The best ways for coaches to make side money

If you are an athletics coach, there are plenty of ways to make side money.

It's time you leveraged your skills to enter the gig economy. What is the gig economy? In short, it refers to a market defined by freelance, contract, or short-term work. The gig economy is very real, and it's growing.

Consider these stats: Gallup says that 36% of workers in the United States are now participating in the gig economy, and Wonolo estimates that half of the country's workers could participate by 2027 if things continue growing at the current rate. Forbes notes that the independent workforce is growing three times faster than the total working population.

I have personal experience here: I've been in the sports media field for over 11 years, and I got to a point where I was constantly researching the best ways to make side money in my niche. The amount of freelance work I've taken on and counted as part of my household income has expanded dramatically in the last few years. Four years ago, I had a full-time job, and that was it. Now? On the low end, over 25 percent of my monthly income comes from independent gigs that I have taken on away from my “traditional” job.

Trust me when I tell you that, as an athletics coach,  you can also generate income away from your full-time job. All this begs the question: what are the best ways for coaches to earn side money?

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Let me break down my own personal experience here.  Several years ago, I became interested in the gig economy and found out that in my field – sports media – that there were many ways to make additional income. I started researching, learning, practicing, trying, and sometimes failing, and that ultimately led to success. I have picked up substantial side work by simply demonstrating that I know what I'm doing (which I accomplished through my full time job), networking, and, to put it quite simply, by asking.

There are ways to harness your abilities to make money by providing services related to the field in which you're knowledgeable. For instance, it wouldn't make sense for me to start trying to sell dance lessons tomorrow. The services I have provided as a freelancer have been related to sports content writing and publishing and consulting. If you're, for instance, a football coach, then you're going to have some unique knowledge – as Liam Neeson in Taken would say, “a particular set of skills” – that you can tap into that gives you a starting point. I'm here to help show you some of the methods by which you can unlock your potential of earning side income as a coach.

Perhaps your primary motivation is just to put some extra money in your pocket. Perhaps you want to grow a business all the way to complete financial independence. Your motivation will determine how much time you put into something, and how far you can ultimately go. Everyone wants to make passive income, but you cannot be passive along the path of reaching that goal. You must be willing to learn, be creative, and put in the extra time.

Before we jump into the list, it's always good to have ways to actually have a vehicle to market your services, sell products, brand yourself, and provide a way for people to contact you. Social media is obviously one way to accomplish this, but the way best way is to have your own dedicated website with a customized domain. I have put together a step-by-step guide showing how to get started with your own website right here.

Get started today with Bluehost and get your website up and running.

As a sports coach, you have a unique opportunity to capitalize by just leaning even further into your niche, into the profession you have already chosen. If you want to start selling real estate or landscaping, then go for it! For your purposes here, I'm going to stick to sports or coaching-specific recommendations to make side money. Here are my top ways to earn side money as an athletics coach.

1. EARN SIDE MONEY BY TRAINING PLAYERS

I know many coaches who either jumped straight into the private training game after their own playing days were up as a full-time job, and others who have done it as a side gig in addition to their current coaching duties or other full-time job.

In a hyper-competitive field like sports, there are plenty of folks willing to pay quality coaches for extra work in the offseason, or even during the season. Take a look around where you live: is there a void in the private training space? Could you perhaps do a bit better that some others in the same field? Perhaps this is where you come in, using your knowledge and technical ability to schedule individual or group training sessions for players.

One great example is seen above from Martin Gibson of Gibson Performance Training. Coach Gibson is a high school running backs coach at DeMatha Catholic in Maryland, but he also runs his own training service and has worked with a host of top-flight athletes, such as NFL first round pick Chase Young.

Coach Gibson provides a great service and has a cool website to show off those services.

If you are a trainer already, or are interested in setting up a training business, it's a good idea to set up a website. Again, I have a handy guide here that walks you through the process of starting your own WordPress website, but you can also check out Wix or Squarespace, if you decide that route is better for you.

2. EARN INCOME THROUGH COURSE SALES

Yes, you can leverage your knowledge in many coaching areas – whether it's teaching scheme and technique or giving pointers on culture-building on a team – by creating and selling video courses. One great way to do this is to utilize CoachTube. Check out our handy guide on how to use that platform to make extra money by selling your courses.

