Permissionless Coach

Oct 21, 2022

Permissionless Coach

Permissionless Apprentice X Coaching = Permissionless Coach 


Credit: Visualize Value

If you want to become a world class coach or trainer, you’ll have to go on a journey full of adversity. If it was easy everyone would do it. Everything you want is on the other side of hard. Although hard, if you adopt this approach you can make your dreams reality.

Becoming a Permissionless Coach will give you your best chance to land your dream job. This is how a SAVI coach would approach this method. This piece was inspired by @JackButcher’s permissionless apprentice course. Check it out here.

So, what is a permissionless apprentice? Let’s start with the definition of apprenticeship:

“A person who works for another in order to learn a trade.”

Apprenticeships are more commonly associated with the physical trades: electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, etc.

But, it’s also a GREAT way to get into coaching and grow as a coach. Where do you go to get your degree in coaching? What class or course do you take to guarantee landing a job? (Bonus points if you said SAVI, haha!)

In coaching, who you know and who knows your work is the single greatest determining factor on whether you get a coaching job. Use this to your advantage.

Apprenticing will open the doors that keep frustrating you. Not only is it THE best way to get a job, it’s actually the best way to develop your craft.

For example, which of the following sounds like the fastest way to learn how to build a shed?

  1. Go to shed building lectures and remember passages from shed building textbooks.
  2. Spend time around people who build sheds and build some sheds.

Now, this applies to coaching.

Things you don’t need:

  • Permission
  • Degree from institution
  • Six-figure tuition

Things you do need:

  • Patience
  • Practice
  • Consistency

The programs that you really want to work with (or for) are spending time doing the things we admire them for. That’s why you admire them.

It’s also why you need to lead with a surplus of value to get in touch with them.

But how do you become an apprentice without a network or a reputation?

Answer: The Internet.

The internet has created a seismic shift in the way talent is discovered at every level. Access is no longer a barrier. Geography, relationships, playing pedigree, coaching resume and experience can’t stop the Permissionless Coach.

Let’s be real. Two candidates show up for a job interview.

One just graduated from a good school and has a self-proclaimed “good work ethic.” (Despite never having had a job.)

The other put together a pitch to explain a new way to frame your value proposition to your enterprise prospects.

Which one is getting the job?

This applies to coaching. You can do the same exact thing. If you think someone could be doing a better job of something, don’t tell them, show them.

How to become a Permissionless Coach and land your dream coaching job.

  1. Do the work
    1. Study a team’s roster, team statistics, and their record.
  2. Observe
    1. Watch game film (practice if available)
  3. Plan
    1. Create a plan for improvement. Include strengths they should focus on, weaknesses they need to improve, and strategies they need.
    2. Create a practice plan that goes with your plan for improvement.
  4. Bonus
    1. Grade each player’s performance (for one game). Then give back personalized and actionable feedback.
  5. Share
    1. Online or in-person. (More down below).

Make this plan your masterclass in coaching.

The most common mistake here is to ask for permission to do the thing before you do it. In that scenario, you're making someone work for you, not the other way around.

  1. Whatever it is you’re proposing you do, it adds value to you first. It becomes an asset you can leverage. It gives you practice, skills, and experience.
  2. Very few people will give you permission to do something when they have no idea who you are or what you're capable of.

So just do it, and show them.

You want to make it abundantly clear that:

  • You know their team/game, you’ve done your homework, and took time to prepare this.
  • You want to include tangible suggestions for how to make an impact.
  • You’ll provide value to their coaching staff + team

After revising your plan 2-3 times. Share your plan with the coaches you want to work for.

There’s two ways to share your plan.

  1. You have an interview – Print out a few copies to hand out at your interview.
  2. You don’t have an interview – Email your plan to the coaches you want to work for.

If you’re starting out in your coaching career, the apprenticeship model may be the way to go.

If you have solid coaching experience and want to land that dream job, I’d talk about working with them.

If you go the online apprenticeship route, here’s a sample email.

Sample email:

Hey Coach _____,

I hope this email finds you well. I’d love to get on a call talking about the possibility of me apprenticing you.

I want to work as an apprentice with you for a few reasons. First, I believe what is happening at team, I love your mission/values  ___________.

Second, I look up to you. I see you as someone I would want to be in the future and want to learn from you to get myself to that point.

Now, what are some ways I could help as an apprentice?

Thinking of how I could contribute to your team, I came up with:

  • Simplicity - Observe what do you hear, see and observe the coaching staff care about most? Identify it and ask if that is the thing they think happens the most and most contributes to their success.
  • Adversity - Observe how the players and coaches respond to failure and mistakes. Identify the ration of positive response to negative. How a team handles adversity will determine their ceiling as a program. Provide data on the # of negative vs. positive responses to bad calls, coaching, or mistakes.
  • Victory - Measure something and define it. Pick an offensive or defensive skill or habit, measure the percentage that players do this thing. Peek at the rim, catch shot ready, play off two feet in traffic, pass with accuracy, talk on defense, attack a rebound or close off a shooter. If you can choose something that most coaches or players care about, measurement is magic.
  • Identity - As an observer, it should be obvious the identity of a program. What are the coaches talking about, what are the players doing and what is valued? Offer you observation and why you believe that’s the identity. Ask great questions like, do you want this to be your identity? If so, would you say you have achieved it? Offer up how you would suggest they commit to that identity further.

I’d be happy to unpack these ideas further over a meeting, thank you for your time and I hope this information serves you.


Your Name

Summarize your plan in the email and attach it, too.

Trainers want to do the same thing? You should! But, instead of improving teams, improve players.

Let’s say you spend 30 hours creating a plan for improvement for your favorite college basketball team or the player you want to train. You email it to them and all you get is… crickets. So, you publish your work on Twitter anyways (maybe this even lands you a job with someone else).

Even if they don't see it, here's what happens:

  • You force yourself to think
  • You force yourself to solve problems
  • You force yourself to publish
  • You force yourself to improve
  • You force yourself to build a portfolio of work
  • Now you have a way to communicate your value in your next job interview

Investing 30 hours of your time can be hard if you don’t know you’re going to win or get a response. So, how can we ensure we win even if no one sees or responds to our work?

If it's making us better.

The best case scenario is you get your dream coaching job, the worst is you gain skills & become a better coach. Victory either way, regardless of outcome.

Remember, with whatever you choose to do, lead with a surplus of value. Don’t tell them what you can do, show them. Don’t talk about it, be about it.

Build a body of work that makes working with you an easy decision. Be a Permissionless Coach.

If you do this and it helps, reach out.

My Twitter is @DylanKurt3, and Tyler’s is @TylerCoston.

I’m here to help Tyler… and Tyler’s here to help you.

SAVI = Wisdom Applied.

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