website or not?

Creating a website for your activity of sports coach is not an obligation. You can go through franchises that bring together sports coaches, directories of sports coaches, outside of the Internet through a network of professionals. 


"Choose the mode of communication that best suits you and in which you are comfortable."

Frédéric Balussaud

If you are not comfortable with social networks, do not make them your main communication channel. Instead, create a network with other professionals (doctors, city hall, shopkeepers...).

Camille Boutin

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