Another fantastic way – and one that gives you even more control and money-making potential – is to use Teachable. That platform does have you pay a monthly fee, but. You can also integrate Teachable with your website.

3. WRITE AND SELL A BOOK OR EBOOK

If you would rather put some of your ideas on paper or on a screen for distribution and/or sale, then writing a book or an ebook is a great way to do it.

It's always been my personal dream to write a book, and one of these days I'll get around to it!

If you want to write a book, the good news is that you don't have to waste time and money writing to an agent in New York – although if you do hit it big, please remember us! You can self-publish (for free) an ebook or paperbook book through the Amazon KDP self-publishing service.

Or, you can use a tool like Canva to create an ebook and distribute it on your own through social media or your website. Write a book on anything you want – scheme, culture, leadership, and set your own price.

4. LEARN GRAPHIC DESIGN AND SELL YOUR SERVICES

I have seen a lot of coaches break into this field. Some who have a more artistic eye may simply do it for fun. Other coaches use graphics to help promote their programs on social media or to highlight college prospects by creating infographics or cool edits. Many coaches will have custom Twitter headers nowadays, always a nice touch when it comes to your own branding.

Here's an example of a custom Twitter header from a high school football coach, John Weaver.

There are some really cool tools for graphic design worth checking out; two I have experience with myself and could recommend are Canva and the Adobe suite of designer software.

Once you hone your skills a bit, you can consider selling your services to other coaches or interested parties. You can advertise your services, along with samples, on social media or on your own website, and/or consider joining a platform like Fiverr.

If you are not interested in graphic design, but still want to nab something that will help your own branding, then check out places like Fiverr, Creative Market, and Visme.

5. MASTER VIDEO EDITING

As a coach, you can go beyond simply cutting film with Hudl and decide to develop your video editing skills.

Similar to graphic design, you can use video editing capabilities to help sharpen your brand – or your organization's brand – or even sell your services to make extra cash.

In the last couple years, I've personally become comfortable enough to do some video editing of my own for personal and business use.

For ease of use and price point, my favorite tool (bonus: you can use it for podcast editing, too!) is Wondershare's Filmora.

6. SELLING APPAREL FOR CASH

Thanks to the joys of technology and companies like Teespring, you don't have to  worry about paying up front costs and storing inventory that may never get sold in your garage.

If you have t-shirt or other apparel ideas that you could sell to help make cash, then consider using Teespring. It's easy-to-use platform lets you design and set prices, even giving you an online storefront. If folks order, you get a cut while Teespring takes care of printing and shipping.

In addition to Teespring, you can also check out similar services like Printify and Big Cartel.

7. EARN FREELANCE DOLLARS BY WRITING ANALYSIS PIECES

Do you have any friends in the media? Ask if they have any freelance positions available to break down matchups for college or NFL games, take a deeper dive into scheme, and the like. Coach Pete DeWeese has performed this service in the past for RebelGrove.com and has put together outstanding analysis pieces.

If you are not a strong writer, that's OK. You don't have to be Faulkner. In the course of my work as a sports journalist, I've worked with many coaches on analysis pieces and sometimes have helped during the editing process. You'll find that folks you work with will be more than happy to help you “clean up” your writing, if need be.

8. LAUNCH AND MONETIZE A PODCAST

My top pick for podcast hosting is Buzzsprout. who will give you a $20 gift card when you sign up for a plan.

Podcasting is fun and you can learn a lot even as a host with the guests that you bring on, but it's also another way to make money. You can monetize your podcasts with sponsorships and mid roll ad reads as you continue to build your audience.

You can check out my step-by-step guide for launching your own podcast right here.

I would love to see your feedback and I would be glad to answer your questions in the comments below! Or, drop me an email – chris(at)thecoachbridge.com.

Chris Clark
Chris Clark

I'm a sports media professional with over 11 years of experience, having built lasting relationships across the coaching profession. I want to help you reach your goals in the coaching industry and learn how to make side income in just like I did!

Hey, I'm Chris Clark!

Hey, I'm Chris Clark!

I’m a sports media professional with over 11 years of experience, and I started TheCoachBridge.com to help athletics coaches level up in the industry and reach their personal and professional goals!

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